Friday, September 12, 2014

Alaska # 27 Stewart/Hyder

 After leaving Skagway, Cousins Jim and Pat took me to Stewart, BC/Hyder, Alaska. On the way, there were beautful views, including more glaciers. The best part of the trip was watching the bears in Hyder. The black bear standing by the water was determined to catch a salmon for dinner. However he was a little too slow and when he jumped into the water, the salmon swam away safely--probably to be caught by a quicker bear.
Warmest regards, Gus

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Alaska #26 Skagway

In Haines, AK, cousin Jim put the motorhome on the ferry and we went to Skagway. In Skagway, I took a ride  on the White Pass & Yukon Route train and saw some beautiful country, crossed some old bridges and went through some tunnels. I visited some of the shops in downtown Skagway, but you can see in the second picture that the town gets pretty quiet after the tour ships leave. From our campground we could watch the ships start arrivng after 4:00 AM and start leaving around 5:00 PM. From Skagway we started the long trek home. We drove to Teslin, YT, and then to Watson Lake. From Watson Lake we traveled to Stewart, BC/Hyder, Alaska. Check the next edition for details of that trip. Warmest regards, Gus
 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Alaska # 25

Sorry I left you all hanging, wondering if I ever got back to Haines from Juneau. Well, I have had very poor internet service since then as I travelled back to the lower 48.  However, I did get back to Anacortes, WA, and will try to catch up on the trip.
The reason I got back from Juneau safely was because Anna took control and made me behave on the boat. She fed me some salmon chowder and kept me out of trouble. Nothing like a full stomach.
The big event on the return trip was whale watching. Our Captain had learned where the Humpback whales were hanging out that evening and he found them. Using a hydraphone, I was able to listen to the lead whale give a signal to the other 11 whales who were circling the fish and they all surfaced at the same time to grab their dinner. It was amazing to see 12 whales all surface at the same time. What a sight to see.
I will write more later.
Warmest regards, Gus

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Alaska #24 Juneau

After I arrived in Juneau yesterday (see #23), I boarded a bus to go downtown. On the bus, I learned some of the history of Juneau and learned to talk like a native. I now refer to "the road," "the bridge," and "the canal." 
After watching cousins Jim and Pat eat crab legs for lunch, I got to wander into some of the shops on Main Street. I looked at diamonds, emeralds, etc., and found everything to be out of my price range. I had hoped to buy a nice ring for Tedi (Tedi and I met in Jasper--See post #3) but just couldn't afford a nice one.
Later in the afternoon, I re-boarded the bus and visited Mendenhall Glacier (See photo). I saw a nice movie and another presentation about how the glacier is receding. It has receded about 2.5 miles since the mid-1700s.
From the glacier, it was back to the Fjordland Express, our 85' catamaran, for the return trip to Haines.
I have a feeling Captian Glen is going to be watching me very carefully on this trip.
Warmest regards, Gus

Alaska # 23 Fjordland Express

Yesterday I was on the Fjordland Express on the way from Haines, AK, to Juneau when Captain Glen Jacobson turned away and I took control of the boat. We got to Juneau safely and I had a great time. I will tell you more about the trip in the next posting.
Warmest regards, Gus

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Alaska # 22 Tok to Kluane Lake

 Yesterday we drove from Tok, AK, to Destruction Day, Yukon (Kluane Lake). The top picture shows some of the construction on the Alaska Highway in Yukon Territory. This was one of the better parts of the construction area. It took seven hours to drive 224 miles.
The botton picture is one of the rewards of traveling the highway--a grizzly bear walked out onto the highway right in front of the motor home. He decided to go back to the side of the road and watch us pass by.
Warmest regards, Gus

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Alaska # 21 Alyeska Pipeline

 After panning for gold yesterday, I visited The Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). I am sitting on one of the thousands of supports for the 800-mile pipeline which has carried over 16 billion barrels of oil since it was completed in 1977.
Currently, the pipeline carries about 500,000 barrels/day, which is about 1/4 of capacity.
The support I am sitting on is designed to move so that heat, cold and even earthquakes will not damage the sturcture.
Even though the actual pipe is 48" in diameter, in the lower picture I am inspecting a sample of the welding which was done on the pipeline. Since the pipeline was designed to last 30 years, I guess the welders did a good job.
Warmest regards, Gus