Saturday, July 27, 2013

days 26 and 27 alaska

    I got up early as usual and headed into Victoria for the morning.  I stopped for writing and coffee and then parked at a pay lot right downtown.  I rode my bike all over, for the first time to Ogden Point where the big cruise ships come in and then back to the other side past all the new condominiums.  I heard they are going to put in a sewer treatment plant.  I then took the harbor tour on one of the water taxis and then lunch at a restaurant in Chinatown.  I couldn’t play golf by myself so I went for a swim in elk lake and then drove out to Swartz Bay. 

     The cruise across was lovely and when I got to Vancouver I first drove to Granville Island and had a great dinner at Dockside with a wonderful view.  I then went to Robson street for a walk and for an ice cream cone and then made it to Capilano River RV place which was incredibly packed together, a real urban RV resort.  I had stomach problems just before bed so I made much use of the bathrooms as I walked around. 

     I slept okay and when I awoke I got going to Stanley Park and rode my bike around the whole park in about 35 minutes.  Then I was going to Sumas but I made a mistake and headed down 15 and had to wait over an hour to get across the border.  I called Gloria and she will know more about the lump on the MRI on Monday.  She is very upset, as she should be.

Friday, July 26, 2013

days 22 through 25 Alaska

I drove on, figuring I would make good use of my time and I did, making it all the way to Burwash Junction near Kluane. It was raining hard most of the day and the campground I was going to stop at was flooded, too dangerous to even get in to. When I finally reached Burwash, I was exhausted and it was almost midnight. I did get a bike ride in during a break in the rain. The next day (Monday) was overcast so you really couldn’t see anything of Kluane so I drove on to Haines Junction and had coffee and Danish at the village bakery and got caught up on the internet. After that I drove to Whitehorse and played golf at Meadow Lakes with my round ruined by a very stupid 11 on the par 5, ending up with a 55. I went back to the salmon place and had an okay lunch then went biking up to the dam and then back along the river on the town side. I drove on and the only restaurant in Teslin was crowded so I drove on, stopping to fish at my spot on the swift but I got skunked although I did see a fish right below me. I luckily found a place still open a little after 10 and gassed up, and they said they could make me some simple food, and I had good pea soup, a cheese sandwich, tea and dessert, all after I thought I was going to have peanut butter and trail mix. I drove on and found another place open very close to Watson Lake and checked into the RV park there, taking a hot shower with a double shampoo and getting to sleep around midnight. I got up early on Tuesday and was going to deliver the check to the campground but since my gas was a little low I decided to drive on and mail the check later. I got very excited as I approached Beady Creek and no one was parked there so I calmed down a bit. The weather was fine so I got ready slowly and started fishing the first pool. Nothing. Now I was a bit worried but I remembered that the lower pools weren’t very good so I moved up to the second and again nothing. Now I was concerned but I moved up to the third pool, one I have caught many grayling in, and I got one fish on and had two other hits. Now I knew it was going to be fun so I moved on and got two grayling before I reached the big pool. The water was up so getting there was a real feat and the big news was that the camper that had been parked there in the past now was part of a small gold mining operation, and clearly the little bulldozer forded the stream when I was lower. I finally made it to the pool and caught 4 fish, two grayling and two rainbow trout. On the way back I got one more small grayling in one of the lower pools that I had fished earlier. I was very happy that I made it to the big pool so my knee is really much better. And I caught the most fish of the trip, which was fun. I drove on and halfway to Bell II I stopped to ride my bike and saw a bear in the distance so I turned around and stayed pretty far away. It was another break in the weather and then I drove on, eventually having to stay in Kitwanga at the Cassiar Campground where it rained all night and mosquitoes bothered me a bit. On Wednesday I got up early and headed for Prince George. I stopped in Smithers for gas and groceries, recycled some stuff, and had coffee and a breakfast sandwich. The weather cleared a bit and I ended up playing golf in Houston and shot a lovely 45 after the disaster of a couple days ago. I tried calling Tim at the kayak place but got disconnected so I will call later. I did talk to Tim and he was sympathetic. I think he understood that his staff should have handled things differently. When I got to Prince George, it was time for a bike ride and I found a short bike trail that led to a park and had a good ride. After that I really wanted a hot, unhurried meal so I stopped at a Boston Pizza and had pizza and salad. I was going to drive on but I stopped almost right away at a Tim Horton’s and did some writing and then stopped again at an RV resort. I slept pretty well and when the showers were filled with young kids and a line had formed I decided to head out right away. I was planning to perhaps reach Hope and stay there, but I got an extra hour on my clock (it had been showing Calgary time) so I decided after a nap to try to make the 8pm ferry and I was able to get on the 9pm one. I rode my bike in the parking area and got a full hour in. It was lovely to watch the sunset and I had a decent salad and soup buffet on board. When I got in it was after 10:30 so, after failing to find one RV park, I used my GPS to get me to Oceanside RV resort and slept in the parking lot since no sites were available.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Days 16 through 21

When I woke up I did my writing, had a light breakfast, did my yoga and was about to leave when I saw that my computer was installing some 132 updates and was on 83. I didn’t want to risk messing up the installation so I decided to go bike riding at the University of Alaska and that was a good idea. Rain threatened but stayed away and I was able to ride for a full hour. It is a decent campus and I rode past the botanical garden which looked pretty tempting. After my ride and doing my recycling, I drove back to the super 8 and found the computer still stuck on 83 so I turned it off and hoped for the best. I drove slowly toward Denali and I got there around 4 so I headed off to Highway 8, the one that cuts across the state, and after driving in about a mile I found a tempting stretch at a bridge that had obviously been heavily fished but I didn’t care. I got a couple of small grayling and a lot of hits on my royal wulff from small fish but I gave up after about 45 minutes and decided to drive further on 8. I saw a nice section but it was posted all around so I headed back and found a decent looking stretch that was steep to get to. I walked along the rough trail and when I thought I was far enough I started fishing and got a couple of decent fish. I moved further up and realized that I was very close to where I had fished before. I kept fishing and ended up with 11 grayling with perhaps three decent fish. Now it was time to head back to the very developed Denali and check in. That went quite well and they recommended Nenana café in the Denali Chalet Hotel and it was very good especially the bacon wrapped potatoes and the halibut. I took a walk along the river and then decided to head to the Alpenglow Resort up on the mountain to have dessert. The view of the Nenana was impressive but the service was very slow. I did work on a new poem about returning to Alaska after five years of bring cancer free and how much more relaxed this trip has been. It was time to head to my camp site and I dropped off quickly with almost no mosquito problems. The next day I got up early, hoping to shower and perhaps do the laundry before my bus tour, but the staff wouldn’t let me in until 7 and that seemed too close for comfort. I instead dipped into Riley Creek and it made me both clean and very cold. I got to the wilderness access center in plenty of time and at 8 we were off, 10 of us and a talkative and informed bus driver. I leaned quite a bit but the animal viewing was a disaster. A couple of moose and a caribou. No grizzlies. It was overall pleasant enough but I was glad it was over and after a good nap. I was ready to head to Homer. I stopped to fish a couple of times but the first stream was too fast and the second, though absolutely perfect, yielded not a hit. I fished for a good hour and went almost a half mile so my knee is doing quite well. The salmon were in on the Kenai so traffic was pretty slow. I stopped at a combination Laundromat/shower place and did my laundry and took a very needed shower. After a nap I played 9 holes at Birch Ridge with 3 fellows who invited me to join and were pleasant enough to play with. I drove on toward Homer and ran into some road construction so I didn’t get out to the end of the spit until around 7, and it was time to ride my bike back to the mainland and back to my truck at least 9 miles. Dinner at the Harbor Grill followed and it was a decent enough seafood sampler. I did some writing and after I finished it was 10:30 and I ended up at the Town campground on the ocean side for 8 dollars. I awoke early and was on the road by 6:30 hoping to miss the construction traffic and I did, working my way toward seward. I finally stopped at Ptarmigan Creek and met a fellow from Virginia Tech who had left Floyd in 1978. We chatted amiably and he advised a small nymph. I worked my way to the Creek and it was too fast but I did find a few spots and had on fish on using a small royal wulff and a hit on the little nymph. Not very productive but very pretty. I napped and then drove into Seward, finding it a pretty little town with plenty of camping right by the water just like on Homer’s spit. I went for pizza (I’ve had too much fish) and the place the guide recommended was not very good. Rather bland to be sure. After dinner I took my bike ride through the touristy section and on out of town and it was good enough. When I returned I had dessert and coffee and worked a bit on my writing, then headed off to find a campground, eventually ending back at Ptarmigan Creek where I couldn’t find a site but paid and slept in the day use area. At 6 I started my drive to Whittier, the rain started and I stayed in the rain until I got to the tunnel. Riding through that tunnel is pretty intense and if you were claustrophobic, I would stay away from the tunnel: one lane, rocky walls right next to you, a railroad track sharing the pavement. Intense. Once through the tunnel, I stopped at the first café and got breakfast and coffee, my first cup of the day. Luckily I was able to get my phone internet to work and I saw that Tiger was tied for first in the British Open after 10 holes in the third round. I didn’t plan well so my kayak trip will be during the final half of the final day. It would be stupid to miss the kayak trip so I will try to stay up with the first few holes and then wish Tiger well. I did my bike ride—riding against perhaps the strongest wind I have ever ridden against—and then went for a terrific shave, shower and double shampoo, well, well needed. Then it was time to get ready for the ferry and I drove over there and fixed things up a bit and then got on a little before 1:45. The ferry was not that big but the scenery was immense: glaciers regularly appear and we saw a couple of humpback whales breaching. I have time to relax and I worked a little on my novel and thought a little about proposing something for the conference in the spring with the theme of horizons. I met an interesting guy from New Zealand and I gave Rex my e-mail and number and invited him to visit. He also invited me to visit New Zealand. My attempts to fish didn’t work out but I did have a nice walk in the Valdez harbor. I ran into Rex again and we had a nice chat. An interesting guy, an engineer with a wife and six kids and an 8,000 acre farm. The next morning I lucked out since the restaurant next to the kayak place was open and the owner let me come and have breakfast with the tour bus and watch the british open. When I left at 8, it was clear Tiger wasn’t going to win (Phil did). The kayak place was awful. They were condescending and I finally backed out when they told me I had to go in a double kayak, which was not mentioned in the brochure. They agreed to refund my money but the guy said some very rude remarks about me giving back their dry bag and the female guide accused me of stealing it when I had already given it back. Awful.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Days 14 and 15 Alaska

After I finished dinner, I was too tired to do anything but drink coffee so I drove to the Tim Horton’s, had coffee and two chocolate chip cookies and checked my e-mail (only a few, which surprised me), worked on the novel and worked on and published the last almost week of my blog. It was as I started to look at my finances that I realized I had made a big mistake and put the Visa check in the Watson Lake campground envelop. It had the credit card number on it and it was not made out to anyone since I was just able to call Visa and find out who to make it out to. I panicked and tried to e-mail Yukon Parks but I couldn’t get through. I was worried but I figured there was little chance that a public servant would do something that would put his job at risk. I went back to Pioneer RV to take a well needed shower to find out that you needed tokens which I did not have so I had to take a pretty cold and very quick shower. It stayed light until almost 12, but I did sleep well, probably helped by the OTC sleeping pill. When I got up, I contacted the Parks people and the fellow there said he would try to contact the fellow and have him call me. Sunday morning saw me waking early and heading off for Tok. My drive was fairly slow due to the buckled highway but I did have a nice veggie pizza in Beaver Creek and an hour’s bike ride along the Tetlin Wildlife Refuge. I stopped to camp at the Tok River campground and then drove into Tok for gas and dessert. Besides the annoying ATVers who rode into the campground after midnight, the mosquitos were bothersome for the first time on the trip. I awoke early on this bright Monday morning and after coffee and donuts, I headed off to Delta Junction and took a long nap before I got there. I set up my ferry ride from Whittier to Valdez for Saturday, then my kayak trip on Sunday, which leaves McCarty for Monday and then starting back. When I got to Delta junction, I had a late breakfast (and I have to stop eating so much even though I am doing a lot of exercise), picked up some supplies, got an Alaska license, and headed to Fairbanks. I stopped at Harding Lake to ride my bike for an hour and then I went to the Harding Lake Recreation Area for a swim. I had to walk out to the lake and then walk out 100 feet to get to three feet of cold and refreshing water. I saw no streams to fish (most were dry) and I decided golf was the ticket so I headed to the North Star golf club and played a very slow round, but ended up with a 44 on the double hole and 48 on the single. It was fun and when I finished I headed for the famous Pump House for crab cakes and Copper River salmon, which was very, very good. I went to check in at the Super 8 (the second time in 15 days that I have stayed at a motel) and took a long nap which was very hard to get up from. I dragged myself to the Denny’s next door and had an ice cream sundae and coffee and I finally began to wake up. Somewhat revitalized, I went for a walk, it still very light at 11:00. I did my yoga and then shaved and showered and finally felt pretty good.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

days 8 through 13 Alaska trip

I got the work on the bike from Soul, and the news is not good. The bottom bracket needs to be replaced and it is unclear if Soul can do it. I called Dicks and Eddie said they would refund the entire price if I brought it back or sent it back by UPS. However, that might cost more than a hundred and fifty dollars and would be a big hassle. I went and had coffee and wrote my blog –nothing going on with the novel—and then I went to see Despicable Me 2 and it was a real treat. I then went to Earls for an okay meal of salad and fish tacos, then for a walk in downtown. It was after 11 when I got back to the campground and I went to bed almost immediately. I awoke around 4 and couldn’t get to sleep so for the first time this trip I took one OTC sleep aid and that eventually worked. Gloria had mentioned that I might be sleeping well without all the daily stresses of home life but the bike situation is pretty upsetting. However, I realized during the night that my bike rack can handle two bikes so I can just put it on the rack and return it to Dicks and buy a second bike for the rest of the trip. That gave me some relief. I got up at about 5:30 and showered—much needed to be sure—and then headed into town to work on my 331 outline at McDonalds. The rain put a damper on much of the rest of the day, but I took several walks and worked on my outline a few times. Finally it got to be six and I went to Soul to see how my bike was doing but the mechanic didn’t know he was supposed to work on it. He was friendly and told me to come back in a half hour and he would see what he could do. I got back in a half hour exactly and he was just finishing up. He had taken the bottom bracket off and cleaned it, found that it was still usable, and then put it back together—and at a cost of 26 dollars. I gave the mechanic 20 dollars and went off for an hour’s ride ending up at the Vermillion Lakes. Then it was time for dinner at Nourish, pricey but pretty good. The beet and goat cheese ravioli were fabulous but the halibut was only good and the lobster ravioli was tough. I was finished by 9:30 so I thought I should try out the 9:50 showing of The Lone Ranger and I actually enjoyed most of it. It was a bit slow but overall it kept my interest. Johnny Depp is always fun. I slept well and rose at 6:00, showered and then headed off for Johnston Canyon. I drove slowly and saw one huge bull elk but that was it. I was the first person in the canyon and I saw alpine bluebells, twin flower, heart leaved arnica, bunchberry, and indian paintbrush. I made it to the lower falls and the stream was very high. It was very rewarding to return to such a special place, though sad to be there without Tracy. I remembered her saying that fishing the section above the upper falls was the loveliest place she had ever fished. It was time to drive to Lake Louise and the place was just started to get crowded so I took my short walk, snapped some photos and took a nap. I was going to go biking along the bow but there were warning signs about a bear in the area so I decided to ride later. I stopped at highway 11 and rode for an hour along it, mainly slightly downhill so the ride back was rather strenuous. Very good workout. I drove on and took another nap before the icefields and then stopped to fish a small creek about 50 miles from Jasper. It was a lot of fun even though I didn’t get a hit. I was able to hike up above the many cascades without my knees giving me too much of a problem so that was very good news. I drove to my campground and found it fine, then headed into Jasper for dinner at the Fiddle River Seafood restaurant but though the mushroom soup was very good, the ceasar salad was average and the bison lasagna mediocre, not really a lasagna at all, more like a sweetish stew. I walked around some more and then drove back and took a well needed shower before turning in. The next morning (Wednesday the 10th) I was a little nervous as I had to get things set up for my kayak run at Beckers. I decided to start about a mile above Beckers and I had things set up by 8:30 so I had plenty of time to do little chores. To my surprise the rafting company drove up and told me that yes Jeff worked for them and yes they would watch me at Beckers. I met a young man who was paddling the smaller version of my boat, and I followed him through Beckers and just catching the edge of the wall. It was a lot of fun and I felt so good about paddling again. After riding my bike up to the truck I changed and then went to pick up the kayak and gear. I then chatted with Cathy Gallo about Claire and started my drive to Fort St. John, 360 miles away. It started to rain just past Hinton and it didn’t stop till I reached Grande Prairie, where my check engine light also went on. Luckily, I called the Nissan dealer and they were able to check it out though I will have to return in the morning for one of the mechanics to look at it. I decided to try to play golf and there was a combination golf course and campground only a few minutes away so I was able to play 9 holes (and shoot a 46 on the double hole round) and a 48 on the regular round. I then went to a nearby park and rode my bike for an hour before heading to Boston Pizza for dinner. I got up at 6 and was at the dealer at 6:50 and they had me in at 7:15. It turned out the kid in the gas station had probably tightened the cap wrong, but the from axles bearings were leaking and fortunately that 600 dollar job was covered by the warranty. I also replaced the cabin filter and had an oil change. While they were working I drove back to the park and then into town, which was dusty and some of depressing. I went back to the park after some soup and a bagel and coffee and rode along the stream to where it warned about bear and moose, nice to think about so close to town. It was almost one by the time I got off and I drove and drove, making one early mistake trying to find Buick Creek which turned out to be muddy and slow. The rain started and followed me the rest of way. The Sikanni Chief was fast and murky and though the Buckinghorse looked fishable, the rain was too much. I took a few short walks but it never cleared enough for me to consider fishing. I got into Fort Nelson at 9:30, filled up with gas, paid for a campsite (only 15 dollars), and had a fine dinner at Boston Pizza, where I worked on my outline and my blog. I think I have made up my mind to cut out Vancouver and California. Alaska will be enough, especially all the driving with traffic coming at you. I will spend a little more time in Whitehorse, then spend more time in Alaska before heading down the Cassiar and then home. I will be too rushed and exhausted if I do more. I woke around six on Friday, showered, grabbed a coffee and treat and was off. I figured out where Tracy and I had fished, just below Summit Lake, so that is where I headed. I was now back in the Rockies and it was clear it had snowed at the higher elevations. It was going to be pretty cold when I started fishing. I got to the Tetsa around 7:30 and it was certainly fishable but I didn’t want to waste my fishing time on the main branch. I kept driving as the Tetsa narrowed and I finally arrived at the pull off, delighted that no one was there even though I had seen no one fishing anywhere on the Tetsa. There was a light snow on the trees as I carefully rigged up, zipping the liner in my gore-tex jacket, and working my way down to the stream, full of expectations. A few casts later I had my first rainbow on, the trout hitting my royal wulff. Amazingly, that was it. I worked pool after pool and couldn’t bring up a fish. A few pools before the waterfall I shifted to a bead head gold ribbed hare’s ear but nothing hit until I got to the final pool where I did get a solid hit and then had a fish on for a few seconds. I switched to a grasshopper but no luck then went back to the nymph as I worked back to the truck. I was now back at the pool where I caught the first fish and finally I had another fish on and then a second. That made me feel a lot better and I climbed back up to the truck and changed out of my gear. I drove on and finally stopped at Liard Hot Springs, where I took the kayak and other stuff out to dry, started a wash, rode my bike for an hour, and lucked out with the sun holding until I had everything done. I started on the last push to Watson Lake but it soon became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to play golf, especially since the rain came back and made the drive more difficult. I got into Watson Lake around nine, had an okay dinner of salad and fried cod, and worked on my outline, my novel and my blog. I ended up at the Watson lake provincial campground and it was pretty deserted. I took a site next to the only other campers in the place and after a short walk, went to sleep with no mosquito problem probably because it was so cold. I awoke at a little past six and began driving toward Whitehorse. It was rainy and I thought I would skip the Swift but by the time I got back into BC, the sky was clearing and I stopped at the Swift. Nothing, not a hit, on a Royal Wulff, wooly bugger, big stonefly, bead head hare’s ear. Still, it was pleasant to return to some memorable water and I will probably try on my way back. Later I stopped at a very tempting little stream, but dries and nymphs had no results. I did hike up a few hundred yards so I really thought I would have some luck. Anyway, fishing was over for the day and though I didn’t get a hit I had a lot of fun. I had lunch in Teslin, at the only restaurant left in town, the gas station/rv park/restaurant and it was a very good garden burger. I drove on and after a good nap made it to the meadow lakes golf course. I’ve played this short but challenging course before, and it proved to have some very tricky shots but I shot a 48 and a 49 on the double holes, both scores coming on excellent very long putts that left me short finishing putts. It was now time to find a campground and I found a decent one at Pioneer Campground where I took a nap, did my yoga and then went to the Robert Service campground to ride the bike trail into town. I crossed the Yukon and followed it up to the dam, watching the powerful rapids and the amazing torrent of water right below the dam where the entire Yukon comes out. Now I was ready for dinner and I decided to go to the Klondike salmon and rib place and the wild salmon was delicious as was the side of smoked salmon I ordered.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Day 7 Alaska

I got the work on the bike from Soul, and the news is not good. The bottom bracket needs to be replaced and it is unclear if Soul can do it. I called Dicks and Eddie said they would refund the entire price if I brought it back or sent it back by UPS. However, that might cost more than a hundred and fifty dollars and would be a big hassle. I went and had coffee and wrote my blog –nothing going on with the novel—and then I went to see Despicable Me 2 and it was a real treat. I then went to Earls for an okay meal of salad and fish tacos, then for a walk in downtown. It was after 11 when I got back to the campground and I went to bed almost immediately. I awoke around 4 and couldn’t get to sleep so for the first time this trip I took one OTC sleep aid and that eventually worked. Gloria had mentioned that I might be sleeping well without all the daily stresses of home life but the bike situation is pretty upsetting. However, I realized during the night that my bike rack can handle two bikes so I can just put it on the rack and return it to Dicks and buy a second bike for the rest of the trip. That gave me some relief. I got up at about 5:30 and showered—much needed to be sure—and then headed into town to work on my 331 outline at McDonalds.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Days 5 and 6 Alaska

I got up early and was on the road by 6:30 but with my naps, bike ride, walks and golf (a 49 on a very wet course), I knew I wasn’t going to make it to Banff so I planned to head for Strathmore, where I stayed at the rather nice eagle lake rv campground and went to Strathmore Station for dinner. I showered when I got back around 11:30 and then went to sleep and slept well, not waking until after 8. I didn’t rush but certainly the Rockies were on my mind, and as I approached Calgary I got my first view and was very moved. They have been very important to me, back to when I was 18 or 19, and I must say that this visit felt right. I went to check in at Tunnel Mountain campground and I have a decent site. Then I went for my bike ride along the bow, and I did the steep part twice. The bike is starting to give me more problems. The river was high and murky but I figured that the smaller streams would be fine for fishing. When I went to get my license It turned out that a record flood a few weeks ago washed out all the fish so I won’t be able to fish until Jasper. I am having the bike looked at but it is very frustrating.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Alaska day 4

I drove into Canada at around 4 and that is always a relief. There is something pure about Canada and at one point my ex and I even looked into becoming Canadian citizens but the US never got too bad so we never pursued the idea. I stopped as soon as I could to ride my bike and it the shifting gave me some problems at first. I tried riding with the earphones on but I couldn’t hear the traffic coming so that didn’t work. It was pretty hot but the fields were comforting, especially the corn. Next I had to work on my phone, which could make calls but the GPS and internet weren’t working. It took a couple of calls to Verizon but the woman solved the problem by switching from the global setting to the lte network. I was tired and hungry so when I saw a comfort inn right on the corner (which I think I may have stayed at) I called and changed my reservation to this one even though it was a little more expensive. I then grabbed a fish sandwich at McDonalds and checked in and took a very needed nap. I woke up wanting to eat and to watch the Macy’s fireworks so I pushed myself out of bed and headed for the restaurant that the comfort inn staff had recommended, Michael Ps. I think I had eaten there before and the menu was not very interesting so I drove down Pembina and stopped at an Indian restaurant that was not very good. Actually, the samosas were okay but the korma and the garlic naan were not very good. I ate about half and headed off to watch the fireworks and caught the last ten minutes. However, I found that they were repeating the whole display so I got to watch it and fix my fishing gear and do a number of other little tasks before I went out for a walk, which was very pleasant in the cooling, slightly breezy air. I slept very well and though I am stuck with what to do with the plot of the novel, I did get my other computer working and connected to the internet.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Alaska Day 3

Well, my visit ended up in St. Paul and it wasn’t very pleasant. It started out okay, parking by Mears park and then walking down to the Mississippi which was at flood and very fast. I decided to get an early dinner and when I got to Senor Wong’s, the place recommended at the Hilton, I found out it was only 4, my phone still on eastern time. I ordered salad and fish tacos and just as I finished, I realized that my meter would run out and I quickly paid and ran to my truck and found a $160 dollar ticket which absolutely floored me. I called the Parking Office and Caroline said to call back in 10 days and they would see what they could do. I started to drive just to get out of awful St. Paul but traffic was awful so I got off the highway and parked in a U of Minnesota parking lot and took a nap. Feeling much better I stopped for coffee in the college shops section and that was fine. There was still some traffic but I eventually got out of town and ended up at Lake Carlos State Park, getting in a quick ride and a great shower. This morning I was off by 6:15 and I stopped to walk around downtown Fargo and then I went to play golf in Hillsboro. It was a long course but no obstacles and I shot a 44 and a 45. Now I am in Grand Forks and I should be in Canada in a few hours.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

second day of the Alaska trip

I drove from Batesville and stopped to play golf at the Trophy Club just north of Indianapolis. Very nice course and I broke 50 easily. Fast greens and I putted well. I did my hour bike ride out in the corn and soy fields and that felt very good. I kept driving and I finally stopped at Rock Cut State Park for the night. My spot was very isolated so very quiet. I took a walk just before going to bed and slept well until a little after six. I drove on and I have almost 200 miles done by 11:30. I did my fiction writing and I will stop soon to ride my bike. I hope to stop in Minneapolis for dinner.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The first day of the Alaska trip

My trip started on Monday, July 1, and it was a decent start on a day where rain was the main theme. I woke at 4, worked for a hour getting things together and in the truck, napped for a half hour and then left at 8:10. I had put a little more water in the batteries so they should be okay until I return. The drive to Blacksburg and then to the West Virginia border left me a little sad, as leaving my lovely state always does, but once I was on 77, the trip was on. I stopped to ride my bike on the campus of West Virginia State University, and that was very pleasant and I just beat the rain. I had almost bought a cargo pod earlier at Sears but it would have taken a lot of work to get it attached so I gave up. Instead, I thought that strapping the second spare on top would open up a lot of space and I did it just before my bike ride. I pushed the kayak and kayaking gear up to the front and had plenty of space for most of the other gear (tent and sleeping pad, fishing gear and waders and wading shoes, hiking boots, yoga mat and blocks). The tire on top will also give me a place to put a small gas container and that will be a good idea. After the adjustments and the ride, I began to drive on I 64 and head toward Cincinnati. I should have checked my GPS in Charleston and I think it would have told me to go north there, but I stuck to I 64 and ended up driving in the rain for many hours, finally stopping at Batesville, Indiana where I found LaRosa’s Pizza to be quite good. The side salad had a garlic-stuffed olive in it and the roasted garlic on the pizza was delicious. I settled into the comfort inn and then walked a bit with an umbrella in the rain. This morning I went back to work on my novel and I have about 3200 words.