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Archive for the ‘Information-Interesting’ Category

Nantucket as a Duty Station!

In Information-Interesting on April 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm
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Charles M. Morgan-Whaling Ship

The last year of my enlistment (1953) was fantastic. I was assigned to the Loran station at Siasconset on Nantucket Island , off the coast of Massachusetts.  We rented a two bedroom house right on the beach in Siasconset, between the ocean and the bluffs. What a stroke of luck we had here. In looking for a place to bring my wife with our  five month old  son, I came across a  Lady (who lived off of the Island) and who had just bought an old house that had not been lived in for the past ten years, as an investment. I needed a house to live in and she needed her investment  fixed up. We came to an agreement. She would buy the necessary supplies and I would repair and paint the inside of the house. I would also paint the outside trim and make any other repairs necessary.In exchange I would pay a very reasonable rent.

We absolutely fell in love with Nantucket and with the Islanders. We met and became friends with several families. We had  cook outs and played cards with our new friends and covered about every part of the island from lighthouses to swimming beaches.We found relatives I didn’t know we had, wanting to visit for a week- end during the summer!. In the winter we collected driftwood and any thing else that came ashore after a storm. We hired out in the spring to help the summer people to open their homes, doing cleaning , painting and small repairs in our spare time.

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Here are some very brief facts  and history of Nantucket Island!

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Nantucket cobble stone streets

The National Historic District  has architecturally changed very little since the 17th century.  Seaside cottages and old-fashioned lamps still line its streets.

The three Brothers Buildings

At the harbor front, where the great whaling ships set out on their hazardous journeys to return years later – if at all -is now filled with  pleasure boats that find safe harbor in one of the finest docking facilities in the world.

When you go inland on this idyllic “elbow of sand,” the wild moors open to the endless sky. Nearly 40 percent of Nantucket Island is protected conservation land. Several areas and habitats, natural groups of plants and animals, are rare to this region and even the world.

Walk the wide sandy beaches, as beautiful as any in the world. Swim in the still, cool, sparkling waters of Nantucket Sound to the north. Sign on for a guided tour of the island or pick up a picnic lunch and rent a bike or a jeep and discover Nantucket  for yourself. (A 4-wheel jeep will get you to places that you can not possibility take a car without getting stuck in the beach sand).

Restaurants abound whether for a beach picnic, an informal meal, or gourmet fare in sophistic surrounding, there is something for everyone. How about a clambake prepared to your order. Fresh Nantucket bay scallop, provides unforgettable dining.

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Originally a booming whaling port, Nantucket has been named a National Historic District and has architecturally changed little since the 17th century.

The island’s beginnings in western history can be  traced to its reported sighting by Norsemen in the 11th century. But  it was not until 1602  that Captain Bartholomew Gosnold of  Falmouth, England sailed his bark, Concord, past the bluffs of Siasconset and really put Nantucket on the map. The island’s  original inhabitants, the Wampanoag Indians, lived undisturbed until 1641 when the island was deeded by the English (the authorities in control of the land from the coast of Maine to New York) to Thomas Mayhew and his son, merchants of Watertown and Martha’s Vineyard.

As Europeans began to settle in the area around Cape Cod, the island became a place of refuge for regional Indians, as Nantucket was not yet discovered by white men. The growing population of  Native Americans welcomed seasonal groups of  Indians who traveled to the  island to fish and later harvest whales that washed up on shore. At this time, the true demise of the island’s Indian population began. The English presence drastically changed the healthy Indian population and over the next century, the Wampanoag would be weakened by disease, alcohol and servitude.

Before ultimately settling on the shores of the Great Harbor, the new English settlers moved to the land surrounding the small sheltered harbor of Capaum Pond, on the north shore, where the first white settlement, Sherburne, was established. In 1795, the town (now nestled on the Great Harbor) was named Nantucket (Wampanoag for “faraway land”) and became unique in the country as an island, a county and a town, all with the same name. Shortly after 1700, Quakerism began to take root and by the end of the eighteenth century, the  society of friends was the major denomination on the island, a refuge for Quakers being persecuted in other areas of the Bay Colony. The Nantucket Quakers also became extremely influential in business and government matters. The simple, sturdy dwellings have been continuously occupied and stand today in pristine ranks along cobblestone Main Street and other lanes and byways. Later, with the influence generated by the whaling industry, merchants and  master mariners built their homes with an eye to impress their neighbors.

For nearly a 100 years-from the mid-1700’s to the late 1830’s, the island was the whaling capital of the world ,  with as many as 150 ships making port in Nantucket during its peak. Within decades, however, the new wealth from whale oil drastically took a turn for the worst, upon the advent of petroleum in 1838 when it began to replace whale oil as an illuminate, and the sperm whale itself had been harder to find. In 1846, a “Great Fire” roared through Nantucket Town under the cover of night, leaving hundreds homeless and impoverished. When gold was discovered in California, shiploads of Nantucketers left to seek new fortunes. In the thirty years of 1840 to 1870, census figures document the loss of 60 percent of the island’s population, which plunged from an estimated 10,000 to 4,000. The death knell for whaling had been sounded. The last ship outbound from Nantucket in search of the giant sperm whale left in 1869, never to return to her home port.

Passenger Ship

Nantucket Island

Nantucket was a port-of-call for transatlantic packets and coastal vessels from the early 1800’s and, indeed, ranked third only after New York and Boston as a  major port. When the whaling era ended, commercial shipping gave way to recreational boating. Daily excursions from the mainland on the graceful old steamers brought a new breed to Nantucket – the summer visitors. The first generation of “developers” on Nantucket sang the praises of pure air and saltwater bathing for health and pleasure. They built cottages and summer houses, advertising them in the Boston and New York newspapers. Island housewives took in summer boarders and great hotels were built in town, as well as on the seashore at Brant Point, Surfside, and Siasconset. It was not until around 1990 that the american tradition of summer vacations was firmly established, and it was then that Nantucket was discovered to be just about the ideal spot for vacationing. Once entrenched, tourism became the principle source of income for island residents. It still is and in the last two decades Nantucket’s tourist season has extended from before Memorial Day to after Columbus Day, Increasingly, visitors are also attracted by the quiet beauty of the off-season, and can be assured of finding comfortable accommodations no matter what time of year.

A word of caution if you are driving on the “cobblestone” streets of Nantucket, drive slow! The cobblestones’ will jar your teeth loose!

(Most of the above information  came from Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce.

Damn it America-China is kicking our butts!!

In Information-Interesting, postaweek2011, Uncategorized on March 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm

The information that I used for this blog was from a blog by John on 09/18/2010 titled “The Decline of a Super Power- Chinese Takeout and Takeover”, (Posted on e-Forwards.com/category/politics/)

He ends his blog with;

This message, if any, surely deserves forwarding, doesn’t it?

I agree with John. This is my version of  his blog with my own comments thrown in.

Here’s a HUGE reason why there is a slowdown and unemployment is so high:

E m m a   M a e r s k

The Emma Maersk, part of a Danish shipping line chartered to Wal Mart, is shown in these photos . What a ship….no wonder ‘Made in China ‘ is displacing North American made goods big time.This monster transports goods across the Pacific in just 5 days!! This is one of three ships presently in service, with another two ships commissioned to be completed in 2012..

These ships were commissioned by Wal-Mart to get all their goods and stuff from China . They hold an incredible 15,000 cartons and have a 207 foot deck beam!!  The full crew is just 13 people on a ship longer than a US Aircraft Carrier (which has a crew of 5,000). With it’s 207′ beam it is too big to fit through the Panama or Suez Canals ..It is strictly transpacific. Cruise speed: 31 knots.

The goods arrive 4 days before the typical container ship (18-20 knots) on a China -to- California  run. 91% of Wal-mart products are made in China . So this behemoth is hugely competitive even when carrying perishable goods.

The ship was built in five sections. The sections floated together and then welded. The command bridge is higher than a 10-story building and has 11 cargo crane rigs that can operate simultaneously unloading the entire ship in less than two hours.

Additional info:

Country of origin  Denmark.

Length – 1,302 ft

Width – 207 ft

Net cargo – 123,200 tons

Engine – 14 cylinders in-line diesel engine (110,000 BHP)

Cruise Speed – 31 knots

Cargo capacity – 15,000 TEU—- (1 TEU = 20 cubic feet)

Crew – 13 people !

First Trip – Sept. 08, 2006

Construction cost – US $145,000,000+

Silicone painting applied to the ship bottom reduces water resistance and saves 317,000 gallons of diesel per year.

Editorial Comment!

A recent documentary in late March, 2010 on the History Channel noted that all of these containers are shipped back to China , EMPTY. Yep, that’s right. We send nothing back on these ships. What does that tell you about the current financial state of this country? Just keep buying those imported goods (mostly gadgets) until you run out of money.

Now do you wonder what the cause of unemployment (maybe even your job) in the U.S. and Canada  might be????

Here are a couple of photos of “The Emma Maersk” being used by China.

I know that everything looks bad here and it is bad. Remember back in the old days when founder, Sam Walton was running the Wal-Marts company.Everything was made here in the good old U.S.A. No imports were allowed in his stores.(This is what I have heard for years so I just have to assume that it was true). Now it is about 90% imports. Quality is down, but the price is right. I can’t be to0 critical because I too shop a lot at Wal-Marts

Of the 535 members of congress, 237 of them are millionaires.I doubt if you see any of them in a Wal Mart Store.

And another thing to think about, is this! Those 237 millionaires that are in congress right now were NOT put there by millionaires. They only financed them…They were VOTED into congress by all 0f us “Wal- Mart people”. How about them apples?? We voted in the millionaires and so far, it seems, the only thing that they have done is to keep their top 2% income tax deduction alive and not much else!

Now, how do the millionaires fit into this blog? Well, they really don’t. They just have me so irritated in general that I wanted to pick on them.

RVing-Casino/Campgrounds (1,2)

In Information-Interesting, postaweek2011, RVing on March 11, 2011 at 11:58 am

(Notice from the author – I must confess that most, if not all of the information that I used for  this and the other two gambling campground posts,  I got from my favorite magazine “Trailer Life”. (I Checked on”copyright protection” to be sure that I didn’t committed any violations). These were good  articles on great campgrounds.

Whether they call it Gambling,Wagering or Tempting Fate, Rver’s no longer have Vegas or Atlantic City as their only options when feeling lucky.Within a three hour drive of 17 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas, travelers can play a slot machine or fill an inside straight. Not all states allow gambling, of course, but enough of them do to accommodate RVer’s willing to hit the road to explore a wide variety of casinos, many of which feature a mulitude of attractions unrelated to gambling. Some casinos either offer on-site RV Parks or are situated close enough to campgrounds to grant RVer’s easy access to their favorite games, while allowing them to sleep in the comfort of their rigs. A round of casinos/campground combinations follow..Good Luck!

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(#1 ) Pechanga Resort & Casino/Pechanga RV resort (TEMECULA ,CALIFORNIA

Pechanga Resort & Casino

If they search hard, RVers may be able to find a more impressive casino, an RV park laden with more amenities and a golf course that flaunts similar undulated beauty, though each component would likely be independent of the others. In the West, however, no better trifecta exists than Pechanga, where these three entities mingle seamlessly on the same swath of upscale desert real estate.


Though Temecula, located off  Interstate 15,  south of I-10, has established itself as one of the country’s premier wine regions, grape connoisseurs from Los Diego and beyond would be wise to use Pechanga Resort & Casino as a base from which to explore the area’s wineries. Or they could skip the sipping altogether, since no real reason exists to leave this all-inclusive resort until it’s time to head home.

Pechanga Resort Pool

The Pechanga RV Resort is only steps away from the casino and golf course (the RV park skirts the 10th fairway).The resort offers 168 tree-shaded, full hookup sites (including 25 pull-throughs) and features a pool and two spars, two clubhouses and a full-size barbecue grill. Each site is separated from those on either side by a lush swath of grass, and Wi-Fi  is available throughout the park. As wonderful as a stay in Pechanga RV Resort can be, it will be even better when RVers accumulate enough Players Club rewards points in the casino to earn free night stays.

Of course, since the service at Pechanga RV Resort is impeccable, a shuttle runs among the RV park, golf course and casino , granting everyone  easy access to all of the property’s attractions. After playing a course so immaculately manicured and free of blemishes that some golfers may wonder whether the grass is uniformly painted green, those who have tested their skills against this demanding, hilly course will likely consider Journey’s End restaurant, located in the clubhouse of the golf course. Journey at Pechanga, the perfect 19th hole. So impressive is the view from Journey’s End, in fact, that guests wouldn’t even have to dine in this restaurant to feel sated. Pechanga Resort  & Casino has eight other on-site restaurants, serving meals of superior quality and amazing variety.

Pechanga RV & Casino Resort

For those RVers wishing to check out the hotel, 64 suites exist among 517 Luxuriously appointed rooms, all of which are just minutes away from Spar Pechanga, where guests can work out the  kinks that didn’t quite relax during their health-club workouts.

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You owe it to your self to check this one out! It is a stop that you would never forget!

Contact: Pechanga Resort and Casino, (888) 732-4264, http://www.pechanga.com; Pechanga RV Resort,(877)997-8386.

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(#2) Terrible’s Lakeside Casin0 and RV Park (PAHRUMP,NEVADA)

Terrible's RV resort Layout

Within sight of towering Mt. Charleston, RVer’s can try their luck on the nearly 7-acre man-made lake, pursuing largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill, or they can try to hook themselves a jackpot in the swanky casino. Located about an hour northwest of Las Vegas and light-years away from the bustle of the Stripe.Terrible’s Lakeside is so popular that the park’s 159 full-hookups are filled almost exclusively by snowbirds from October through April . First-time visitors to this luxurious park often become  regulars, and dozens of rally groups hold annual gatherings at Terrible’s, so RVers intending to visit this park, located four miles west of Highway 160, should make reservatins well in advance.

Terrible's RV & Casino Park

Featuring 30 and 50 amp connections,cable TV and concrete patios. The sites average 55 feet in length, and some of them include picnic tables. Fire rings and barbecues line the lake, and the     swimming pool and spa complement the lake’s swim lagoon. Merely a pitched coin away from the campsites, the Western-themed casino features slot machines and video-poker machines.

Terrible's RV Park & Casino


Terribles  second  Parhump property,Terrible’s Town Casino, delivers even more Old-West atmosphere, in addition to table games and a sports book. Sometimes being terrible can be a good thing. Terrible’s Lakeside Casino and RV Park, (888) 558-lake,www.terribleslakesidecasinorvpark.com

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The chuckle for today!!!

RETIREMENT IN A TRAILER PARK THRU THE EYES OF A CHILD.
This is so cute! After a spring break, a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent the holidays. One child wrote the following:”We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa.They used to live here in a big brick house, but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Arizona.
Now they live in a place with a lot of other retarded people.They live in a tin box and have rocks painted green to look like grass. They ride around on big tricycles and wear name tags because they don’t know who they are anymore.
They go to a building called a wrecked center, but they must have got it fixed, because it is all right now. They play games and do exercises there, but they don’t do them very well.
There is a swimming pool too, but they all jump up and down in it with their hats on. I guess they don’t know how to swim. At their gate, there is a doll house with a little old man sitting in it.He watches all day so nobody can escape.
Sometimes they sneak out. Then they go cruising in their golf carts. My Grandma used to bake cookies, but I guess she forgot how. Nobody there cooks, they just just eat out. And they eat the same thing every night,”Early Birds”.
Some of the people can’t get past the man in the doll house to go out. So the ones who do get  out bring food back to the wrecked center and call it pot luck.
My Grandma says Grandpa’s worked all his life to earn his retardment and says I should work hard so I can be retarded some day too.When I earn my retardment I want to be the man in the doll house.
Then I will let people out so they can visit their grandchildren”.


LET’S GET GOING ON ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

In Information-Interesting, postaweek2011 on March 2, 2011 at 1:02 am

I made this blog up some time ago using the information that I could find available about the CCC which was one of Franklin Roosevelt’s programs to put people to work after the depression in the 1930’s. That was a bad time, but I really think that it is much worse this time.
By 1930, many people who had enjoyed the prosperity of the Roaring Twenties, found themselves in soup lines and tattered clothes.The stock market crash had devastated the nation’s economy and left many in dire  straits.
Does this, in anyway, sound familiar? If it doesn’t, you have not been reading the newspaper or watching TV.
It doesn’t do any good to stand up and shake our fists at the banks, the mortgage companies, the real estate companies, the stock market manipulators, and a bunch of other greedy manipulative people that were largely responsible for the down fall in our economy. And there is plenty of  blame to be passed around to our  members of congress who screw up any good legislation that would help and pass  bad legislation that doesn’t do “diddly squart” for the people but somehow  seems to benefit mostly themselves. This is not the point of this blog, although it could easily be.The point of my  blog is this; why don’t we take this opportunity to work on “alternative energy projects”. Help get us off fossil fuels  that supply us with gasoline and diesel fuel, the same fossil fuels that come from oil wells owned by people that really do not care too much for us, just our money and who pretty much can control the cost ot this fuel.
OK! ,That mostly covers  a need that this country should be facing right now.We are already late to the table on this. I think that this would be a good time  to mention one millionaire that I am very proud of, because he puts his money where his mouth is. He is T.Boone Pickens. I don’t know all that he is doing, but I do know that he working hard to get our trucking industry to convert from diesel engines to natural gas engines. Natural gas doesn’t have as much muscle as diesel has, but it apparently is close enough to work, because the diesel truck engines at some big seaports on the west coast have converted. I know that natural gas is non-renewable but the quantity of natural that we have  in  our reserves is enough to supply our usage for many years to come. By then, the natural gas can be phased out for some other source of alternative energy.
Joe Scarborough said to T.Boone Pickens one morning when he was a guest on his show.: “I will tell you this right now though. I would like that $2 billion a week to invest in what you’re talking about, Boone, and that is transforming our economy and breaking our dependence on foreign oil from OPEC.”
I know we get can get this done by working together.
OK! This is the other side of the coin. There are many  alternative energy projects out there in other countries. There is not a whole lot of effort being made around here in this country to “kick Butt” and get some of these projects going. What kind of projects am I talking about? Well, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to investigate some of the Countries that are so much more advanced than we are on alternative energy and see how it is working out for them.
The United States is one of the most needy countries in the world when it comes to renewable alternative energy use. Why haven’t we done more to advance alternative energy? President Barack Obama has shown a consistent commitment to changing the country’s energy priority to renewable alternative technologies, such as solar, wind, hydro power  and other sources. Many colleges and universities in the country have already experimented with alternative power vehicles and technologies, and the president is optimistic about changing the energy grid and infrastructure to use alternative energy sources in place of fossil fuel use. This will minimize or end the dependence on foreign oil that this country is experiencing, and make energy more environmentally friendly with stable prices and supplies.
I wonder! Do you think that it’s possible that the big oil companies might stand in the way of alternative  energy advancement by financing the election of politicians that would be sympathetic to big oil? Naw! Who would be low enough to put personal gain ahead of their Country???
Here are what some countries are doing about alternative energy.
2. Germany
Germany in recent years has made vast investments in renewable alternative technologies and implementation. In the year 2007, this country was the leader of the global community concerning solar pv production and alternative energy use. Wind and solar energy both play a large part in Germany, and the country is  prepared to switch to alternative energy sources which are renewable.
3. The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is well prepared to make the switch from fossil fuels to renewable alternative energy sources. This country is one of the leaders when it comes to offshore wind energy, which makes sense when you realize how windy the coastal areas of this country can be. Reducing fossil fuel use in the UK can be done fairly quickly and easily by switching to renewable alternative energy sources which have already been developed.
4. Sweden
When it comes to using and implementing renewable alternative energy sources that are good for the environment and the population, Sweden is probably one of the top countries in their area. For many years, going back decades, Sweden has advocated against energy sources which harm the environment and pollute it, in favor of green technologies. Sweden is hoping to be completely oil free by the year 2020, and will not have much difficulty meeting this goal because this country has always been against earth harming energy sources.
5. India
In recent years India has made a big commitment to renewable energy technologies, and they have been very successful when it comes to on shore wind energy generation and to building the infrastructure needed to use alternative energy sources that are widely available. Because India is considered a developing country makes  this country  one of the top seven that are preparing for the move away from fossil fuels. This country is number four when it comes to wind power generation capability, and hydropower is also starting to see a rise here as well, with almost one hundred and fifty projects planned in this area.
6. Denmark
You may wonder how Denmark is on a top seven list, when it is one of the smallest countries in the world, but since the oil embargo in the 1970s Denmark has been determined to move away from fossil fuels and head towards renewable alternative technologies for energy instead. Wind power meets at least one fifth of the country’s needs for energy, and biomass also plays a big part. Common use of the public transportation systems and very low vehicle use, as well as conservation efforts by the population and strict energy requirements for buildings and homes.
7. Spain
Spain is one of the seven countries which are the most prepared to make the switch from fossil fuel use to renewable alternative energy generation and use. This country has invested significantly, and is completely prepared to use solar energy, wind energy, and biomass energy to replace the energy found in fossil fuels which are harmful

I included this section on the CCC not for the information but to show how our unemployed citizens can be utilitized on many of the alternative energy projects that we need to start working on.I know that it is not as simple as I make it look, but we do have people who want to work—WHERE ARE THE PROJECTS???
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________By 1930, many people who had enjoyed the prosperity of the Roaring Twenties found themselves in soup lines and tattered clothes.The stock market crash had devastated the nation’s economy and left many in dire  straits. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president in 1932 with his promise of a “new deal” for the American people. Within days of his inauguration, FDR called Congress into special session to work on emergency legislation. Agencies and programs was created. Roosevelt kept his promise and the New Deal was born.

One of these programs was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), designed to reduce unemployment while also conserving natural resources. The CCC  changed the lives of several million people, along with Big Bend National Park and other like projects. Nicknamed “Roosevelt’s Tree Army,” the CCC was operated through the cooperative efforts of four departments. The Department of Labor oversaw the selection of enrollees, the Army ran the camps, and the Interior and Agriculture departments provided work projects..
Roads and trails were needed for the new park, and the  CCC  provided an ideal workforce.
As the generation who participated in the  CCC  passes, the legacy of their work lives on. When you visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park and drive the roads, stop at the River Bend Overlook, or hike out to the old East Entrance Station. Take a few moments to reflect on the  CCC , the men who labored on these projects, and the investment America made during its most desperate economic period. The Civilian Conservation Corps’ hard work all those years ago still continues  to pay off  today

Yes!!You can park RV @ Wal-Marts overnight!!

In Information-Interesting, postaweek2011, RVing on February 21, 2011 at 2:42 am

Over Night Parking at Wal-Marts

Can you live RVing without a Wal-Mart store?  Of course you can, but I wouldn’t want to try if I could avoid it. Why not, you ask? Well, let me put it this way. When my wife and I were making our retirement plans , we decided that we would try to visit each one of the continental 49 states. Our retirement plans were to leave Florida where we lived, in early April and not return until late October. This we did for about 14 years. We have parked in many, many Wal-Marts parking lots in our travels.  This is what you need to do, if you don’t already know. First, you need to go to a Wal-Mart (only) store and buy a”Wal-mart’s  Rand McNally  road Atlas  for 2011 (or 2010).” Open your Atlas road map  and you will find that Wal-Mart has listed every one of their Wal-Mart and Samsclub stores,  state by state. Also, they list each store number and address, what stores are within one mile of an interstate highway exit, what the interstates are and what the Exits numbers are. The stores open 24 hrs are highlighted. It will list what  the store has to offer, (a pharmacy, a tire/lube express, a gas station, RV accessories, a food service, a 1 hr photo, a vision center and a “map key” and “GPS co-ordinates”) so you can locate the store on the state map.  Most, but not all, Wal-Mart stores allow over-night parking. If in doubt, ask.  All store managers have final say! We have done a lot of  “over-nighters” in a Wal-Mart parking lot. I had the security guard help me park safely once. I was in the rear of the parking lot, and he wanted me to park across the parking strips so I wouldn’t stick out.   Just remember, use good sense when staying over-night. Don’t pull your awning out or even get your chairs out.Wal- mart allows you to stay over-night to rest and sleep, not to party. You may be asked to leave if you do! Treat your over-night stay as a privilege, not a right. Go inside and buy something, because there is always something you need! This is a two-way street and we all need to take care of it. Wal-marts is a very big reason that we could afford travel around the country so much.  Free RV Overnight Parking can be found at Walmart.They have welcomed RVers for many years, graciously allowing over night RV parking in their parking lots. THERE IS NO OFFICIAL CORPORATE  POLICY regarding overnight parking at Walmart.  Instead, they leave it up to the individual stores to determine whether they will allow travelers to spend the night in their parking lots or not. If there is a local ordinance forbidding overnight parking, there will be signs posted.  Otherwise, you’re welcome to spend the night in your RV in a Walmart parking lot. As a point of interest, Wal-mart has over 2,500 Supercenters. Of these, there are approximately 450 “no parking” stores. (2008 figures) We also have parked at Home Depot building Supplys, and Lowes Building Supplys, parking lots.  Here it would be best to check with the manager first because they have trucks coming in at all hours and they don’t want you in the way…. Here we are at Wal-Marts !   Happy trails, my friends, Happy Trails.

RV Parking at Wal-Marts

Here we are at Wal-Marts

WOW!! Look what we found in Salt Lake City

In Humor, Information-Interesting, postaweek2011, RVing on February 9, 2011 at 12:57 am


How we look Traveling

Same as Carol's motorhome

We started right away laying out our basic trip for 1998. The main object of our 1998 trip would be the “1998 Up,Up & Away” Balloon Festival in Albuquerque NM. The festival is from  September 20 to October 12, a three week caravan.While we were making our plans, our next door neighbor “Carol”, said that she really wanted to go, but didn’t want to drive  her motorhome across country to Nevada by herself. We told her that she could travel along with us in her motorhome. She planned to have friends join her at the caravan from her campground in NY. Carol is a young widow, younger than us, and a real joy to have around.  When traveling any distance, I like to give myself pleanty of extra time on the road for break downs, side trips of interest etc.

Our Fantastic Salt Lake City Stop

We had planned a stop in Salt Lake City for a few days. Boy-O-Boy, am I glad that we did. Carol wanted to see the “Salt Lake Mormon Tabernaqcle Choir”. She  got us tickets to the mid-week Choir Practice.The sounds of the choir were almost unbelivable. We thoroughly enjoyed the practice

Moman

Mormon Tabernacle ChoirIn 1863 the Mormons started to build the auditorium that would become one

Mormon's move Westward

of the finest in the world, the Salt Lake Tabernacle. First used in 1867, the dome-shaped building is so acoustically sensitive that a pin dropped at one end can be clearly heard at the other end 170 feet away. Its magnificent organ is recognized as one of the world’s great instruments. Temple Square, in the heart of Salt Lake City, is the home of the Morman Tabernacle Choir, Here, at the “crossroads of the West”, the choir has sung the sacred hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the great choral works of the masters for nearly a century and half. History of the Choir;  In 1846, the mormons were searching for a place where they could freely worship God. On their westward trek across the vast American continent, the pioneers often broke the prairie’s stillness with the sound of their voices.

Singing hymns around the campfire became a nightly custom. One of these hymns, its words written as the pioneers made their westward journey, was “Come, Come, Ye Saints” by William Clayton. It retains today an exalted place in the repertoire of the Tabernacle Choir:  And should we die before our journey’s through, Happy day!

Amateur Short Wave

All is well ! We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;  With the just we shall dwell ! On July 24,1847, when the first group of Mormon pioneers had crossed the rugged Wasatch Mountains into the wide valley of the Great Salt Lake, their leader, Brigham Young, looked long and earnestly at what he saw,

Radio

Then he said,”It is enough. This is the right place.” It was here , a month later, that the Tabernacle Choir had its beginning.

Television

The Choir – Gains World renown – The choir’s first network radio program (with the organ, choir, and announcer sharing a single microphone ) was transmitted on July 15,1929. Today, after more than 65 years and 3,425 broadcasts, “Music and the Spoken Word” is the oldest continuous nationwide network broadcast in America. The program is now released worldwide through some 1,500 radio, television, and cable stations weekly.   In addition to these broadcasts, the choir’s international concerts  tours; award-winning recordings, and involvement in major motion pictures, television specials, and satellite broadcasts have spread its fame throughout the world. Choir Members;  Members of the Tabernacle Choir are selected on the basis of character and musical competence. A large cross section of occupations is represented. In the choir’s ranks are representatives of nearly every trade and profession, including contractors, secretaries, physicians, homemakers, school teachers,  nurses, salesmen, and accountants.   For many, choir membership is a proud family tradition. There are twenty husband-wife combinations, and many families boast two or more generations of choir membership.     Choir members sing because they love to share truth and the beauty of music with people everywhere.

Some of them commute as far as 164 miles round-trip two or more times weekly, not only for the regular network broadcasts, but for rehearsals, conferences, and other evants. All contribute their talents and time without compensation, except for the joy they receive in service.

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Another interesting stop that we made was at the Kennecotts Bingham’s Copper Open Pit Mine. In 1848, two brothers, Sanford and Thomas Bingham, sons of Erastue Bingham, Mormon pioneers who grazed their family’s and other’s cattle and horses there discovered copper minerals. They reported their find to their leader, Brigham Young, who advised against pursuing mining operations because the survival and establishment of settlements was of paramount importance at that time. The brothers did not stake a claim. In 1850, the Bingham family went to settle what is now Weber County, leaving the canyon still today known by their name.

Today, as the second largest copper producer in the United States, Kennecott Utah Copper provides about 18-25% percent of the U.S.’s copper needs.  Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the largest man-made excavations in the world. It is one of the top producing copper mines in the world with cumulative production at more than 18.7 million tons of copper. Every year, Kennecott produces approximately 300,000 tons of copper, along with  500,000  ounces  of  gold, 4 million ounces of silver, about 30 million pounds of molybdenum, and about 1 million tons of sulfuric acid, a by-product of the smelting process. The mining pit is 0.75 miles deep and 2.5 miles wide.

Kennecott Brigham Canyon Mine

Tire from mining truck

The Kennecott Bingham Canyon Mine and the Great Wall of China are the only man-made objects that can be seen by Astronauts from space.

These photos were taken from the visitor’s Centers outside the viewing area. That is June & I standing in front of the Big Truck Tire.

There is a good video there that tells of the Past History, the Present and the Future. Core samples indicate that mining will continue at least until 2020, and maybe longer.

When you are traveling through Utah, be sure that you make Salt Lake City at least a 3 day stop. You will not regret it!

My wife says that SHE and I want to go to Banff,Alberta – 2 of 2

In Humor, Information-Interesting, postaweek2011, RVing on February 2, 2011 at 1:48 am

We left early today, mostly because Dick has a lot of uncertain feelings about driving up into unknown mountains to a popular tourist town with a 36 ft  5th wheel behind us. In spite of his feelings, we did head out for Banff. ( I don’t know if the fact that June was driving had anything to do with that decision or not). June drove an uneventful 150 miles. We stopped in a Truck stop for diesel and lunch after we had passed through Calgary. Today was the hottest day of the year at 33.3 degrees Celcius (about 93 degrees F) The radiator on the truck knew the difference, it

Banff,Ave

stayed right up there near the top. Coming into Banff we missed our turn. It said to turn off  TCH-1 on to Banff Ave.We could not find any such turn. We should have turned into Banff, which becomes Banff Ave. We had to turn around several miles up TCH-1 in a construction area, and come back to town. We took the wrong entrance into town (there are only two, so that  figures)  and ended up driving right straight up the center of the Banff tourist area towing a 36ft RV, to the campground. We got in line for about 20 minutes, or so, and  then we got checked in. No full hook-up sites left for rigs our size. They gave us a beautiful site with 30 Amp only for tonight and told us to ask for a full hook-up site tomorrow after 8:00 am when people start leaving.

 

Bow River Falls

This is us on the right parking over-night

(8/7/97)I was the only  one in line at 8:30 am , the next morning. We got a beautiful full hook-up site under the trees(remember the heat wave) with a , not so great view, of the mountains. There are Elk roaming all over this campground & feeding everywhere. The Elk have the right of way on the golf course. It is fun watching the golfers encouraging the Elk to move over out of the way with their golf carts and waving their arms. The Elk  also roam around the RVs under the trees and they are not afraid of you. The Elk have food and safety in the town and, of course the Wolves will not come into town after the Elk.

Elk on the golf course

Elk from our window

There is a Bus stop here at the campground that will take you to town. In town parking is very tight. After the first time of driving into town to have lunch and to pick-up all the area information that we could find, we decided that the Bus was a better choice. $1.00 each way. Banff is certainly a very popular tourist town. Tourist are everywhere. We checked in at the Visitors center, which we try to do at most of our stops where we plan to spend a couple of days. We watched a couple of videos on Banff and the surrounding area. There is a very plain warning that they give to all tourist that stop there. It  is;” DO NOT GET NEAR OR TOUCH THE ANIMALS”! They do look so cute and friendly…but they are “WILD”, and therefore,”DANGEROUS “! “IT IS  AGAINST THE LAW TO FEED THEM. THEY WILL ATTACK YOU IF THEY FEEL THREATEN”. I guess there are a lot of people who either do not go the Visitors Center, or just can not believe that these friendly Elk are dangerous or maybe THEY ARE JUST PLAIN STUPID.  We watched a lot of  silly people walk down in among the Elk that were  grazing or laying down, to have their picture taken petting an Elk. One guy tried putting his arm around an Elks neck, but the Elk wouldn’t have any part of that idea. The darn fool could have easily been gored by the Elk. “REMEMBER, IDIOT-THEY ARE WILD!” After we got back to our RV (home), I took a picture out through our  window of an Elk grazing.

(8/9/97) Today is “Banff Day”. Our first stop was at Joe Btifsplick’s for breakfast. We found that the public parking lots are only half full in the mornings. We set out for the “cave & basin”, which is the original hot springs from which Banff became a town. We joined a guided tour and learned how two brothers and a friend found the “Hot Spring Basin”, then “The Hot Spring Cave”, from a hole in the ground.The two springs are not connected.

After that tour, we drove to Sulphur Mountain where we took the Gondola up to the top. It is so popular that we had to wait about 20 minutes in line just to get on the Gondola. The Gondola goes up 7,500 feet to the top. Once at the top, there is a large enclosed building  glassed in all around for comfortable warm viewing all around. There is a snack bar and a  restaurant and bathroom facilities. The view from up here is fantastic. I got some great pictures of the mountains and of Banff, way, way, way down there. just a tiny little spot . We stayed up there for an hour or so , and then came down to the “Banff Springs Hotel”, which is a very impressive building. On the lawn were about 20 Elk. We finally located Bow River Falls. The Falls is so popular that I had to let June out so she could video tape it, then I picked her back up. We had a very full day, and we really enjoyed it. We will be ready to leave tomorrow just to rest. If you ever get the chance to visit Banff….do it, you will be glad that you did. I am “almost sorry” that I put so many photos on this blog, but it was just so beautiful that I couldn’t help myself. Thank you June, my love, I am glad that you steered me in this direction! It was certainly well worth while.

Lake Moraine and Ten Peaks

Gondola to Sulphur Mountain

Banff Springs Hotel

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Eight inches of snow?
This one had most of the state of Michigan laughing for two days,and a very embarrassed female news anchor who will, in the future, likely think before she speaks.What happens when you predict snow, but don’t get any? We had a female news anchor who, the day after it was suppose to have snowed and didn’t, turned to the weatherman and asked: ” So Bob,where’s that 8 inches you promised me last night? Not only did he have to leave  the set, but half the crew did too, they were laughing so hard !

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My wife says that SHE and I want to go to Banff,Alberta – 1 0f 2

In Humor, Information-Interesting on January 27, 2011 at 1:01 pm

When my little 5ft 3in wife tells me that she really,really wants to go to Banff, I have a pretty good idea that Banff will be the general direction that we will be heading for when we leave this area.

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She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still !

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(8/2/97)We headed out of Tubby’s Campground and back out of Alaska. This has been a great Caravan and we really did enjoy it.  June is driving and we are heading for our next RVing adventure, Banff, Alberta,Canada. Two doe (deer)  got on the road ahead of us. She slowed down  and they jumped back into the bush while I was still looking for the camcorder. No one has ever called me the fastest camera in the west, and there is a reason for that. I can never remember where I leave the darn thing!. We figured that “White Court”would be a good distance to travel today. We got there at 3:15 pm and decided that it was to early to stop, so we fueled up and headed for Edmonton. We are beginning to change our minds in the middle of our travelling plans now, which is something we have never done before. We picked out “Glowing Embers”Campground to stop at, if we could find it! No problem. Plenty of good directional signs to guide us. We checked in and then got set up in spite of our neighbor who wanted to talk about tires, wheel chocks and everything else. He and his wife are very friendly people and I am sure that we will be talking to them again before we leave . He and his wife had no sooner left for dinner, when the guy across the street wanted to compare “ford Trucks”. Under the circumstances, it took us awhile to get set up. This is a nice roomy campground with full hook up’s & close to Edmonton.

(8/3/97) Today we plan to visit the Edmonton Space & Science Center. June’s nose is still running but she says that she is ready to go. We went down to the office to to pay for another day. ( I mis-figured when I signed in). Ben, the manager, gave me two soft sponge rubber bands that go around your pen where you grasp it. It makes it more comfortable to write. We took all of our local maps and headed out to locate the , “Space and Science Center”. We know that it is in town- somewhere. Darn if we didn’t find it without getting lost. We spent five hours there.We saw an movie at the Imax Theater on beavers with a short one on ants, added to it. We enjoyed both of them. We also watched a Laser Show in another Theater. We walked all over the building, looking at and trying out most of the exhibits and we also had lunch there. It feels odd & different coming back to the RV in the evenings . It gets dark around 11;00 pm, now that we are in a different time zone. Edmonton is having a heat wave, Temperatures in the mid-nineties so naturally our A/C decided to act up. Inside air flow from the A/C is only up the “defrost vents”. More than likely just a control tubing problem. I got it fixed the next day.

Mall of America-West Edmonton,Alberta

Indoor Wave Maker

(8/4/97)Today our plans are to visit the West Edmonton Mall. In 1997, this was the largest mall in North America (probably in South America too.) Because of the wind deflector being mounted on the roof of the truck, we were required to park outside at ground level.That’s OK, I have no big desire to get hung up on the’ under-floor trusses’ on the parking floor above. Today is “CIVIC DAY” in Canada. There were people every where and of every kind. This Mall is huge, and I do mean,”HUGE”. We didn’t do any shopping, just walking and looking. We Boarded the Replica of Chris Columbus’s ship,”The Santa Maria” ( in my mind, you would have to be dedicated to sea life  or crazy, to spend months upon end, at sea on one these ships. It was a good thing that they did or we might be speaking with a British accent now.), We walked our legs off this afternoon looking at everything there was to see

A Great,great big pool with a wave maker.

Columbus Ship,The Santa Maria

That big, big swimming pool produced great big rollers that just rolled across the pool. Every one floating on their little yellow rings just went up and down with the waves, little kids were not the only ones enjoying the pool. Plenty of of Moms & Dads out there too. We walked to the Ice skating Rink and watched the skaters. There was one young lad of about ten years old, doing his best to skate around the rink close to the fence. Every couple of steps, and down he would go, laughing all the way. I think that he had more fun than the good skaters. He had a good size  audience cheering him on. The campground had given us a coupon for $10.00 for the “Sawmill Restaurant” so we had a nice dinner before we went back to our “Home-on-wheels” at the campground.

Tomorrow, being “Civic Day”, most of the stores were closed, so we decided to locate the Ford shop today so that we would  know where it is. For the heck of it I pulled into the “Canadian Tire” store to get a price on a tire. We not only got a new tire, but they fixed the A/C ,changed the oil & did a lube job. ( If you are travelling in Canada, don’t over-look the “Canadian Tire Store”.

(8/5/97) We drove to Spruce Grove  for new bolts to fix our ceiling fan blades.(We had a fan blade sail off one day while we were eating lunch.You don’t hear it until it hits. Scared the Crap out of me). Also replaced our 50 to 30 amp adapter. The prongs take a beating from of some the campground’s worn out “hook-up  connection boxes”. We are getting ready to travel tomorrow morning.

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A little humor is good for the soul !

Snooty Receptionist
An older gentleman had an appointment to see the urologist who shared offices with several other doctors.The waiting room was filled with patients. As he  approched the receptionist’s desk, he noticed that the receptionist was a large unfriendly woman who looked like a Sumowrestler. He gave her his name. In a very loud voice, the receptionist  said,”YES,I HAVE YOUR NAME HERE; YOU WANT TO SEE THE  DOCTOR ABOUT IMPOTENCE RIGHT?” All of the patients in the waiting room snapped their heads around to look at the very much embarressed man. He recovered quickly, and in an equally loud voice replied,’NO, I’VE COME TO INQUIRE ABOUT A SEX CHANGE OPERATION, BUT I DON’T WANT THE SAME DOCTOR THAT DID YOURS.’

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Our Fantastic Alaskan RV Trip – Part 4 of 4

In Humor, Information-Interesting, postaweek2011, RVing on January 19, 2011 at 11:14 pm

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A dog gave birth to Puppies next to the road and was cited for “littering”<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

­This will be the forth and last posting of  “Our Fantastic Alaskan Rv Trip”. Did we enjoy this Caravan?…You had better believe we did, the good and the bad of it.(Shucks,I don’t remember anything that was wrong). Thats what camping is all about… If you find it dull to go RVing,  you must be doing it wrong. I don’t know whats coming next…but I do know that it will be fun. It always is.

 

Actually I do have an idea for my next blog. Around six years previous to this trip, June’s mother’s last big wish was to go to Hawaii one time before she died and she wanted us to go with her because she got confused occasionaly and she knew that she couldn’t do it by herself. By the time she left, there were two  girls friends of theirs who wanted to go with June and her mom. They went and had a fantastic  time together. I was left behind to install  my mother-in-laws central heat/cool system. That worked good for all of us. There was no one around to make suggestions and help.(My mom- in- law is a very talented woman and is actually a good helper, but this time I wanted to do alone!)

Banff - 1997

Sulfur Mountain Cable Car

This is the connection to the Hawaii trip.The tour Guide on the Hawaii tour that the girls took, was from Banff, Alberta, Canada. June said that he talked so much about the wonders and beauty of Banff that she wanted to see it. We were headed to Oregon and  California anyway so we did a quick adjustment in our schedule and off to Banff we went.We are so glad that we did. It was a worth while stop. Banff  and the surrounding areas were simply so beautiful and outstanding. Good call June!!

 

This will be the last of  “Our Fantastic Alaskan RV Trip” blogs, one each for the last four  week-ends. I plan to continue RV related posts and other types of posts on subjects that I consider interesting  and are worth posting or until I’m told to get another hobby from the comments that I receive (which may not take long!!)..

 

I am a great fan of our Army Corps of Engineers (ACE)  Campgrounds.  ACE campgrounds are one of the best kept secrets around, because they are not widely advertised. Word of mouth is the usual means of promotion. I have camped at many, many of the ACE campgrounds and I have enjoyed everyone of them. Most of the campgrounds supply 30 amp Electrical connections and Water. Every campground has a Dump Station usually on the road out. For those of us who are over 62 years “young”, go  get a “Golden Age Passport”for the expensive cost of $10.00, a lifetime Admission permit that qualifies you and the people with you in your vehicle, to free  admissions at National Parks and a 50% discount at their campgrounds.  While you are there, compare your campground to a Public campground. Naturally  you will be on a damed up water reservoir or some type of project maintained by the ACE, with a wonderful, quiet environment. What do you give up for this luxury?  Mostly the noise of cars, horns etc. I mean it is peaceful, quiet  and enjoyable. Of course, there are no stores or gas stations out there . You have to drive to town for them. I consider that fair.

 

 

I have a lot of information on our different National campgrounds and also  on some of our special public campgrounds that I intend make into Blogs. How about Casino’s associated with RV campgrounds. Does that sound like a good match?

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There was the guy who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh.  No pun in ten did.  (If you don’t get this-say the last five words fast. )

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(7/18/97)   We are leaving Homestead RV Park, Palmer, Alaska  –  for  –   Bear Paw RV Park, Valdez, Alaska .  We got away  on time this morning. We aren’t traveling with anyone, which works out ok. We do travel slower than our friends. We ran into about 7 or 8 miles of road construction half way to Valdez. The first time we were stopped by a “flag-man”, June turned the driving over to me. The bull-dozers have run up & down the road, and it was rough.

When we got back on good road, we pulled over and went into the RV to empty our bladders. When we opened the door of the RV, there was the refrigerator door off  of  its hinges , leaning up against the table. (thanks Murphy). We had this problem before and I thought that I had it fixed. I had to take off the freezer door in order to re-hang the refridgerator door , then re-hang the freezer door  (After we finished this tour, I added two washers to the door hinges  and that solved the “popping” off problem). We were the last one in but they had saved us a nice  site backed up to the water in the Port of Valdez. June’s head is starting to stuff up now. We had a nice ice cream social. It was  paid for with all the fine-money collected by(Jack, the tag-man)  for not wearing your name Tag , being late, getting lost etc. (I got lost-not once- not twice but thrice ).

Parking at Valdez Oil Terminal

(7/19/97)   Breakfast was included in the tour so we walked up to the Westmark Hotel for a nice buffet. At 2:00 pm we all boarded a bus for a tour of the pipeline terminal. Arriving at the terminal, we were all required to go through a security check point first (just like in airports), even though you can only get off the bus at one view point way above the terminal.

Valdez Marine Oil Terminal

The bus driver/guide was very good. He had worked at the terminal for 21 years before retiring. This was a very interesting 2 hour tour.

Valdez Marina & Oil Terminal

He also took us around Valdez on our way back to the campground. They  have a 10 million dollar grain treminal that the city had constructed some twenty years ago. They thought that they would get all the grain that was  imported into Alaska if they had a modern terminal. It has never been used. Some one here has listed it in their advertisement as  “A Monument to Stupidity.

We fueled up this morning. Prices vary quite a bit. You have to look around. We had  a coupon at the station for 5 cents a gallon off. Later, outside the city, we found diesel for $1.39 9/10. Thats quite a difference (and we missed it).

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(7/20/97)   Sunday, a day of rest. Decided to wash all the mud & dirt off of the RV & truck. Apparently the park allows this. I did a quick wash without soap or cleaners, just sponge and water. It only took 4 hours, but the results are worth it. I know, it won’t be clean long, but pride dictates that you should keep it as clean as possible as often as possible. It should stay somewhat clean until we hit “steam boat mountain” again going back. We reviewed some of our latest videos that we took. We should give up video taping and buy a video of Alaska. Man we are bad at video taping. Can’t hold the camera steady and the vocal leaves a lot to be desired!
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(7/21/97)   We got up early today, had breakfast and walked over to the small boat dock. We are taking a cruise boat “Nautilus II” to Cordova for an overnight-two day cruise & tour of Cordova. Cordova was started as a copper mining town. The only problem is that the only way to get there is either by boat or plane. At its

Million Bridge in Codova (From free photos selection )

peak, the population of Cordova was over 10,000 people. The price of copper dropped and so did the population. Fishing is the main industry now. There is a little tourist trade, but the locals do not seem too fond of the tourist. Our cruise ship traveled through the “Prince William Sound” Islands out of the shipping channel. The Skipper always stopped when anything of interest showed up. We watched sea otters, eagles &  porpoise on the way out. When we docked, they took our bags to where we were to stay.  We got on a tour bus that took us to see “Childs Glacier” and the “Million Dollar Bridge”. The bridge was constructed during the winter to haul copper from the mine back to load on ships. It cost a milliom dollars back in 1910 to build it for the short, mine to port railroad. One span fell during the 1964 earthquake. The Childs Glacier was interesting. It calved a couple of time while we were there, but never when we were watching! We returned to the hotel for the night.

The 21st of July is our 46 wedding anniversary !!When we opened the door to our room, it became apparent that someone was pulling a joke on us. There were three single beds in the room. Of course, here were quite a few of our friends, who just happen to be in the area when we opened the door to the room. Everyone had a good laugh, that is until someone noticed that June had tears in her big blue eyes. Mr.Lancaster said that they would be glad to swap rooms with us. They needed three beds because they had their grandson with them. June gave him a big hug. She never caught on to the joke, because it wasn’t a joke to her (until I explained it to her that night).

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(7/22/97)   We got up this morning and had breakfast at the hotel and  then carried our luggage down to the ship. We cruised over across the shipping channel and worked our way up to the Columbia Glacier, which was a sight to see. The Glacier was reported to be 3 1/2 miles across at the waters edge, and it extends back about 32 miles into the mountains. We couldn’t get too close because of a sand bars just under the water. On the way back we stopped at a small Island where the cruise company had a

Columbia Glacier (From free photos Selection )

buffet set up. Halibut, chicken and barbecue .This two day excursion was one of the better parts of our tour. By now we are like one big happy  family. Most every one is on a first-name basis.

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(7/23/97)   We are leaving Bear Paw RV Park,Valdez, Alaska   –  for  –   Tok RV Village, Tok, Alaska. We got started @ 9:00 am, lost our traveling companions right away. June allowed me to drive because we have to cross Thompson Pass which is a steady climb from sea level to 2,775 feet. It seemed to take forever to come down to sea level when we arrived. It turned not to be a problem. I down shifted to 2nd gear with the OVER/UNDER in UNDER, and up we went to the top pulling that 15,000 lb  5th Wheel RV at 22 mph. ( I have too many memories of topping hills at 4 mph and watching the temperture gauge all the way up.) The more we drove, the damper & cloudier it got until it started raining. When we got to Tok we set up in the rain. Carl & Doretta (the wagon masters) brought over the two “Alaska” sweat shirts that we had  ordered  and they  sat and visited with us for awhile. We think that they do a great job as caravan hosts. They may host the “up, up and away”caravan next year. we are thinking about taking that caravan It would be nice if they did. It was still raining when we went to bed (with the electric blanket).
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(7/24/97)   We are leaving Tok RV Village,Tok, Alaska   –  for  –   Kluane Wildness Village, Kluane,Yukon. We woke up to the sound of rain coming down. I got out my plastic “poncho” that I have worn once in 4 years and went outside and hooked us  up. It is raining steady now and it is cold. We did meet up with our companions for lunch after we crossed over into Canada, They soon left us again. It stopped raining by the time we got to Kluane, We got a good level site..( we don’t often get level sites). Bob & Betty Keller came over and had drinks with us. Bob suggested that we should find a lot of money to bring over to Honolulu and visit with them.They are teaching us some island expressions.

Kluane Lake-Alaska

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(7/25/97)   We are leaving Kluane Wildness Village, Kluane,Yukon   –  for  –   Trails of “98” Campground, White horse, Yukon. We had a very quiet trip to White Horse. We checked in and got the same site we had  last time. We tried to get prepared for our side trip to Skagwag, Alasks tomorrow. The trip down to Skagway is not part of the regular Alaskan  tour. We had  signed up and paid for it when we first began the main tour because we had heard a lot about the building of the railroad and we wanted to ride on it. We won’t be back this way again,so do it now!
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(7/26/97)    We got up early this morning and boarded our bus at 7:30 am.

Boarding White Pass RR to Skagway (from free photos selection )

We have our video camera and also our point & shoot camera. It is sprinkling out so we are hoping for the best. We changed over to a narrow gage RR car just north of the Alaskan border in Yukon. We had one passenger  car for our group of 27 . American customs boarded the train there and checked everyone . It was a beautiful ride down from 3200 feet to sea level in Skagway. Talk about cutting RR tracks into the face of cliffs, they darn sure did it, three tunnels and all. The girl guide assisned to our car pointed out that the labor to build the RR were men that could not get work in the “Gold fields”,and needed a job.

Train to Skagway

No experience in building RR what-so-ever. It was awesome to look out the windows on one side and see  the cliff face so close that you could almost touch it , then look out the windows on the other side, straight down a long,long way to the stream at the bottom. Skagway was where most of the miners came by ship. They were required to have certain supplies before they could enter the Territory of Alaska. We had lunch in town and then walked down to the visitors center. Later  we boarded the bus that had driven down with anyone who didn’t want to ride the train down. The drive back over the mountains was great . We got a lot of good pictures.

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Alaskan Mountain Range

(7/27/97)   Today has finally arrived. This is our last day of the caravan . Nothing is planned other than the farewell dinner tonight at the Westmark Hotel. We checked out the salmon run where the official salmon count is made from a glass-sided box on the water ladder sample line. There was one lonely salmon that passed through while we were there. They are swimming around in the river below right now. At 5:30 pm we loaded up in a bus and was  taken to the hotel for our farewell dinner. The buffet was pretty good.There was a lot of talking and laughter about the past 38 days. We had several couples over for farewell drinks in our RV. It is to hard realize just how close you can come to complete strangers in just 38 days.And then you go your separate ways.The park warned us that the road to Watson Lake was washed out by a broken Beaver dam . No one really knows how bad the problem is. Some  of us decided to stay over for an extra day to give them a chance to repair the road. We should be able to get some information from in-coming traffic. The 1997 Alaskan Caravan Tour is officially over with this farewell dinner here at White Horse,Yukon.
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(7/28/97)   We slept a little later this morning. When I got up and went outside, over half of our group were still here. The word is that traffic is moving, one lane at a time around the wash out. It shouldn’t be a problem for us tomorrow. I got under the truck and checked out my exhaust brake repairs and  tighten up the clamps again. We are going to dump tonight and be ready to pull out after breakfast tomorrow. This was a very enjoyable and interesting group of people.
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For everyones information, we had no problems driving back to Steam Boat Mountain. Exhaust worked great. Would you believe it, when we got there in the  early afternoon…..IT WAS RAINING!!  AGAIN!!!Going up the last pretty steep hill, I glanced back through the rear-view mirror and saw the whole side of the RV, because the rear of the truck had scooted way over to the right. It did straighten right out but not before my stomach jumped up to my throat. I could see a jack-knife coming up.
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This Alaskan Caravan was one of the best caravans that we have taken.
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Many thanks for reading our blogs on Alaska.
Alaska is a very beautiful State and the Alaskan’s are very proud of their State….and rightly so!
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Garden (grass) snakes can be dangerous!
A couple in Sweetwater, Texas, had a lot of potted
plants. During a recent cold spell, the wife was bringing
a lot of them indoors to protect them from a possible
freeze.
It turned out that a little green garden grass snake was
hidden in one of the plants. When it had warmed up, it
slithered out and the wife saw it go under the sofa.
She let out a loud scream.
The husband (who was taking a shower) ran out into
the living room naked to see what the problem was. She
told him there was a snake under the sofa.
He got down on the floor on his hands and knees to look
for it. About that time the family dog came  and cold-
nosed him in the behind. He thought the snake had
bitten him, so he screamed and fell over on the floor.
His wife thought he had had a heart attack, so she
covered him up, and told him to lie still and called an
ambulance.
The attendants rushed in, would not listen to his
protests, loaded him on the streacher, and started
carrying him out.
About that time, the snake came out from under the
sofa and the Emergency Medical Technician saw it and
dropped his end of the strecher. That’s when the man
broke his leg and why he is still in the hospital.
The wife still had the problem of the snake in the house,
so she called on a neighbor who volunteered to capture
the snake. He armed himself with a rolled-up
newspaper and began poking under the couch. Soon he
decided it was gone and told the woman, who sat down
on the sofa in relief.
But while relaxing, her hand dangled in between the
cushions, where she felt the snake wrigging around.
She screamed and fainted, the snake rushed back under
the sofa.
The neighbor man,seeing her lying there passed out
tried to use CPR to revive her.
The neighbors’s wife, who had just returned from
shopping at the grocery store, saw her husband’s mouth
on this woman’s mouth and slammed her husband in the
back of the head with a bag of canned goods, knocking
him out and cutting his scalp to a point where it needed
stitches,
The noise woke the woman from her dead faint and she
saw her neighbor lying on the floor with his wife bending
over him, so she assumed that the snake had bitten him
She went to the kitchen and got a small bottle of wiskey,
and began pouring it down the man’s throat.
By now the police have arrived….
They saw the unconscious man, smelled the wiskey,
and assumed that a drunken fight had occurred, They
were about to arrest them all, when the woman tried to
explain how it all happened over a little garden snake !
The police called an ambulance, which took away the
neighbor and his sobbing wife.
Now, the little snake again crawled out from under the
sofa and one of the plicemen drew his gun and fired at
it. He missed the snake and hit the leg of the end table.
The table fell over,the lamp on it shattered and, as the
bulb broke, it started a fire in the drapes.
The other policeman tried to beat out the flames, and
fell through the window nto the yard on top of the
family dog who, startled, jumprd out and raced into the
street, where an oncoming car swerved to avoid it and
smashed into the parked police car.
Time passed ! Both men were discharged from the
hospital, the house was repaired, the dog came home,
the police acquired a new car and all was right wth
their world.
A while later they were watching TV and the
weatherman announced a cold snap for that night. The
wife asked her husband if he thought they should bring
in their plants for the night.
And thats when the fight started….