Off for and RV trip to Alaska for 6-7 weeks. Traveling with friend Alice who owns the RV.
  • Day1

    Alaska Day 1

    July 7, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    Off to Alaska!! Left Bodega Bay at 8:15AM. Destination Klamath Falls, OR, about 400 miles. Getting accustomed to riding in a motorhome van takes some getting used to. Alice plans on doing all the driving so my jobs are navigator, cook and clean up. Lovely ride up route 5, past Mt. Shasta still covered with snow to the ground. No California drought this year.
    Worked on reservations for tonight and settled on a place about 20 miles north of Klamath Falls, OR. Weather great – around 80 at our destination – the Waterwheel Campground and RV Park. Nice to get away from the city already on our first night out. Campground is on the Williamson River, a fly fisherperson – did not see him catch a thing.
    Kay’s tutoring session on how to hook up the electricity, sewer and water. Will see what I remember tomorrow night. Cocktail hour outside our RV and a walk along the river before dinner of steak salad. Cooking facilitites very adequate however could not get the microwave to work. Alice had some work done before this trip and she thinks they did not plug it back in as everything else electric is working. Downtime after dinner and an early bedtime. Planning on Crater Lake tomorrow.
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  • Day2

    Alaska Day 2 Crater Lake!

    July 8, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    Good night’s sleep the first night in the RV!!! Up and out by 10 after a breakfast of ham and eggs. Takes awhile to get all the hook ups undone and stowed away. My tutorial of how to do all of this continues.
    Another beautiful day. Off to Crater Lake, only about 30 miles from our RV site. Could not ask for better weather, mid 70’s and almost a cloudless sky. A stop at the visitor’s center for the movie on the making of Crater Lake. Fascinating story and amazing that we have managed to keep it this pristine all of these years. The blue is so deep and beautiful, Alice said that it is amazing that there has not been a watercolor paint named Crater Lake blue. We spent several hours there walking a couple miles along the rim of the Lake, surprisingly not very crowded. Still snow at the Rim Village (7210 feet). When I was here in late May they had had 6 inches of snow the night before and snow was piled feet deep everywhere. Mother Nature at her best!!! Note: The 3rd and 4th pictures below are similar views of Wizard Island and Crater Lake taken in July (3rd) and May (4th) :-)
    On our way North to Bend, we drove through the Crater Lake National Park and out the North end to Diamond Lake. John and I had been there over 40 years ago and I had never been back. A beautiful lake with Mt Thielson as the back drop. Still a beautiful spot but a resort there now instead of just a sleepy lodge. Progress???? ☹ Good lunch and on to Bend.
    Spent the afternoon getting some business done with a few RV maintenance issues that got resolved pretty easily and for just $40. Found an RV park right in Bend. After getting all hooked up, we left to take the RV to someone about 15 miles away to fix the microwave. Then to SunRiver Brewing Company for a microbrew and dinner. A lively Bend spot where I had been to in May with a good vibe and excellent food. Back to RV park to hook up again (in the dark) and now to bed.
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  • Day3

    Alaska Day 3 Bend, OR

    July 9, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Last night’s “home” was an RV park, Scandia, in South Bend, OR. I have always loved Bend as we used to have Stodd family reunions there for many years. I still have relatives here. Bend has truly “grown up” over the years but I think the City (pop now ~100,000) has done a great job in keeping up the beauty of the City. Lots of parks, flowers everywhere and the Deschutes river that runs through downtown.
    After chasing down an RV issue that required an oil change, we set off to explore Bend. A walk through Riverbend Park and a short way on the Deschutes River Trail (DRT) led to watching lots of ways to “float” down the river – clearly a popular summer pastime here. Paddle boards, inner tubes, kayaks, and canoes enjoying the great outdoors. The DRT goes for about 3 miles on each side of the river. When I was here in May, Mandie, niece, and I did the entire trail and it is a lovely easy walk. Lunch in the Old Mill District with lots of restaurants and shops right on the river.
    Then off to Sisters, OR, only 20 miles away for the night. Had to “dry” camp tonight. I now know what that means 😊 no hook ups to electricity, sewer and water. It also means less work when you come and go !! Enjoy a 4 minute shower ($1.00 per minute) and a relaxed cocktail hour in the park with nice weather. (Alice sketching and painting, Kay on the computer) Could walk to downtown Sisters and found a place for a light dinner. Nice day and a break from driving.
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    Elizabeth Lang

    Excellent! I LOVE Crater Lake. A friend and I have been talking about doing an RV trip for a couple of years. Unfortunately, neither of us owns an RV.

    Paul Colby

    Looks like you are having a great time. Keep the updates coming!😀

    Kay's Travels

    Alice bought an RV to see the US before “settling down “ in a new condo with all levels of care so right now this is her home for the rest of the year. Having a good time and finding out that owning one of these is work! But fun. Will ferry up to Anchorage from Seattle but will drive all the way back. 6-7 weeks.

    Elizabeth Lang

    Maybe I will buy her RV when she settles down. Sort of a joke.

  • Day4

    Alaska Day 4 Sisters, OR

    July 10, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    Awoke to a sky of sun and clouds. Perfect summer weather. We decided to walk to town for breakfast this AM. Some perusing of a few shops in Sisters, no purchases. My favorite was in one of the pictures below, the computer tool. Sistes, OR is named for the Three Sisters mountains nearby, part of the Cascade mountain chain. Locale is forested and dotted with lakes, mountains, and rivers – a paradise for paddlers, fisherpeople, birders, skiers (Mr. Bachelor in Bend) and riders.
    Our destination today is the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon and Washington. We found a campground on the Washington side of the river in Stevenson, WA. Made it to Hood River, OR and a stop for lunch at a local café Off to our campground after our late lunch and about 25 miles down the road, Kay realized she left her purse in the restaurant!!! ☹ So back we went to claim the purse – lucky!! A grocery store stop for dinner fare as our campground is a bit remote and no walking to dinner at a restaurant.
    Spectacular campground – Timberlake. In the woods, space between the campsites and walking paths throughout the camp. Just lovely, green and trees everywhere, my kind of campground. Hooked up, and had a lengthy cocktail hour catching up with friends and family. Alice painting while I make pasta for dinner. Lovely evening.
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    Illene Colby

    Sounds like you need my paddle board. I sent Bruce an email and asked him if he wanted to try. Love to Alice and “what’s your name”?

  • Day5

    Alaska Day 5 Columbia River Gorge, OR

    July 11, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    Slept in a bit this AM as up late with a relative in surgery and information going back and forth with the family. As of this AM, outlook is brighter on that front. Showers, unhooking, and breakfast in our “home” – then off to explore the Columbia River gorge. Loved this campground, next time will stay longer.
    First stop at Rooster Rock state park to catch a shuttle to Multnomah Falls, the most well-known of all the waterfalls in the area. Alice and I had been here previously about 7-8 years ago. Lots of changes with the falls – minimal parking there and shuttles bringing folk in. Really helps the congestion. Still a spectacular site, graceful and mesmerizing. A walk about and pictures.
    Destination today – Gig Harbor, WA to spend some time on Puget Sound. An uneventful trip up Interstate 5 - boring but fast. Across Puget Sound on the Tacoma Narrows bridge and a short drive to Gig Harbor to find our campsite. A stop at Target for a poison oak remedy for Kay and a new universal remote for Alice. Some of the campgrounds have cable TV but our remote is not working so will try a new one. Kay still nursing an outbreak of poison oak from a hike a week ago on the streets of San Francisco - go figure.
    Walked about 1/2 mile from our campsite to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Food not great but lovely outside seating area and very relaxing. Back to work on the TV with some success -and bed.
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  • Day6

    Alaska Day 6 Gig Harbor, WA

    July 12, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Big camp breakfast today to eat up the food in the fridge before catching the ferry tomorrow. Decided to go for a ride up the east side of Puget Sound from Gig Harbor. Found a super Walmart for a few essentials, food for a picnic and dinner. Beautiful water scenery by the Sound. Made our picnic lunch and found a park in downtown Gig Harbor at the Marina. Lovely spot with lots of water craft to watch going in and out. Amazing number of yachts in the Marina along with kayaks, canoes and motorboats. An ice cream stop and on our way to our "home: for the night - Larrabee State Park, WA.

    The park is on Puget Sound south of Bellingham. A really pretty spot however our drive there was horrendous. We only had about 120 miles to drive and it took over 4 hours!! Friday afternoon traffic through Seattle on Interstate 5 was a disaster due to crashes and construction. The GPS kept rerouting us, we thought we would never get there. Arrived at campsite at 7PM. Quick hook ups and lots of wine. Fortunately days are longer here. Good steaks for dinner and to bed. Ready to catch the ferry for Alaska in Bellingham tomorrow afternoon.
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  • Day7

    Alaska Day 7 Bellingham, WA

    July 13, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    Note: For this entire trip, internet will be intermittent. I am finding that I can do the text but need more power than most of the campgrounds have to edit and load pictures and videos. So lots of times, I will be entering the text but the pictures may come later.

    Destination today: Board the Ferry in Bellingham, WA at 3PM for a 6PM departure. We are ferrying from Bellingham WA to Whittier AK - the port for Anchorage. Breakfast in our "home" and then cleaning out the refrigerator as we will have minimal access to the RV during the 4 day ferry ride. Campground last night did not have laundry facilities, nor does the ferry so first stop today is a laundromat. Quite the place here, huge - must have 50 washers and dryers, internet, store to buy all the laundry supplies and an attendant. Great connection so catching up with all the pictures for the past few days.
    To the ferry. A short drive and we arrived around 2 PM. At out first check in spot they wanted us to turn off the propane in the RV. Alice was unsure how to do that so one of the gals from the ferry crew offered to help and proceeded to break the mechanism that held the door on. 😫. Lots of drama ensued but the ship people were very responsive. The fellow went to a local hardware store to get the part!
    As I looked around I did not see many cars lined up for boarding the ferry. The ferry hold 499 passengers plus crew. We asked one is the staff and were told that there are only 138 passengers leaving today! This was quite a pleasant surprise as we had expected it to be quite crowded.
    We boarded and found our cabin. We had reserved a 4 bed cabin on the outside as they were the only ones that had inside bathrooms. I am too old to be finding my way down a dark corridor in the middle of the night looking for the bathroom. 😖
    Our cabin is great for the 2 of us. Bunk beds, and a nice large porthole window. I cannot imagine 4 people in this room. We sat outside in the sunshine as we sailed. A really beautiful site. Wine and dinner. Made a new friend, Diane, who joined us for dinner. We are on our way!
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    Illene Colby

    Looks comfy

  • Day8

    Alaska Day 8 At Sea Day #1

    July 14, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Up and about early. The ferry motion is mesmerizing and conducive to sleep for me. At sea all day today, no ferry stops, so time to find entertainment. 😃. A 2.5 mile walk around the deck. Got pretty dizzy as one lap took 3 minutes 😂. Breakfast in the cafeteria and out to one of the lounge areas. Kay “working” to catch up on the blog and our itinerary for our first week after we get off the ferry. Alice sketching and painting post cards. Throughout the afternoon there were movies that we attended. One about Ketchikan which will be our first stop tomorrow AM. Lots of room on the ferry with it only being about 1/4 full.
    The scenery is amazing. We are motoring up the inside passage and there is nothing but thousands of tree covered islands. Sky is overcast with glimpses of sunshine in the afternoon. Every once in a while there is a lighthouse or some kind of structure it not many signs of civilization. The captain announces when there are whale or porpoise sightings. We left our binoculars in the RV so need to get them in the AM. The ferry has specific hours when you can access the vehicles. 🚗.
    Dinner of Alaskan halibut, tea and biscotti after dinner. We started watching the Season 1 of Absentia that I had downloaded at home.
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    Rennie Brong


  • Day9

    Alaska Day 9 Ketchikan AK

    July 15, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    Docked early AM in Ketchikan
    Breakfast at a local restaurant
    Explored the town known for its totems
    Lovely setting with boardwalks and water running through it
    A visit to the Totem Heritage Center museum
    Back to the ferry by 1PM.
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  • Day10

    Alaska Day 10 Juneau, AK

    July 16, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    Day 3 on the ferry. Up and out early this AM. Our new friend Diane had done some research on what to do in Juneau. Juneau is the capital of Alaska with ~35,000 people. We had almost 5 hours in port. We decided to go to the Mendenhall Glacier, a well known tourist stop in this part of the world. We took a cab to the glacier about 5 miles from town. What a beautiful spot! A National Park in a spectacular setting and well designed for tourists with lots of space. Felt so good just to be outside and off the ship for awhile. Spent a very enjoyable 3 hours exploring the viewing areas for the Glacier, the visitor center and a nice walk to Nugget Falls, a waterfall near the glacier. Round trip 2 miles though a beautiful wooded area. Did see 2 porcupines, one up close and personal. Lots of pictures and back to the ferry. Good outing.

    Lunch and the afternoon spent catching up on the blog and significant time and frustration on a jig saw puzzle 🧩 we have started. Goal was to get it done by Whittier, thinking that is not going to happen unless there are some insomniacs that work on it all night.
    Dinner with Diane, a very interesting gal from Salt Lake City. She wrote 19 books about camping and cooking while camping. One would think, a niche market. 😂. She has traveled extensively and is now retired and still traveling. Fun to share travel stories. Another episode of Absentia and to bed.
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    Illene Colby

    Send me the cook books