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Fun Stuff

… but decides to not try the allegedly original Buffalo Wings restaurant, I'm not a big wing fan.

I've had a very interesting and diverse few days, which hopefully comes through at:

If you remember to bookmark this page it'll be easier to access in the future.
Please feel free to share this site with anyone you know who may be interested; I'd enjoy it if other folks could enjoy what I'm seeing.
More in a week or so from somewhere in east New York or New Jersey, most likely - Jim

Taking it easy

Well, it’s been a “shorter”, or more accurately much less active, week than usual.  Tuesday afternoon I was hit with a near-migraine headache while driving merrily along, took refuge for two nights in the next available motel.  I had a slate of intended museums to visit in Detroit, but tho’ much recovered by late Thursday still felt pretty flat, so I took the rest of this week off. 


It’s been extremely pleasant to just sit in one place for a couple days, completely relax, read and hang out.  I talked to much-traveled bro George about it, he said “sometimes you need to take a vacation from your vacation”.  So I’ve learned something about myself – 120 days of continuous travel and activity sounded fun in the planning stages, but when I’m actually on the road day after day it’s nice to have an occasional layover.  Maybe slothful weekends are programmed into my circadian rhythms…


So my blog this week is greatly shorter than usual, but it’s still there; more and hopefully more interesting next weekend – Jim





Where am I now

Yes, another exciting week gone by, another two states under my belt.  It's an exciting Saturday night in Merrillville, Indiana, glad to share what I've seen


One thing I’m finding on this trip – and it’s really not a surprise – is every place I visit raises the possibility of visiting three more nearby I don’t have time for.  For me this is something of a Highlights Tour, seeing the things I’d like to see if I only got one chance to tour this part of the country.  But there are plenty other historic sites, museums, sporting events, miscellaneous interests etc etc I’d sample if I had a week instead of a day.  Just more fodder for travels down the road, so to speak (rimshot).


Let us return with Our Hero to the American Midwest, Land of Mystery,.,.....

Tomorrow it's Chicago and the Frank Lloyd Wright home/studio, then Madison, Taleisin, the Circus Museum and four days of national championship sports car races at Road America. 
Stay tuned - Jim

Lessons Learned

While travelling more than 5000 miles on roads, paved and unpaved, on ferries and sometimes by plane, meeting lots of people and seeing new places we had the opportunity to learn many new things. Here's a few.  

Trees and more trees
1. Canada has a lots of trees.  When we turned and headed south from Inuvik all the way to Dawson Creek we passed through nothing but forest.  Trees, tress and more trees.  

2. Don't bring firewood across international borders.  When we left Haines we had a lot of good, dry firewood so we decided to take it with us.  Why let it go to waste?  Well, let me tell you why.  With the pine beetle marching across many forests in the north governments and forest folks are trying hard to stop the spread.  We had to fill out paperwork at the Canada Customs outside Haines, return to the US, explain the situation to US customs agent, dump the wood on the side of the road and try it again.  

3. Make sure the sewer drainage hose is securely attached to trailer before emptying the holding tanks.  Read this account and just imagine.  Enough said.

4. Slow down when passing big rigs on dirt highways.  About 3000 miles in to the trip while on the Dempster Highway we failed to heed the warning to slow when passing on-coming semi-trucks.  A big rock hit our windshield and left a big crack.   I got to look at it the whole rest of the trip.
Slow down when passing on-coming trucks

 5. Don't take trailers over dirt roads OR dirt roads are dirt OR dust comes from dirt.  Wow!  When we got to Dawson City after crossing from Alaska to the Yukon on the Top of the World Highway Tami was filled with dust and lots of it.  We dealt with the dust the rest of the trip.  Avoid extended drives on dirt roads when pulling a TrailManor.

6. If you don't want to strangers don't get a cute dog or unique trailer.  How many times did we have to tell people what kind of dog Manny was or reassure them he was not a bear?  How many times did we explain how Tami folds up and set up?  How many tours did we give complete strangers of our trailer?  If you read the blog you know the answers.

7. Buying fish in small fishing communities is impossible.  All we wanted to do in Southeast Alaska was to buy some fresh salmon, halibut or dungeness crab to cook back at camp.  The best we could do was some frozen halibut at Safeway in Ketchikan.  Everytime we asked where to buy fish we were met with a blank look followed by, "I don't know.  We just go catch it."

8. There are no moose in the north.  We looked and searched, crawled out of bed a the crack of dawn, slinked around swamps and bogs but never so a moose.  We saw plenty of other wildlife but no moose.

9. Eight year olds and 70 year olds don't have to take shoes off at airport security.  When sending Leo back home we learned at the airpot in Juneau that kids and old people don't have to take off their shoes at the airport security screening station.

10.  We can only handle so much rain.  Whew, even seasoned Seattle-ites that we are the rain did get to be a bit much for us.  Southeast Alaska gets much more rain than Seattle.  In Ketchikan they measure it in feet, not inches.
Lots of rain in Ketchikan

Okay and the biggest lesson of all is that COMING HOME IS GREAT.  We missed our friends and family on the road and we love you all.

 Read more: http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/loviesquared/1/1347636248/tpod.html#ixzz2MhtJdNUJ

Top 10 plus of our Alaskan Adventure

We are having a great trip and wanted to summarize our Top Ten Highlights as of today.  Picking only 10 was hard considering we travelled 5,811 miles through British Columbia, Alaska, Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories, Alberta and Washington.  We gave it a try anyway so here is the list:

Bubble net feeding
1. Bubble net feeding. August 17.  While aboard the Fairweather travelling from Sitka to Juneau the we spotted several hump back whales during the sailing.  The most spectacular sighting was a group of humpbacks engaged in bubble net feeding.  Amazing!

Jasper Wolf Hunt
2. Wolf Hunt. September 3.  Driving into Jasper we spotted a big horn ewe perched on a ledge and four wolves circling above her.  We stumbled upon an active hunt right by the road.

Bears at Anan
3. Bears at Anan Bear Observatory. August 11.  Watching the bears up close and personal at the observatory as the bears fished was a unique experience.

4. LeConte Glacier Shooters. August 10.  The LeConte Glacier experience was by far the best glacier experience as we were able to get much closer to the glacier in the small boat and even better was the calving and shooters.
LeConte Glacier

 Coast Arriving at Shipwreck
5. Shipwreck in Glacier Bay. August 19.  "In the unlikely event of an emergency...".  It does happen.  Pay attention to the safety briefing you just might need it like we did when theBaranoff Wind ran aground prompting a rescue by the US Coast Guard and nearby cruise ship.

6. Fishing in Sitka with Leo. August 15.  Leo got a quick fishing lesson at Starrigavan Creek by Rick and landed some big humpback salmon.
Leo fishing

Crossing the Arctic Circle
7. Crossing the Arctic Circle. August 27.  An unplanned side strip to Inuvik, Northwest Territories along the Dempster Highway took us across the Arctic Circle where we saw many unique sites and waded in the Arctic Ocean at Tuktoyaktuk.

8. Bear in the camp. August 6.  While staying at the Ward Lake in Ketchikan a black bear liked to visit the campground and our camp.  We got some close views of the bear on several occasions.  
Bear in campground

 Leo the co-pilot
9. Leo, the co-pilot. August 19. Leo sat in the front of the plane in the co-pilot seat on our already stressful day at Glacier Bay.  While flying through the Chilkat Mountains he actually had control and made the plan dip from side to side.  Crazy.

10. Float plane in Misty Fjords. August 7.  Flying over Misty Fjords provided amazing views of the Fjords and surrounding mountains.  Thank you President Carter.
Flying over Misty Fjords

Okay....we can't settle on only ten...so here are more highlights:

Sunset at Glacier Bay Lodge
11. Deck dining at Glacier Bay Lodge. August 18. After arriving at Glacier Bay Lodge dinner was a special treat as we dined outside on the deck and watch the sun setting over the Coastal Range and Mount Fairweather.  A beautiful evening.

Kluane National Park
12. Kluane National Park. August 23. In search of some sunny skies we left Haines and travelled for several hours with great views of the snowy and rugged peaks of Kluane National Park in the Yukon Territory.

13. Top of the World "Highway"...minus the dust. August 24.  Crossing from Alaska via Chicken on the Top of the World Highway to Dawson City was a great drive.  Wow...did we make a mistake.  Lots of dust and we suffered with it most of the rest of the trip.  Beautiful all the same and sunny.
Over Top of the World

 Dawson City
14. Dawson City.  August 25.  We love Dawson City, Yukon and plan to go back.
15. Wonderful landscape along the Dempster. August 26, 27 and 31.  The variation in the land along the highway through the Yukon and Northwest Territories was fascinating.  Some of the land carved up by glaciers while vast swatch of Beringia spared.  Forests to tundra and permafrost.
Landscape of Dempster

 Arctic Ocean
16. Seeing and feeling the Arctic Ocean. August 28. Once at the Arctic Ocean we had to get in.  It was not too cold.  

Community Icehouse
17. Community Icehouse.  August 28.  The remote village of Tuktoyaktuk has limited resources and has a community icehouse dug 30 feet below the permafrost.  That was cool.

18.  Caribou in the Northern Rockies. September 1. While visiting the Muncho Lake area in BC we sighted our first caribou.  
Caribou in Northern Rockies

Dinner with Elks
19. Dinner at the Elks Club. September 4. "Wapati" is the Athabascan word for elk.  We now know why the campground is named Wapati.

20. Mountains in Jasper and Banff. September 5.  The mountains of Jasper and Banff National Park are beautiful.  
Mountains of Jasper

Chateau Lake Louise in Summer
21. Chateau Lake Louise.  September 5 and 6.  We stayed here many times in the winter.  After living on the road in a trailer for over a month it was a great luxury to visit the chateau in summer.

22. Hiking up the Big Beehive. September 6.  The long hike at Lake Louise and the vista from atop Big Beehive was worth every bit of the effort.
Big Beehive

Read more: http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/loviesquared/1/1347444833/tpod.html#ixzz2MhrXcsHw

Still going

.. and it's been a very interesting five days.  It doesn't seem like I left Omaha last Tuesday, seems more like two weeks ago.  Tonight (Monday Sept 10) I'm near Peoria, Illinois, heading for Springfield and Lincoln Country.


The weather has greatly moderated, from 98 and showers six days ago to sunny mid-70s this past weekend, the first crisp hint of fall floating in the air.


Details of the past week's marauding are (should be?) found at:


See you there - Jim  

My trip in the Traveller


This is a great area, but 95 Degree Heat + Rain = Humidity, which ain't my cuppa tea...
I got to Omaha Saturday afternoon, today entered Iowa; have spent the last several days laboring like Sisphyus to write a comprehensible account from my shaky, jotted-while-driving notes of the past week.  I.m not particularly happy with either my writing or my photography but hey, with a lead-in like that, how can you not enjoy it?
I'm trying the new format of a Blog, which allows me to insert photos, probably do other creative tricks.   I understand my efforts should be located at:

Hopefully by clicking on the above link you'll be magically transported to my blog page; if not please let me know, it'll give me something to rant and rave about.
Now that I've spent a week getting back here, on a more or less Make Many Miles Daily schedule, I can relax, start moseying around lazily, driving 100 miles or less daily, soaking up the local sights and atmosphere instead of zooming by at 55 mph.  Hopefully we'll have some fun together as you, I and Traveller wander along America's backroads and blue highways for the next four months.  As mentioned somewhere in my blog (I think...) I tentatively plan to spend Friday and Saturday nights in the same place, hang out Saturdays taking a vaction from my vacation, catching up on my laundry, my reading, my writing, my housecleaning.  So you probably can expect future updates about the start of each week.
Which segues to... I would be most grateful if, whenever you hear from me and/or feel like it, you in turn could send me a short EM keeping me up to date on You And Yours, whatever's happening in YOUR life.  I like to stay in touch; any responses (except Summons and Complaint) you'd care to send me will be much appreciated.
OK, tomorrow I'm off to The Danish Immigrant Museum, I'm pumped.
Have fun, stay tuned - Jim

Alaskan Escapades

During the middle of the night heavy rain pounding on the roof of Tami woke us up. It continued to rain for the next 12 hours without letting up.   All the wetness made for a lazy day in Ketchikan.  We sat around and enjoyed a slow morning with coffee and reading.  Needing to occupy ourselves with indoor activities it seemed like a good day to do laundry before heading to Wrangell tomorrow.  So we headed into town and the local Laundromat.  We were joined by lots of other folks, mostly men who must be in town fishing or working.  After finishing laundry we headed back to the Cape Fox Lodge to use their internet, have lunch and stay dry.  Before heading back to camp we updated our ferry tickets for tomorrow and stopped by the "mall" to walk around and see if there was much to check out…not much there.  It was back to camp and we took Manny for a walk.  He looked cute in his raincoat.  All the rain resulted in water everywhere.  The swamp filled with water, the creek behind the campground was swollen.  We were surprised as we crossed the bridge over Signal Creek by the bear trying to navigate the swollen creek
Wet day in Ketchikan
The light was dim so it was hard to get a good photograph.  We quickly walked back to the campground to put some distance between the bear and us.  We had a nice dinner of chicken and rice baked in the oven like my mother used to do.  I guess the rain made us hungry for comfort food.  We are on our fifth day in Ketchikan with no hookups.  We had to refill our water a couple of times from the hand pump and then transfer to Tami.  Our waste tanks are also full so we are looking forward to heading out tomorrow.  It will also be nice to have an electrical hook-up in Wrangell. The batteries lasted enough to get by with a few short charges from Bertha.  We read until it was late enough to go to bed.  Tony noticed how pale we seemed after not much summer in Seattle and no sun here in Alaska.  He commented we would have no color at all if was not for the bug bites.  A slow and relaxing day all in all.

Read more: http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/loviesquared/1/1344521594/tpod.html#ixzz2Mhls20x0

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