Homeward Bounder, Maybe?, Maybe Not?
Jul 23, 2007
|HOMEWARD BOUND, MAYBE, MAYBE NOT
July 15, 2007 - Fairbanks,
Saturday, July 15th, 2007, Fairbanks, AK, The Land of the Midnight Sun. (con't)
I was so involved in reliving and writing this journal I didn't notice it was after 3AM so I updated what I had to that point and decided to finish at another time. With it being daylight most of the night it doesn't seem late. The sun was just starting to set. Lonnie you would love it here you don't have to drive at night! At least for the summer. Here, you hear things that you wouldn't hear at home, not counting the wildlife things. Larry says' It's 10PM and the sun is in my eyes, can you pull down the shades? and about midnight he says' It doesn't seem like bedtime but it is!
Things that we take for granted don't exist for some in the Fairbanks area. There are people that live here without the benefits of heat, running water and indoor plumbing Even the one's that do, some have their pipes freeze up in the winter. When the power goes off at home we feel helpless for a few minutes and then think oh well it'll be right back on. Can you imagine it not coming back on? What if it didn't? Here they live with that everyday. They use wood stoves to cook and heat, haul water, and have to go outside to use the bathroom when it's below zero. Some actually stand on boards and straddle, squat and try to maintain their balance over a hole.
One of the exhibits in the Museum was dedicated to the outhouse. They're decorated with anything and everything you can imagine, but the one thing they all had in common was a thick sheet of blue insulated styrofoam to cover the toilet seat. They say that even worse than having to use the toilet in the middle of the night in freezing temperatures is having your butt stick to the frozen seat and be stuck in the freezing temperatures at night for longer than expected! Ouch, that's gonna hurt and probably leave a mark! They asked people what their "dream "out"house" would be? Notice, not "dream house" but "outhouse." One lady replied, she was waiting on a heated toilet seat. Ya ThinK? That's pretty much a no brainer...
Speaking of toilets, I saw scribbled on a bathroom wall, "Makin Babeez Tour, 2000," I think that that might have been a lot of fun but I wouldn't trade it for "The Alaskan Adventure Tour, 2007." Well maybe??? Let me think about this for a minute...Not! If the tour was successful, it could have been a lot more costly in the long run keeping up with all those child support payments until 2018.
The Museum of the North is very interesting, inside and out. As we were driving up you noticed the stunning and dramatic architecture. It was designed to have the look and feel of an artic iceberg! The hallway between the exhibit halls are created to give the effects of a glacier crevice. Again Simply Amazing, a term that gets overused here but it really is...The UA/Fairbanks campus is also the home of the Artic Research Center. An afternoon well spent...
We were told by Sue and James at the Diesel Doctor we should stop by and take a look at the Alaskan Pipeline, it's comes above ground about 10 miles outside of Fairbanks. When we asked about the place to eat they said, The Turtle Club in Foxy and since the Pipeline was on the way to Foxy we had to go to the Turtle Club. They're known for their prime rib and people come from all over the world just to get a taste. They recommended reservations, but at the last minute we headed out for Foxy. It's a little bump in the road just off the highway. If you didn't know about it you'd drive right by.
When we arrived about 5PM, just after it opened and the parking lot was full. We were greeted with, "we're totally booked for the evening and the only chance of getting in was if there was a cancellation or no show." They weren't kidding about the reservations. The hostess said they had the same menu in the bar and we could eat in there on a first come first served basis.
Once seated in the bar the waitress suggested we add a side prawn to our prime rib dinner. The side prawn was huge and delicious, the salad bar was perfect and the hot homemade loaf of bread could have made a meal by itself. We were full and the prime rib was still on the way to the table. Needless to say Larry and I both asked for a box to go, and we ordered the petite 10-12 ounce portion! It was worth the trip and as good as they said it would be. Now, we know why the place was packed.
On the way back we stopped to take a look at the Alaskan Pipeline. About half of the pipeline is above ground because of the permafrost or it where connects to a pump station. There's a pump station near the Yukon River about an hour outside of Fairbanks. You can see a small portion of the exposed pipeline just outside of town. The 4 feet diameter pipeline runs 800 miles from Prudhoe Bay, AK to Valdez, AK. It runs zig-zag, not straight, and is built on supports that actually allow 12 foot movement from side to side, because of thermal expansion, and 2 foot vertically for seismic activity. It's built to withstand high winds, extreme high and low temperatures, +80 degrees to -80 degrees, and earthquakes.
One of the pipelines most interesting devices is a thing called a Pig. They're inserted and retrieved at the pump stations and run thru the pipe with the oil. There are several types of pigs, one for cleaning and others use ultrasound or magnetics for inspection and measuring the wall thickness or shape of the pipeline, etc. The pigs are the most important tool for maintaining and detecting potential problems. The Alaskan Pipeline is a thing of beauty as well as an engineering and technological masterpiece.
Sunday, July 16th, 2007 It's Laundry Day
After sleeping in from the late night journal escapade we woke up to the rain and thought it would be a good day to get the laundry done before we headed home. What I don't get is how a big bag of dirty clothes can take over the closet and fill up the jeep yet folds into a nice little stack? It seemed we came home with a lot less clothes than what we left with. Another thing I don't get is the satellite dishes here. In order to get reception they have them pointed down, almost straight into the ground?
We finally met the other stranded vacationers, John and Ida, from North Carolina. They've been here about a week and a half and are in their 80's and just a hoot. They were parked inside the closed and "dark" garage and they said they're getting awful tired of the Fairbanks "Winter." They have a daughter in Huntington Beach. It's a small world after all, sorry, now you'll probably be humming that the rest of the day.
We found a great Italian restaurant in town and like the Turtle club it was it was a popular place to be. There were several people waiting for tables but it wasn't long before we were seated. The menu said they were known for their lasagna, a Seattle newspaper said it was the Mother of All Lasagna, it was good but that might be stretching it. I think the review was written by a family member or someone that had a free meal. There were people still waiting for tables when we left. We went back to the Diesel Doctor Repair and RV Park to work on the slide show and journal.
Monday, July 16th, 2007 Get Out of Town Day, O Not
Jamie, his dad Gary and the rest of the guys at the shop are back and ready to work on the RV. They had taken off for Anchorage over the weekend. They have a couple of race cars, and went to test their fuel altered dragster. It was just like being at the races, watching the hauler head out. There's decal on the back of the truck that says, "Alaskan Grizzly Got Nitro." Their cars are called "Alaskan Grizzly" and painted yellow with red trim. I don't think I've ever seen a yellow grizzly. They did some damage to an engine but were happy with the tests. They were working on their times at the half way mark of the quarter mile.
Monday was spent anxiously awaiting our departure. I had made several calls over the weekend seeking ideas as to why we would have blown two manifolds in such a short period of time. Lonnie spoke with Bruce and they thought it might have something to do with timing. I mentioned that to Nick, our mechanic, and while he was finishing with the exhaust manifold he suggested that I replace the oxygen sensors. Gary and Jaimie agreed, and they said the timing was controlled by the onboard computer system and the O2 sensors send info to the computer and adjust the timing, air and fuel mixture etc.
The O2 Sensor, sounded familiar and since I'd just entered that info into my RV Manual, I looked thru my repair receipts and found that Bill at S&J Chevrolet had replaced them about 15,000 mile ago. Well there are 2 sets on each side and we weren't sure which ones had been replaced. They suggested I do a diagnostic scan for $157.00 to see if any codes came up that would be of help. I guess Bill had replaced the downstream 02 sensors and the upstream sensors needed to be replaced. One was sluggish and the other wasn't functioning correctly. Jeannie ordered them just before 5pm and they were on the way, we were thinking we would be too.
Jeannie couldn't get in contact with the extended warranty adjuster to see how much of the costs they would pay for the diagnostic scan, sensors and installation. Then the sensors showed up and were the wrong ones. It looked like we were going to be guests of the Diesel Doctor one more night.
But, just like Rob and the guys at All Wheel and Alignment, Gary, Jaimie, and Nick and Jeannie came thru. They tracked down the right sensors and stayed open for us, got the sensors installed. Jeannie took my credit card info and would get the arrangements handled and mail me my copy and got us on the road about 6:30PM headed for North Pole, AK, and on to Tok, about 100 miles this side of the international border.
It was a real treat visiting North Pole, Ak. You're greeted by a huge Santa standing on the side of the road, with the reindeer grazing and resting for this years trip. Are you on Santa's Good List? Santa's gift shop is open until 8PM everyday of the year. I wanted to ask Santa for a new RV, or even a used one that doesn't break down so much. But during the summer vacation Santa is only there on Wednesdays. He'll be there 7 days a week before you know it.
Before we knew it we were back on the road and glad to be looking for adventure. We went thru Delta Junction, the northern end of the Alaskan Hiway, heading for Tok. Hey, Uncle Wally, we didn't get a picture of the end of the Alaskan Hiway, Larry, wants to know if you'll run over to Delta Junction and take a picture and send it to us for the slide show?
The amount of wildlife on the side of the road, it was unbelievable. It's as if they were all coming out to say goodbye. We saw a dozen or more cow moose, with calves, no bullwinkles. Hey Uncle Wally, what's the plural of cow moose? Mooses, Meese? Yippie, Ki, Ya, Cow Patty? Larry wants to know, where were all the bull moose? We even saw 2 black bear out, just enjoying the day. Unbelievable....
As we left Fairbanks the road was straight and flat and we were making good time. Then we hit some slow gradual grades and immediately noticed something wasn't right. The RV had little or no power in the rolling hills and very little acceleration at hiway speeds. It was way past closing time at the Diesel Doctor so we continued to Tok, figuring we'd call Jamie in the morning for any ideas. What next?
Tuesday, July 17th, 2007
We had discussed return routes and had pretty much decided we wanted to take the Top of the World Hiway and the ferry over to Dawson City, and down to Dawson Creek. However, part of the road was oil coated dirt road, it's safe, for RV's etc, they take tour buses on the hiway. Gary at the Diesel Doctor said it could be difficult if it was raining. We had two strikes against us, one, it looked like it was going to rain and two, the RV wasn't in it's best fighting shape. So we reverted back to plan b, the back up plan, to follow the same route up, back home. The nice thing about the return trip is we had already been there and done that and we could see where we'd been.
At breakfast, I called the mechanics and automotive consultants. Jamie in Fairbanks suggested I start with fuel, fuel filter, fuel pump, fuel pressure, etc. He thought I should have it looked at before we took off from Tok. There was an RV repair shop just across the street, it didn't look like a place we really wanted to stop at, but we didn't have a lot of choices. Henry, our mechanic, said he checked the fuel pressure and it was fine, he felt with adequate fuel pressure there was no use in installing a fuel filter.
After we explained the loss of power, poor acceleration, he thought it might be the catalytic converters. Dual exhaust means we needed 2 at approximately $900.00 each, plus $112.00/hour labor and it would take at least 4-5 days if they could get them. He suggested they take them off and we take a hammer and screw driver and render them ineffective and have them replaced when we get home? Like David Letterman says, "What...?" oh and they only wanted $400.00 to take them off, he didn't say how much to put them back on. I asked if it would hurt to limp home, Henry said no. It really wasn't much of a decision, so, I said no thanks, and got back on the phone to Jamie.
Jamie said it couldn't be the converters, if the converters were the problem it would cause the check engine light to come on and the diagnostic scan would have confirmed it. He suggested the rotor and distributor cap. I told him I thought I had an electronic ignition and didn't have a rotor or distributor cap. He said it was where the spark plug wires come together, I said yes and that was a little black box. He said, no that's the distributor cap. Sure enough, I asked Henry to check the cap and rotor, the cap was all corroded and the rotor looked burnt and had a very rough edge. He ordered a 96 cap and rotor and it was the wrong one, come to find out I have a 96 RV with a 97 motor, but that's a whole other story.
Now we know why the oxygen sensors were the wrong ones. As Henry finished up and was getting ready to leave, Larry asked to make sure we try to start it. I asked Henry to check it out and sure enough, it wouldn't start. He checked the shop manual for the proper firing order, made the changes, something about swapping the #3 and #5 spark plug wires and it fired right up. He buttoned everything up and I squared the bill. I couldn't wait to test drive it. As I was driving away I felt a crunch and heard a thump, thump and we wondered, WHAT NOW? I could see in the side mirror the mechanics creeper bent in the middle with the ends rocking like a teeter totter. I'm thinking if we have to replace any more parts, I'm going to have to rent a trailer to get them home.
We had a lot of interesting experiences in Alaska. The first real glacier we saw was the Matanuska Glacier, it was just sitting out in this beautiful valley. It really looked out of place compared to all the other glaciers we saw. When we first headed towards Anchorage it looked like it was snowing, but it was the cotton flying thru the air from the cottonwood trees. Honest it was so thick it looked like it was snowing in Alaska in July.
We learned that black bears and polar bears don't get along with each other. In fact they just don't like each other. We also found out that the rocks that chip your windshield didn't come from the vehicles in front of you but from the cars flying by in the other direction...I know we have several chips and a busted turn signal glass. That happened with no one in front of us. The one that is a mystery in the shiner the jeep has on the right side of the windshield? With the large overhang on the RV, it doesn't seem possible that I could have thrown up that rock. It's a perfect round hole. Like a BB or pellet. Go Figure....
We also had a lesson in the unexpected, while driving in the pouring rain near Denali, the right side windshield wiper blade flew off and across the road in front of our very own eyes. It took a second to register what had happened. The wiper arm was working overtime but not wiping. By the time figured out what happened and got the wipers shut down it had a hairline scratch in the windshield. You have to really look but it's there. Next we had to decide, do we go back in the dusk and the pouring rain and look for it or spend the $60.00 for a new one?
We didn't know if we could find it? if it was damaged from when it flew off? if it had been hit or runover by another vehicle??? We decided to go back and look for it. We found it in the middle of the road and since I was driving Larry went after it. He returned to the RV soaked but with the slightly bent wiper blade. I figured now that we had the blade we probably wouldn't see another drop of rain...WRONG!!! The next step was straightening it and getting it reattached to the arm. I had nuts and bolts that were both too big and too small...I managed to find a locking spring clip from the tow hitch pin that fit, just right. Sounds just like a fairy tale. It worked perfectly. I may just leave it that way. I know Lonnie would be asking, Better than new? And then saying," That's the way I would have done it."
Luckily I was prepared, I thought I was going to have to bring out the duct tape, WD-40, bailing wire and chewing gum. If it moves and it shouldn't use duct tape, if it doesn't move and it should use WD-40. On of my favorite authors, Douglas Adams, who wrote the Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy, wrote always take along a towel and a bag of chips on your journey. Like American Express, NEVER leave home without them.
It really felt like we were going home, we're leaving Alaska and the USA and heading into the Last Frontier, the Yukon Territory, Canada. It's no wonder there's no cell service there. The entire population is less than 32,000 and only 3 cities with over 1,000 population. Even if Verizon, etc. had all the customer base it wouldn't be cost effective. The first road sign as you enter the Y.T. says, "Disable your radar detectors, they're against the law". I guess they don't like speeders who try to beat the system. I liked the way British Columbia addressed the problem. Their signs said "If you don't like speeding tickets, raise your right foot."
Everything sounds right and feels right. We've passed US Customs and are headed towards CN Customs until I decided to take the RV offroading again. We came up to a flagman for roadwork, he was letting cars go one at a time. He asked us to drive slowly in the oncoming lane for a half mile or so, thru the construction zone. I took off in the left lane slowly, it was very muddy and I was trying to keep from throwing mud everywhere.
The roads are crowned or sloped for drainage and with my left tires near the left side of the road, I glanced down away from the road for just a second and the next thing I knew the RV had drifted slightly and we were headed off the road. Fortunately we were going slow. The good news was, it was a soft, sloped, and freshly graded shoulder. The bad news was it was a soft, sloped, freshly graded shoulder. The next thing we knew we were sitting at an angle and stuck in the pea gravel and sand, road mix. It wouldn't have happened anywhere else because for most of the way you didn't dare take your hands off the wheel and eye off the road.
After surveying the situation, we decided there wasn't much we could do. We thought about unhooking the jeep and driving it out? The construction road work crew had already called for a tow truck from Beaver Creek at the CN border about 10-15 miles away. They said because of the liability involved they couldn't tow us. Fortunately, it was just a few minutes and we were met by Carl, from Far West Towing Services, He had us hooked up to his winch, while the flagman stopped traffic and pulled up back up on the road in no time at all. Carl unhooked his chain and said I'll be on the left just past CN Customs see you there.
We cleared customs and saw Carl's shop, I took care of the bill, he gave me the good guy/cash discount. I asked him if he was married and he said yes. I showed him my platinum necklace I was wearing and said I'd like to leave one for his wife. I told him the customs people asked if I was going to be visiting anyone in CN and if I had any brought any gifts? I said, No. so, I told him, I can't give you one but if I set it on the counter with my paperwork and forgot to pick it up he wouldn't have to return it. He said thanks, and we were on our way. We were about three hours later than we had hoped, with the repair shop and getting stuck, but we were on our way to Whitehorse, Y.T. Now, let's see if I can make like Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet and keep this boat between the buoys.
It was a good thing we went back for the windshield wiper. It seemed like it sprinkled, or rained almost everyday. It rained as hard as I've seen it rain thru one of the passes on the way to Whitehorse. We had virtually no visibility, the water runoff on the road was one to two inches deep. The nice thing about the rain was that it kept the dust down. But now the mud came into play.
Wednesday, July 18th, 2007
It was nice to be back in the Y.T. It was actually getting darker earlier. We were back on the same time as home. Whitehorse has about half of the 32.000 population of the entire Yukon Territory. Not even the population of a small city at home. Dawson City and Watson Lake have less than 2,000 each, all the rest have less than 1,000 people.
It seems Canadian's like to mount everything on poles. Trucks, Cars, Animals, you name it. In Whitehorse as you enter the airport they have a DC-3 mounted on a pole. I bet that was a tricky landing. I didn't know DC-3's could hover like a helicopter? It was a plane that had ground looped and after 4 years of restoration it now serves as the centinal for the airport. It had Canadian Pacific on the side and Larry said he didn't know that CP owned an airline. I thought I had read that it was a Canadian Northern Airlines and saw it on the side of the plane also. After checking it did say Canadian Pacific, I have no idea why I saw Canadian Northern? After rereading, It said Canadian Northern owned the Aircraft. It's funny how you can look at something and see something completely different.
The wildlife, which outnumbers the residents, was everywhere, moose, caribou, bears, wild horses, donkeys, buffalo, foxes, porcupine, squirrels, rodents, and varmits, and birds of all kind, just scurrying around on the roadsides. When we weren't seeing wild animals in Canada and Alaska we were seeing water. With all the inlets, bays, lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, etc. not to mention all the spectacular waterfalls. It seemed like we were on Larry's sailboat, the Millennium Falcon, "watching the water go by." Another one of our favorite pastimes. Marty, I could have used those waders you were trying to off in Sonoma..
The highlight of the day or really the evening was a black bear we spotted off the side of the road. We sat sat there for 30-45 minutes just watching it in the wild, and trying to get a picture. It was just dusk enough there wasn't enough light, and I wasn't going to go over and get close enough to ask the bear to pose so I could use the flash. I was afraid that he might have his way with me and say Charles, Charles, Charles you don't come up here for the hunting, do you? So, I opened the window to stick my arm out with the camera to take a picture and the only thing I got was bite on the hand by a mosquito.
That's something else, the Y.K. has the lock on, mosquitoes, flying dragons, etc. Northern B.C. comes in a close second. The bugs here look like B-52's and hit the RV like a Mack Truck. You can hardly see out thru the windshield. The bloody mess they make is darn near impossible to get off the windows and front of your vehicle. It takes longer to clean the front of the RV than it does to fill it with gas. All while you're trying not to get bit by the ones you missed. Larry was surprised, he thought we had killed them all.
We stopped for dinner at the Northern Rockies Resort. This is a grand resort, located on a beautiful lake. The price for rooms we're very reasonable, $109.00-$119.00/night. They offer custom fly in hunting, fishing, hiking vacations, etc. Sun. thru Thur. or Thur. thru Sun., $2100.00 Holiday weekends, $2500.00, or weekly rates of $5100.00. That includes airfare from Vancouver, B.C. meals and lodging. Then you pay extra to fly to your destination. Next stop Fort Nelson.
Thursday, July 19th, 2007
Fort Nelson is a good sized town, we stopped for gas and propane. I pulled up to the closest island next to the propane tank and the attendant told me I had to drive over to the other side of the gas island for propane. I told him I needed it for the RV, refrigerator, stove, etc. the Rv doesn't run on propane, he said I know but in Canada we dispense propane from a pump not a tank. Take off, Eh? It looks just like a gas pump. You learn something new everyday. Our target destination is Prince George, British Columbia.
As you enter British Columbia, the sign said, "Super Natural British Columbia." What's that about? Beautiful British Columbia would have worked. It made it sound like the B.C. was a comic book hero, or something. My good friend Brigitta, who I met while skiing in Utah calls British Columbia her "Northern Paradise," That may be an understatement.
We had to stop at Sasquatch Crossing, There's Sasquatch cutouts on the hiway. I had to buy a hat. I hadn't bought any hats, except for gifts, during the entire adventure, besides I didn't have a Canadian cap. Honest. We had lunch, Larry played it safe and had a ham and cheese. I ordered the "Sasquatch Alaskan Hiway Burger." Larry asked if I saw on the menu?, "It tastes just like beef" I said yes, it's part of the adventure. I ordered it "Loaded", with 2 patties, bacon, egg, ham, cheese and grilled onions, it was truly "Animal Style, just not "In-N-Out, maybe they should consider serving theirs Sasquatch Style? The meat was overcooked, but had great flavor. We left without asking what it was?...
The RV is running better than I ever remember it running! The big grades 6% to 9% that I was pulling on the way up with the temperature running at or in the red line, were now staying in the gray. It only came close to red line on a long 6% grade and the 9% grade. I can't believe that changing the oxygen sensors, a distributor cap and rotor, that I didn't know I had, could make that much difference in the timing and air fuel mixture and that it would have such an effect on the power and temperature. It runs cool, has plenty of power, it still slows on the big grades but it makes it a lot easier. I'm thinking if I had done that a year ago I wouldn't have had to replace TWO exhaust manifolds. Ya mon, Cool Runnings to Prince George.
We decided at the last moment to go to Dawson Creek, It was about an hour out of the way and we bypassed on the way up because of extensive road construction warnings. As we approached town we had an Elvis sighting. He is alive and well, I swear to you I saw at least a guy who looked like Elvis hitchhiking his way out of town. It was a great seeing where the Alaska Hiway begun. By making it to Dawson Creek we drove the entire 1200 plus mile Alaskan Hiway.
On the way to Prince George we were stopped at a road block, another first. We came around a curve and saw police cars with lights flashing with Mounties in the middle of the road stopping traffic. One asked for my drivers license and the other walked around the RV. He came up and said, "I love your Jeep!" and we were on our way to Prince George. We never did find out what that was all about? Larry must not have looked suspicious, they never asked him a thing.
Friday, July, 20ith, 2007
We spent the night just outside of Prince George, Larry commented on all the logging trucks that "flew by" during the night, he said they were loaded and unloaded heading both ways? I thought of Zdnek, he was from Czechoslovakia and staying with us while working with us on one of our businesses. We were on our way to Las Vegas when he saw car haulers loaded with cars going both ways and said why don't they just leave them where the are?
We knew Prince George was a good sized town, it's the Northern Capitol of British Columbia, whatever that means? On the way into town there was a sign that said, A&W had five family resturants/locations to serve you. A&W is alive and well in CN, as is Napa Auto Parts, they were every where you looked. I think Subway and McDonalds had the next largest fast food restaurants. Another thing that's big in Canada is Rodeo's. Every town had a banner for Rodeo Days, Stampedes, etc. and a rodeo arena.
Chetwynd was another favorite stop on our route. We ate at the Red Lion both ways. They served great snitzel, their specialty was Spatne? a fried pasta. I couldn't pronounce it but I remeber it was delicious. We actually found two great Swiss/German snitzel places. We also stopped twice in 100 Mile House at the Red Coach Inn. It seems red was the restaurant color of choice.
We took Hiway 97, to the Alaskan Hiway. It was the original Gold Rush Trail. The cities along the way were "Districts," called 50 Mile House, 80 Mile House, etc. These were stops along the way that gold prospectors could get a meal or lodging for the night. The original 100 Mile House burned and the Red Coach Inn was built on the exact spot of the original 100 Mile House. We stopped at the visitor center which has the largest pair of cross country skiis and poles in the world. It was dedicated to a paraplegic Olympic athlete from nearby Williams Lake. Also on display were original logging equipment. There was also a huge, maybe 8 foot by 16 foot map of the shopping district, I took a picture for Ruth to study just in case she and Kathy want to go shopping.
As we were leaving Brigitta's Northern Paradise and well on our way to Seattle we passed thru Hope, B.C. Hope's claim to fame is they are the "Chainsaw Carving Capitol of the World. How do they come up with these things. I guess everyone has to have a hobby. We're headed to Abbottsford, B.C., and Sumas, WA., the International Border and the US of A. We could almost smell it. We cleared customs at 8PM, it was good to be home...and looking for Seattle.
Love Ya, Miss Ya, Wished You Were Here, Charles and Larry
P.S. This journal expires tomorrow, July 24th, whatever that means? I don't know if the website is taken down or if it can still be viewed, etc. I'll try to finish up tonight and at least get it posted and transferred to a word file. If I don't or if you can't access the journal and want to catch up, email me and I'll forward it to you. CR