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Hi! Welcome to my little corner of the world - I'm glad you are here! This is the personal journal of my life in south-central Florida. Would love for you to follow along.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rain, Beautiful Rain!

It is raining - wonderful rain, and even though I have a headache I love the rain! I hope it continues until late Sunday night - with buckets and buckets of rain on Saturday night. Why? Well Saturday night, at midnight, is when the city of Juneau sets off their fireworks and if it is raining buckets of rain people won't want to come out to the campground afterwards to "party". So yes, it is being selfish - and I don't mind campers - that's is why we are here. But I do mind party people and trouble makers. Maybe I am being over cautious - but from what the locals have told us I'm not.

We talked to Dave (the law Enforcement officer) yesterday and we are thinking about coming up with a color coded paper for campers to put on their dashboard and if you don't have the paper you don't get in after 10. I think that is a good idea. We will work on it and see if it is feasible. IF it continues to rain then it won't be a problem - we only have 12 spots taken in the campground now and 5 of those of tourists in large motorhomes/5th wheels - we don't have to worry about them.

Okay, enough of the worry about the 4th - what did we do today? Not a whole lot. We did our rounds and checked the bathrooms (everything was okay) then we stayed in for most of the afternoon. Late today we went in to Safeway and rented three more movies - it will give us something to do while we are inside. Tomorrow night we are going down to one of the campers campsites for dinner (they have been in the campground before and we have sorta gotten to know them, so they invited us to dinner). Should be interesting.

Dan fixed dinner tonight and I know that my children will not believe me but I promise it is true. We had fish for dinner and I ate it. Dolly Varden is the name of the fish (no kidding) and it is a very mild fish. We had never had it before and another camper gave Dan two baggies of it the other day that he had caught. We put one in the freezer and then we fixed the other tonight. We had it on a bed of wild rice and put some black bean and corn salsa on it. It was really pretty good. I told Dan that here I was drinking water, eating fish and wild rice. You can't get much healthier than that!

We have done our evening rounds already and Dan went down to have a beer with Mary and Mike (the campers we are having dinner with tomorrow night). I didn't want to go - wanted to get the blog done and, since I don't drink beer, I just didn't want to go sit out in the rain. Plus my head still hurts so I didn't figure the smoke from the fire would do it any good. Anyway, I stayed home with the pups.

I really don't have anything else to report - it is quiet around here. I hope that you all are having a good week. Take care and --------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rain???

Okay - it is suppose to be raining - but it isn't. At least, not yet. It sure is overcast enough to rain and it feels like it should be raining - just nothing is falling out of the sky yet. Maybe that is a good thing. Maybe by holding off a day it will be sure to rain this weekend. We talked to the Forest Service's Law Enforcement officer today and he is praying for rain also. The only thing I do know is - this time next week it will be all over with and the worst of the summer will be behind us. I'll keep you posted on how things go.

Dan and I have decided that we are going to do a walking exercise program - it was featured in Family Circle and the program is endorsed by the American Heart Association. It is a twelve week program which means that we will be in week 12 when we leave here. It starts out nice and slow and builds up. We started it today - and walked our required 20 minutes around the park (actually down one of the trails that I hadn't walked yet). Then after we did our rounds we took the girls on a walk through the woods. This is not in the program - but we figure it can't hurt us to walk a little more than what they say - plus it is good for the girls too. We saw some bear signs - so I told Dan that we will need to be sure and make noise when we are walking - especially if we don't have the dogs with us. (Yes, when we are out like that we make sure to keep the dogs in sight.)

We had to go into "town" and get fuel today -we are having to buy fuel about every 10 days which isn't too bad. Dan is still gripping about having to use our vehicle to make rounds with - he thinks that the Forest Service should provide a vehicle for us to use. Part of the reason he doesn't like using the truck is it is a diesel and it is not made to stop and go like we have to do when doing our rounds, but there is so much stuff that we need to carry with us to clean with that it is just not practical to use the bikes. Oh well, it gives him something to think about.

Not much else is happening right now -it might be the calm before the storm - remember to pray for rain! I guess I'll close for tonight. Hope you are having a good week. Take care and -----------


I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!

Another quiet day

Today was a quiet day here in the campground. Most of our campers left today - so the place is pretty deserted. The thing we are seeing now is people coming in and trying to reserve places for the weekend. We have had several camp spots with receipts on them with the date on the 30th - they can't do that. So, on one we changed the date to today's date and wrote a note on the receipt that "camp spots cannot be reserved". The other one had paid for a day but had left the receipt on the sign post with a handmade reserve sign - since the day had past (they paid for yesterday) we pulled the sign and the receipt. We will let the ranger know what we did tomorrow when they come in to do their rounds.

Some locals have told us that this weekend will be worse than Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day was just busy with a lot of people (mostly families) camping. However, this weekend will be people who want to party. The locals said that we will have the police in here taking people out for drunk and disorderly. That does not make me happy. Marc (the ranger) had said something about keeping the gate open this Saturday (the 3rd) since the city does the fireworks at midnight - I really don't think that will be a good idea. I just think that is asking for trouble. We will talk to him more about it as it gets later in the week. Actually, I think I will pray for rain - not just a drizzle, but a downpour all day Friday and Saturday - I wouldn't even mind it raining all day Sunday. I have looked at the weather forecast and it is calling for rain (all three days with a 70% chance or higher) so MAYBE the weather men will be right for a change. (Why am I praying for rain you might ask - well, if it is raining the locals stay at home - and those are here stay in their camp site and in their tent - and if it rains all three days - most of them will leave on Saturday - so RAIN, RAIN, RAIN!)

Dan and I cleaned the bathrooms and shower houses today and swept the vaults and put lye in the vaults. This will help with weekend traffice IF we are busy. We have one shower house that always is the dirtist - we could "GI" clean it every day and it would still be a mess - part of that has to do with the drainage system in the bath house - it was not installed properly so it doesn't drain well - which causes the floor to stay wet and so we get dirt and stuff on the floor. Then on top of that we have someone in that area that goes in the bath house and eats sunflower seeds and throws (or spits) the shells on the floor - another mess to clean up. YUK! Oh well, such is the life of the campground hosts.

Well, I don't have anything else to report for tonight - BTW the picture at the top of the page in the lighthouse out on Admiralty Island (where all the bears live). I took it yesterday while we were on the boat. Hope you had a good day - take care and --------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Can I say "OH MY GOSH!"

Oh what a day!!! I just can't tell you what a fantastic day it was today. But let me begin at the beginning. We got up this morning (actually I was running a little later than I wanted, but that's okay), and did our rounds. Our original plan was to do the rounds and then run in to McDonald's and get breakfast to go and eat at the harbor, but that didn't happen. There were a couple of camp sites that needed our attention this morning (messing, dirty campers) and the a couple of the bathrooms were a mess - so it took us longer than we thought to do our morning rounds. Anyway, we just grabbed a couple of protein shakes and a couple of breakfast bars and headed down to the harbor. It cost us $5 to park, but we got in a parking spot and got in line. We stood in line for about 15 minutes before they were ready to load us. Dan and I headed up to the second deck of the ship - we figured we would have better viewing there. As we were waiting to cast off and get under way - there was the eagle in the picture above just sitting there on the shore line. I don't know if you can see it or not but that is a dog sniffing around behind it.

We started out right at 10:30 and the ship's crew made the mandatory safety spiel then they opened the breakfast buffet - now on the tickets it said there would be "snacks" - well, let me tell you - there were quiches, fruit, danish, bagels, cream cheese, tomato and onion for the bagels - a real feast, along with orange juice. We were glad that we hadn't gone to McDonald's because we sure had plenty to eat on board.

We were out of port for about 30 minutes when we spotted our first "humpy" - the boat stops and we go out onto the observation deck on the third level. Well, we ended up seeing about 4 or 5 different whales at this one stop - amazing! I got some really good shots but I thought you might like to see this ----------------------
a fluke! I got a lot of shots of the whales fluking - and I finally figured out how to get a series of shots - put the setting on "sports" (well, duh!). When you look at the shots on the computer it really shows the progression - the whale "blowing" then swimming along (I have some shots where you can tell how large these mammals are), then the whale starting to bend and then the fluke. Like I said before - It was amazing!

The whale watching boats are only allowed to stay with a group of whales for 30 minutes (they don't want to harass them) so after our allotted time we moved on around the bend into the channel. We saw several more whales in the channel before we saw what the captain was looking for - Orca's - or, as some people call them - Killer Whales.

Now we found a pod of Orca's with at least 5 but maybe 7 in it. There was one HUGE whale that was the protector of the pod and would swim further out toward the boat to keep us away from the main group, and there was a really good reason. This pod had a baby in it that was probably about 3 to 6 months old. The naturalist on board said that she had never seen one so small. This little guy decided to put on a show for us. .........................................


He would jump out of the water -----------------


turn sideways in mid air and then --------------



splash down on top of his mom. He did this about three or four times in a row - it was so much fun to watch him play.
We thought that we might see some of their natural instincts come into play also, as there was a group of sea lions right along the shore line, but they (the sea lions) stayed out of the Orca's way. We watched the orca's for our 1/2 hour limit and then we headed back into port.
We saw several 'humpies" in the distance as we were heading back in, but we didn't go over to them. I don't know if the ship had another tour going out (a cruise ship tour), but they did head back in to port rather quickly. However - it was a fantastic day - I so enjoyed it. I have so many pictures that I could spend from now until next week putting them on the blog - If I ever get to where I have better Internet access I will download them to the web and post a link to the pictures so you can see them, but in the meantime you will just have to take my word for it - it was GREAT!!!!
Well, it's time for bed so I'll sign off for tonight! I hope that your day has been half as good as mine was - take care, enjoy the pictures, and ----------------------
I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!



Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mining Festival

Today, after we did our morning rounds, we decided to go back over to Douglas Island to the Mining Festival - it really wasn't much and didn't have a whole lot going on, but I guess when you are land locked anything is better than nothing. They had some mining competitions and had pony rides and a little carnival area for the kids. We didn't really understand a whole lot of the mining competitions but we asked questions and learned some things. For example, the picture is of a "hand mucking" competition. What is hand mucking you might ask - well, we asked to and this is what we were told: when the miners blast out a rock there is a lot of debris in the shaft and the miners have to go in and shovel it out by hand - this is called "mucking" out the mine. Now in real life they will have boulders along with the rubble - but in the competition they don't. What the guys (and girls) had to do was shovel this gravel into the yellow car you see and then move it over to the tire. The person that did it in the shortest amount of time was the winner - the guy we saw did it in 1.03 seconds - and the man next to us counted how many shovels of gravel he did - 52 shovels of gravel in 1 minute and .03 seconds - not too shabby. Anyway, that was the highlight of the mining festival. (Okay, I told you there wasn't a lot to do here!)

As we were walking around they had one area with construction equipment - you know those back hoes that they use on the side of the road to dig up stuff - well, they had the smaller versions and kids were competing to see who could move a bar from one side of the arena to the other and place it in a containier. Now, I'm talking about little kids - 8 or 9 years old running these back hoes. I guess they start them young in Alaska.

We did go over to the big tent where they had food vendors (we did buy some fresh mini donuts in cinnamon and brown sugar - they were okay, but we didn't eat them all) as well as booths for the candidates that are running for senate and Lt. Governor as well as Governor. We saw "Mrs. Governor" as Dan calls her - Sandy Parnell - and we talked to her again. Dan was disappointed that she didn't remember us from Thursday night, but I told him that she was seen hundreds of people since Thursday - and why should she remember us. There was also booths set up on the "Build the Road" campaign and for another bridge over from Douglas Island. Anyway, it was interesting and we learned something.

I would like to go to the Lumberjack competition tomorrow - but we have something even better to do - WHALE WATCHING!!!! I am really looking forward to this trip. I will make sure my camera battery is fully charged and I have cleared the memory on my SD cards so I will have plenty of room for pictures. The weather is suppose to be pretty much like it was today - passing rain showers, but not a complete rain out like we had earlier in the week. We will just have to make sure and dress warm - it can get a little chilly out on the water. Anyway, I am really excited and I'll be sure to have pictures for you tomorrow. (Who knows, we might get back in from Whale Watching in time to go out and see some of the lumberjack competition - if not, oh well.)

Meals today consisted of bacon, eggs, and biscuits for breakfast - then for lunch, I took the left over country ribs and cut the meat off them to make BBQ sandwiches along with the left over potato salad. Then for dinner we had a ham slice that Dan fixed on the grill with fresh pineapple slices, and I fixed black eye peas w/ham hock, along with some macaroni and cheese. It seems like we are eating better - and we are certainly eating at home since there is really no place to eat out and even if you could find somewhere it is WAY too expensive. So, we just eat at home. No big deal.

We have done our evening rounds for today - Dan is in the shower and I'm going to finish this up and go read. I hope that you are having a good weekend where ever you are. Oh, by the way
on the way home from the Mining Festival we went by the Fish Hatchery. This sculpture was in front of the building and I thought you might like to see it. (That is one thing - they have wonderful sculptures at different places all around the town.) Well, you guys take care and -------------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The "Pedouin's"

Today was just a quiet day in the camp ground - it rained off and on all day - but we still got out and did things. Now, before I finish telling you about what we did today you are probably wondering about the title of tonight's blog and the picture. Well, we meet the neatest people today - and if you are looking at the bicycle closely you will see that it is indeed a bicycle built for five. (Yep, I said for five!) This is a mom, dad and three little girls that are pedaling across America. They are from Kentucky, but have been down to Florida before their trip up here - and they still are going on into the interior. They have been on the road for over 10 months (he said 10 months and 29 days). They have a web site (www.pedouin.org) where they tell about their adventures, plus they do a live weekly radio report on IMAXradio.org on Fridays at 2PM ET. Check it out if you are interested.

Now, back to our ordinary day. We have quite a few people back on the RV loop for the first time since we have been here - it looks like it will have people on it for a couple of weeks anyway just looking at our reservation sheets. It's good to see that the loop is being utilized. Of course, we have people in truck campers and class C motor homes staying on the main loop - they just don't have any electricity or water - of course, these campsites only cost $10 a night ($5 if you have a golden age pass). We had one lady tell us today that she was surprised that we had "hot showers" - what a pleasant surprise for some people.

I'm sure, after this weekend, we will need to do a thorough cleaning of the restrooms again - not only because of the use, but because of the rain - at least we don't have mud or sand - it is hard to explain what the ground is like here - it is almost like a sponge moss - when you step on it, your feet sink a little. Very strange feeling - and I can tell you that Jessie does NOT like it. She walks like she is walking on egg shells (but she likes it better than the gravel).

We worked on getting the 'house' put back together again from the carpet issue. We (or I should say Dan) moved the couch out so it was facing the back of the unit while we were using the heater to see if we could get everything dried out. We vacuumed really well today and put the couch back in it's place (well, almost - we left it out a little so we could still have the small heater directing some air in the back - just to make sure it is really dried out - we don't want mildew!). Then we straightened up the rest of the house - Dan even "mopped" the floors for me. We should be good for another week.

We had good meals today - breakfast was just a hodge podge of finishing up things we had here - a sausage biscuit apiece, a blueberry scone, and a banana walnut muffin split between us. For lunch I took the left over chicken from when I fixed chicken and yellow rice and made a chicken salad with grapes and walnuts - I served that on the rest of the salad mix that we had - yummy!. Then for dinner we had country ribs, homemade potato salad, and corn on the cob. Pretty good eating, even if I have to say so myself!

We have done our rounds for tonight - so we are just going to stay in until it's time for Dan to go and lock the gates at 10. We'll work on some puzzles or read - what ever suits our fancy. I hope that you had a good week and you have something planned this weekend for fun (I am really looking forward to Sunday - Whale Watching - Yipee).

Take care and ---------------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Governor's Picnic

Today was a better day - as far as the weather is concerned. It just drizzled off and on today. It was still cool - the high today was 49 degrees - and with the rain, it was a little uncomfortable. I wore my sweatshirt, but that just wasn't enough today - had to add the rain jacket for that little extra bit of warmth.

This afternoon was the Governor's Picnic at Sandy Beach on Douglas Island. So, even though it was rainy and cool Dan decided to drive over and have dinner "with" the Governor of Alaska.

We got there fairly early - actually about 4:15 (it started at 4) and there was already a crowd there. We got in the food line - we didn't even know what they were going to be serving - and received a hot dog with your choice of ketchup, mustard, and/or pickle relish, chips (a variety of choices), a cookie (again - a variety of choices) and salmon. I did not get a piece of salmon, but I did eat of bite of Dan's and I would have to say it was pretty good. We also had a choice of several different soft drinks (Dan got a Coke - I got a Root Beer). It wasn't that much, but it was free.

After we ate Dad decided he wanted to get a picture of me with the people who had served us - so we went back over and asked if we could take a picture. They were very kind and said "sure" -------------------


I leaned in and we have a picture of me with Governor Sean Parnell and his wife, Sandy. In case you are wondering what is in his hand - it's hot dogs. Both he and his wife were serving people who got in their line and thanking them for coming. Very down to earth and every friendly couple. Dan explained to them who we were (camp hosts at Mendenhall Lake and were from the great state of Florida ) and they apologized for all the rain. Anyway, it made for an interesting diversion today.

Now, for a little background on what has been happening for the last few days. Wednesday was pretty uneventful. Just lots of rain - we did go into the grocery store and pick up a few things - the other day when I talked to my mom, she was cooking some Chicken and Yellow Rice and ever since Dan has been wanting some. Well, you can't find yellow rice around here (guess people in Alaska don't eat southern food). So a few days ago, I came home and really looked in the pantry and lo and behold, I found a box of yellow rice. We picked up a whole cut-up chicken
at the store, along with a turkey breast, a ham slice, some pork ribs, and a pizza for dinner that night - I think I already told you that we also picked up some movies. Wednesday night we watched The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past - not too bad.

Thursday we woke to more rain - now, this was not a little drizzle - it was a good downpour all day long. Dan had a bucket sitting on the side table by the fire pit and it is full - probably about four inches. Anyway, it was a total wash out of a day. I did fix the chicken and yellow rice for dinner and a loaf of fresh Italian Herb bread (really good!). We were watching the movie (Prairie Home Companion) last night when we discovered that the carpet under the couch was soaked. Now, we felt the wall - no it wasn't wet, checked to make sure the windows were closed - yep, they were shut. So, why was the carpet wet??? Well, Dan thinks that there was a leak on the outside under one of the windows. So, he caulked that window today and we have been trying to get the carpet dry since last night. It is not getting any wetter, so MAYBE he has the problem solved. We are using the heaters and Dan bought some small conduit pipe to put under the carpet to get the heat up under it. So far, this seems to be working well.

We have done our rounds for tonight and now Dan is watching his movie (The Book of Eli ). When I finish up the blog tonight I will read some (this is just not my kind of movie - can you tell, I don't like blood and guts?) I hope that you all are doing well and that you are dry and warm where ever you are.

Take care and ---------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!

Trouble

Another night of rain and of troubles. We just found that the floor under the couch is soaked - we have no idea where the water is coming from - the walls aren't wet and there is no water around the windows. Just something else to be concerned about - I'm sure Dan will figure it all out - just a little disconcerting.

I have not been able to get on line today - I'm really surprised that I have been able to get to the blog, but I'm not going to push my luck and make this very long. I haven't been able to check my mail on either of my mail accounts - I haven't been able to get on Facebook or Farmville (sorry, neighbors). That really doesn't bother me much - but I am expecting our confirmations for our reservations that I made and I was hoping to here something back on some of our job applications. Well, it is suppose to clear up some tomorrow and just be cloudy - maybe I'll be able to get on line then.

Well, I just wanted you to know that we are well and wet - but things could be worse. Anyway, I'll try and update you on all the details when I get better Internet reception.

I hope that you are dry and warm where ever you are. Take care and ----------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Another Rainy Day

This is going to be very short and sweet - I have been trying to just get on line for a hour and a half - no joke. Anyway, it is raining and I don't know how long I will be able to stay on line.

Just wanted to let you know that the best laid plans of mice and men sometimes just go to pot. We were not able to pressure wash the bathrooms today because of the rain - they would have never dried out - so we postphoned it until the next time we have good weather (which could be September - LOL).

Instead I worked on line (yes, I had service this afternoon - but very slow) and made reservations for the Balloon Fiesta, for the Redwood forest and Yosemite. We also went down and bought our ferry tickets for leaving in September. I feel better now that we are on a ferry and know when we are leaving.

Then we went into Walmart and picked up a few things - a pizza for supper tonight - and then went to Safeway and picked up some movies The Book of Eli, Prairie Home Companion, and The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Boy, does Matthew McConnahey (sp?) play a real jerk - but Michael Douglas is even one at the end. Tomorrow we will do one of the others. Anyway, it made for a nice evening in with the rain.

Now, we are just waiting for 10 o'clock to come so Dan can lock the gate and we can go to bed and read. I'm going to sign off for tonight - I don't want to push my luck. Will explain more about what I did today tomorrow - does that make sense?? Hope you guys are high and dry where ever you are. Take care and ----------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Just hanging around the camp ground

Today was a clean the campground day - we started out this morning just doing our normal rounds. Then we started looking at some of the campsites and fire rings - what a mess!!! Some people this past weekend just had too much fun partying. They left trash on the campsites and broken glass and beer cans in the fire rings. Now, don't get me wrong - not everyone did that but a couple of people can make it bad for everyone. What is the old saying "a few rotten apples spoils the barrel" - well, that's the way I felt today. We even had some complaints from a couple of the campers that were still here about one particular campsite - seems these people were drinking and fighting among themselves until after 2 in the morning. When we see our law enforcement guys we will let them know, but we can't do anything ourselves - and they probably won't be able to do anything since it is after the fact. Anyway, Dan spent the better part of today cleaning up a couple of the "bad apple" campsites.

We have decided that tomorrow we will get the pressure washer out again and clean the other bath house and restroom buildings. We have made a tentative schedule for the major cleaning - if we do both again toward the end of July that should take us the rest of the season. Dan said that we might need to do it one more time right before we leave in September - and that would get it done for the rangers before they close the park. We'll see what Marc thinks about our idea.

We figure that if we can survive through the 4th of July it should be a downhill slide from there. We are told that we will have people here on the 4th, but not like Memorial Day was - most people will be downtown because that's where all the activities are - from sand castle building to the fireworks (which are actually at midnight on the 3rd) I guess they have to wait that late for it to get dark enough for the fireworks. I'm not sure how that will work with our locking the gate at 10, that's another thing we will have to get straight. I'm sure that is a night that we won't be leaving the campground - I would hope we wouldn't have any trouble, but I will definitely like to be prepared.

One of the things that we have discovered is - we have some people who would like to live here in the park - for the most part they are people who have jobs - they just don't make enough to afford an apartment. For example, we have a young couple that are here working for the Forestry Department taking water samples and testing water - they are staying here in the campground because they haven't been able to find a place to live (they have a dog). That's another crazy thing - EVERYONE around here has a dog, but you can't rent an apartment if you have an animal. I don't know if people just say they don't have a dog so they can get an apartment, or what, but this is not the first people we have heard say that. We have another guy that works at one of the hotels in town, in maintenance, and he is staying out here. Very nice guy and does not cause any trouble - but we have a 14 day limit on camping here, and that is 14 days a year - so you can't leave for a couple of days and then come back for another 14. I don't know - I understand why you have the limit - you don't want people "squatting" - but, if someone doesn't have a place to stay and they aren't a problem, they pay their fees on time, and we aren't full - I don't see the harm. Dan says that we are "a recreation facility not a full time home" - and I agree - I guess I just have too soft a heart. (Plus, I know of 5 people in the first 10 campsites that would stay here all season if we would let them. Okay, enough of that!

I put a couple of other pictures from the arboretum that I thought you might enjoy seeing. I guess I would have to change my thoughts on having little children coloring flowers blue. I remember saying "Have you even seen a blue flower" meaning that there weren't any, but now I know that isn't true - other than the Texas Blue Bonnets the poppy in the top picture is definitely blue - now I'm sure that some of you out there will be giving me a list of all the flowers out there that are blue and I'm sure that there are quite a few - we just don't have them in Florida that I am aware of. However, by traveling the country I am finding out all kinds of new information. Anyway, I thought that you would enjoy seeing some of the beautiful pictures from the arboretum.

Well, I don't have much else to report tonight so I will sign off. I hope that you had a good day - take care and -----------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!

The Jensen-Olsen Arboretum

Happy Father's Day to all you father's out there! After we did our rounds today (on our bicycles) we decided to go for a ride out toward the "end of the road". It was such a pretty day and we are suppose to get rain later in the week. So we went to the Jensen-Olsen Arboretum which is about 14 miles out of town. It was a beautiful setting - right on the bay and they had some beautiful flowers.


This was a beautiful rose that was right by the entrance.


These are poppies - (I was right about the ones in front of the person's house on Douglas Island). These are really beautiful flowers - a beautiful shade of orange.




These are iris and lupin. You could not beat the setting. While we were sitting there by the bay looking out at the water we saw a seal swimming and catching some fish. We didn't see any whales today, but you never know when you might. Dan said that this was a place that we could just go out and sit and relax for awhile. (plus there wasn't any admission price!)
When we got back home we cooked dinner - grilled pork chops, Crystal's squash and zucchini casserole and a baked potato - cleaned up the kitchen and then did our evening rounds. When we were doing our evening rounds we saw the beaver that lives in the lake here in the campground. I have known that it was there, but today is the first time that I have seen it. The campground has cleared out quite a bit from the weekend. Tomorrow we will clean up the bathrooms and then start working on the fire pits.
Well, that's about all that happened today. I hope that you all had a great weekend and that you were able to wish your dad a Happy Father's Day. Take care and -------------------
I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!



Linking to: http://www.theviewfromrighthere.com/blog/?p=6907#more-6907

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Grocery Shopping


Today was grocery shopping day - we were out of a lot of things so we decided to go to Freddy Myers instead of Walmart. First thing was to get a reward card, which we did. Then $135 later we were out the door. We did buy some meat, but not that much - groceries are just way higher here. It's just something you have to get used to I guess - but you don't have to like it. Oh well, it's only for a couple of months.
Before we went to the grocery we went downtown - only two ships in port and one was one of the small ships. We had been talking about going into the Alaska Brewing Company Store in downtown- they sell clothes and accessories. (Not the beer). Anyway, we had seen some things in the store a couple of weeks ago when we were downtown and we decided to go back in today and get a couple of things. We got Dan a couple of hooded sweatshirts and I picked up a t-shirt, a hooded jacket, and a pair of sweatpants. (So, we now have my birthday and Mother's Day presents and Dan has his Father's Day present.)
Then we went to Cope Park - which is where the picture above was taken. This was a beautiful little park in the middle of town. A really pretty place to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon. Then we went to the store. After the store, we came home and just spent the afternoon here at the house. I did a couple of loads of laundry and then fixed dinner - steak, baked potato and corn on the cob. Good!
Tonight we are watching a James Garner movie (an old one) called Streets of Laredo. I'm not that into it but at least Dan likes it. I really don't have much else to report for today - so, I think I'll close for now. Hope you all are having a great weekend. Take care and ------------
I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

An absolutely do nothing day

Today was one of those days where you just did the bare minimum - we did our rounds - checked the bathhouses and bathrooms (including the vaults) getting ready for the Father's Day weekend. Then we came home and I did some research on the computer. One of our campers told us about the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta that is held the first week in October (actually October 2 - 10 this year). This is something that I have always wanted to see - so we are looking to see if our schedule will fit in where we can be there for at least a couple of days of the Fiesta. I would love to get some pictures of all the balloons lifting into the New Mexico sky. I'm not sure if it will work out or not, but we are certainly going to see if the schedule will work (of course, I looked at the campground fees - Albuquerque was the most expensive place we stayed last year on the way to Idaho - and there was a park that was advertised with the information on the Fiesta that was $65.00 a night with a three night minimum - that was full hook-ups). That is a little expensive - so I will look some more tomorrow and see if I can find anything cheaper and look at the schedule and see how it would fit. We'll see, but at least it would give us something to look forward to on the way home.

I fixed lunch (grilled cheese and soup) and dinner (grilled b.b.q. chicken and corn on the cob). Then we made our evening rounds. There are a lot of people in the park for the weekend - I guess a lot of people like to camp out for Father's Day - there really isn't a whole lot of choices here and it is a good family entertainment.

We met a nice boy today that is camping in our backpacker's loop. He hitchhiked all the way from Montreal. He is on summer break from college - he just graduated with a bachelor's in Physics and is going back to get his Master's in Mathematics. Then on to get his PhD. so he can teach at "the university". He wants to learn Spanish so he bought a book today and is working on it (only the young!). We meet all kinds of neat kids here - many are backpacking - like a couple yesterday from San Francisco - they were on their way to Denali to meet her parents. Then we have the kids that work with SAGA (don't ask me what it stands for - I have no idea), but they are building trails and bridges for the state - and they are all young men and women who are working 10 hour days and sleeping in tents at night (they all have their own individual tent). They work 10 on and then 6 off. It is not easy work, but oh the stories they will be able to tell when they are my age! It is fun getting to talk to these kids and getting to know a little about their lives. I don't know, maybe that's the teacher in me - just always curious.

Well, as you can probably tell, I really didn't have anything special to talk about tonight - just thought I would let you know about some of the people that we have met so far this summer.

We have been here a month tomorrow - time seems to be going by quickly. Next Sunday is the Whale Watching Tour (yahoo!). Can't wait for that!!!

I guess I'll sign off for tonight - oh, the pictures. Of course, the top one is Samantha, one of the two "fat daschunds" and -------
This was taken at the Shrine of St. Theresa when we went out to the "end of the road". I wanted to put it in for my friend Donna!

I hope you all have a great weekend - take care and --------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!

Things are a little quieter today

Well, our little resident bear has decided to go off somewhere else for a couple of days - he did this once before. When we first got here we saw him a couple of times and then he was gone (or at least we didn't see him for a couple of days). I'm sure he will be back and when he does, hopefully I'll be able to get a picture of him.

Today our big project was to pressure wash the bathrooms and showers on the Auto Loop - two buildings with two showers in the men's and women's sides and two bathrooms with two stalls in the men's and women's sides. It took about 2 to 3 hours to do both buildings but I don't think they had even been cleaned with the pressure washer before - Dan would use the pressure washer for a little while and then I would take over for a while - and we would transfer back and forth like that until they were all done. The person that wasn't using the pressure washer was sweeping or using the squeegee to get the water out. We had to leave the door propped open so they will get all dried out, but they certainly look much better. We'll do the other bathrooms and showers next week. We are also going to work on walking the campsites and making sure all the trash is picked up and the fire rings cleaned out getting ready for the weekend of the 4th. I told Dan the other day that it is my payback to have to pick up cigarette butts off the ground all over the park (I used to smoke and thought nothing of throwing the butts down on the ground). Oh well, I'll do what I need to do.

We have meet some really nice people here in the park - from all over the world. We have had campers here from Australia, New Zealand, Holland, France, as well as all over the US and Canada. Everyone (well, almost everyone) has been extremely nice and has really done an excellent job of picking up after themselves and keeping the campground clean. There are always a few that don't, but that is to be expected no matter where you are. Dan's "bone of contention" is people that throw beer cans and bottles in the fire pit. He says that he wants to develop a sign that says "No matter how hot you build your fire it won't be hot enough to melt your beer bottles or beer cans". We all have little things that get to us - as long as they are as simple as this to solve we don't have any problems.

Well, I think I will sign off for tonight - hope you enjoy the "new" look to the blog - we'll see how things go. For those of you that are still working your week is almost over - for those of you that are on vacation I hope you are enjoying yourself. Take care and -------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

We are in Bear Country

Well, folks things got a little dicey around here last night and this morning - people were reminded that we are in bear country - this is what a campsite looks like after a bear decides to go into your tent. He/she flattened two campsites last night. The people who owned the tents were not there - and we don't know if they had food or something in their tent or not (there wasn't any in them when we got there). He/she was interested in another tent but some people walking by scared it away. Anyway, we had to go around the campground several times today reminding people to keep food, dog food, even toothpaste in their cars or we would bring them a "bear box". Even the folks in our backpacking loop was visited by the bear this morning and they got some great pictures of him/her trying to get into the garbage can. (Of course, we never saw it today - so I don't have any pictures! Maybe another day). Anyway, it did make for an exciting morning!

This afternoon Dan decided that today would be a good day to go to the Last Chance Museum which is a museum dedicated to the gold rush era here in Juneau. Well, we drove out there along some really narrow roads that reminded us a lot of San Francisco. It really was a pretty section of old Juneau - small houses built on the sides of the cliff. I should have taken pictures, but I was trying to pay attention to the traffic - I don't think we could have gotten around some of the curves if we had meet any traffic - thank good we didn't! If we ride back up that way I'll be sure and take pictures for you.

Anyway, we get up to the museum and it was closed. Now, you have to walk up this very steep gravel path to get to the museum and then it was closed - oh well, that's okay - it gives us an excuse to go back up that way. It also was not a wasted trip. Along Gold Creek (where the museum is located) tour buses bring people to pan for gold - well, when we were leaving Dan and I walked over to see how they were doing. Now Dan gets talking to some of the people from the cruise ships and the tour guide and the next thing you know ---------------------

Dan is panning for gold. He did get some gold and we have it in a vial that you can see so you know that he really did find some. He got a kick out of it ( he talked about panning when we were at Unicoi, remember?) and he got to do somthing for nothing that those people on the cruise ship paid money to do. Only Dan could do that!


When we were coming back down the hillside we had to cross over this very narrow wooden bridge but the creek below was beautiful - I got this picture out the truck window when Dan stopped for about 30 seconds because he was afraid someone would come and hit us on this bridge. It all worked out and we will go back up there at another time to see if the museum is open.
Well, that was the extent of our day today - all the places that the bear went (except the backpacker's) have emptied out - they either threw away what was left of their tent or they packed it up and left. In my personal opinion, I wouldn't be camping in a tent in bear country - but then that's just me.
I hope that your day was productive and enjoyable. You guys take care and ---------------
I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Getting into a Routine

The days are starting to be routine - we get up in the morning and have coffee and then at around 8:30 Dan fixes breakfast (sometimes he fixes it outside in his "kitchen" but most of the time he fixes it inside due to the weather)- by the time we eat and get the kitchen cleaned and then take a shower it's time to do our morning rounds. Check campsites and clean the bathrooms - check the vaults and do what needs to be done there - back to the 'house' and it's lunchtime. I fix something for lunch - usually some sandwich made from leftovers ( bar-b-que chicken from left over chicken breasts or bbq pork from the left over pork roast) or we might have a hot dog or I might have made egg salad.

Anyway, after lunch we either go into town if we need something, but usually we do something around the campsite (wash the unit) or straighten up something that needs to be straightened. Sometimes I do a load or two of laundry and clean the house. Then Dan says its nap time - I might get on the computer while he takes a nap. Then it's time to fix supper then do our evening rounds. Come in - watch a movie and Dan locks the gates at 10. Go to bed and read before turning out the light around 11 or 11:30. Pretty boring right?

Of course, anytime in there we answer questions and go into the campground to help anyone that needs assistance - or go back to a bathhouse if we have a clogged toilet or drain.

Today we went into to Walmart and picked up a couple of cheap hooded sweatshirts (the high temperature here stays around 52 to 53 degrees - so a sweatshirt feels good!) and then we went by Western Auto to get a new headlight for the truck - one had burned out while on the road, but this was the first chance Dan had to get a new light (plus we had to figure out how to get the old lamp out and put the new one in - he had to buy a special wrench which they had at Western Auto too). So that was his little project today. We also rode into town just to see how many ships were in port - 4 - NCL ,Celebrity, and two Princess.

Well, I've bored you enough for one day about our routine. I hope you guys are having a good week - take care and ---------------------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Just drizzling rain

Today was just another day of drizzling rain - we would have periods of partly sunny skies but most of the day looked like this - plus the temperature never got above 52 degrees. A little chilly, but it all worked out. I don't know if you can see them or not, but all those white things in the water are ice bergs off the glacier.

We did the "deep" cleaning of the vaults today. Well, we worked out a system - while I swept the floors out Dan filled a bucket of water. Then he would go into the vault and clean the toilets while I filled the next bucket. He would come back out and get the newly filled bucket and I would go sweep the water out of the toilet. We worked this system out and it worked well. The big thing is we don't have to do this again for a month.

Dan's medicine came in today - we had ordered it about two weeks ago. I'm surprised that it got here so quickly - but that is a good thing. We can also order it again and it will be shipped to us in August (actually on Dan's birthday!). I don't know if I should do this or not because of the mailing address thing - if I order it now will they always ship to this address?? I really don't think I want to do that - so I will wait and see.

This is just another shot of the mountains - wanted you to see the cloud cover.

Dan is watching I Am Legend - once again, NOT my kind of movie - I don't like things that are scary and now the dog has been bitten by infected animals. I'm just a sucker for dogs and I can't take things like this - I know it is just a movie, but it still gets to me.

We really didn't do anything else today - Dan fixed chicken on the grill and we had a baked potato and a green salad for dinner (had left over chili for lunch). I'm not sure what we are going to do the rest of the week. We still have the mining museum to go to - maybe we'll do that this week.

Well, I think I'll sign off to tonight - hope you had a good day. Take care and ----------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!

Weather is better

Today the weather cleared up some - it was only partly cloudy with a few scattered showers - it only sprinkled here a couple of times, but most of the day was pretty. It was still pretty cool - I think the high today was 53 with a slight breeze- I haven't worn anything but long sleeve t-shirts and a flannel shirt or windbreaker since we have been here. Even when the sun is shining it still isn't hot - I think the highest temperature we have seen has been 73. I'm not complaining - I can always put on a sweatshirt if I need to - in fact, we read somewhere that the way to tell a "true" Alaskan is - they wear rubber boots (check), faded jeans (check) and a hooded sweatshirt (well, I have them, but I don't usually wear them - so I guess I'm not a "true" Alaskan)!

Today I did another load of laundry - made the chicken chili in the crock pot - we did a couple of rounds in the campground - although we don't have that many people in the campground - only 27 out of 69 spaces are taken. Tomorrow we will do our "heavy" cleaning. We won't do a "GI" on the bathrooms this week - just really hit them all with the Lysol and scrub free. It won't be that bad.

We also went down to Safeway to return the movies and we rented three more (at this rate, video rental is going to be our biggest expense LOL). I did NOT like the movie last night - too much blood and guts. Tonight we watched Leap Year with Amy Adams. It was really cute (even Dan said it was a cute movie). Not something that was intellectual but just entertaining. We also rented I Am Legend with Will Smith and The Time Traveler's Wife (can you guess who rented what?) Dan also wants to rent Sherlock Holmes - I guess that will be next. I'll keep you informed.

On the way home from Safeway we decided to drive down Montana Creek Road which turns off the road that the campground is located on and the road dead ends into the creek- this is it. It was really a pretty little creek and Dan thinks there would be some good fishing in it, but I don't think he will be doing any fishing here - it is just too expensive. He is now talking about taking one of the fishing charters that the cruise people take - you don't have to worry about fishing licenses (they handle all that ) and they provide the boat and everything. So, we'll see how that goes.

I also got all the paperwork done that I have to turn in at the end of every week. I also got our daily expense report caught up to date. That is about all I did today - not real busy. Not sure what we have planned for next week, but I am sure we will figure something out and you will be the first to know. For now, I think I'll sign off. Oh, before I do, the first picture tonight was taken out at The Shrine of St. Theresa last week. Just thought you guys would like to see a picture of Dan.

Hope your weekend was a productive one. Take care and ---------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Another Rainy Day in Juneau

Well, today was pretty much like yesterday - rain, rain, rain. All the locals are telling us "Welcome to Juneau weather!" They say that this is typical weather in Juneau - I really don't mind the rain - in fact I like rain - I don't like the cold and wind - the temperature right now is 48 degrees and the high tomorrow is suppose to be around 56 (with more rain). I know, I just can't be happy right? Well, I'm really not complaining - I do like the rain - and I have a rain coat to put on and sweaters to wear - so I'm fine. The pups aren't too happy - Jessie does not like rain or cold - she is so funny when she has to go out to potty - she just shivers and shivers! I think I'm going to pull her sweater out and see if she like it.

The campground is pretty empty - we probably have about 25 campers out of 69 spaces - and some of the spaces that have tents on them - you don't see any people or cars - don't know if they have gone home and will come back later and get their stuff or what, but as long as the space is paid for we just leave it.

This morning Mark (the ranger that hired us) gave me a big surprise - two tickets for a Whale Watching tour!!!!! Yep, it's a promotion for a hockey league and he gave us two tickets - I don't know if he had to pay for them or what but I am very happy!!!! It is for the June 27th and it lasts about four hours. I will certainly be looking forward to that and I'll be sure to take as many pictures as I can!

We have already done our rounds for tonight and Dan has just finished his shower - we are going to watch the last of our three movies Inglorious Bastards - another Dan pick. I'm not sure if I'm going to like it, but he sat through Last Chance Harry last night (which wasn't all that good, but don't tell him I said so) so I'll sit through his movie. I might even fix him some popcorn!

We also did my hair today - it was about time since we hadn't done it since leaving Georgia, so it was time. Other than that - it was pretty much another day to just stay inside and read. I didn't fix chili today - I fixed stir-fry instead. Chili tomorrow night fixed in the crock pot. I did a couple of loads of laundry (towels and jeans) while we sat in our chairs and read - Dan worked on Sudoku puzzles. That's about it.

Well, I think I have bored you enough for one day - I hope your weekend is going well and you are warm and dry where ever you are. Take care and -------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Really, Really Short and Sweet

It is raining and I don't know how long I'll have Internet service - took me about 15 minutes just to get on. Anyway, we have done our rounds for tonight - going to go in and crawl up in the bed and watch a movie (thanks Melissa and Justin for the Christmas present!) Last Chance Harry. This was my choice - we watched Avatar last night and it was much better than I thought it would be.

All is quiet in the campground - we still have some campers, but not nearly as many as last Friday night. We checked the bathrooms this morning before the rain really started and then came home and just sorta snuggled in - Dan went out a couple of times to answer questions but we didn't even have that many people coming in to the park.

I cheated tonight and Dan went up to Fred Myers and got some chicken and potato wedges for dinner - I had taken out chicken but it didn't thaw out. Tomorrow night we will have chicken chili for dinner - I think it will be good on a nice cool evening with the rain - oh, BTW the high today was 53 before it started to drop it is now 46 at 8:00.

Well, I'm not going to push my luck - I'm going to sign off for tonight - I hope that you are warm and dry where ever you are. Take care and have a great weekend!!

Talk to you tomorrow!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Very Short and Sweet

The rain has moved in - it is suppose to rain starting today through Monday - right through the weekend - we'll see how that affects that number of people who decide to camp.

Today was pretty much a do nothing day - we did make a couple of rounds in the campground - checked the bathrooms and restocked the toilet paper and made sure they were clean - actually had to "GI" one of the bathrooms on the Auto Loop - someone had stepped in dog poo and tracked it into the bathroom! Oh well, it could have been worse!

This afternoon we went in to one of the thrift stores in town just to look around - didn't buy anything except two books for me for ten cents each - I have plenty of reading material now - I have two books on my Nook (one I am reading now - J.D. Robb - and then I have the Laura Bush book to read). I also have 9 paperbacks that I have picked up in second hand bookstores on the trip - while we were in Canada my Nook didn't work and so I picked up a lot of books to keep me busy - I think that I have plenty to read now and won't be buying anymore for a while!

When we got home I was able to go online and do some more research for jobs for next summer - there isn't much I can find in Vermont, but I am looking in other areas of the Northeast and we'll see what we can find. I did apply for one with the National Parks Service where we would be Visitor Center Hosts - should be interesting. I found one I would have loved to have done - it was as an interpretative host in the Ford Theater in Washington DC - you could dress in period costume if you wanted - but there was no housing (RV spot) provided - so that just wouldn't work out - it sure would have been fun though!!!

Tonight I fixed beef and bean burritos and Santa Fe Rice for dinner - cleaned up the kitchen - did our evening rounds and now we are going to watch a movie (we picked up three today to watch since the weather is suppose to be bad all weekend) so I'm going to sign off for tonight. I hope that you are having a good week and ---------

I'll talk to you tomorrow (if I can get on line)!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A little bit of trouble

The pictures on the blog tonight I took yesterday when we were on North Douglas Island - this is a shot of the glacier looking across the Channel - it gives you a little better perspective of just how large the glacier really is - and how much territory it actually covers. Anyway, I thought you might like to see another look at it.
This is the point on the end of the island - from what we understand it is a very big fishing area and there were some people there when we were there. I didn't see anyone catch anything, but that doesn't mean that they weren't catching fish. I just thought it was a beautiful spot.
Now, let's get the the reason for the title of this blog. Everything had been going very well here in the campground until today - the day started out well. Dan and I sat outside and had our coffee and he fixed his world famous (just kidding) "Dan McMuffins". Some of the campers came up and we were talking about what they had done yesterday and about the road into Tok (you remember - that absolutely horrible road!) and just stuff like that - when, another couple came up and told us that we had some drunks in the campground that were scaring and harassing people. Well, Dan got in the truck and told me to call Law Enforcement (either Dan or Mike). Well, I try to reach them and they aren't answering their cells. Now, I don't know if I should call the Juneau Police Department or what and I'm a little worried about Dan going down there by himself because you never know what drunks are going to do. Anyway, to make a long story a little shorter - Dan came back and said that he had things calmed down and everything was okay. We decided to do our rounds and while we were at the first bathhouse one of the people that were at the "problem" site comes up to me complaining that people were racist and wanted us to do something about it - well, I just told him to go back to his camp spot and leave other people alone. Law Enforcement showed up a little while later (they weren't on duty) and told us that if they gave us any further trouble just to call JPD and have them evicted from the campground. Fun, fun, fun!
After all that we decided that we needed a little break - so we went into town to check on maybe getting a different Internet service while we are here since things are so "iffy" with the service. We have a hard line here at the site, but the service is not turned on. We thought that if we had the phone turned on that we would be able to Internet on it - WRONG! We would have to buy another air card and pay another $50.00 a month. Also, since we didn't want to sign a 2 year contract we had to buy the air card for $100.00 on top of the $50.00 a month - that would have been $250 for three months PLUS having to pay for the Verizon card. We decided that that was just too much money -and I could deal with the getting knocked off and being frustrated. (I can take a lot of frustration for $250!).
We came back home and I started the laundry and straightened up the house. Did two loads and washed my ACIS shoes - while cooking dinner last night I dropped the tongs on my foot and got spaghetti sauce all other the top of my shoe - well, guess what - it doesn't come out. Anyway - at least my shoes are clean except for the little bit of light red that stained the material on the top of the right shoe - I can live with that. Tomorrow I'll do the towels and then we will be all caught up again.
Not much else happened today - tonight all is calm in the campground (let's hope it stays that way!) I hope that your Wednesday went well and remember it's "hump" day and everything else is all down hill. Oh, I rode my bike around the campground again tonight - it's just going to take riding it everyday to get back into shape. I'm determined!!!!

Well, I thought I would leave you with these beautiful flowers that were in someones yard over on Douglas Island - I think they are poppies, but I am not sure - I'm sure someone out there can set me straight! You guys take care - enjoy the pictures and ------------------
I'll talk to you tomorrow!


North Douglas Island

After we did our rounds this morning and checked on all the bathrooms (had to make sure they all had toilet paper in them and were still clean) we decided to drive over to North Douglas Island and have a look around. It was a nice drive - but I don't think it was as pretty as "the end of the road" was. We did stop and take a few pictures. This is one of the ferries that was headed up to either Skagway or Haines.
Then we decided to take a side road that said "Eagleton Ski Area" - it was a much prettier drive with Fish Creek crossing back and forth under the road - it was a beautiful creek and I'm sure that later in the season there will be salmon running up it and bear along it. We drove back to the end of this road which ended at the Ski area that they are now using with zip lines (have to get the tourist dollars while they can). There were some of the cruise boat passengers lining up getting ready to go off into the woods where the zip line was set up. That is one thing that I have always thought would be fun to do - but I would rather do one in the Amazon or somewhere that you are really high in the trees. I don't know - I just don't think of a zip line in Alaska.

Anyway, on our way back down to the main road we stopped by Fish Creek again and there were these woodpeckers - they are not as big as the ones we have back home but they were certainly pretty.
After we left Douglas Island we stopped at Fred Myers just to look around - this store is really pretty amazing - it is sorta a combination of Fresh Market and Kohl's and Bass Outdoor all in one. It is a huge store and I think everyone shops at "Fred's". The parking lot is always full and they seem to have all the bargains - Seriously, they have everything from groceries to furniture to books to tents and guns to clothes and shoes and jewelry (even a bridal shop). It is quite an adventure just to walk through the store. We did buy me a new seat for my bike (yep, we bought the bike today for $50.00) - this seat has gel in it and it is much more comfy for my little bottom. (I even rode it down to tell a camper that the site they had been wanting opened up today and they are going to move down to it).
We came home and I cooked dinner -spaghetti, salad and garlic bread. Turned out pretty good. Dan has already had his shower and is reading the paper that we picked up at "Freddy's" and I'm ready to go take mine. I hope that your day was as nice as ours. Take care and -----------
I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Boy oh Boy What a Day!

Goodness - today was a day! This was the first time that we "G I" cleaned the bathrooms and it was work! First you sweep the floors, then you go through and spray everything down with the cleaner, them scrub the toilets, sinks, showers and shower floors. Then drag the mats in the shower house outside and scrub them down. Then you get the garden hose and spray everything down in the bathrooms and shower houses. Then you squeegee the water out. We did that in four buildings today - not counting cleaning the vaults. I was asked how many bathrooms and how many vaults we clean. Well, there are two bathrooms with two stalls on each side (two women's and two men's) so 8 flush toilets. Then there are 7 vault stations each with a men and women's side so that another 14. Then there are 8 showers stalls that we clean also and 8 sinks. The cleaning doesn't get to me, but using the squeegee sure did get to my back! Oh well, it will get us into shape!

Speaking of getting into shape - one of the law enforcement officers that comes into the park was talking to us the other day and something was said about bikes - and how much they cost up here. He asked us if we wanted a bike - which Dan said that we did - the officer said that he had an extra bike in his garage that he had bought for his wife (who is a triathlon) but it was the wrong kind of bike for her - so it was just sitting in his garage and he would bring it to us so we could use it. Well, he brought it out today and it is a really nice bike. Dan asked him if he would like to sell it and he called his wife and asked her - she said she would sell it for $50.00. I'm pretty sure that we have bought a bike. I took it on a ride around the park today and it is an easy ride (although once again, I realize how out of shape I really am!). However, if I ride some everyday I should be able to get back into shape by the time we leave here. That will be my goal.

Late this afternoon we ran into Walmart and bought a few groceries - not much bread, chips, corn on the cob, cream cheese, garlic bread ( for the spaghetti I am fixing tomorrow night for dinner). Then on the the way home Dan took me to McDonald's for dinner cause I am just exhausted. After getting home and putting the few groceries away we made our evening rounds - we are far from full but we do have quite a few people in the park (even one couple from Florida!) Now, we are home for the evening - and I think I am going to go in and take a nice hot shower and see if that will help my sore back.

I hope that your Monday went well - Melissa enjoy your vacation! Crystal, I got my Nook up and going today - it actually gets a better WiFi connection than the laptop gets an Internet connection - go figure!!!! Cara - hope you have a Happy Birthday tomorrow (Tuesday)! Everyone else have a GREAT evening and --------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Quiet day in the campground (sorta)

Yahoo!!! I've been trying to post this picture for three days - I took this the day we went to "the end of the road". That was also the night that I got so frustrated with the Internet that I just gave up and went to bed. Anyway, I thought I would try one more time and ta da - there it is. (Hope you enjoy!)

Today was really a pretty quiet day in the campground. We were full last night and even had to move a couple of people around just to get everyone in where they needed to be. Funny, we were told by the rangers that we wouldn't be full anymore - not after Memorial Day weekend, but guess what - they were wrong. Of course, tonight a lot of people have left and we are down to only 35 campsites taken out of 69. We thought we were going to have a mess in one of the bathrooms, but we went down and checked it out and it was okay (thank goodness!!! That is one little thing that I am not looking forward to - cleaning up someone else's mess - if you know what I mean!) So far, things have been okay - even when we have to clean the vault toilets (for those of you that don't know what a vault is - it's a glorified outhouse - so really not my idea of a good time. But, as I said, so far they haven't been bad to clean.)

We do have one couple in the campground that could be a royal pain in the you know where - they were here for the Celebration 2010 and are Native American (I don't know which tribe they are from). Anyway, he is not playing with a full deck - and is VERY needy. Then guess what my lovely husband did - he gave them my cell phone number!!!!! I just about died - he has already called once - I didn't answer and he left a message - They are going to stay for 8 more days (oh glory!!). Dan is suppose to tell him that we don't answer the phone and to leave a message and that we turn the phone off at night - which I will have to do while they are here. I just can't believe he did that!!!! I'm sure it will all work out, but I'll be glad when the next 8 days have passed and they are gone.

It is hard to believe that we have already been here two weeks! Time seems to be moving very quickly. Tomorrow will be the cleaning day in the park - have to make sure all the bathrooms and showers are clean after the weekend. We check them everyday and they look okay -but the floors need to be swept and it's time to give the showers a good "GI cleaning", but then all we will have to do the rest of the week is just check them daily to see if anything needs to be done. We have just about worked out a system between us - so it really doesn't take all that long. Then we will have the rest of the week to go and do things during the day.

Well, I really don't have much else to report today - we pretty much just stayed here at the campground to make sure that things ran smoothly and if anyone had any problems we were here to solve them. So, I guess I'll sign off for tonight. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and ---------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Work on getting this place clean!

I'm not sure how long the Internet is going to stay with me tonight because it is raining. I'm not even going to try and post any pictures - and they would have to be some from yesterday or the day before since we stayed home today and I cleaned this place from the top to the bottom. Windows - window sills - floors - microwave - refrigerator - shower stall - you name it, I cleaned it today! I also got the laundry caught up and made egg salad for our lunch next week.

Tonight Dan fixed a pork loin on the grill and I fixed mashed potatoes and a green tossed salad for dinner. After cleaning up the kitchen it was off to do our rounds (oh, that's something else I got done today - I got all the paperwork for the Forestry Service caught up and our expense report for the month of May ready to turn in). Came home and did tonight's report and the weekly report and now I'm going to get the blog done - then I'm going to crash and just chill for a while before heading for bed. I think I'll take a shower before going in to bed and reading.

I hope you are having a good weekend - and, hopefully I'll be able to write a little more tomorrow night. You guys take care and ------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Let's Try this again! 6-4-2010

Okay - it has only taken me a little over an hour to get these pictures to download and have only been knocked off the Internet once (so far) - let's hope that I can get this written before I get knocked off again.



I'm starting with yesterday - we rode out "to the end of the road" which is 40 miles from downtown Juneau - which means it about 30 miles from the 'house'. It was an absolutely beautiful drive along the coast with a lot of views of the ocean and mountains. When you reach the end of the road there is a small park which is where this picture was taken.


The trees at this park were HUGE as you can tell by this picture of Dan standing by one. There was a boat ramp and some people were wading and fishing along the coast. It was pretty neat and we enjoyed the ride out - the pups did too!



On the way out we stopped at the Shrine of Saint Therese which is right on the coast - it was a beautiful chapel that is still maintained by the Catholic Church. There is a lodge on the property that is used as a meeting place and retreat for the priests. It certainly was a beautiful setting to have a retreat. They had many flowers planted in front of the lodge and that is where the picture I was able to download yesterday was taken.



We came home last night - made our rounds then I cooked dinner - fiesta chicken - a new recipe and it was YUMMY!! Something I would do again. Then came the frustration on the computer and it was time for bed.



Today was clean the campground day before our weekend visitors show up. We were out in the campground cleaning for about 2 hours - maybe a little less. Then we decided to brave downtown for "The Celebration of 2010" - which is a Native American Celebration of their heritage. Native Americans from all across the One good thing that we got was Proctor and Gamble is on site giving away jugs of Tide laundry detergent and Head and Shoulders shampoo. Well, we got two jugs of Tide and Dan got two bottles of Head and Shoulders - that saved us about $25.00 at least. Not too bad for just driving into town. Dan said we could go back tomorrow and pick up a couple more but I don't want to be greedy.

There was only one cruise ship in port today, so things were pretty tame - we were even able to go into the Red Dog Saloon and sit down and have a drink - Dan had an Alaskan Amber and I had a coke. It was fun to be able to just sit and relax a little - we even talked to the guy who waited on us -Josh - working at the Red Dog is his second job - he also teaches preschool. We have found that most people up here had at least two jobs. There is a real good reason for that - everything is VERY expensive.



We walked around town and found a used book store - Dan was out of reading material and he did find something he is going to try and read. I want to download Laura Bush's book onto my nook - but so far, I haven't been able to get a signal to be able to download. I may have to take into town and see if I can get it to pick up a WiFi signal there (or maybe McDonald's). Just one other thing that we have to try and figure out.



On the way home we decided to go by the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor's Center - we had not gone over there since we had been here and we thought it might be a good idea to do that.



A nice man there took our picture - so you can see the glacier and the waterfall in the background. Then we went into the Visitors Center - Dan asked if we had to pay the $3.00 admission fee since we were park volunteers - well, the one ranger said we did - but then asked if we had a Golden Age pass (which we do, but it was in the car) - well, another ranger heard what was going on and when the first ranger turned her back she gave us wrist bands so we didn't have to pay. It is a really nice visitor's center and there is a nice film about the glacier that we went to (it only lasted about 15 - 20 minutes) but it explained about how the glacier was formed - why it is melting so quickly (global warming as well as climate change) - and how the scientist study the glacier. Pretty informative.



Then, on the way back home we had to pass this little lake on the side of the road and lo and behold, look what we saw --------------------------------





a BEAVER!!!! I was able to get up pretty close before it slapped its tail on the surface of the water and dove. I was very excited as I had been wanting to see the ones that are suppose to be in one of our little lakes (there are two beaver lodges) but I had yet to see them - so this is very exciting for me.



Oh, one other thing - I told you a couple of nights ago about the movie Amelia freezing up on us and not being able to see the end of the movie - well, when we took it back yesterday I told the manager and he gave me another copy of the movie so I could see the ending - so we watched the last 20 - 25 minutes of the movie last night - I know that she was lost at sea - but I didn't know that the signal beam that was suppose to be available was not - nor did I know that she could not hear the radio on the Itasca (the little island where she was suppose to refill). It was really a very sad ending - but one that you knew was coming. Anyway, the point is, I was able to see the ending which I was glad of - if you are wondering I would recommend this movie to anyone - it was really pretty good.

Well, I guess I have bored you enough for one night (in case your wondering - we had chicken noodle soup and a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner tonight - it is cool and rainy so it was a nice way to warm up). I hope that you have a great weekend - all my teacher friends and kids - hallelujah you are done for another year!!! Schools up here closed yesterday - but we will still be here when they start up again in the fall (August 24th). You guys take it easy and -------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!

The End of the Road 6-03-2010

I've been trying to do this post for over two hours and just can't get it done - between being knocked off the Internet and the pictures not downloading I give up. Just know that today was a good day hope your's was too! Maybe tomorrow will be a better day for the Internet. Enjoy the one picture I got to download and I'll try again tomorrow. So take care and ---------------

Ill talk to you tomorrow!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Rain has Arrived 6-2-2010

Today was a cool, rainy day. I don't think the temperature got above 60 today and the lows are suppose to be in the 40's. We have been told that the rain would come but we had had such nice weather it was hard to believe. Dan had told the rangers that he thought people from Alaska told everyone that it always rained just to keep us away. I don't know if the rain will continue but I really don't mind. It is nice to hear the rain on the roof of the 5th wheel - it sure does make nice sleeping weather.

We made a couple of rounds in the campground today - one to mark all the reserved camping spots - we had some people that were suppose to arrive today. Then we made our evening rounds checking to make sure everyone had paid their fees. If we have a question then we check with the ranger the next day (we don't take the money!). We also checked the restrooms/bathhouses to make sure everything was okay in them. Actually it is pretty quiet right now - we only have about 10 spots with people in them. A nice respite after this past weekend.

After making one of our rounds today we went into Costco just to look around and see if it would pay us to get a membership - they want $50.00 for a basic membership and Costco is just like Sam's Club - everything is sold in such bulk that it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense for us to do that. They did give us a visitor's pass just so we could check it out - we couldn't buy anything but it told us that we don't think it would pay for us to get the membership. After we left there we went to Walmart and bought groceries. There were a few things that we needed - sugar, butter, bread - and a few things that we wanted to have on hand - spaghetti and sauce - stuff like that. That was a $152 stop. Oh, have I told you that Juneau has a 5% sales tax on EVERYTHING - including groceries - all groceries??? Isn't that crazy???? I don't think we have been anywhere else where they charge sales tax on groceries. But, you do what you have to do - and that includes paying 5% sales tax.

This afternoon we came home and watched Invictus which was a good movie - it's one of those movies where you are routing for them at the end. Then we made our evening round in the campground. Got home and I fixed a pizza - bought at Walmart today- and we put in Amelia - we made it about an hour and a half in - had about 20 minutes to go in the movie and it stopped. It would not go any further. So, now I haven't seen the end to the movie. We tried stopping it - taking the disc out - putting it back in and then fast forwarding and it gets to the same spot and stops. We will tell them at the store when we take it back tomorrow, but it really makes me sorta angry. But there is not a whole lot I can do about it at this point so I just need to let it go.

Tomorrow I'm going to try and get the bills paid and the checkbook balanced - then get the "black book" done for two months - wish me luck!!! We will do our regular stuff in the campground and get ready for the weekend. I don't really think we will be busy this weekend - but we need to make sure everything is ready for anyone that wants to come in.

Well, that's about it for today. Hope everyone has had a good week so far - just two more days for all you working stiffs. Hey, kids, IF you are out there how about just a quick "hello" on the comments just so we know you are still out there. Take care everyone and -----------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

6-01-2010 - Just working again

Today was a pretty good day - the mail arrived and we had a few things to get straight, but other than that there were no troubles. We went to the post office and mailed a couple of things that I had had on the desk for over a week, but it was no big deal.

It rained last night for the first time since we have been here - it was a really nice rain that was really nice to sleep in. It drizzled a little off and on today, but now we have blue skies again. I don't think we will have rain again for a couple of days anyway!

We cleaned all the bathrooms, shower houses, and vaults today - they really were not in that bad of shape, which is really surprising with the number of people that had been in the campground this past weekend. We did have a couple of camp spots that we had to pick up some trash on them, but not bad considering.

Tonight Dan is watching Hurt Locker (not my kind of movie, but that's okay - he needs a "he-man" movie every once in a while). Tomorrow we will watch Amelia (my movie) and we will also have to watch Invictus since they have to be back to the store on Thursday. Then Dan wants to see Sherlock Holmes (again not my type of movie, but that's okay).

I really don't have much to report tonight so I'm not going to bore you with gibberish. To tell you the truth, I was somewhat surprised (again) that none of our children commented on the whale photo from yesterday. But then again - they didn't comment on our first grizzly either. Oh well!

You guys take care - oh, the picture above was taken yesterday while we were out. Hope you enjoyed and ---------------------

I'll talk to you tomorrow!!!