AK – To Our Home and Family at MATI – Au Revoir

WOW!  115 glorious days in Alaska!  It is hard to believe it has come to an end.  Funny how you can take a ‘job’ sight unseen in a place 5,000 miles away from where you are hoping and praying you haven’t made a mistake and discover when you arrive that it was possibly one of the very best decisions you have ever made!!!  That is how I feel about my experience at the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry in Wasilla.  First off, it is a totally awesome museum…pics to follow.  It is loved and cared for by an amazingRead More

AK – Train Ride to the North Pole to See Santa Claus PLUS

Denali Wow!  An 11 hour ride on the AK RR to Fairbanks!  It was wonderful!  We rode up in the dome car like we did earlier this summer…always a treat!  After almost 3 solid weeks of rain and overcast skies, Mother Nature shone on us and our 3 day excursion!  We even got to see the peak of  DENALI (formerly Mt. McKinley)!!!  Less than 30% of people who come to Alaska are blessed with that view…as the clouds usually hide the summit which is no wonder at 20,310′! The sky could NOT have been any bluer on the days ofRead More

AK – The Trans-Alaska Pipeline

          We got to see and touch the AK Pipeline at the Fairbanks location!  I didn’t even know it existed until I got to Alaska!  I sure found out quick just how important this pipeline has been…not only to Alaska but to the ‘lower 48’ as well.  Here’s some fun facts for ya…      In 1968, oil was discovered in Prudhoe Bay (far northern slope, tundra climate, with a tour you can see the Arctic Ocean from there).   In 1975, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) construction began…an $8 billion project!  It is built mostlyRead More

AK – Kayaking in Memory Lake

Memory Lake   Carl and I had been wanting to go kayaking while we were here.  We told Sherry about it and, of course, her sweet self  had a solution!  She and her husband have their own kayaks AND they live a block from a lake!  Soooo, she invited us to use them to go kayaking whenever we wanted to!  How’s THAT for good ole’ Alaska hospitality?!  I’m sure her picture is in the dictionary next to the definition!!!  At that point, we were in the midst of a serious ‘rainy season’…rain every day and night for 3 weeks…except forRead More

AK – GOLD at Independence Mine on Hatcher Pass

Gotta love the peaks and valleys A mountain cave Rushing river along the side of the road… LOUD, refreshing and gorgeous! Coming in for a landing!      WE wondered how the vistas in Alaska could possibly continue to amaze us as we drove up Skyscraper Mountain along Hatcher Pass.  We were headed to Independence Mine to pan for gold!!! We didn’t find any gold, but we had a blast searching…LOL  With pans in hand and a shovel to boot, we were off!  Scoop up mud, stones and water….shake that pan…keeping an eye out for bling and dump it outRead More

AK – Glimpses of the Aurora Borealis…Magic in the Sky

 One of the main things I wanted to experience here in Alaska was seeing the northern lights.  Of course, during the summer there is bright daylight into the wee hours of the morning which is not conducive to seeing them.  So, I resigned myself to the fact that it may not happen.    As the summer progressed, suddenly during the 2nd week in August dark began to occur in the night sky.  By 11:00 PM it was actually dark outside!  By the 3rd week we could see thousands of stars above us.  The Big Dipper was directly overhead and enormous!Read More

AK – Mushroom Mania and Young Bull Moose Loose in the Yard

       I have always found mushrooms to not only be delicious, but fascinating…yeah, I know…kinda weird…LOL  I was surprised and delighted to discover the 50+ species that live in Southern Alaska! Just FYI…there are over 5K in the Pacific Northwest AND….drum roll, please…between 40-55 thousand varieties worldwide!!!  How cool is that?!  That’s the extent of stats, but here are a multitude of pics of mushrooms…many were found right in the museum park area.  I spent quite a bit of time laying on the ground, moving grass to get stem and under cap shots….I AM retired, you know!  LOLRead More

AK – Rafting Trip – Upper Kenai/Russian Rivers – Where Eagles Watch for Salmon

View from pkg lot waiting for tour to begin Bear gone fishin’ Nice outfit, huh? All suited up and ready to go Kenai River view from the raft How much fun can you have on a cloudy drizzly day in Alaska?  Plenty!  Carl and I went on a 3 hour scenic rafting trip from Cooper’s Landing to Jim’s Landing…a 14 mile winding route through the Chugach Mtns.  Cooper’s Landing was originally inhabited by gold prospectors in the mid-late 1800’s.  Now the community is best known for its sport fishing.  Speaking of fishing…we floated past the area along the Russian RiverRead More