Baker City to Seattle to Fairbanks and back again....
Tuesday the 12th:
We left BC around 11am, once again back in the Prius and grateful for its great gas mileage! I drove over to Pendleton where we stopped for a good meal at the Denny's there. Then on up toward Yakima, listening to a new book which was just a little crazy different! However, I was fighting the sleepies (my usual post meal problem!), so a rest area stop in Prosser to switch drivers. I have to admit I missed a few sections of book after that! The day is cloudy and misty at times. Big banks of fog drifting over and through the Blue Mountains - pretty!
Fields and meadows of central WA were lush and green and wet! Cascades at Snoqualamie also layered in clouds and a light rain at times. Rick drove us down into Seattle, arriving just about at the height of rush hour! We took 405 south to the freeway area and slowly found our way to our SeaTac Crest Hotel off Hwy 99 just south of airport.
This hotel was an experience....confusion in registration with the billing which was eventually later settled with a refund credit, the key to the room had to be changed so we could get in, no pillows on the bed, toilet seat loose. They moved the Prius before they were supposed to so a little harder to put stuff back in the car in the morning, and they didn't get our shuttle request written down right, even though I tried to verify it the night before. Breakfast was NOT out at 4am as promised, but the clerk gave each of us a cold muffin from the fridge. (There WAS coffee in the pot!) There was a king size bed, however, and we were able to relax enough. Hopefully our car will be in one piece when we return.
Wednesday the 13th:
The day dawns early at 3:15 wakeup! We pack up and head out to lobby. One other guest shows up around 3:50 to catch a shuttle, on the same plane as us bound for Anchorage. The clerk is new and doesn't know how to give Rick instructions to get to the car, so we wait for the shuttle driver who can take us down enroute out. Driver finally arrives at 4:10 and tells Rick to just take elevator down and go out - which he does!
Anyway, it is a short distance to departure gate and we get unloaded and through security in good measure. I had printed off our boarding passes, and we had no checked baggage so that process was smooth. Plane packed at 100% full, so boarding took awhile, but we finally got off at 6:15am. No good views of the sound as it was lightly raining at times and cloud cover very low!
|St. Elias Mts.|
|The lake region of southern Alaska|
|The highway to Anchorage |
runs down this valley.
|That's Denali off the prop tip.|
|Liz works on the perimeter fencing!|
|Rick helps Liz and I with some corner|
Liz and I spent afternoon finishing up wrapping the aluminum ties on the fencing around the perimeter of the property. Sprayed up as the mosquitos are persistent coming out of their nests in the ground down in the trees! Rick and Mac were busy loading stuff into the truck for dump runs, Rick finished the gate of the fence, and in general thinking through processes with Mac for a second opinion!
|Coming into Fairbanks: Tanana R|
Spaghetti dinner and an early crash for Rick and I. I was feeling a little frustrated as I had NO cell service at all, but Rick did! But I got the laptop up and running on Mac's internet, so I was able to at least post ONE Denali picture and let folks know we had arrived. That gave me a response from Annika, and when I heard Dave and Shelli wouldn't be home until after 9, I said I would call tomorrow cause I was going to bed!! (Using Liz's phone!)
We crashed around 9am cause on Alaska time we had been up since 2:15 am!!!
|Front of Mac's home|
|Side patio and decks|
|Powerline road at rear property line|
Thursday, the 14th:
Beautiful morning listening to the birds singing outside the window. Rick and I are upstairs in the double bed, while Liz has moved to pads in another little room. Furnishings and kitchen-ware is sparse for this many people! We can manage! It's like living in a roomy trailer, but still no fancy stuff!
I focus this morning on getting Mac's list of sale items on to Craigslist. It is a slower process as I go out to take additional pictures and details for descriptions. Then I have to wait for Mac to get his email up and running so I can confirm and actually publish. Then we had a phone verification issue which I sent to his cell as a text. We never received that so I had to wait while Rick and Mac made a town run to see if he heard anything. Later I used the house phone and a verbal message for the verification. That went through and finally I could post the rest of the items. By 5:30 we had already made our first sale and cash in hand for a dog kennel! Later the garden cart sold, with lots of phone calls and messages about the jumbo kennel, home gym, double bed, and 55 gal drum. Here's hoping the calls and messages continue to come.
|Moby the Whale of a Trailer|
|Scrub, scrub, scrub....|
|Fun in the bathroom!|
Quiet evening. I talked with Mom on phone and then with Shelli.
Friday the 15th...
Another beautiful morning. The days have been reaching the 70's and nights in the mid 40's. Perfect weather to bring out the mosquitos. Right now Mac says we are seeing last year's old folks. They are big and slow! In another week the new kids will hatch and they are hard to see and fast (and prolific!) I'm sure hoping we will be on our way by then!
|Rick cleans up the trimwork before starting|
|Modeling Liz's new shirt after we|
made rags out of most of it!
Shirt later was completely ripped
up for rags!
We also finished our grout work in the downstairs bathroom and got the upstairs done (that was a 'one butt' bathroom which I did alone!) Will tackle the kitchen before we leave for Farmer's Market on Saturday morning.
I haven't been in Alaska in May before and am amazed how light it is at night even now and summer solstice is still over a month away. The bedroom is still light at 11pm and when I got up at 3 I thought we had left a backporch light on.....it was just the sky through the trees! Amazing.
Saturday, May 16th
|Liz loves all the|
pictures I take of her!
|Mac and Rick in the closet!|
|Rick uses his head on the|
|Swansons minus Sarah...|
|Driving home at 11:15pm!!!|
PS. Rick got a call from Jed today and he heard back from Willamette. They hadn't crossed him off their list. Still hope there!
A few more pictures from the Swansons....
|I love the birch forest across the street.|
|Rick and Dave chat outside the house|
|Rick and Riley|
|Annika gives a smile|
Another beautiful sunny morning! We are heading into town for church around 10, so a little time to get a few things done before we go! Seems like daily trips to town at this point!
We worship with the Swansons at University Pres Church, delighting in the fact that Annika was performing the Lord's Prayer skit that Rick and I have done more than a dozen times. She did a great job, adding a little dramatic flair at times. Good visit time after church, but we had a deadline so couldn't stay too long. (The gym guy from Craigslist was coming at 1:30 and we had a couple stops to make enroute home!)
|Rick found the|
height marks on pantry
wall - we had to
record before paneling
|Height record gone!|
|Thom and Liz at dinner|
By days' end all the grout has been sealed, oak stain applied, doors painted, cupboards beautiful, and the pantry ready for Mac to mud and tape the ceiling. We are tired! No Arrow movies tonight. I give Luke a quick call....a little later than planned and everyone is heading to bed by 10:45pm!
|Mac and his son, Thom|
Monday, May 18:
My goodness....Rick's mom was saying that ABQ was cold and wet, but up here the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. Today dawns again sunny and bright. Fifties in the early morning, but days warming to high 70's or 80's.
|Scraping the shelves|
|Liz taking a break!|
|A handsome Mac in his|
Final project - I helped Rick finish up the pantry, painting the small shelves on the one wall. A few strokes of spot check touch ups in the morning and it will be DONE!
Rick escaped prior to painting for a stretch-the-legs walk in the afternoon, but the BIG NEWS of the day was the phone call from Jed around 9:45 am....he got the job at Willamette University!!! Jed is moving back to Oregon as a visiting professor! So exciting for him and a perfect spot....some of his closest friends from college are also moving back to the area or already live there. He was pretty happy with life today!
Stirfry for dinner....exciting to prep with all the pantry stuff on the counter and the big cast-iron skillet packed, but Liz managed!
A good productive day!
|View of the back yard trees from the upstairs master bedroom|
|From master bedroom to front yard|
Oh, what ANOTHER beautiful morning! A little cooler outside perhaps, but we later discover that hasn't hindered the big fat mosquitos yet. Soon the little young'uns will come out and it will be fast and furious slapping.
|Soaker hose fun|
|Freshly painted pantry|
|New switchplates in|
This afternoon Liz and I (mostly Liz) cleaned all of the REP room, mopping floors, wiping down molding, etc. Liz did most of it while I worked a bit more on Craigslist, adding another item for sale.
|Liz dusts the REP.|
|Mac eyes another piece of|
Early to bed as tomorrow night will be short!
|Annika took an official picture of the four of us!|
|With our friends Dave, Shelli, Annika, and Riley!!|
|Loading up the camper shell|
Rick spent the day working on molding in the kitchen hallway, final details in the pantry closet, and helping Mac move the camper-shell to the transfer station for garbage. Mac hadn't heard back from the party interested in the shell and it was too big for him to dispose of himself, so today was the day! He had to rent a Uhaul truck for an hour to do the job as we weren't sure we could get it on top of the truck....Liz and I weren't tall enough! Unfortunately, we later found an email on Mac's computer from last night from said party still expressing interest. Such is life. Mac emailed the guy back and said it was at the transfer station for a good price now!
|Staining the door frame|
|Liz cheers for her break|
when husband Dave calls!
|Shelli gave us a mason|
jar to use for a vase
for a 'homey' touch!
|The crab apples have started|
Everyone is running out of steam, especially Liz and Mac. They have been at this for two weeks now. Showers, pack, and dinner of chicken, tater salad, and corn. Maybe even a little relaxing time before we take off for the airport!
Our relaxation? Three more episodes of Arrow, leaving just the LAST ONE unwatched. A tough place to end it! But 10pm rolled around and the airport was calling! (Addendum: while we watched, someone called about the tire rims! Maybe another sale???)
A beautiful evening drive into the airport. Still didn't see a moose which disappointed Liz. Not one moose in two weeks! Lots of robins and birds, but no big wildlife. However, the sky was glorious with a swoosh of clouds in front of the setting sun. We could see the white shadows of the Alaska range to our south. Mac dropped us off, we had just enough time to do a little shopping in the gift shop before loading onto the plane. My seatmate was a tall young man....definitely picked the aisle seat on purpose! And as we lifted off, Wednesday ticked away into......
Thursday, May 21
I slept for half the flight with my head on Rick's shoulders, but it put a kink in my back, so then tried the table out and head down in front method. It seemed to work as it was 2:40 and landing time soon after. (I won't say that it was flawless sleep, but we grabbed a little in the very tight space!) We landed a half hour early, so by the time we said our goodbyes to Liz, called and waited for the shuttle, got our car (which was waiting for us in front of the hotel), and got on the freeway, it was still just a little before 5am!
|Sun coming up!|
|Rainbow in the sky near Ellensburg|
It was a beautiful drive home. Plenty of thunderstorms in the past week have kept things green....very green. The fields of wheat were like velvet carpets. Watched the sun turn the peaks into glory and mirrored surfaces of lakes and ponds. Thought we would get to at least wave to Luke's Baker van headed to state tennis, but they stopped in Pendleton to hit and snack and we sailed right passed them. Thought about stopping, but Rick was getting sleepy by then and wanted to GET HOME, GET BED!! Which we did, arriving in BakerCity around 11:15. I was in my bed by 11:40am and took a good 2 1/2 hour nap! We have one full day to pack the trailer and tie up loose ends before heading out again on Saturday!
|Green of Cabbage Hill near Pendleton|