Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mini Camp, Jun 21-25, 2010

I arrived at Camp Baldwin, Delta Junction, AK. on Sunday, June 20th.
Although it was late afternoon, the sun was shining brightly. Lynne and Dale met me with a delightful dinner and lots of conversation. They have been working to get camp ready and have helped with Bible School at First Baptist, Delta.
June 21st was Summer Solstice. the sun rose at 2:57 A.M.and set at 12:47 A .M. giving us 21 hrs and 50 min. of sun. Actually we had twilight for the remaining two hours, so it was never "dark".

One of our first jobs was to weed the flower beds along the front of the chapel. I'm learning to discern weeds from Alaskan natives. the purple iris, and wild roses are in full bloom. Fireweed is just beginning to bloom, so summer is on it's way.

Our first group of campers are graduates of Kindergarten and First grade. They spent three days and two nights with us. Surrounding them are counselors, called summer missionaries, from colleges in Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia and Arizona.

Water is an attaction for all kids, no matter their age. Here the campers take turns dousing counslers with water balloons. Temp is in the upper 60s.

Water fights with buckets of cold water, mud, soaked clothes and drenched counselors. What fun!

The white fluff on the ground is not snow. It is the whispy white seeds from the cottonwood trees.

This is the first time I've seen cottonwood with stems of fluff this large.

Sassie is enjoying all the attention. These girls have been picking iris and other wild flowers for the dinning hall tables.

Lynne, Dale and I do work. We are serving a hamburger dinner out doors.
After the children left, we cleaned cabins, the kitchen and bathhouses.

Saturday evening we were treated to dinner by Mike Proctor, the Director of Mission for Alaska, and his mom, Elsie.
We visited the kennels for a sled dog trainer. Here are some of his 20+ dogs, all chained to individual houses.
They are not your typical huskys, but are bred with long legs for speed.

Sassie refused to let me bring this little fellow home. I doubt I could handle him when he is grown and full of energy.
Speaking of energy, the long days encourage everyone to be active. No one especially the kids, wants to go to sleep.
It's difficult to find time to write and even more difficult to get to wi fi that works!
I'm at the library now and will keep you posted.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June 7-19 North to Alaska

Leaving Floriday I drove two days through Georgia, Tenn. and Kentucky to DuQuoin, Ill for the National Campers on Mission Rally. the above picture is of a flag presentation on horseback. Riders carrying American flags, the Christian flag and colored flags greeted us.

Pat from the Texas chapter presented a quilt made from blocks by each of the member states to retiring national directors, Martha and Wintford Haynes.
This is only a small part of the over 300 Campers on Missions volunteers who attended from most of the continental United States. Texas reported a membership of 595 volunteers, completing 64 projects for a total of 44,953 volunteer hours for the past year. Nationally there were reported to be 5,052 members who completed 1,792 projects for a record of 327,236 volunteer hours given in the name of the Lord. Projects include Diaster Relief, building and repairs to churches, camps and seminaries, and many other smaller projects. 641 individuals gave thier lives to our Lord.

I am visiting with my friend, Lee, from Texas while holding a book signing at the rally
This is our small group of Texans who were able to attend the rally.

After the rally I drove to Fairfield, Ohio to visit with Fredi, my cousin, and her room mate. We had a wonderful dinner and a terrific afternoon and evening discussing family, friends and hobbies. Fredi is an artis and writer, as is her son. Seems like artists run in the family.
Leaving Ohio, I crept around Chicago to visit cousin Charlie in Wisconsin. Another great dinner and lots of catching up to do on distant relatives and politics.

He encouraged me to stop at Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio, Taliesin. which i did. Time was too short for a tour. Then on in the drizzle and cooler temperatures through Minnisota and North Dakota.

This huge iron sculpture attracted my attention to the Enchanted Highway.
The northern mid-west is vast and empty like west Texas, but cooler!

Crossing the highway where this rig was parked, I turned arround to photograph the two extreems of Rving! The couple driving the Class A were on their way to a black powder reinactment. The cuhuck wagon was a restored 1800's model.

Ooopps. Dawson Creek is milepost Zero of the Alaskan Highway. Just turn your computer to see it correctly.

Two days past Dawson Cree, For St John and Ft. Nelson, past miles of spruce forests and rolling hills backed by mountain ranges, through alberta and British Columbia, the Yukon at last.

Herds of buffalo roam across the roadway. Very little traffic to disturb them. I saw two stone sheep, but no bears this trip

One of my many favorite stops is the Liard hot springs provencial park. The water is bath-tub hot and oh so soothing on sore shoulder muscles. I met and spoke with many travelers from the "Lower 48" on their way to Alaska.

Another must stop is the signpost forest in Watson Lake.

Mountains. Mountains. The rain stopped and the weather is in the 50s. Blue skys. Beautiful.

Antelope scatter after causing a traffic jam.

And more mountains leading into Alaska.
June 19, 20 days after leaving Beaumont I arrived in Alaska. Four days of driving 12-14 hours because i'm up with the sun about 4:30 and finally stopping around 7 or 8 with another several hours of day light. With so much to see, I hate to stop and sleep.

From the border i traveled another two hours to Tok, and then two more hours to Delta Junction and Camp Baldwin where I was greated by Lynne and Dale, my camp volunteeer friends from North Carolina. Stay tuned for Camp fun.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fargo North Dakota June 15, 2010

Just a short note while I'm at the visitor's center checking email.
I'll have a lot to share when i have a longer stop.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Way to go, Devin June 7, 2010

Today was grandson Devin's graduation day. We were up at 4 am to be at the arena by 6. With over 500 graduates, taking pictures during the commencement ceremony was difficult. Messages to the graduates encouraging them in their new roles in the adult world was summed up in the Senior Class Motto:
"You have the brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You're the guy who'll decide where to go." Dr. Seuss

Younger sister, Chelsea, will be our next graduate, in 2013.

Congratulations Devin. And may God be with you when you leave for Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Tx. in August.
You've done a terrific job as mom, Colleen.
Tomorrow I continue on to Alaska.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

On the road to Florida June 5, 2010

I've driven from Beaumont to Florida many times over the past 15 years. Each trip I've tried to discover something different. This trip I headed south from Tallassee to Tarpon Springs to visit Nick and Monique before going on to Orlando.

I try to learn and record something new about everything I encounter. Heavy ground fog or haze obscured the distant forest surrounding wet Louisiana rice fields. The rising sun blazed red through the mist casting glaring rays through the haze.

Traveling the Florida panhandle, I contemplated the swiftly forming off shore storms. Distant white clouds formed a back ground for heavy dark clouds, dirty wool pulled and stretched into tangled strands.

Devin and Chelsea volunteer at the Avian Reconditioning Center (ARC) where Devin demonstrates a red-winged hawk for visitors. Injured birds are brought here to be trained to enable them to be released into the wild.

Chelsea is spraying a 16 year-old Florida bald eagle, Windy. The eagle fell during a storm and broke her wind. She can not be returned to the wild and is used for educational programs.

From left to right are Devin, Windy the eagle, Chelsea, Hannah, Rachael, and me.

I wish I could spend more time here and learn enough about the birds to write about them.