Friday, August 24, 2012

end of summer activities

 Some of my pictures were loaded out of sequence again. Oh, well. On August 21, Delta Junction was  honored to be a stop over for a fleet of vintage, 1942, military vehicles that were reinacting the 70th anniversary of the building of the Alaskan Highway (AlCan) duing WW II. Drivers from across the Lower 48 (the "Outside" to Alaskans) met in Dawson Creek, Yukon Territory,on Aug. 4th to begin following the route of 1942. 70 vehicles traveled in small unit caravans.

I was born in 1942 (no longer a secret), and made my first RV road trip to Alaska up the AlCan to celebrate my 60th birthday in 2002. This yea, the AlCan and I celebrate our 70th birthday.
 Jumping from history to present, we've been working on the outside and inside of the church in Delta. Nicholas and Monique are shown trying to pull up the old carpet that was super-glued to the sub-floor. While the trusses were being installed, we had rain that soaked through the unfinished roof and soaked the carpet.
 One of my jobs has been to paint the window and door trim, after the outside of the logs were spray painted.
 Compare this picture of the exterior of the chuch with the completed roof to earlier pictures. We are now working on the interior.
Here is one of the pictures out of sequence. The sign on the jeep states that this truck was the first vehicle to drive the completed  AlCan from Dawson Creek to Whitehorse. Behind the vehicle you can see a small part of the lines of jeeps, trucks, personel carriers, ambulances, etc. that visited us. Delta Junction is the location of the joining of the newly completed Alaskan Highway and the Richardson Highway.

Last fall the fire marshal informed the camp that it had until this fall to install a vent hood over our two stoves. Dale priced a commercial hood at over $2,000. Friends of the camp offered to donate it if one could be found. Not satisfied with this expense, Dale engineered a hood from two residential hoods at the cost of around $400. Savings for our benefactors and better use of God's resources. He is being helped to install the hood.

 This picture was to lead into this blog. Fireweed is "going to cotton. The seed pods of the fireweed split open to release dandylion like fuzz. When fireweed "goes to cotton" it is a harbinger of winter- 6 weeks remaining of summer, now autumni Already we have had several  mornings of temps in the 30s.
The interior of the church is exposed logs that had to be sanded before they could be resealed. Here Lynne and I use sanders on the logs. Note the dust on the camera lense and the two colors of the logs.

 We took off late one afternoon to pick blueberries. The season is ending, but we were able to collect 17 cups of berries in an hour. Our berry patch is a well  kept secret. True Alaskans don't tell where they pick.
No snakes to watch out for, just bears.
Back in the camp kitchen we turned those berries into jam and vinagarette.
Weekly youth camps are over. The kids back in school. We've hosted two picnics and will soon start to winterize, that means putting all the equipment away, storing food and supplies for winter and draining the water lines. A lot more work is involved than it sounds.
We will also be completing work on the interior of the church, and hope to see the  services resume in the sanctuary before we head out.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A little vacation time

After the high school camp was over, we cleaned the kitchen, dining hall, bathhouses and cabins. A well deserved break beckoned us to travel to Homer located on the tip of the Kenai Peninsula.
At rest stop we met this gentleman from Seattle. He had boarded the ferry in Bellingham and got off in Seward where he caught a ride to Anchorage. He was biking to Tok, then on the AlCan to Dawson Creek.  And I think I'm brave!

Homer is a tiny tourist and artist town located below this bluff. From the ridge you can see a large bay, then  a barrior strip and then the Homer Spit jutting into Kachemak Bay. Near the end of the spit is a tiny, quaint shopping and fish processing area that lines the narrow two lane road. The tide from Cook Inlet (on the right) may rise more than 20 feet, washing the pebble beach with drift wood, kelp and dinner for the birds. The Kenai Mountains are in the distance

This view across Cook Inlet shows the mountain range with glaciers shrowded with mist and clouds.

 Along the harbor, we discovered this customized RV. It does run on the highway, but while parked it is decked out with flower boxes.
 This specialty Recreational Vehicle is truly astounding. Built in Germany and transported to Anchorage for state-wide tours, campers sleep in tiny cubicles behind those little windows. I'd like to go inside to see how they squeeze in. On the outside, tent like awnings attached to the side and rear provide space for camp cooking and seating. The front of the rig (to the left) is glassed in like a regular tour bus.
 We parked our rigs facing the pebble strewn beach. Two magnificent bald headed eagles left their fishing in the shallows and perched close enough for pictures. These birds are numerous on the Homer Spit.
 Another custom conversion camper was parked on the beaach. This one is on a school bus body. Not only does it have an upstairs over the cab, but there is a second floor or loft in the rear over a railed porch. Wish I could see inside.
We had one day of sunshire in Homer. Rain on the trip down and rain on the return trip to Wasilla.
On Sunday we visited Big Lake Baptist Church. DeeDee Jonrow, the sled dog musher, was our Sunday School teacher. DeeDee is a 10 year breast cancer survivor, and has run the Iditerod 30 times, coming in 2nd twice. This past march she placed tenth. Not bad for some one her age.  She's such an inspiration.
After Church we drove to Talkeetna for lunch with long time friends, Micky and Anna, and their extended family. On the return we stopped at the Talkeetna Lodge to search for Mt McKinley. (Better known as Denali) The overcast sky began to lighten as the cloud cover moved off. We waited with others and their cameras until THE mountain was "out". The top of the 20,000 ft. (plus) mountain can only be seen about 30% of the time due to its own weather system that produces a cloud cover.

Tomorrow we will be back at Camp Baldwin to prepare for weekend activities, working at the church, and then winterizing the camp. Sunset is now about 10:30 P.M and sunrise at 5:30. During the night it is now dark enough to see the moon and stars (if it doesn't rain).