From Alaska to the frying pan

Here I am in Seattle , waiting to go back to Austin . To say its a weather change , would be an understatement  . From Ketchikan to Seattle is about 10 degrees warmer , same rain pattern , in Austin it will double the high of Ketchikan , high temp. of 102 -104 , versus 55-58 . The contrast is amazing , mountains – fishing – weather – roads – wildlife – prices – the only thing that stays the same , good food and beer in both places . There is more paved road between , Austin – Dallas and Ft. Worth , than the whole state of Alaska , there are more people in Austin , than the state of Alaska as well . Thats what makes Alaska so beautiful , very few Texans have found it ….. Just kidding ! I had a good time on the ferry ride from , Ketchikan to Bellingham , got on Thursday afternoon , landed Saturday morning . All along the inside passage , lots of unspoiled islands and tons of forest  , some small villages dot the landscape , not many people up there . Just think about living without , Walmart – Sears – Home Depot – HEB or Fred Meyer nearby . Everything is delivered by boat or plane , or you just do without !  I spent a couple days with , Sharon and Steve , here on Whidbey Island , just across from Everett Wa.  Thats the home of the Boeing factory , all of the planes they make 737- 787 all come out of there . Unlike the Ford plant , I went to many years ago , they don’t turn out 20 or so an hour , maybe 1 or 2 a month . Steve and Sharon have a nice house on the water , at low tide you can walk out 100 yards , good spot for crabs and clams . You can see Mt. Baker and Mt. Bachelor , on a clear day from the deck out back .

Fishing in Ketchikan

I got here in Ketchikan on Wednesday night , went fishing on Friday . My first King Salmon ever , what a blast , what a taste ….. fresh from the water ! So I went out with Marcia’s husband Ed , he is one of the top dogs here . Ed sleeps , breathes , and dreams 24/7 , hunting and fishing , he knows what he’s doing  . Along with the 3 Kings I caught , we saw a bear cub on the rocks , 2 Orcas jumping behind the boat , two far for a picture , then a Humpback Whale . Not bad for my first day on the water . I think I’m staying here till Thursday afternoon , then catch the ferry to Bellingham Washington , stay a few days there , then off to Texas or the East Coast . My idea of working on a boat , is not working for my sinuses , 55 and rainy is normal summer time  , I’ll have pneumonia in record time . I still have a lingering head cold , from  the kenai peninsula trip . Check out my pics. at Ketchikan Salmon .

Anchorage at Last

End of the drive , or at least the first one . I hit town about 2pm. Thursday , 15 days and 7036 miles later . Coming into Anchorage is wild , the mountains keep going to the ocean , right to the end . I stayed right by the Anchorage International Airport , Hood Lake was right behind the hotel , largest Seaplane base in the world . Their are more private planes , than people here in town . After 9/11, this place was a mess , everything outside of town , depends on plane service . 3/4’s of the state has no roads , summer time is small plane or ferry service , winter is snow machine . The snow here in town , cleared 2 weeks ago , about mid May , this was a long snowy season . Another record some didn’t want , now that its gone , time for hiking , biking and fishing . This weekend , I’m staying with Ed mans collage room mate , Alex and his wife Gayle . They have been here 15 years , in Alaska . I rented a car , for the next 8 days of adventure . I want to see the Kenai peninsula , Kenai , Homer and Seward . Then off to Fairbanks , check out Denali on the way up or back . Still need to find some work , if I want to stay for any length of time . Summer time is tourist season , all the prices go up . I have a friend here in in town , Mike knows the whole area , he said to do the Kenai . Check out a couple places as well , some famous bar in Homer . I might have to start camping , everywhere you go is RV park and campground . The number of Rv’s are equal to the moose population , motorcycle tours are popular  as well , lots of older bikers from Europe . Off to do laundry , keep checking my spot , I still need to update the US side as well .

Last Day in Canada ah !

Last day going north , after this its west , then south to Anchorage . From Dawson City to Tok Alaska , is ” Only 185 miles ” piece of cake right !! Check out Mapquest , 6 1/2 hrs. IF the road is open , Sept. 15th its closed for the season , reopens around the middle of May . Some of it is paved , most is gravel on the Canadian side , then the US side is dirt for 40 miles or so , glad it wasn’t raining , that would be mud ! I had $ 60 Canadian cash, to spend before I leave , might as well get gas for the ride , $ 1.59 a litter or $6.25 a gallon , and you don’t even  get a kiss with that . As I pulled in to the Shell , their was a guy in ” 75 Fleetwood Caddy , he has a set of cattle horns , mounted to the front . He has to be a lost or misplaced Texan for sure , nope he is from Yellowknife , Northwest territory of Canada . I asked if I could take a picture , of the Caddy , sure thing he says . I asked about the car , he starts talking like were old friends , “75 still runs good , 16 mpg. tires are 20 years old . He was just a blast to talk with , he asked where I was coming from ,” Akumal Mexico that’s a long and dangerous journey my friend ” . How far is Yellowknife ?  ,” maybe 1500 miles , half is dirt and gravel , but I came to see a friend here in town , I have the summer off ” . When I walked back from the store , he was writing something on a book mark , he handed it to me , ” check this out when have time ” , it was a book he wrote . I thought he must own a fishing or hunting lodge up there , I was looking at it as I got in the truck , then read it again . He had autographed it , I walked back to ask , if I was saying his last name right  , Deb-a-gor-ski , Alex Debogorski from Ice Road Truckers TV show , Yep one and the same he says , on the show he is the quiet one , in person he could talk circles around me . We spent 20 min.bullshiting  out side the store , I took a couple of photos , I’m wearing a new La Buena Vida shirt , ( Thanks Jamie ) .The new season starts June 3rd , be sure to watch , his book is ” King of the Road ” .  http://www.wiley.com/buy/9781118148280  the life and times of a legendary ice road trucker .Maybe if I sell enough books for him , I could do a guest spot , next season , you know misplaced Mexican with sandals  .  He drives across frozen lakes for a living , but he said driving thru Mexico was dangerous !! I gave him my card with the web address , he thought that was a great idea .  After that I just laughed all day long ,  the drive across the ” Top of the World Highway “,  was breath taking and 7 hrs. I stopped for photos and more photos . After I crossed the border , into Alaska and US soil once again , I was checking out the road side , streams and creeks abound , I stopped for photos with a Gold Miner , he was just setting up for the summer , camper , tent , 2 gold dredges  , lots of time on his hands , he said there are about 1000 people , full time looking for gold in the area of 40 mile creek . Off to Chicken Alaska , big gold mining town as well , a 16 oz. bottle of Coke was , $ 3.00 USD , you better find a lot of gold . On to Tok Alaska , good food and phone service once again , gas was $ 4.86 a gallon . A couple more moose , along the way , I saw a place that was built in 1901 , Gakona Lodge, cabins for rent , restaurant and tavern , sold out for 2 weeks the girl said , when she asked where I was coming from , I told her Akumal , she has a sister doing church work in Coba !! I stayed in Glennallen , not to my liking , $ 149 with no free internet or breakfast . I got to Anchorage , about 2 pm. Bill and Renee were happy to hear I made it , safe and sound . Now I have some time , to fill in the gaps , get pictures up , I took over 200 photos , how many moose do you want to see ?????