Monday, August 6, 2012


August 6, 2012

Anchorage is pretty much like any other city in the United States! A lot of the same stores, restaurants, etc. We did do some interesting things while there - we ate at the Sourdough Mining Company and visited the Alaska Wild Berry Products store where they have an amazing chocolate waterfall!! We visited the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center. * I was also able to get a pedicure and found the only threader in Alaska and got my eyebrows done! * The worst part of that week was that Jack had a UTI and was not able to run in the agility trial in Anchorage. Katie ran both days but didn't Q. I ran Cecil the first day but it was pretty wide open and I was nervous about losing him!!! It was a new experience for us as it was pouring rain on Saturday and we had never run in rain like that. It didn't seem to bother Katie or Cecil!! We also hiked up to Thunder Bird Falls --- another beautiful place! ** We left Anchorage and drove down to Homer. There is not a lot to do in Homer, but oh my goodness is it gorgeous. They like to say "Homer is a quaint little drinking village with a fishing problem"!!! That's mostly what they do there - fish and drink!!! We were able to see some amazing scenery and wildlife - we saw Bald Eagles, a seal, and otters! I fell in love with the Homer Spit. Just walking on the beach or listening to the waves and looking for animals -- it was so peaceful. We visited Salty Dawg Saloon, made famous on the reality show "Ice Road Truckers". We actually visited it twice - drank a "Duck Fart" - they are dangerously delicious!! ** After leaving Homer we drove to Kenai which is where we are now. I finally got to see my Moose up close!!! We saw a momma and two calves. We just sat and watched them for a while. I don't know why I love them so much, but I am obsessed!! LOL We had an agility trial here this past weekend. Jack did amazingly well - he got the final Double Q he needed for his PAX2 and also got his MXP8. He also picked up 21 points towards his PACH - he needs 31 more!!! If you don't know what and of that is just know he did good! :) Katie ran well but still no Qs! Cecil was absolutely crazy with the zoomies the first day, but then settled down and did pretty decent the last day! ** Tomorrow we drive to Seward, so until next time .....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mt McKinley

Catching Up

Ok, I don't even know what week it is, but it has been almost two months since we left Lubbock. We have done some amazing things, so I will just highlight a few. * We drove the 415 mile Dalton Highway (also know as the haul road) up to Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay. It was AMAZING! It follows the Trans-Alaska pipeline. It has been called the "most unusual highway in the United States." To quote The Milepost: "It is one of Alaska's most remote, dangerous and challenging roads. It is approximately 1,000 miles of driving round trip between Fairbanks and Deadhorse, and since the Dalton is 75 percent gravel, most miles are gravel." I'm not going to lie - I was a bit nervous about it as all the blogs and everything we read made it sound scary --- they tell you to have two spare tires, a CB radio, etc etc. We did not have any trouble - other than some swarms of mosquitoes - we learned to walk the boyz where there was a breeze! We saw some amazing wildlife. When we were almost to Deadhorse we came upon a HUGE herd of Caribou. Chuck pulled over and I got out to take pictures. I had no idea how fast they were moving - they just kept coming and split to go around us. It was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. We drove on to Deadhorse and looked around - it is NOT pretty, but very interesting. We had lunch and headed back the other way. We saw a few more Caribou and a Swan. We saw a moose that hangs out in one of the lakes - they call her Betty! The scenery is indescribable - no words or even pictures could do it justice. When we were almost back we saw a momma black bear with two cubs - so cute!!! * While in Fairbanks we did a lot of site seeing - museums, parks, eating!!! * We had our first agility trial in Fairbanks a couple of weeks ago --- Jack and Katie did well - Cecil not so much! :P We left Fairbanks and went to Denali Park. We were able to get a decent view of Mt McKinley. We saw a couple of Moose and of course LOTS of site seeing and some hiking. We have been in Wasilla for about a week and head to Anchorage tomorrow (only about 30 miles from here). While here we have been to the Iditarod Headquarters and gone on a ride with the dogs, been to the Musk Ox Farm where we got to feed and pet some yearlings. We also went to the Reindeer Farm - which was awesome --- we got to walk among them and feed them. They also have a 4 year old Moose there that was abandoned when he was a week old - his name is Denali and he is SO sweet. We got to pet and feed him. Yesterday we went to the Matanuska Glacier - awe inspiring! How many people get to walk on a glacier?!! Today we went to Hatcher Pass and did a little hiking. We went a few days ago when it was very overcast and you really couldn't see very far -- today it is very clear. It was neat to see the differences. So tomorrow we go on to Anchorage. We have an agility trial there this weekend and will be there for a week. I realize I need to post more often because I forget a lot in between!! Until next time .....

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I have been bad bad bad at updating - promise to write one SOON!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 4

We crossed the border into Alaska on June 17th - exactly two weeks after crossing the border into Canada! I might have spoken a little too soon about the roads! Overall they were great, but the last 100 miles in Canada were a little rough. They have trouble there because of permafrost. They are experimenting with several different techniques to improve the condition. Our first stop in Alaska was Tok. We spent two days there to rest up (not much else to do there) before continuing on with our journey. From Tok we drove to Delta Junction which is the official end of the Alaska Highway! We stopped there for gas and a visit to the visitor's center. Then on to Fairbanks where we will be for a few weeks. Chuck has had some problems with styes, so hasn't felt like doing a whole lot. He had to go to the doctor a few times, but is doing better now. We are staying right by the Chena River at River's Edge RV Park. There are two dog parks close by, so the boyz are able to get off leash and run around a bit. They are getting lots of walks and enjoying all the smells! I was able to find a group of people that are letting me practice (agility) with them. They are VERY nice and made us feel welcome and right at home. Our first trial here in Alaska is Jul 5-7 in Fairbanks.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Week Three

Our last night in Toad River we had the opportunity to watch four beavers working on a dam. It was quite amazing. The next day we headed to Watson Lake - it was my favorite day so far - we saw some Stone Sheep, two herds of Bison, a brown bear, and three black bears! We stayed one night at The Baby Nugget RV Park just outside of Watson Lake and headed on to Whitehorse YK. We arrived at Hi Country RV Park yesterday afternoon and tomorrow will head to Tok, Alaska! I'm still waiting to see moose up close (there were four on the far side of the pond at Toad River). I also want to see Caribou!! We will be up here for a while, so I'm hoping to see many more animals! We had been without phone service and ice for several days, but Whitehorse is larger (population approximately 25,000), so we have both here! The roads have been surprisingly good. Several people mentioned how bad they'd heard they were, but they have been really good. A lot better than some we've been on in the states!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Week 2.5

We made it to Toad River, BC - a gorgeous place - no pictures are going to do this trip justice. On Sunday we left Dawson Creek and started our journey on the historic Alaska Highway! We drove to Ft Nelson (mile 300) and spent two nights there. Last week the road washed out between Watson Lake and Tesla and that caused much discussion and worry among our fellow travelers. We weren't worried because we have plenty of time and figured it would work out. Well, last night they got trucks moving and cars today. We will leave here on Thursday and drive to Watson Lake - will stay there for two nights so things should be moving really smooth by then. Canada Onservations: It must be the dandelion Capitol of the world - they are everywhere!!! Food is very expensive - almost twice as much as the states! If I lived here I might have to cook - God forbid! I couldn't even afford to drink because that's really expensive too!! A draft beer is $6.00!!!!!! I had my first "no ice" experience in Ft Nelson. I told the lady "lots of ice" and she said "we don't have ice"!! Reminded me of my days in England!!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Week Two

Well, Chuck got to do a little reminiscing at Minot -- lots of changes since he left in 1967!!! We left there on Sunday (6/3/12) and headed to Canada! I was a little nervous about the border - not knowing if we'd have any trouble with the boyz, but it was all for nothing --- they didn't even ask for rabies certificates! I hope we get back in the states just as easily! LOL We stopped the first night in Regina, SK and then on to Saskatoon the next day. We went to a really nice pub downtown -- Canadian Tap House - we really like Canadian beer!!! We left Saskatoon and drove to Edmonton where we visited the largest mall in North America - that was crazy!!! It has: 800 stores, 100 restaurants, an ice rink, a water park, mini golf course, sea life shows (seals, sharks, penguins), an amusement park, casino, etc! It was pretty awesome - we got our exercise that day. We were also able to find a dog park about 10 miles away to take the boyz and let them expend some energy. They are enjoying the trip as well --- lots of walks and lots of p-mail to read! From Saskatoon we headed to Dawson Creek BC which is where I am writing this from. We went to an exhibit about the Alaskan Highway today and watched a short video which was amazing! You should Google it and check it out. They built a 1500 mile road with no maps or anything in 8 months in horrible conditions -- absolutely amazing. Dawson Creek is mile 0 and tomorrow we begin the real adventure!! Things I've noticed about Canada: In general it's not much different from the U.S. --- lots of the same stores and restaurants that we have --- except no Sonic!! I don't guess a drive-in would go over too well most of the year here! Canada is VERY clean - I've seen practically no litter! They are very good at recycling --- even McDonald's has a place for recycling. I haven't seen a Styrofoam cup since I've been here -- I do miss those. They don't really use much ice --- even if you ask for extra you get very little --- you have to tell them to fill it up with ice --- then you'll get about 3/4 cup! There are small things, like the buggy return slots (like at Wal-Mart, United, etc) are covered and the water places (like Windmill)are inside. You just don't think about things like that!!! We saw a funny road sign the other day -- instead of saying Merge it said "Squeeze Left"! And one that said "loose stones" instead of gravel --- things like that. The McDonald's in Dawson Creek is the nicest one I've ever seen - it rivals a Starbucks!!! It has sliding doors, a fireplace and really cool furniture!!! Well, I guess that's about it for now --- until next week .......

Friday, June 1, 2012

Week One

It's hard to believe, but we left Lubbock one week ago today! We attended the Ropes 2012 graduation ceremony and then hit the road to Amarillo and the AOTC Memorial weekend agility trial. The trial ended early enough on Monday that we decided to go ahead and hit the road. We drove from Amarillo to Pueblo on Monday. We spent the night in Pueblo and hit the road Tuesday morning and headed to Rapid City, SD with one small side trip to see the smallest town in the country -- Buford Wyoming -- Population - 1. Except when we got there it was closed, poplation - 0!!!! It was a little bit of a shock to get there and feel like we had returned to winter - it was about 40 degrees cooler than home (Lubbock). We stayed at Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City --- a really nice RV Park with lots of green grass for walking the boyz! While there we went to a Cowboy Cookout and visited the Crazy Horse Monument and Mount Rushmore. If you have not been there it is just as amazing as you have imagined. We left Ellsworth this morning (6/1/12) and drove to Minot, ND -- Chuck's first duty station. For those that don't know --- Chuck is from Florida and had never been anywhere else until enlisting in the AF in 1965. He went to Basic Training in San Antonio and then on to Minot for snow removal! Can you imagine the shock?!! He has not been back until now - 45 years later!!! We will visit the base tomorrow and see if he remembers anything! :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Journey Begins

This school year FLEW - my last day at Ropes ISD was Friday and it was hard to say goodbye to those that have become my family. Chuck retired from Tech at the end of January and has been waiting for my school year to be over. We are in Amarillo for the Memorial Day weekend agility trial, but when it's over tomorrow we'll head north to Alaska!!! My goal is to post at least weekly so please check back!!