Sunday, June 22, 2014

We're in Alaska!

This is obvious, I know, but still amazing to me. Have you looked at a map lately and seen how HUGE this state is? I realized today how very little of it is even accessible by car when I figured we should at least consider our next destination after Denali. We decided on Anchorage because that's where the road goes. From there we'll work our way down the east coast, hopefully by ferry.

I know I haven't been much of a blogger, but don't take that to mean I'm not having a good time. I'm happy to leave the keyboards to Rob and Meghan and enjoy the scenery or a book. We're starting to get into a routine with our days on the road, and so far I think everyone is enjoying it. Even Meghan remains engaged, as long as we find her a Wi-fi connection at least once in a while.

We had our first real experience with the Alaskan mosquito yesterday at Chena Hot Springs. Those are some very determined and voracious little blood suckers! We couldn't step out of the van for a second without being swarmed, but as it was also raining most of the day, we weren't doing too much outside anyway. The hot springs were nice, but didn't compare to Liard Hot Springs, which may have spoiled us for the rest of the trip. But I was impressed by the resort, which runs on 100% geothermal energy produced on site, and has several large green houses which produces veggies for their restaurant and all the flowers for their landscaping. Pretty cool place.

We also took our first real hike of the trip, which became our first adventure when we diverted off the intended trail onto something that was a trail, but on second thought, clearly not the real trail. At that point no one wanted to go back uphill though, and we were sure we knew where we were heading, so we continued downhill to eventually meet back up with the actual trail. No harm done other than a skinned hand I acquired sliding down a steep section (first use of the first aid kit, too!), but boy were we all happy to see that bright yellow trail marker.

I have been asked to blog about knitting and cooking, so I guess I should do that. If you don't knit, skip this paragraph, you'll be bored. Knitting is progressing slowly, mostly because I'm not knitting as much as I thought I would. When I was deciding on a project for the trip, I wanted it to be something ambitious. I figured I would have lots of hours in the car to knit, so big was OK. I started looking at Pi shawls, and just when I had decided to keep it simple, because car knitting should be simple, I found a pattern called "Camping," designed in  honor of Elizabeth Zimmerman's 100th birthday (or would be 100th birthday if she was alive). When the only color of fingering weight yarn that my LYS had in stock in enough skeins to make a shawl was a colorway called "Forest," I figured it was just meant to be. Take a look at the pattern,and you'll see it's not simple, but it really wasn't bad until I got to the 3rd lace pattern. I've almost finished one repeat of the pattern and I think I've got the hang of it now, but the pattern rows are still pretty slow going. Thank God for the plain rows in between! I'd post a picture of it but it still pretty much looks like a oversize beret at this point, and really I'm too lazy to try to transfer pictures from a camera to this laptop.

OK, cooking. With two propane burners in the camper, we really cook a lot like we do at home. Though we do branch out into some dutch oven goodies, which Rob has already shown you, the rest of the time it's pretty simple, but we try to vary it a little. We've made stir fry, burritos, pasta, and even Pad Thai (from a box). Sandwiches, quesadillas, and soup are usuals for lunch. Meghan hasn't been forced to eat meat yet, and was rather appalled at Rob tonight when he got an "Alaskan Steak Sandwich" at a street festival in Fairbanks tonight, which was what they were calling a caribou steak. It wasn't that great, but probably more because of the venue than the product. We'd give it another chance.

I think I've rambled on enough, and it's time for bed even though it doesn't at all look like it. We're enjoying a motel stay tonight so will have room to spread out without hitting  a van wall or a dog...Hope you are enjoying your summer as much as we are! Drop us a text or give us a call or email, we're frequently in range.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Rebecca! You all amaze me at how you spend your time. The knitting project sounds very ambitious! I will take alook at the picture. I was told about those nasty mosquitos in Alaska. I hear a dryer sheet keeps them away but it sounds like you would have to knit about 10 boxes together to cover yourself to get out of the van! I do think of all of you quite often and wonder what you all are up to that day.
    The ferry sounds like a nice change of transportation. Jane