Random thoughts/month 4

26 Aug

We spent the good majority of this month in Alaska. It’s gorgeous here! People had been saying this was the warmest summer but I guess warm is all relative!

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This month, we:

+ toured into the Yukon Territory. We stayed a few days in Whitehorse and Dawson City. And then left. Alaska was calling our name. Loudly.

+ took a shot with a toe in it. An actual human toe. In Dawson City, Yukon, this hotel bar is known for its “sourtoe” shot. You pick the alcohol (over 80 proof) and a creepy man in the back of the bar puts a frostbitten toe in your glass. It’s preserved in kosher salt and to count, the toe must touch your lips. Once you’ve completed this task, you are issued a certificate and your name goes into the master book. Hani and I were numbers 51,000something so we aren’t the only fools doing this!

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+ brought Olivia to the vet. Unnecessarily. I thought she had ring worm. Turns out, she was bitten by a fly. $60 and 10 minutes later, we were told they heal on their own. Hani is still waiting for Olivia to pay him back.

+ arrived at mainland Alaska, thankfully away from high Canadian prices. We had been to Hyder and Skagway Alaska but to enter both of those cities, you take the one road in from Canada and have to go back out on the same road. We had the most pleasant border crossing just south of Eagle, Alaska, with the agent actually smiling and asking us questions about Skyhorse. We took the windy dirt road to Eagle, Alaska (town of 130) and then to Chicken (town of 8). Eagle was odd, as there was no city center. They had a massive glacial flood a few years earlier and then again last year that wiped out their restaurant/laundry/store. So now, there’s really no gathering place, aside from outside the library, the only place in town you can get free wifi. Chicken has 3 businesses, and RV park, and a bar. The bar is absolutely hilarious and the characters there made me miss Key West’s wackos. 🙂

downtown Chicken, Alaska

downtown Chicken, Alaska

+ seen veggies the size of my leg. No joke, the zucchini and squash here are so massive, they can be used as weapons.

+ hosted our first guest. On August 16, our south florida friend Peter joined us on our travels for 2 weeks around Alaska. It’s been really great showing him what we’ve been doing the past few months and exploring the state with him.

Peter and his ladies

Peter and his ladies

+ made some great new friends. In Skagway, we were flagged down by Jan and Gary in their old school car and invited to join them for dinner and drinks at the hostel they own. In Fairbanks, we meet our old coworker Bill and his wife Jan’s daughter Kelly. We spent a few days with her as she graciously cooked us dinner, let us do laundry and hosted a great time. Also in Fairbanks, we meet up with fellow travelers Erica and Sam in the visitor center parking lot. Hani was admiring their rig and Erica and I were messaging via Facebook, not realizing we were right next to each other. Typical. Hopefully well see more of them as they are traveling the same path as us.

+ toured the replica of the Into the Wild bus. The 49th State Brewery in Healy, right outside of Denali National Park, put the replica there (complete with Chris’ photojournal) after several people died trying to get to the real bus. The real bus is along the Stampede Trail and still really remote and in a very dangerous location. The replica bus was just as good for me, as was the beer inside the brewery 🙂

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Chris McCandless' final note

Chris McCandless’ final note

+ had an awesome time at Denali National Park. We got to our campsite inside the park around 1am so we didn’t see anything, besides the gigantic moose right as we entered the park which Hani thought was fake. The next day was pretty miserable. We sat on a bus all day (that’s the only way to get around once inside the park). It was cold, rainy, and super cloudy outside so we couldn’t see any mountains or landscape. The second day totally made up for the first. We hopped on the first bus that approached us in much better weather to find Hani’s childhood friend Chris there. We knew he was going to be in the park around the time we were but didn’t know where he was staying or what his plans were. And with no cell service, there was no way to coordinate anything. It was absolutely hilarious and random that we happened on HIS bus and ended up having a fabulous time as a result! We went with his group on a hike that was probably the most intense hiking we’ve done so far. The best part (aside from making it to the top before Hani did) was running downhill in tall wet grass the last half mile to catch the bus back to our camp. We stopped the bus in the middle of the road and got the funniest looks as we boarded sweaty and out of breath.

Denali!!

Denali!!

with Peter and Chris at the top of the mountain we climbed

with Peter and Chris at the top of the mountain we climbed

+ went to the fair! I haven’t been to a fair since I was little and Hani humored me by seeing all my favorites: the farm animals and bunnies!!

Rat Race gambling game at the fair

Rat Race gambling game at the fair

mini goats!

mini goats!

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+ passed through Anchorage for a delicious brunch with Hani’s high school friend Erin, who is vacationing here. It was great to hear about her Alaskan experiences camping around the state.

+ traveled from the southernmost point in the US (Key West) to the northernmost road in the US (Eagle, Alaska) to the westernmost road in the US (Homer, Alaska).

+ are currently traveling through the Kenai Peninsula. It was a gorgeous drive down from Anchorage. We hung out with our Key West friends Velia, Kevin and Eric in Soldotna, went to Homer, the end of the road, and are now in Seward. All had great breweries:). Peter leaves Thursday so we are trying to make the most of our time and see as much as possible before bringing him back to Anchorage. And from there, we’ll make our way out of Alaska. It’s beautiful here but getting colder and colder. We’ve had a few days of dreary rain and a few days of sunshine but from talking to the locals, the rainy days are going to outnumber the sunny ones soon.

Homer, Alaska

One Response to “Random thoughts/month 4”

  1. Marissa Sawyer August 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    I love keeping up with you guys! I get excited every time I see there’s a new post. It’s great to see you all having so much fun with your adventures and the pictures are gorgeous! Stay safe!

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