Journals, Photos and Videos

Day 1 - to Gakona, AK

We got up early and did last minute organizing so that the inside of our "home" was ready to close up and leave. Our very tentative schedule was to leave at 9:30 and try to get to Tok. It is a 400 mile leg so it was a bit more aggressive than we typically like to do.

We went down to the store to theT2 and visited with everyone. The shuttle crew was likely going to set the years' record today for the number of shuttles done in one day as they had 27 by 9:15. There was a twinge (a small one) of jealousy to be part of the record as George was part of the current record. It was tempting to volunteer to help make a few runs but as Pat would say...."....we are not feeling the love from George!" He resisted temptation and we headed back to the RV to hook it up to the truck and head out.

It was quite difficult to say good-bye to everyone. Hongye, Jerry, Pat, Cheryle, Steph, Ken, Bill, Rudy, Andrew and even several customers said good bye to us. We got the nicest comments from the WM crew and we hope to meet up with them over the winter.

Maureen pumped Propane for us for the last time. Yes - she can pump Propane and even make a skinny Raven white chocolate mocha! On our way back to the RV we took pics of the new WM logos on vehicles which look great.

We got the RV closed, ready for travel and hooked hooked up in record time, which was amazing since we haven't done it for 6 months. We were justifiably impressed with ourselves. The spot we had chosen was a challenge to back into and we did it with relative ease.....prior to this we managed to put some "memories" on both the truck and the 5th wheel!

As far as we were concerned, we had the best RV spot as we overlooked the store, Sterling Highway and could see everything around us with ease. We also saw the seasons come and go. When we arrived the trees were bare and we actually could see Mount Cecil across the street.

Just look at what Mother Nature can do in a week!

And what 2 weeks of cold nights can bring.......fall is now upon Cooper Landing!

ohn & Carrie came down and visited with us and, in typical Carrie style, continued to make things easy for us by disposing of our bag of trash and John and Carrie also took care of storing the platform they provided for us to use as a deck.

During our stay they offered us so much to make our stay as awesome as it was (as did many others and more about them later).....among the many things they did for us is let Maureen have a a section in their greenhouse to satisfiy her gardening instincts. Although for several people in our neighorhood, including us, had a bad growing season, we had tomato plants about 6 feet tall and they did produce many tomatoes which we got to harvest and the cucumber plants produced several 14" cukes.

Maureen got to make several batches of spaghetti sauce from the tomatoes and split the "fruits of their labor" with John and Carrie. (A few days later, while on the road she made a few batchs of pickles from the cukes! Amazing what you can do in such a small kitchen.) The collection of green tomatoes are now ripening nicely in the box in which they are stored......a new trick she has to share with John.

Meet Carrrie, John and Mikey (their grandson and pride and joy)......Carrie and John are stalwarts in the community and we cannot even begin to tell you what they do for Cooper Landing.....Mikey follows suit and when he is home he follows thier example and join in on work/activities for CL. Setting up for the 4th of July Fish Fry hosted by Carrie and John for the benefit of a Medical Clinic the people of CL are hoping to establish for the community. Currently, the closest clinic is in Soldotna which is 45min away or for more serious medical needs the people are required to go to Anchorage which is 2 hours north of Cooper Landing.

Steve a customer who used to come in frequently heard we were leaving and took the time to walk over to say good bye as well! Actually, most people who were locals or "seasonals" came in every day and we got to know many on a first name basis, or by their purchases (i.e. 16oz carmel mocha), or by their cars that were shuttled i.e. Honda Pilot, blue with a key chain with a "fuzzy ball" on the key chain. Many became delightful friends over the summer.....although we will probably never see them again, it was a pleasure to share the time with them.

We actually got on the road around 10:30 AM and things were looking good. The day was perfect and the scenery continued to amaze.

As we were approaching Anchorage, we stopped for a quick potty break and Maureen noticed that the passenger side outside dually appeared soft. We didn't have the where-withall to fix it while we were stpped on the highway, we opted to stop for fuel in Palmer and attack it then.

We had no trouble going thru Anchorage and stopped at a Tesoro station to top off tank and pump up the tire. This was the first time that we had to deal with a dually and it turned out to be a bit of a challenge. After failing to get their air compressor at the gas station to work, we took out air compressor and generator to finish to task. The tire is supposed to be in the 70 psi range and it was down to 30 psi. We're convinced that the extension valve came loose because of all the dirt roads and bled off the air pressure. We'll validate this in the AM.

It was a beautiful and uneventful drive from that point on with a few showers and accompanying rainbows. The tire issue put us back a little and we chose to stop in Gakona, AK, about 120 mi from our goal of Tok on the Tok Cutoff Highway.

We got set up easily and quckly in an almost empty RV park. Nothing was broken!! However we have a bunch of Chinese vinegar all over the refridgerator and some on the floor. While George took Angus for a brief stroll, Maureen quickly cleaned up the minor mess, made a salad with her greenhouse goodies and heated up some homemade, delicious lasagna.

We left the truck attached so that we could have an easy and quick departure in the AM.