Friday, October 30, 2009


As you can see from the blog below we spent the past week in Anchorage visiting with Sydney (and of course Stephanie & Brian). It was great to meet Sydney and spend some quality time with her.

Before we left for Anchorage we went down to Austin, Texas and spent the day there. We walked around the music district and listened to some bands (it was pretty quiet since it was a Wednesday night). We also ate some barbeque...mmm good.

Once we returned to the lower 48 (and escaped the snow by just a few hours we are told) we went back to Lawton and picked up our RV at the shop. It was time to get the oil changed on both the diesel engine and on the generator. This was a new experience for us - $350 for both (which we have heard was a pretty good deal). The mechanic also took the front shock off but couldn't find a replacement in town so he put the same one back on - but the good news is that took care of the rattle that's been with us since Liard Hotsprings!!

We then drove out of town and through Oklahoma City (sorry I didn't call Susan - by this time it was around 830pm and we kept going). We are now in Arkansas and are deciding where to go next. We might stop and drive through the Ozarks or go down to Hot Springs - or maybe just drive on through to Nashville. We haven't decided yet - any ideas?? We want to be in Charleston by next Thursday so we have a little bit of time.

I will try to be better about posting and taking more pictures. I must say that East Oklahoma looks very different from West Oklahoma - more rolling hills and trees (that are all in the midst of turning colors).

Sydney Ann

We spent the past week in Anchorage visiting the newest addition to our family - Sydney Ann. She is precious - it was fun to watch her change almost daily. We spent the majority of our time just hanging out and holding her so Stephanie and Brian could catch up on some sleep.
Such a proud Daddy...

oh so true...

I love this face - she has so many expressions!

your mom gave me the finger once...

a rare quiet moment for Stephanie

Here's her happy face!

Brian told Sydney to behave for the Chief's wife...

So there's quite the story that goes with these burns - but it all comes down to the oven door - I should have opened it up all of the way...I felt like such an idiot!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dulce Isabella

This is my Nanna & Papa and they said I could write on their blog...
Sometimes I get really tired of smiling for the camera
when I'm busy playing.

I'm loving the new toys my Nanna & Papa bring me...

Mommy & Daddy before they go out without me!
I fell asleep fast for Nanna & Papa though and then woke up
really early to see Mom.

I'm a happy baby!

I was tired after playing with Papa so I just fell asleep!

This is my Daddy - he's a soldier. I'm not really sure what that means but I do like to chew on his velcro patches.

Oklahoma City Memorial

These chairs represent all of the people killed during the bombing - the smaller ones are for the kids that were killed...
The reflection pond used to be the street in front of the building and where the chairs are used to be the footprint of the building.

Lots of gifts and memorials outside of the official area.

The chairs were just to the right of me when I was taking the picture - the large tree in the picture is the one that survived the bomb - on the wall at the end of the reflection pond the time before the blast is posted: 9:01

The other end of the reflection pond - the time after the bomb hit: 9:03 - the United States was forever changed.
We were in Skagway when this happened...we were all in shock that something like this could happen in the heartland of America.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

We left Great Falls, Montana on Thursday morning wanting to get out of the area because we knew cold weather was coming our way. As we drove south we listened to the weather broadcasts on the CB and kept hearing "snow and cold." So we kept driving...Sheridan, Wyoming was supposed to get 8 inches of snow the next day and Casper was supposed to get 3-5. We finally stopped and slept in a rest area north of Cheyenne.

We woke up Friday morning to no snow and temps in the 30's...but according to the weather forecasts there was a "arctic cold front" moving into Wyoming and Colorado on Saturday - so we kept driving. We drove into Colorado and decided to take the tollway around Denver to avoid traffic - it cost us $35.00 but the road was great and traffic was non existent.

We decided to head to Raton, New Mexico because although they were forecast to get some cold it didn't sound as bad as what they were predicting farther north. South of Denver isn't all that pretty - just more brown hills - but right before the border there is a little town called Trinidad that was beautiful - it sits at the base of the mountain pass and it's like coming into an oasis of trees after the hills. The town looks charming and old. Unfortunately they were doing road construction so the roads were bad and there wasn't anywhere safe to get off and sight see - but it's on my list for the future!

After climbing a very long pass (elevation 10,000 ft) we came down into Raton and stayed at the KOA. It was sunny and 60 degrees last night so we barbecued. This morning it's only 35 - but it's sunny so we are hopeful. The funny thing is that the Anchorage Daily News says it's 47 degrees there right now...leave it to us to be somewhere colder than home...

We are headed to Amarillo, Texas today - and then onto Lawton tomorrow - can't wait to see the grandbaby!

For those of you who are interested here are some statistics on the Al-Can highway...
Anchorage to Great Falls; 2,624 miles
-it took us 8 days to go 2,000 miles - and one day to go 624 miles
Total spent on Diesel: $1,189.45
most expensive diesel: Fort Nelson $4.40/gallon
least expensive diesel: Red Deer, Alberta $3.32/gallon
average miles per gallon: 7

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Back in the USA!!

The Cat dealer came and fixed the RV on Monday around noon and after getting the trailer hooked up and the truck in the trailer we got on the road later that afternoon! It felt so good to be on the road again (although we still have that rattle we can't figure out...). We drove about 260 miles to just south of Whitecourt, Alberta - by then it was 9pm and dark so we pulled off onto a rest stop and slept until about 3am - then we got back on the road again.

We drove and drove - through Edmonton, through Calgary (where we got our first ding in the window), on towards the border. We stopped in Nanton, Alberta and had lunch - what a cute little town - full of antique shops and historical buildings. We were about 75 miles north of the border when a car flagged at us and yelled we had a blow out. Scott pulled over and we were dreading what we were about to see...we had no way of changing an RV tire - they are too big for us to carry and we would need to many specialized tools to change it. But it ended up being the trailer tire - so Scott changed it in the howling wind - and we got on our way again.

The border crossing was interesting - we (as in the entire RV and trailer) got x-rayed! We drove into this building and the officer told us to go slow through it while the x-ray was working. They obviously didn't find anything because we were on our way again.

Scott was determined to make it to Great Falls - so we continued driving - he was fighting the winds the whole way. We are now parked in a nice RV park - I'm catching up on emails and cleaning and Scott is out doing errands. They are calling for snow today (we can't escape it!) and then on Friday it's supposed to be very cold. Our plan is to leave tomorrow morning and try to beat the cold front...but we all know how plans go...


Scott's new love
Beaverlodge, Alberta
(what more can I say...) :)

Proud Daddy & Sydney

People pay good money for the hair highlights this baby has!

lots of Bison in the Liard area

We ran into several of these while they were fixing the bridges...kind of weird to sit at a red light in the middle of nowhere

There was no place to stop to take pictures so this is the best I could do (we were on an 8% downhill grade)

The colors were breathtaking

Folded Mountain - just north of Fort Nelson

one of our favorite places in the world...

outside temp was 34 degrees - water temp was about 104 degrees

October 5, 2009

Here is the blog that I typed on Monday while we were in Hythe, Alberta...

We have met a lot of people in the past few weeks – but we will always remember Tom & Judy and their Jack Russell Terrier Dottie. As most of you know Scott is into bikes…and you also know that’s an understatement. In planning for this trip the safe storage of our bikes (I would say only his bike but he knows if something happens to mine he has to fix it) was paramount. If the bikes could be stored outside we wouldn’t be towing a trailer…one of his passions is to fix bikes and of course the trailer enables him to carry his tools and work on the bikes in comfort. He is looking forward to fixing people’s bikes at the different RV parks we will be staying at just to see the joy on their faces when they ride off. Anyway – I digress as usual…last night an RV towing a trailer pulled up next to us and it had a drawing on the back of it with a bike on it – so of course Scott was intrigued. He actually went out and started talking to the occupant (for those of you who truly know Scott you know that was a big deal in itself).

Come to find out Tom owns Denali Alaskan bikes – a bike frame company. After we visited for a while Scott remembered that he had talked to Tom about one of his bikes back in the early 90’s – and Tom remembered the conversation! We had a great time getting to know them and sharing our adventures with them – and theirs with us.

This morning Tom brought over one of his frames – and gave it to Scott! Of course I’m not sure how excited I am because you all know what this means…another bike for Scott to build… I’m kidding – the grin on Scott’s face was from ear to ear and he was so excited he was bursting. So Tom & Judy – we are truly hoping we run into you again and can spend some more time getting to know you! If you decide to go to Ireland let us know – we might go with you!!

We got a phone call from CAT – they said they are on their way out here to get us all fixed up. They also told us that the engine parts are under CAT warranty since the engine is less than 5 years old – and our insurance might pay for part of the transit fees – but we don’t know how much. Hopefully by the time I post this we will be south of here in our RV!

We decided not to go through Spokane – we are a little tight on time with all the problems we’ve had and need to get to Lawton and then on to the Austin area so we can fly back to Anchorage on the 22nd to meet Sydney.

We pray we don’t have any more serious issues...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lots of adventures this past week...some really good - other's not so much! We are having fun with it all though...and keeping a good attitude about it. The highway was rough - in talking to other travelers we have come to the conclusion it's the worst we've ever seen it - and then you add 60 feet of vehicle...not very fun. We had more problems with the electrical outside of Liard hotsprings - very interesting to rewire a trailer on the side of the road, in the cold and dark - and have none of the wire colors match the ones on the diagram... But we made it happen - and laughed while doing it so it's all good.

Around that time we developed a rattle that we couldn't place (and still haven't) - because we were worried it was a tire we kept stopping to check different parts of the rig - so that slowed us down. We did get a soak at Liard (I'll put pictures up later) - love that place!

As you facebook people know our newest grandbaby was born on October 1st! Welcome to the world Sydney Ann!

Outside of Fort Nelson the road become decent - we got through Dawson Creek and all of a sudden the RV overheated. Thankfully we were near a good turnout and were able to pull over to get out of the road. Scott looked at everything he could think of and found the fan belt was destroyed. About that time a passer by knocked on the door - he was driving down from Salcha, Alaska and wanted to park near other Alaskan's for the night - turns out he was a mechanic. He looked at the engine and discovered the fan had come off the shaft - so even bigger problems...

We had a nice dinner and fellowship with Bob - and then in the morning we unloaded the truck and Scott drove into Grande Prairie. He found a Cat dealer who sent a mechanic out to assess the damage - and jerry rig the engine so we could go short distances. We ended up driving to Hythe, Alberta and found an RV park.

Hopefully tomorrow (Monday) they will get the part and be able to get it going...please say prayers for us!