What do you do after the very best wedding experience of the decade? You go camping to relive the memories, of course!
Our son, Caleb, and beautiful Halie tied a very tight knot in an outdoor setting, celebrated with family and friends, on Saturday, September 16 at 3:30 in the afternoon. The pronouncement was made at 4:10 (according to the world clock) and the gala began afterwards in a big ballroom – hors d'oeuvre, dining, toasting, dancing, and just general all-around festivity. Here are some ceremony pictures and reception shots taken by my sister, Tink, who relieved me from having to tote the camera around! We will try to be patient while waiting for the professional pictures to come back!
Tom and I had a secret plan to disappear into the wilds of Ohio after it was all over, and on Monday we set out for a park we had never visited – Burr Oak State Park. south and east of Columbus; it is one of the big resort parks with a lodge and lots of hiking trails.
Along with us on this trip, was Annie; she accompanied us for the week so her mommy could focus on some health-care issues that arose. Annie’s presence reminds us frequently to keep her mommy in our thoughts and prayers! Here are Charlie (left) and Annie (right) -- good camping buddies!
The Burr Oak campground is an older campground, and could use a little updating. The electric sites are high on a hill, mostly out in the sun, and the shaded sites are down below in a small ravine. Our site did have grass and large walnut trees -- that kept dropping walnut bombs, 2-3 at a time.
After a dinner of ribs, we bedded the pups down in the trailer and drove to check out the lodge. It was getting dark as we arrived (8:30!) and I wasn’t able to get outdoor pictures of the lodge – but we grabbed a few photos of the lodge entry lit up from the inside, and the various sitting areas inside the lodge. The lodge, like the campground, was mostly empty on a Monday evening in late September!
Tuesday morning began with a cup of coffee sitting outside, watching the walnuts crash down, and a beautiful pair of cardinals flit around.
What do 78, 376, 792,676 and 555 all have in common? They’re all some of the most beautiful scenic back-county roads we have ever driven in Ohio. . . . I know Tom was wishing to be driving the MG instead of the Truck! Our loop trip around Morgan county took us past covered bridges, bucolic farms, the Muskingum River wetlands, small picturesque towns, and even a battlefield. At times the road disappeared from view as we climbed a hill, or turned a sharp corner – or both! We wondered why someone hadn’t mapped out this loop trip as a scenic drive or even a motorcycle road trip.
Wednesday we headed south 40 miles on back-roads until we hit the Ohio River Scenic By-Way – Route 7, at Pomeroy. Although we have traveled the river road from Cincinnati to Ironton previously, this was our first voyage on this eastern portion of the bi-way , and we passed the southern-most point of Ohio -- called South Point! Eventually the road became Route 57, but was still the same route following the Ohio River.
Along the way we passed a sign marking the tragedy of the Silver Bridge, and stopped for some pictures.
We drove 120 miles and veered off at Portsmouth to find the Shawnee State Park/Forest. Here, there were just a handful of campers, and we were told to drive around and choose whatever campsite appealed to us! By 2:30 we were set up and enjoying the usual, lazy camp routine, and here we stayed put for the afternoon and evening.
Thursday continued our rural trip through southern Ohio, but veering away from the Ohio River on a northern track. Along the way we notched another State Park – Adam’s State Park. It appeared to be a day park with no camping, and we enjoyed a walk along the paved hiking path along the lake.
Down the road was Serpent Mound, the world’s largest surviving ancient animal effigy mound. Winding 1,348 feet over the ground in the shape of an undulating serpent with an open mouth and coiled tail, it was thought to be excavated as far back as 1650 AD. The exact creation is unknown because no artifacts were left that would help identify which Indian culture constructed it. In 1900 an observation tower was construct4ed when the Ohio Historical Society took over the preservation of the mound. From here, Tom had a good picture of the layout of the serpent.
Thursday night we stopped at another State Park that we have never visited – John Bryan State Park. Located east of Dayton, it is billed as “the most scenic state park in western Ohio.” It contains a remarkable limestone gorge cut by the Little Miami River and reminiscent of our favorite Hocking Hills State Park. Aside from hiking and biking trails, it also has several locations for rock climbing and rappelling. The campground was small, had only pit toilets and no shower house, and only 10 campsites had electric hookups. It was too hot and humid to spend much time on the trails, but this little scouting expedition guaranteed we would be back for a more detailed excursion. It would be perfect for an early Spring or Fall rally site.
Friday morning found us an easy 2 hour drive home. We're now in the process of getting re-geared for the 7th Anniversary Rally at West Branch State Park this weekend.
Race day drizzled in – cold, damp, soggy, and wet! Nonetheless, the alarm went off according to “the plan” at 5:30 a.m. The boys shot out of bed, hastily dressed, and headed off (in the truck) to the other side of the track and their far-away favorite stadium. The plan called for a quick hike to the top to drop off their backpacks on the top row to secure their seating. The plan also called for them to leave the truck close to their seats in the parking lot and walk back – but the ongoing dribble made it too tempting to drive the truck back to the Silvermine. They were back by 6:30 and crawled in bed and got a few more hours of shut-eye! I was vaguely aware of the going and comings.
Still convinced that they might miss something, they headed back to their seats at 9:00 – still mizzling! Micah was armored with a full rain suit, but Tom had forgotten to pack his, and suited up in a cheap, $1. Poncho – and five layers of including a hoodie! The menu for the day started with the 9 AM Indy Car Warm-up and the Indy LIGHTS race. At 1:00 the Verizon Indy Cars hit the grid, and after some pre-race festivities, the drivers were introduced and the green flag was dropped at 1:47 for the IndyCar Grand Prix at the Glen. The following pictures show the wet track during the Indy LIGHTS race -- and the view that Tom and Micah had of the cars coming down the track from the start/finish line towards them . . . clockwise!
Before I hiked to my choice spot for the start of the race, I walked to the end of our camping area and spotted Tom and Micah high up in their stands. I had to text them and tell them where to look to see me waving at them! That's them in the top/left row!
I was miscalculated the time it would take me to walk from the Paddock to the location where I could cross the track via the bridge, and then backtrack on the other side to the main grandstands – all to end up directly across from where we were parked in the Paddock!
I missed the first few drivers as they were introduced, but had a good view standing at the top walk-way of the stands of the pre-race doings – not so good for pictures as everything was through the tall, curved, shielding fence. I stayed until the cars took off and then worked my way slowly back to the warmest and driest seat in the Speedway – the TV in the Silvermine!
The boys were back quickly after the race, and we all walked the 50 paces to the Victory Circle aftermath where Alexander Rossi, Scott Dixon, and Ryan Hunter Ray received 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies provided by the Corning Glass company. Micah got a picture of Tom and me with the drivers in the background.
Dinner was on Micah again, as he had brought some of his famous Ribs – tenderly cared for in his new pressure cooker InstaPot. Tender! I put some baked sweet potatoes and fresh blueberries and steamed broccoli with the ribs. Around us, people were packing up and moving out, but our plans included spending one more night with an early launch in the morning.
Time will tell if this event is offered again next year – attendance was very low. It might just be time to move on and explore some other possibilities for Labor Day Weekend.
And, this will be our last campout for a few weeks, as we have details to attend to for . . . . . CALEB'S WEDDING! If I'm not back in a few weeks --- that means I didn't survive!
Friday morning the boys disappeared to the track all morning for practice and qualifying runs. Charlie and I enjoyed the sights, sounds, and smells all from the comfort under the awning at the Silvermine.
After lunch, we headed off with Tom and Micah for the Autograph session. Charlie was all togged out in her race duds, and before leaving the paddock she posed on Helio's door mat!
The autograph session took place at the Indy Car Fan Village – the line was already long when we got there, and there was an interview of Josef Newgarden, James Hinchcliffe, and Graham Rahal going on. Hinch demonstrated some of his dance moves (from his appearance on Dancing With The Stars) with a very embarrassed white-haired woman from the crowd! While standing in line, we were able to get some good pictures of the drivers.
And that was just a warm-up! As we walked down the autograph line, Charlie did her little “dead dog” trick for each driver! I had to think of a little something different to say for each driver to get Charlie to keel over. At first Simon Pagenaud didn’t understand my instructions to “make a gun with your fingers and say bang” – but then he caught on. Charlie performed for Hinchliffe when I said “Charlie, what did you think of Hinch’s dance moves on DWS?” For Charlie Kimball, I said: “Charlie, he has the same name as you.” The favorite was when I said: “Charlie look – it’s Helio!” It took us awhile to make it through the line as drivers called us back for round #2!
I have never been able to figure out how or why Charlie responds in a dead faint at the right moment – regardless of what I say -- but she always does! If you haven't seen the trick live, Charlie bends at the waist when I am holding her and make a statement, and hangs upside down with her head swinging!
Micah stood by taking pictures of the whole thing!
I returned to my spot in the Paddock, and the boys returned to whatever-it-is-that-they-do when they disappear for hours at a time! I took a shower and visited with different people up and down the row, and finished an audio book.
Happy hour found us all gathered back at the Silvermine for grilled steaks and deep-fat-fried (well -- oven baked) macaroni and cheese bites. What a wonderful day!
Sometimes I think it would just be easier to just add new pictures under the old blog posts! For instance, we made this trip exactly one year ago – same journey, same days, same destination, and same race-weekend venue! Before even getting started on this blog, you might say it is going to be the same old thing . . . but I bet the finer details are a lot different!
Micah came home Tuesday night, Aug 29th, to join us for our Labor Day road trip to Watkin’s Glen Speedway for the Indy Grand Prix road race. Wednesday morning we trekked 500 miles, landing overnight at the KOA that was just 5 miles from the Speedway. After turning off the interstate we followed Tony Kanan’s set-up rig for 20 miles through the New York Country-side . . . we knew we were heading in the right direction!
Thursday morning we dashed to the track and were all set by 9:30. The only rain shower that was on the horizon passed through quickly, leaving us with very little chance of rain for the next 3 days. The stage was set for a great Labor Day Weekend!
As we entered the Speedway, we had to stop to have our tickets scanned, and for the trailer to be searched -- for unticketed passengers. This is an open-seating venue all weekend, and once you are in you must scan tickets every time you leave and return!
Our campsite is the same as last year -- #7 in the paddock area. We arrived to find Helio’s motorhome-away-from-home all set up 6 sites down from us, the track right beside us, and Victory Lane ceremony stands across from us. You could say we are right in the middle of it all.
The rain had quit but it was still a little gloomy as we headed to downtown Watkin’s Glen for lunch . . . a pizzeria followed by a quick stroll of some of our favorite stores. I dropped Tom and Micah off at the bottom of the Glen Canyon Gorge trail with the intent to pick them up at the top. A bit of confusion broke out as I ended up at the wrong pick-up area, had a bit of trouble reaching them by phone in the deep canyon, then finally arranged a new pick-up point. Tom took some pictures in the canyon.
Back at the Paddock I sat in the sun (at 61 degrees it felt so good) while the boys walked the enormous track infield. Simon Pagenaud had moved in next to Helio, and Charlie had a little encounter with the Jack Russell terrier, Norman, that was with his entourage and running around loose. I was on the phone when Simon walked by and asked me if the gate behind us was open . . . with mouth wide open and phone to my ear, I nodded and pointed limply! (Yes Simon, and If I wasn’t on the phone I could tell you all about it . . . )
At 5:30 we headed out to dinner downtown -- Micah was treating us to an early (by 2 days!) 39th anniversary celebration. Our favorite restaurant in the Glen is Nickel's Pit BBQ, a 100% local establishments with delish signature brewed and bottled BBQ sauces. To top it all off, we brought home a bottle of my favorite Carolina BBQ sauce!
And that wasn't the end of the evening, either! We came back to the Silvermine for the opening Buckeye game of the season against Indiana. Not knowing we would have cable hook-up in the paddock, we neglected to pack a cable cord. Not to worry -- Tom found one laying right beside the post! That took care of the entertainment for the rest of the evening, and the #2 ranked Buckeyes started the year out with a great win.
Track activities start for real tomorrow morning, with practice sessions, qualifying, and driver autograph sessions. I'll leave you with a little video I took of the little rolling robot from the new Star Wars movie -- he paid a visit to the Silvermine! We're all OK!
I forgot to write up our first campout after we were home from Alaska, so I will post it with our second campout!
Now that the great Alaska Adventure is over, it was time to . . . go camping! I have decided that there is a definite difference in traveling (vacationing) and just camping. I was ready for some of the “just camping,” and with this in mind we headed to Grand Lake St. Mary’s for the August 17-20 weekend. Last minute plans added Alan and Carrie and Steve and Cindy to the mix, and we were all set up for a leisurely weekend.
My goal for the weekend was to not let my fitbit log over 2,000 steps on any given day – get the picture? As wonderful as vacation was, and as much as I loved the traveling that went with it, I was ready to sit in a lawn chair in a campsite and do absolutely nothing! That was the tone for the whole weekend!
I did make it over to the new splash pad to check out a sign Tom had told me about. I had to see it in person! What misguided Ohio State Park employee thought this sign would be appropriate?
The weekend was all I had anticipated; the only time I left the campground was for an ice-cream run. Otherwise it was wonderful weather, great company, good food, and a very, very relaxing weekend!
After getting home, I still wasn’t a ball of fire, and I didn’t get to the business of working on my blog. Thus, the St. Mary’s weekend blended into the next weekend (August 25-27) at Morgan’s Riverside Campground and Canoe Livery in Cincinnati. Months ago, when we had all agreed on this weekend, we were wondering if the weather might be HOT in August. It turned out just perfect – highs in the mid 70’s and beautiful sunny days. This time around (our second time at Morgan’s this season) the campground owner had installed 110v electric in the first three campsites. . . we like to think he did this to accommodate our little Airstream camping group!
We had a final total of 5 couples on 3 large campsites and the headquarters for the weekend was quickly established. Here are some head-shots of our group as we gathered around a campfire circle off and on the whole weekend.
During the course of the weekend we had a great out-to-eat dinner at a local BBQ place, an epic pitch-in breakfast cooked by everyone, and an amazing open grill dinner (the hit was Steve's jalapeño poppers filled with cornbread!) I guess you could say the weekend revolved around food!
Between the eating, there was time for a trip down the Little Miami River -- after all, we were camped at Morgan's Canoe Livery! We walked from our campsites to the campsite office, rented the canoes/kayaks, boarded the bus, drove 4 miles up-river to the drop-off spot . . . and paddled (mostly floated!) back to our campsites . . . 3 miles and about 1 hour! Carrie and John were up for more, and they went back for round #2 -- 9 more miles.
Morgan's is fast becoming a favorite gathering place, and while we were there we made it known that we would be back in early April to help open the campground in the Spring!
Meanwhile, Tom and I are home for 3 days, Micah is joining us on Tuesday, and on Wednesday we are heading for take 2 at Watkin's Glen!.
I’m wondering if I should spare my readers all the gruesome details of the last day's drive? But, if Tom drove it, Charlie and I rode it – you can read it!
I’ll keep it short:
Sunday morning we left our last real touring spot, the Nez Perce Battlefield. For two days (15 hours) we were riveted to the audio story of the Nez Perce as told by Elliot West in The Last Indian Wars. That helped the miles to pass quickly -- 445 Sunday and 512 on Monday.
Monday we passed through the geographical center of North America (Rugby, ND) and stopped for a photo op. It seemed appropriate!
Monday night we stopped close to the headwaters of the Mississippi River . . . and decided to wake up and head for home with no more detours!
Tuesday we were off by 7:30, knowing that the time-change would be working against us, and knowing that we faced Chicago traffic for the most direct route home. 801 miles and 15 hours later we pulled in the driveway at 11:00 p.m.
Here are few statistics to wrap up the story:
We were gone 62 days
We drove a total of 11,451 miles (including touring without the Airstream)
We put 9,666 miles on the Airstream
We were in 8 US states and 3 Canadian Provinces
We had two chips in the truck windshield and 3 small scratches on the Airstream
We never wore those mosquito head nets we bought!
We had "0" flat tires"
We never had to use the generator!
We had "0" fights, arguments, disagreements
Our biggest trailer issue was the loss of the low-point drain valve on the fresh water tank.
It is good to be home -- but we would go back in a heartbeat!
July 30, Sunday
Last night, Tom discovered the Bear Paw Battlefield – a National Historical Park in Montana – just 15 miles off of our route home! Two years ago we had visited the Nez Perce Big Meadow Battlefield in Idaho, and had become fascinated with the story of the Nez Perce. This Battlefield is the location where the sad story ended. We just had to stop!
As a part of the US western expansion, and the attempt of the Government to clear the land of native peoples, a portion of the Nez Perce nation fled from their native land in Idaho. They were on the run for 4 months and 1,500 miles, and as a last bid for freedom headed for Canada. Eight hundred got within 40 miles of the border, planning a resupply camp where several buffalo had been killed and water and grass for the 3,000 ponies was plentiful. They were low on supplies, the ponies were played out, and their blankets were thread-bear – it snowed. On September 29, 1877, they were attacked by Soldiers, and after a day of fighting they took defensive position and were held in siege for 5 days.
There is much more to the story, and I suggest the book The Last Indian War: The Nez Perce Story by Elliott West for all the brutal details. Tom and I are listening to it on audio book as we drive along, and it is written in fascinating text.
The Bear Paw Battlefield is mapped out as a self-guided tour, but it was our luck to have a very knowledgable ranger accompany us with a running narration of details. We walked along the trail that was cut through the rolling Montana grassland -- in temperatures above 90 degrees.
Several years after the battle, Nez Perce who were eye witnesses returned to mark the location of events on the field, making it a well-documented theater. Today, people leave small tributes at the markers.
The artist who painted these sign posts, depicted the Nez Perce in correct detail with their striped blankets and teepees made without the customary tall lodge poles.
These pictures of the battlefield show that there was high ground -- and low ground, and everything was out in the open.
The 6-day battle/siege ended with the very moving and very famous surrender by Chief Joseph: "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more, forever."
We got that far in the tour, and with the Airstream within sight -- Tom sat down. I took his picture. He tried to get up, and he sat down again -- hard. I grabbed his hand, and he leaned back on a rock, and then laid down on the ground -- flat -- saying he felt a little woozy! Minutes later he said he was better and sat up -- minutes later he was "fine." Even though he walked with no problem to the truck, I took the keys from his hand and had him relax in the AC for 2 hours. Heaven knows I don't get the opportunity to take the wheel very often! Here is the picture of him sitting -- and me driving!
A time change, a long day's drive (450 miles), and the lengthy tour stop all combined to find us still on the road at 7:30 in the middle of nowhere on undeveloped Route 2, with no camping prospects for the next 58 miles! Tonight's campground is a Ramada Inn!
July 29, Saturday
Oh . . . this hurts! Tom drew a homeward route right through the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains – Jasper and Banff National Parks – skirting Yoho, Kootenay and Waterton National Parks! Towns: Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff, Calgary! We have already decided that this will be next year’s vacation, so we are just counting today as a scouting trip! Here are some of the beauties that we passed right by.
At 12:30 we entered Lake Louise – it was as busy as New York City! Nowhere to park and traffic cops that physically took over the routing of cars beyond the stop signs! Signs led to “overflow” parking out of town, with shuttle service back into town. We just stopped for gas and by the time were back on the road again, we were wondering if we should consider an early spring trip back!
Out of Banff, heading for Calgary, we were on a 4-lane highway, and quickly traded the Rocky Mountains for rolling, agricultural and grasslands. We could see the city of Calgary miles ahead before when we got there – something we haven’t experienced on a regular basis for 8 weeks.
Another landmark observation of having reached this latitude – last night it got dark -- Dark, dark! I had thought Alaska would just reach “dark” at a much later time in the evening, and that it would disappear at a much earlier time in the morning. What we found was that it achieved twilight at about 9:00 . . . and stayed there the rest of the night. In the middle of the night it was as light as could be, although not bright. I wonder what other conditions we are going to have to acclimate to! Oh, the temperature. As we dropped out of altitude we noticed the thermometer edging toward 90 degrees.
Our stop for the night (after 580 miles and 12 hours) was at a Casino that we had stayed at 8 weeks ago on the way out!
July 28, Friday
Today was the day we hit the “0” mile marker for the Alaskan Highway – in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. Of the 1,523 miles we only missed 23 of them when we took a cut-off out of Skagway. Of course, we did the highway backwards, from Fairbanks, with trips on and off to hit the major sights in the Alaska interior.
Mile by mile on our morning drive we could tell we were getting closer and closer to civilization on a permanent basis; the outposts were closer together, more developed, and at the end one merged into the next. In Dawson Creek we saw the big-chain restaurants that we haven’t seen in quite some time. To celebrate we ate lunch at McDonald’s!
We spent a bit of time at the Visitor Center where the formal sign proclaiming the start of the Alaska Highway was. Across the street was a "metal man with boney fingers" pointing statue made by a local artist -- using scraps of metal from surrounding farms; Tom just had to strike the pose.
It was almost a party atmosphere as people walked up and took turns taking each other’s pictures posing at the mile-marker. Some, like us, were just finished – others were just starting. All shared stories of their trip so far. We were able to move our rig to a point directly behind the sign to take a few pictures.
If that wasn’t enough, there was also The Mile 0 Post in the center of a downtown crossroad. I stationed myself on a street corner and Tom went to get our rig, and he dove it past the marker while I was poised to take pictures.
Tom collects t-shirts of famous roads he has driven, and we bought matching Alaska Highway T-shirts before we left Dawson Creek and headed on our way.
We felt a bit lost without having that single highway to focus on, but Tom quickly got it together and plotted an east-bound route for the rest of the day – and the next few days. Looking at what lay ahead I can say: “It ain’t over yet!”
Wednesday, July 26, 17
I am amazed when I look at a map of Alaska and see the trip that Tom planned. It has included almost all the ports on the Intercoastal Highway, and the major roads on the Interior of Alaska. We have been off and on the Alaska Highway during the past 4 weeks, but now we are on until it ends! Here is some of the beautiful scenery we saw today.
Today we traveled from Skagway back through customs and down into Yukon Territory. Our stop for the night was at Watson Lake – one of the big service centers on the AlCan. Population less than 1,500 – one grocery, one gas station, one liquor store, and one “department” store/gift shop! The town came to prominence when the Alaska Highway was built during eight months in 1942 as a World War II expressway to guard the Alaska territory and Aleutian Islands from Japan. I am sure we must have stopped here during our family trip of 1963!
One quirky attraction here is the Watson Lake Sign Post Forest. In 1942 a US Army Soldier started the tradition of nailing a sign to a post telling how far away his hometown was. Now there are over 75,000 signs, and visitors are encouraged to nail up their own sign. I got a little carried away walking around looking for places I knew -- and taking pictures!
I don’t want to say that Lake Watson isn’t a happening place – but after doing the Visitor’s Center, the Sign Post Forest, and visiting the grocery, we didn’t find that much to do. As we are now homeward bound, we spent some time cleaning up and re-organizing.
July 27, Thursday
Today, with the start of week 9, we are truly heading for home. But, we are deep in the Yukon, and still on the Alaskan Highway, so it by no means feels like the vacation is over! I suppose the difference is that we will start counting the miles and getting the best out of a day that we can.
This morning we left Watson Lake with no option of taking a wrong turn all the way to Fort Nelson (330 miles) – there were no other roads! On the Alaskan Highway there are occasional “service areas” with limited facilities and campgrounds and even more occasional incorporated towns that offer a bit more. Many of these are associated with the building of the Alaska Highway back in the 1940’s and none of them were here before that!
Today’s drive was a true Alaska experience – mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, wildlife . . . and dirt roads. We got another window chip! Our first stop was at Liard River Hot Springs – no hot-potting for us this time! There was a ½ mile boardwalk that led back to the natural hot springs pond where there were changing rooms but no lockers. This setting was much more of a “natural” setting than Chena Springs a week ago. Oh – if we didn’t have miles to make today . . . .
Beyond the Springs there was a sign for a Hanging Gardens, so we climbed the staircase up to see what it was all about. The warm climate and abundant nutrients create a perfect environment for algae, mosses, and wildflower. Some species (yellow monkey flower and Philadelphia Fleabane) would not be able to survive here without the hot springs environment. We were able to see the cliff, but the wildflowers were not in bloom right now!
Right out of the gate we saw wildlife – two black bears right alongside the road within 5 miles of each other. There were no pull-offs and although Tom slowed down, we didn't get a good picture. Later we saw caution signs to watch for Stone Sheep, and within a few miles we started seeing them on a regular basis along the road in small groups. And, we were back in buffalo territory – no herds, just single or pairs of animals along the road. The Mileposts magazine says animals come to the roadside to get the “natural and artificial” salt that accumulates.
The mountain ranges were a constant all day, although they offered a big variety: old, rounded, green, tree-covered mountains; long strings of jagged granite cliffs silhouetted against the sky; brown, bare mountains covered in sand, gravel, and loose stone, and tall bluffs/cliffs upon which flat plateaus stretched. These mountains set as backdrops to beautiful blue-green lakes, smooth, lazy wide rivers, fast-moving streams with rapids, tree-covered meadows, and swampy valleys. This drive had it all!
We got to Fort Nelson at 3:00, and feeling like driving another 3 hours drove on to Sikanni Chief. The weather was beautiful with temperatures close to 70 at the lower elevations and just two periods of rain that we drove through quickly. Although the privately-owned Sikanni had rave reviews in the Mileposts, it was the usual dusty and dirty parking lot with the added feature of a very large black mud-pit in the center! Tomorrow should see the end of the Alaskan Highway!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown