TGIF! Let me catch ya’ll up.
Tuesday we had our water delivered. Just water we hadn’t set up anything else for us to be able to use it.
Wednesday we went back to Kenai and purchased our wood burning stove, water heater, plumbing supplies from Home Depot , vodka, a few odds and ends at Fred Meyers and then Walmart.
Yesterday morning I went and had my hair done at Hair by Holly. I trust hair stylists again. She did an amazing job and was not grossed out by the state of my hair. She happily washed it and trimmed it up. Then later, Dad and I worked on the water house and getting everything piped correctly to move the water and have pressure. I cut insulation and attached it to the inside walls of the water house and Dad rigged up the electricity, pressure tank, and pump.
Then, I tripped over a log and busted my butt, err, whole body. I’m bruised, sore and slightly cut up. Turns out I’m not in my twenties anymore. Recovery time will be a week with how my bad knee feels, it got the brunt of the fall.
On the bright side, I got my first hot shower since Saturday. It was wonderful!
Todays goals are to run the water and electricity into the house. We would like to be moved into our house by the end of this weekend.
Wish us luck! I am sick of living in the camper!
Today we have power and internet! It’s a miracle! Tomorrow there will be water!
We are one step closer to moving into the main house. Tomorrow Dad is going back to Kenai to pick up our wood burning stove, water heater, propane wall heater, and a few odds and ends we forgot to get yesterday. It’s happening people!
I can’t wait to take a real and free shower I might add tomorrow! Real showers cost $7.50 for 30 min. I was able to manage the time although I had to skip shaving just to blow dry my hair. Ain’t no thang but a chicken wang! The water people will be here sometime tomorrow and fill our big tank up and Dad’s gonna connect it to the camper temporary.
We should be moving into the house at this point in about four days! I miss my bed and privacy. All that I have now is a curtain for privacy, soon it will be a whole floor! My bedroom has breathtaking views of the mountains, glaciers, and the bay! I get to wake to that view every morning. My room has an oversized bench that I can add cushions on it and sit up against one of the large windows and be able to read and enjoy moose crossing the property.
I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be able to move here to Alaska. It’s always been a dream of mine and now it’s a reality. Follow your dreams everyone if you believe and work hard they will come true!
Having gotten onto our property the last evening, we were up early. Sucked down 12 cups of strong coffee and went to inspect our new home. As we anticipated it was a mess. We paid about the cost of the property sans house. The house was/is a bonus, I think. We have a wonderful view of the bay and the glaciers across the bay.
We spent most of the day running around getting the utilities and other services set.
Can’t seem to get the trailer level. Can’t figure out if it is operator problems or that the darned thing keeps sinking further into the mire. They’ve had a very wet summer this year and the yard, such as it is, it a swamp even though we are over 500 feet above sea level. We’re still ‘bus lagged’ and early to bed seems to be a the norm for now.
Day Fifteen-Left Beaver Creek at about 7:30 and arrived in Anchorage 13 hours later. The Alaska mountains damned near killed me. I saw a speed limit sign that said 50 mph so I was doing 50 mph when I rounded the corner of the mountain to find myself on a 9% grade. A 9% grade is tantamount to driving off a cliff. The trailer brakes were smoking. Betha the Beast’s brakes were smoking and no matter how hard i jammed down on the brakes she wasn’t stopping and was only barely slowing. I made the 90+ degree turn at the bottom just barely escaping a 200 ft drop through the guardrails and very nearly ending the lives of several people in a small car. I came within inches of going through the guard rail and only a foot or two from hitting those poor people head on. As this was happening, I was pretty sure that this was the end. It is, apparently, true that God does look out for fools and children.
We arrived in Anchorage after thirteen hours of hard driving. The roads were pretty good but dippy until we got to the Tok Cutoff. It made the ALCAN look like a major super highway. The damned road was so bad that I spent most of the time at about 30 mph.
The RV park had no pulll through sites. However, since it was off season they let us park across several sites to accommodate our extreme lengths at no extra charge. The commode problem persists. Thankfully, they had an extremely clean bath house.
When we arrived Summer walked the dogs and met a couple traveling with a camper trailer. They were from Australia. I went over and chatted with them after getting our own trailer connected to the various facilities. Later the husband came over and invited us to dinner. They were about to close up the trailer and put it into storage. This was the ‘clean out the refrigerator’ dinner. They served us broiled salmon and sautéed vegetables, sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes. It was far more than I could eat and I left a good deal on my plate. Summer and I were very grateful for the dinner. We were both so tired that we’d have probably just opened a can of Campbell’s and called it dinner. It was a nice evening and we retired early.
Day Thirteen-Left Fort Nelson at 7:30 arrived Watson Lake, Yukon at 6:30. We traveled 318 grueling miles of mostly uphill and more uphill. Eleven hours of adrenaline rushes and abject fear. This took us through the Northern Rocky Mountains. An easy hill would be a 6% grade. We didn’t have any of those. We had four 8% grades over a mile on each and then a 9% grade of almost two miles. On 9% grade Bertha the Beast had, finally, had enough. She was down in granny low and climbing slowly like most grannies do when she just gave out. She stopped about 400 yards short of the summit and would go no further no matter how I whipped her accelerator. I set the park brake, put a chock under the wheels and sent Summer on up to the summit to disconnect the travel trailer and return to pull me the rest of the way up the mountain. Summer returned with Spike (A 4 wheel drive Dodge Ram 3500 Bully Boy dually and black, of course.). Summer backed up to the bus, which was still attached to the 28’ trailer. We put a chain around the bus bumper and her trailer hitch. Spike pulled Bertha the Beast with trailer up the mountain, as if there was no load at all.
During our 11 hour ordeal, we saw one moose, one red fox, several caribou and a whole flock of bison. It was a Canadian safari at 29 miles per hour.
Day Twelve-We filled up the vehicles and then drove a couple miles back to the roundabout so that we could start at MILE 0 of the ALCAN. We left Dawson’s Creek behind and started our trip up the infamous ALCAN. Had been told horror stories about how awful the road was. Well we did 300 miles today and it was no worse that some secondary road in the U.S. There were two hindrances in getting to our primary campsite. One was all the little towns, communities and crossroads where the speed limit dropped to 30 or 40 mph. The other was all the construction. There must have been near twenty sites throughout the day. Again the speed limit was reduced to about 30 and some of them stopped traffic for 20 minutes or more. At one of these we went into the camper and made sandwiches. Finally, at about 3:30 we called it quits and went to our secondary campsite. The primary was still 160 miles up the ALCAN and we’d likely arrive at about Dark:30.
There were some scary moments today. We traversed two 6% grades that went on for over 3 miles and an 8% grade that was only about a mile. On all three the trailer brakes were smoking and on the last I thought I was going to have to get out the fire extinguisher there was so much smoke. I can’t believe that the manufacturer only put brakes on one axle of a 28′ trailer. I paid a good price for the darned thing thinking that I was getting a quality product. Probably, should have walked away when they didn’t have the safety chains installed when I arrived to pick it up. Connie’s maternal grandmother used to say, “A cheap horse is hard to ride”.
1512 miles to our new, ramshackle, “Fun fixer upper” home. These Canadian highway people, apparently, attend the same church as Florida’s hwy people: Our Lady of Constant Construction. Which means that we could be home in 3 days or 5 days depending upon how often we have to sit at a dead stop for 20 minutes or more.
Found out when we arrived in Fort Nelson at the Triple G Hideawy (which you can easily see from the road) that all electrical service to the north is 30 amp instead of 50. Asked why and the reply was that it would cost too much and then she sold me a $45 adapter. I guess selling adaptors is more profitable than serving your customers needs.
A good friend of mine said that I must be a “stubborn man” for taking a school bus to Alaska. To tell the truth I wish I’d bought a 5 ton truck much of the time. However, in spite of regrets and myriad problems both large and small, I am determined to finish what I started.
The commode has unstopped itself again. It’s a mystery without a single clue.
Tonight’s dinner is Roast Chicken, Dressing, French cut green beans and Cranberry sauce. Yum-m-m-m-m
For some pictures go to alaskaorbust.blog