Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The ALCAN day3

So on I drove through Edmonton and about 60 miles before Calgary I again switched with Leesha so I could sleep and Shelisa was feeling a little better and was willing to take care of the kids needs.  The smoke from the BC fires was thick around us and the sun as it was coming up was really red, which you will see in our pictures.  Leesha drove until 30 miles from the border, and I drove us through.  When we got to the border crossing at 3pm....The guy asked me for my paper from Chad stating that he would allow the kids to travel through Canada.  I explained to him that we did not, but we got through the other border crossing because they had talked to Chad personally and he said it was ok.  Then he asked me about food, firearms, etc.  I told him that we had apples, celery, and carrots in our cooler, and that I had frozen meet in the back.  He wanted to know what kind....I have moose, Salmon, and Halibut.  How is the fish packaged....vacuum sealed....does any of the fish still have skin on it....um yes the salmon does.  He told me ok, you will have to pull over to the side so we can check it out.  Ok???  So I pull over and I go in the building with 10 other people in front of me and I wait my turn.  When I get to the front the lady asks me if I have any paperwork documenting that I got this meat from Alaska.....Me: ummm, no.  She says: do you a hunting and fishing license....Me:  Uhh, no....my husband is the one that does all that!  She says:  well you know you need to have documentation so we know you didn't just go and get this meat from somewhere in Canada.  Me:  Well, I am sorry but I didn't know....I didn't even think about it.  She says:  does any of the meat have a name on it stating it is from Alaska.  Me: Yes!!!  Some of the Halibut does from the processing store!  She says: ok lets go look at it.   That piece of halibut saved all our meat from being confiscated!  Thankful for that logo!  All of that only took 30 minutes and then we were off to Great Falls, where we had dinner with my Aunt and Uncle...Shelisa's parents, and then we drove around looking at some gardens and the kids played at a playground before Leesha and the kids and I drove down to Bozeman.  We left at 8:30pm and got to Bozeman by 11:30ish.  We were exhausted but we made it, and I would travel like that again just because the kids did so well with it!
It should have been light and sunny but this is the smoke that made it just like clouds...
30 miles from the border and all the smoke is gone!  look at the endless plains.
Just leaving Great Falls, a beautiful sunset.
This is also just outside Great Falls
this is Mason drinking my newly discover Mocha Coconut Frappuccino from Starbucks....they did not have this in Alaska!!!   Oh it was yummy and Mason did not want to give it back!

The ALCAN day2

So the second day I drove to Laird Hot Springs, and on the way between Watson Lake and there, were a herd of buffalo, and one big horn sheep, and our first time of waiting for construction!  When we got to Laird we got out walked to the hot springs looked around and walked back.  I was not going to take 4 kids in there and then drag them out 30 minutes later screaming at me because they didn't get enough time to swim, and it was raining.  The walk was good for the kids as it was about 1/2 a mile round trip and we were not going to pay $5 per person to get in for such a short time.  I hope to stop there in March on our way home so that we can enjoy it with the kids and stay the night at the lodge or something.  So I drove for a little longer before I had to take a break.  Leesha drove for most of the day so I could sleep and Shelisa took care of the kids needs.  We made it to Fort Nelson by 3:30 and about 4:30 I took over the driving again so Leesha could get some sleep.  We arrived in Fort St. John at 8pm and we stopped and had dinner at the nicest McDonald's I have ever been too.  They had lounge chairs with a fire place to sit by, and the kids play area was a jungle fort theme.  Next time we go through I will be sure to take pictures.  The kids up to this point had been pretty well behaved.  There were occasional outbreaks of screaming by the girls over something silly, and Mason had an hour of screaming because he was ready to get out of the car and eat, but overall they were much better than I had anticipated!  After dinner Leesha and I loaded up on energy drinks and coffee in preparation for the night driving ahead of us.  We left Fort St. John about 9:30pm and I continued driving.  We had been through many places where the road construction had been but they were on the finishing stages of the projects.  The problem with this was that we usually hit these construction areas at night and there was one thing missing....road lines!!! Canadians I guess do not know about the reflective markers that you put down until the road lines are painted on...but ya, black outside due to clouds and smoke, and black on the road don't make for a good combination!  So that was one big obstacle of driving at night, the other was the smoke or rain that was around.  In British Columbia they had over 300 fires going and all that smoke was blowing into Alberta, and it was thick which made it hard to see as well.  With all the energy drinks I had (2 5 hour energy drinks, an amp energy drink, and coffee) I only made it another 3 hours before I had to switch with Leesha.  ( Shelisa was really not feeling well at and so we told her to just sleep so she would feel better....She was such a big help during the day with the kids and I really really appreciated it)  Leesha also had the same drinks as I did so she could be alert and able to drive, and I tried to sleep, tried being the key word!  Even though I could not keep my eyes open to drive I could not turn my head off to sleep, and so it was very unrestful, and not too much of it.  Leesha drove until 4am and was getting sleepy, so I told her to find a place to pull off and we would all just rest for a little while.  We sat there for 5 minutes and just stared at each other before we laughed and decided to keep going, because the energy stuff would just not let us sleep.  I took over, and found out we were still on Alaska time, so it was actually 6am, and we were 60 miles from Edmonton. 

looking out from the boardwalk walking to Laird Hot Springs
Big Horn Sheep
                                              Waiting in line for the road construction
Shelisa is still smiling :)

                              We had to get a picture of the out house because the sign was so cute :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Alcan Day1

So our day started out at 7am getting everybody up and loading up the suburban.  I had hoped to leave at 8am, but we didn't get on the road until 9am which is still ok.  The kids and I said goodbye to Chad and off we drove.  I had my friend Leesha and my cousin Shelisa to help me on this drive, and I am extremely thankful for that because it made it possible to drive 24 hours a day that way with someone else taking care of the kids needs instead of just me!  Well we made it about 60 miles when I realized I had not packed a single diaper or wipe for Mason.....ummm, ya that was not great :)!!!  Luckily Anchorage was still in front of us and we stopped there to pick some up, and for our second potty break, ya we had a few of those along the way. I also remembered that I had not packed my purse, luckily it had just been washed so nothing important was in it, and the wii system for the kids to play at grandma's house!  Not too bad I guess when you are packing for 7+ months, but still missed them all the same.  After Anchorage we made it to a little town about an hour before Glen Allen and everyone had to go potty again.  Then at about 9pm we made it to the border crossing.   I handed the lady all our passports and she asked where my letter from the father was stating that he would allow the children to come with me across the border.  Um, ya, I don't have one of those....."well don't you know you need one because there have been so many trying to steal kids?"  No, I had no idea!!!!  "Well do you have your husband's phone # so we can reach him and hopefully get you on your way?"  Yep, but I just talked to him about an hour ago and he was in a spot where the cell phone was not working....so I guess just give the #'s a try and I will hope that you reach him!!!!  20 minutes later she came out to the car with our passports and said that she had talked to Chad and all was well.  We were on our way again.  By this time I had been driving for 12 hours and I kept driving until 10 miles from Haines Jct. and about 12am.  Leesha took over.  and drove for 2 more hours to Whitehorse, and then Shelisa drove for 30 minutes, before I took over again.  We made it to Watson Lake at 6am!!  Some of it was slow driving, and really hard because in new construction sites where the road had been repaved they had not added the lines yet and when you passed someone coming the opposite direction the road just disappeared!!!  Lots of people would not turn off their brights which also made for really difficult driving.  And that is the end of day 1!

Mason saying goodbye

Leesha getting ready to sit for a while!

The girls all settled in their seats for the long ride
at turnagain pass

Right before Matenuska glacier

Photo's courtesy of Leesha Keener....mine are still on the camera and my kiddo have it in Wyoming right now!

Monday, August 16, 2010


On Saturday I took my cousin to see Homer because she has never been to AK before and I thought it fitting that she get to see a little before we left on our "big trip"!!  We had planned on heading down there Thursday, but plans had to be changed and it was pouring rain all day anyway.  On Saturday it was cloudy, but no rain and by the end of the time it was very warm and sunny down there.  I took her to a place called Maura's for lunch, which is an organic restraunt that has great gormet sandwiches and salads and soups!  Then we went to the Better Sweater Store, and strolled along the spit.  We played in the ocean, and then we went to Wild Berry Products, before starting for home. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Things over the last 10 days

Emma and Madison washing dishes together :)

Heidi and her bug bite which was this puffy for 2 1/2 days!  Poor thing :(
Our trip to Homer with our friends from OR, on 8/7/10, and we had a great time, but it rained on us all day....surpise surprise! :)  I only got a few pictures but I thought they were cute.

These next few were of our drive to Anchorage to pick up my cousin.  She is spending the week with us and then is helping me drive with the kids down to MT on the 18th.  I just love our little Alaskan pine trees. Aren't they adorable? Haha
The next day, we actually had a big tea party for my friends, last one from my house for the year, and then we headed to a friends house for hot dogs....in the rain :)  We had a great time though as you can see in the pics!!
This was of my last swim of the year in our lake at camp it was a tad bit cold, but I find that I am adjusting to that pretty well.  On the way back up to the house, I took these pictures of all the little greenery that we grow around here.  I thought it turned out pretty well and makes you wonder what little creatures might be lurking about!  God's creation is so amazing!!!