Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
The potato cellar building is partially sunk into this hillside. It contains 3 apartments and is about 2 blocks S. of me. I will have to ask someone about its history...
The Dutch Mill at the City Park, which grinds grain when working properly.
The hazy pic is Rambler's Bar and Grill--delicious steak on Thursday night for under ten bucks. You can see the hind end of a police car to the north of the building. The police station used to be the old library...so there is now another bar in town--people weren't comfortable stumbling out of Ramblers in full view of der Polizei! Ramblers closes around 9:00 now, so you have to spend the rest of your evening at Lincoln Street Station. That other building that says 'Barleycorns' is the smokeless bar, but I haven't seen it open yet.
Then there is the little museum building down by the park.. lots of interesting items in there. Copfriend has lots of interesting items in his backyard too, where he restores countless Jeeps....hmmm, I broke the gas pedal on mine last time I tried to start the engine...hmmm!
Lastly, this big building used to be a funeral parlor. One of my son's friends rented part of it before it was completely made into apartments. We went in one night about 1:00 am and saw remnants of funeral parlor stuff--like the antique makeup kits, old bottles (embalming fluid?), piles of what looked like ashes (huh?), all very dark and creepy--you can go on the flat part of the roof and yell out the odd windows at other people who are wobbling home from the bar across the street!
Oh, and the gas station is my 'coffee house' across the alley from me. Coffee is a quarter a cup, if you bring your own!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Since being in Alaska a week, Bail said she had never seen people so pale in her life (I couldn't live like that—I HAVE to have some sun)--and all their little facial imperfections showed due to their ghostly palor...I asked if the dental hygiene compared to the British, (they've been through some very small, poor towns), but she said “You can't see their teeth cause they all have beards. Even the ladies.” Smart Aleck!
At Valdez, they watched the tankers pulling in and out amongst the fog; and later got to see/smell the finale of a salmon run when thousands of them just lay and rot. They ventured around Anchorage, went through Denali, stayed in Fairbanks, had caught 8 salmon, and today were heading to Seward.
Now I hope nobody suddenly decides to call this in, because my daughter pulled a shocking stunt which surprised me, but I have to say I am definitely impressed:
While traveling slowly down a road in the middle of nowhere, looking at the Pipeline, she saw a snowshoe rabbit hopping along—and proceeded to shoot it from a moving vehicle (I did mention that IT was moving too!), hitting it directly in the back of the head right between the ears! That sounds like a crackpot shot-- with a .45 pistol and I'm sure she surprised herself and probably wouldn't have done it had she had time to think. Murder!
Now I know a rabbit is no big deal to Kansans and they did try to cook it over the campfire later so as not to waste it—they do hunt/fish for food, but it proved to be so old and tough that it bled juices all over but was too hard to stick a knife point into—I can imagine a Clan of the Cave Bear scene, trying to gnaw away at a bloody bunny bone. She is salting the skin and was enamored by it's giant paws.
She said they had visited with a Tanner and he'd shown them all around his shop petting all the animal skins. She didn't know that a beaver pelt had to have the longer rough hairs pulled out—that no one around that village performed that trade anymore and they were shipped to Europe for that task. She thought that Nate could become a professional beaver plucker since there was a hole in the market for that job..., but I told her she should probably never say that phrase aloud again! C'mon--it sounded bad!
Anyway, I hadn't realized they'd been sleeping in a tent—I thought they were hanging out with my brother and wife at the Base for a while and using their camper. Despite the cool weather, they'd decided to venture off on their own and hadn't stopped at a motel yet, pitching their tent at campsites or anywhere they found a somewhat safe-looking spot.
Did I say safe? One night they stayed in an area filled with Tsunami warning signs. (Break-offs from glaciers cause huge tidal waves and I'd seen the devastation on the Discovery channel-yikes—but isn't that a springtime phenomenon?-- or was it due to earthquakes?) They were awakened in the night by a horrible sound—not a herd of moose or family of bear crashing through the brambles, but really loud and rough and rumbly (at this point she says to Nate over the phone: “I was NOT in tears!”. It was a landslide that landed across/up the road from them; the week of nonstop rain had loosened the boulders enough to start a nice black avalanche. Whew. Don't park at the base of a mountain like that RV did...
Now wearing duck hats to hide the fact that they hadn't bathed in quite some time, the two honey-mooners decided that small Baby-wipe squares were not enough for cleanliness and you just can't jump in the ocean like Hawaii-- so off to find warm water. And soap!