Saturday, September 15, 2018

A Trip To Denali NP to Enjoy The Fall Colors

Denali the highest peak in North America from our lodge room

  It was a mini vacation to enjoy the mountains and colorful foliage. The weather was great! Denali was always visible and quite nice to see. Princess had their end of season discount for rif raf locals like us. There were still hundreds of tourists there but they had a few rooms available. 

 The drive up was beautiful yet eventful. We were meeting a fifth-wheel RV that had a dramatic blowout and as we both watched we dove down and closed our eyes. A smaller part of the tire hit our windshield and the giant C shaped piece went over the top of our van. The windshield did not crack and I have not found any other damage to our van yet. It was a bit scary for sure. 

  We were staying 110 miles South of the Nat Park entrance road and it has the best view of Denali.

 Above is the view from the deck at the lobby of the lodge. The view remained for many days and that is a rare event.

  We drove into the park and did the Savage River hike each day and then the old camp loop on the way out. We left on Thursday and had a nice drive home. The park concessions were closed on Friday and the park Visitor Center was closed on Monday. The lodge was in shut down mode as the tourist season is over for this year. There are places that stay open for shoulder visitors but they are few.

 It was a fun time and it has been good being home also. Just errands being done and getting the yard ready for Winter have been the activities Friday and today. Picked up mail, returned a broken GoPro for replacement and spending time with neighbors cat each night. 

 The red van got a whole new set of all-season tires after a blowout ruined one of the last new tires with 4K miles on them. The company changed the tire design and they could not be mixed on an AWD car. They would not let me keep any of the 3 great condition tires for a spare as it was a warranty exchange. I did want a new spare but the old one worked and will hopefully never be needed again.  

  These pics were taken late in the day and have shadows. I told a lady I was impersonating a traffic cone after her husband made a comment about my T-shirt.

  It appears we have had our last day in the 60's, sure hope we have a lot in the 50's before it gets cold. It is getting dark at 9 pm now and the seasons are changing. Yellow trees are everywhere and a ton of leaves are in my yard. My squirrel relocation total was 8 for this Summer. 

 So that was our week.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Had a Wonderful Day Trip To Seward Alaska

  We noticed it was a sunny day from Anchorage to Seward 120 miles South and Kathy packed a picnic lunch and the red van drove that road yet again. We had lunch where we sometimes camped for a few days and no one else was there, just nature sounds and blissful in Turnigan Pass. The food was good also.

  It was a no traffic drive and we were able to enjoy all the scenery along the way. We did the Exit Glacier National Park Hikes and then had dinner at the Seward Brewery. 

  Kathy loves microbrews and most have very good food also. This place will close for the season on Monday, so we were lucky to have a meal there. Just a gee wiz as what a small world we live on, Kathy made a Sarasota Florida concert reservation today and the woman suggested we visit her cousin in Seward Alaska as she owns a microbrewery there called 'The Seward Brewing Company.'  

 News from my Doc about my Colon guard test results being negative really made it a great day! I have to poop in a bucket again in 3 years. 

Fishing for Silver Sammon just offshore

This is my Fav pickup camper, side door, genset, king bed over cab.

  The next day was mowing our lawn yet again. Today was a free Chamber Music Concert at the Museum. We will be attending the paid concerts at the concert hall for the next two weeks also.

  This great weather is staying around a few more days and we hope to enjoy it also. High 60's and Sunny is very nice.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Fall Is Here, A Few Sunny 60 Degree Days Left

A 1931 Pilgram  airworthy and last one in existence 

  The weather has been great for a week and it appears we will have two more as it slowly gets cooler. We went to the State Fair a second time on $5 day last Sunday, Thanks Gieco. It was a sunny low 60's day and very crowded as we walked around. We saw all the things we missed on the first visit, and I took a short twilight helicopter ride. I had never ridden in the back and I do love low light flights. I tried my Nikon placed on my hand between the two flight instructors heads. I have a lot to learn and need an audio converter cable if I do that again. I started a youtube channel for my brother to see my acro rides and it is lower quality than this makeshift blog I write. If anyone wants to see a helicopter ride from sea level to eight thousand feet to circle a mountain and back at twilight, you can just Google ' Airborne Misfit 'and click on the youtube link. Perhaps I will learn to take good videos and that needed skill of editing and make a good video someday, do not hold your breath for that.
  I have been taking an old coworker out for daily walks and visits to museums as he just left the workforce and is taking it hard. He did not have a plan of activities set up and went from full-bore work to watching TV. The adjustment will slowly happen but it will take time. He has a nice home and car and no debt and decent income, yet there is a bit more to not working fulltime.

 My South neighbor just had his last workday last Friday and is happy as can be. He bikes in marathons and is an avid and renown ' birder.' I saw him heading off into the woods with binocs and a DSLR with a 400mm lens hung on it, happy as could be.

 The neighbors on the West side of me left for a two-month adventure in their 16-foot Scamp behind a Ford F 150 pickup. They will fly home and then resume their travels after Christmas. 

 There are 9 homes on our culdesac and only two have working families in them. I guess we are becoming the geezer street.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Alaska Used To Be Tropical and Had Palm Trees

  Today was overcast and high 50's. We had tickets to see the artist and the archeologist who were responsible for this cool art that shows what animals lived in Alaska. We had to split into two groups and Kathy wanted to spend time with the scientist.

  Fossil evidence proves the pictures are correct in which animals traveled which way in the past.   Alaska used to be tropical and had palm trees.  Camels were only in North America and traveled to Africa where they are now found. The neatest fact is that for large changes in ocean levels, land mass movements are the cause. That is why the oceans were at their highest during the Ice Age. As the floor of the ocean rises, so does the water level.

  That was about all I recall out of an hour of him explaining things. He is a very smart scientist and I was just an old geezer tourist.

  We ate out for the second time in Alaska today after the tour. We really have been in a savings mode. Other than that it has been two nights binge-watching a series on Hulu called 'The Handmaid's.' It is based on a short novel and depicts what could happen to the USA, kinda like 'The Man in the High Castle.' It is totally different yet perhaps scarier. It is a scary yet possible future.

  Nothing new on the squirrel front. We have been using heat in the house for the last few weeks. Leaves are falling in our yard and I think about two lawn mowings will do it for the year.

  It should be sunny on Wednesday and Sunday so it might be another good time to attend the State Fair.

 The archeologist on left and Artist on right, poor photo by me. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Three Dog Night Concert

  Unable to download my phone pics. Just imagine six guys in their mid 70's playing like they were still in their twenties. It was a great concert and we were 9 rows back from the stage.

  Otherwise just a simple sleep in late kind of day for me. I got a call from an old coworker and he has decided to retire early also. He is younger than me but has his home paid for and no debt and sizeable savings. So that makes two who have decided early 50's is a good time to quit working for the man. Both of them owned their homes outright and had no debt and had a profitable investing hobby like me. We all worked together and shared stock tips and ideas for fun.

  My way younger friends are planning on staying on the conveyer belt until age 65 or so.

  We are about a month away from starting year eight of not working for a living and it is still going well for us. Living on less than you bring home is essential for a stress-free retirement. You should still be saving a little until you die.

 Nothing new on the Squirrel situation. None in the trap tonight and none in the attic last night. 
Sure hope that issue is over.

 On some of these rainy days, I have been watching Youtube gloom and doom videos people make. You know the type, the economy is going to crash, cash is trash invest in Bitcoin, and no one is going to be able to retire. They are interesting, yet I do not believe any are going to come true. I usually watch one between chapters of this S King novel I am almost done with. It is a wonder I do not awake from nightmares. 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

I Need A New Mailbox

  The tropical storm and all its friends have passed for now. It should start raining again tonight from another unrelated low-pressure system, yea.

  The cartoon pic above is at the local museum along with many others done by Ray Troll. Staying inside places is a great thing to do when light and heavy rain never seems to stop.

  Yesterday was sunny and nice and today is overcast without rain. So we took a fast pace walk yesterday and I mowed the lawn today. Our neighbors are out riding motorcycles and British and German sports cars with groups. I do not belong to a group.

 Someone may have released a squirrel from my cage this morning. It was set last night and open for release at noon today when I went outside. Hum...

 I was talking with my oldest brother and looking out the front window today when a bright yellow Mercedes van pulled up in front of my house. I wondered what they were up to and then watched as it backed over my mailbox. It quickly pulled forward a few feet and shut off. A lady got out to inspect the damage and my neighbor walked over to introduce me to her friend ' Crankshaft.'

 That is the latest update from the culdesac.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Squirrel #2 Relocated

 Today was SUNNY! It was a nice break from all those rainy ones. Tomorrow it will be back to rain again.

  Since this guy was climbing up the side of my house I suspected he may be a guilty party of the break-in crew. I moved the cage to where he was hanging out and removed the soaked bait and replaced it with sunflower seeds. 

UPS DC-10 retracting the landing gear

 We went to Earthquake park to walk as it was the sunniest place in town. I like walking there as I get to see airplanes taking off.

  I used to pack a picnic lunch and fly my airplane over to a runway on top of that mountain. Many an hour spent looking back at Anchorage as I ate. 

 Just another past chapter in my life.

  The bench I am sitting on is quite a bit above the beach these people and dogs are walking on. Many folks were out enjoying the day.

 As for our budget saving mode this Summer, July came in at $ 2200 and I hope August will do likewise. June was very high as taxes, insurance and utilities for the year were paid. 

Update: Squirrel # 3 was relocated this afternoon.

 Update: Saturday. I checked the cage at 03:00 Hrs and it was empty. I stayed up later and then slept until 11:00 Hrs. I went outside and found the cage had been opened by a human. I suspect someone saw a trapped squirrel and released it.  I added new bait and set it again.