Vancouver and Jeremy! (Corinne)

I didn’t sleep well the night before we left Seattle.
Perhaps I knew what was about to happen?

David and Sean left before I woke up to go down to pick up Astara forty minutes away. I started cleaning the apartment and put the washing
machine on with a few last things to clean. Ten minutes later there was a knock at the door and I opened it to a woman saying “are you having a flood?” I looked at the floor.  The laundry beside me was an inch deep in water and coming out to meet me. “Oh No” I said, she replied “I’ll get the landlord” and fled down the stairs. I called Braden and Lara to help find towels. We pulled out everything we could find and dropped them in the water. The water valve in the machine must have stopped working. I turned it off and tried to get as much off the floor as fast as we could, as it was dripping down the walls inside the woman’s apartment downstairs.  What a nightmare!  We frantically worked until the landlord appeared with more towels ten minutes later. It was still bad and he was not happy, as if it was our fault!  It was obvious the washing machine was old and as we found out later his responsibility to have it repaired as it belonged to the flat.

David, Astara and Sean arrived looking astonished at what was going on.  They surveyed the mess in shock and the odd negative comment escaping the landlord’s mouth and decided on a quick exit. Piling as much into the van as fast as we could was the best option to get out of his hair. It was not how I wanted to leave John’s place as I had wanted to have it looking it’s best for him coming back home soon, but fate had other ideas!  David gave the landlord $250 to smooth it over - money always talks!

With Astara in the car we all jumped in and further down the road all laughed at the quick getaway! What was that all about? It felt like the beginning of the trip in Dunedin when the taxi van broke his window on the shed!

Anyway, we were on our way to Jeremy’s in Vancouver. Nothing was organised properly in the car and the kids were boxed in like astronauts on a space shuttle mission! David drove through to Vancouver with Astara directing us through Little Rock on the way for a look see. Pretty place!

Getting to Jeremy’s was straight forward and we unpacked all
our gear into his flat and went out for a meal together with him and Astara at a Vietnamese Restaurant nearby. It was a fitting end and a nice way to farewell Astara. She climbed into the van with all our paperwork to get her through the American border and we all waved her off. It was sad but I know we will be seeing her again ahead sometime when the time is right!

Jeremy shared his flat with Justin and Kareem. Two easy going guys who didn’t mind a family of five kiwis sharing their space. It was nice having their company when they were around. They had the most amazing  amount of movies and programs ready to be watched on their flat screen. The kids loved it of course and barely moved from the sofa the whole week!

Jeremy slept in the lounge at nights and the five of us slept comfortably in his room. It was a fun time together. Outside was quite cold, a few degrees colder than Seattle so we only went out when it was fine.
David and I had a few good walks around the area trying to work out how we would get all five and us and our gear to the train station. There was a train station a thirty minute walk away which went to the airport. We had accumulated a lot more since we had picked up more gear with the motorbike in Seattle. I thought we could get a shuttle bus, but when I googgled it the first thing on the Google page was an advertisement for a limousine company. Hmmm. Now that would be a good way to leave our tour! I rang and found out a price, $65 plus taxes not bad. Could we afford to shout ourselves?

We enjoyed Jeremy making smoothies using ingredients we would never have thought of putting together! Lara became his right hand girl in that respect and we all looked forward to them. Jeremy mentioned that he had some clay if the kids wanted to model with it. Lara took to it straight away and Jeremy patiently showed her how to take a photo every time you moved the model slightly.

I was so impressed at her patience.

She spent half the day diligently doing it. I mentioned my Great Uncle Fred O’Neill had done the same thing many years ago. He won awards at the Cairns Film Festival for his work! I wondered if he was watching with interest with what Lara was up to!

Here is a link to his Plastiphobia if you are interested, it’s really quite good!

http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/plastiphobia-1962

One night on the 10th of November some friends from Jeremy’s school came over. One of the girls was interested in what Lara had done and showed us her work on her laptop. It was amazing seeing how far
animation had come. All of a sudden I realised this was going to be a “fit” for Lara. Having dyslexia has made it difficult for her at school but I could see a pathway ahead for her opening up. We were definitely meant to meet this girl and Jeremy!

On the 11th of the 11th of 2011 I couldn’t believe the change in energy flooding the planet. I was consciously aware of the Gateway opening up and felt it as a “wave of LOVE” which I picked up on the night of the 10th. It felt like the biggest Christmas EVER, that’s the only way I can describe it! It was so good to be in Vancouver helping in our own way. Exactly where we were meant to be!

I had friends in Sedona and Machu Picchu doing ceremony in
groups to usher in the new energy. I would have loved to have been a part of that! As I type about it now I am still getting goose bumps! What a magical day! It is such a privilege to be on the planet at this time and experiencing the changes within us that are affecting us all!

The next day I realised I felt different. It is hard to put it in words but it was an “inner knowing” that everything was “set” for us in Australia. It felt as if there was simply nothing to worry about as it had all been taken care of already - I was delighted!

After spending the last few days organising haircuts and clothes for summer in Australia the bike shop in Seattle rang David a few days
before we were leaving to say we needed to pick up our motorbike! They hadn’t mentioned that there was a time limit on how long they would hold it for!

The motorbike would suit Jeremy down to the ground. It was perfect for him. We offered it to him for a good price and he took it. It was meant to be his all along! We had to leave the papaerwork with him to sort out as there was no time to do anything else!

Finally we came to the conclusion that we should get the limousine to the airport. That’s obviously why I had seen their advertisement first! Always trust what you notice first! It saves for a lot of time!

Everything in this world is meant to be easy and effortless if you are in the flow. After many years of trying things in and out of it, when my inner feeling has told me better; I have now decided to consciously look for where the flow is. It is so much easier to just join the slipstream and let the Universe bring us our best life; we just have to learn to trust it.
Of course it can also mean you have to confront your fears having to de-program ourselves with learnt behaviour over our own lifetime!

When the limo arrived on the day it was enormous, and the kid’s
looks were priceless, as we all sat laughing and talking on the way to the
airport. It was such a buzz!  Sean was determined this was just the beginning for him on his way to stardom!

Juggling the luggage around going through the check in was tricky but we managed it well. It wasn’t until I was going through the X-Ray machines that I was called over. My crystal wand used for prayers looked menacing in the X-Ray machine.

David was horrified I had packed it in my hand luggage. I always want it close. I was wondering if I was going to lose it, but the Angels were beside me again. Satisfied it was okay, it was allowed through. There was another check in to go through when we changed planes in Brisbane. I wondered how that would go.

Settling into our plane seats we all exchanged smiles and I remembered a paragraph in Tim Ferris’s four hour work week book. A woman counted her children’s heads on the plane after they had been away a year
sailing from France to the Caribbean. Their life was changed and they were never the same again after travelling with their children. There whole approach to life and what they wanted from it adjusted accordingly.

I looked at our three and congratulated myself on what we had given them. It had been quite a year. They had learnt compassion and trust,
enjoyed the company of new friends we’d made along the way and been involved first hand in my own and their spiritual awakening. They could talk confidently to anyone. You could not replace this year. The things I had been able to teach them first-hand about life and its magic would have been difficult for them to grasp in a normal day to day setting.

We were all safe and sound and had a whole new perspective on life. We are all so much more grateful…for everything we have in our lives. Their experiences I believe will hold them in good stead ahead. I wondered what my role was going to be ahead and where we were going to end up!

I had one thought in my mind “Now the REAL FUN BEGINS!!!!”

Posted in Peru, Corinne | Leave a comment

Seattle (Corinne)

Driving to Seattle was a two day affair. On the second day with Mt Olympia in the distance we pulled into a rest stop while the car cooled
down.

 

It seemed it was just hanging on to get there. We had rung Astara and she had offered us to stay at her son John’s place again which was wonderful news for us! We didn’t know our next move but we had to offload the motorbike and trailer at least.

We couldn’t believe it when we saw Astara driving right behind us as we drove closer to his apartment! For that to happen in a City that big, it was Divine Timing at work again! So we were in the right place at the right time. Great!

It was so nice to be out of the tent and on a bed at night.
The kids of course enjoyed living like normal people again too. It was so nice to be able to cook for ourselves and in such a beautiful location.  We loved being on Alki Beach and were extremely grateful to be there. Taking the bike and trailer away to be sold on consignment was easy but we still had the car to deal with. We weren’t sure what to do with it – it needed an oil change at least! It had worked hard taking us from Miami to Alaska and back down Canada to here in Seattle.

 

Astara loves getting out of the City, and she whisked us away to Winthrop and Leavinworth for the weekend. It was great fun.

Winding through the beautiful Cascade mountain range we were delighted as it was a blue
sky and no wind at all. Very pretty! David had driven through a year earlier and had strong winds to contend with. Stopping in Winthrop we wandered around town before the shops closed.

It was a cowboy looking place which had a distinct old worldly feel to it.

Years ago the town had taken good advice and themed the whole town. It was now a very popular tourist spot and I can see why!


David and Alistair had passed through there more than a year before on their bikes and had a coffee. We had a nice dinner out together in town before we all we jammed into a cabin at the KOA. It was so good to have a heater in this cold!


The stars were magnificent that night. A hot air balloon woke us up going overhead in the morning!

We had to leave early but it is a lovely camp to spend time at if you get the chance, the ladies in the office are very friendly!

The country was quite beautiful and before we left the area we went up to the Sun Mountain Lodge for a look.

With great views and some terrific artwork on display, we spent an hour chilling out in the lounge before taking off again.

The area was very similar to Central Otago in New Zealand temperature wise so there were quite a few orchards and grapevines around. Everywhere you look fields of golden grasses and lots of mountain peaks.  I really liked it – a painter’s paradise!

It’s always an adventure with Astara. Passing by a Lake she suddenly remembered she had friends who had retired there recently from Seattle
and took the time to connect with them. Getting directions we all piled into their house overlooking the best views and to top it off the local golf course!
They graciously welcomed us all, and we sat outside in the sun having coffee and biscuits. They were good friends as she had looked after Astara’s children for years and made Astara promise to bring John up next!

An hour or so later we were all off again arriving in Leavenworth with the whole town bursting with people.

This was a Bavarian themed town and you guessed it, it was “Octoberfest” just as they were celebrating in Germany; it being October and all! Flower boxes, bands, German sausage, pretzels and sauerkraut on offer.

We had our fill of German food before wandering around the town. The market and band playing were lively and of course all singing and dressed in costume! Hard to believe we were in America! After a few hours and the sun going down we pushed on again to get back to Seattle, it wasn’t that far but it takes an hour in the traffic.
It was fun and full on weekend!

The rest of the week we spent organizing ourselves and our gear. With the trailer gone we had far too much to possibly take with us. We
decided to give our camping gear to Astara to lighten the load and threw away as much rubbish as we could. It was time to “let everything go” yet again!

Traveling in the car and trying to see so much in such a short time had taken its toll. We were buggered and complete couch potatoes!
David and I absolutely loved walking along the beach every day building our fitness back up. We watched movies and actually cooked real meals again. To a family on the road for a while it was sheer bliss and we really appreciated it!

Thinking someone else was coming to stay at the apartment for a while we cleared and cleaned the whole place up and piled up the car to drive
down to Olympia. Astara had mentioned us to some friends of hers there and they had offered us to stay! Yay! Finding out on the drive down there that the girl coming to stay at John’s had found somewhere else and the apartment was available was rather funny as we had worked hard at cleaning it all. It certainly seemed like we were meant to be meeting this next couple Jerica and Sean!

 

Of course we all liked them both immediately! Fellow travellers who have adopted two dogs and two cats; all with different issues too! These were special people. We met Sean’s sister Nicole the next day and the kids got on with her like a house on fire as well!

We hung out going to the market trying smoked cheese and chilli jam and bought pumpkins for the kids to
carve while we made pumpkin soup together.

Heading back to Seattle for another few days we returned to spend the Thursday with them and went to Mt Helens. Ironic as Sean had done a
project on it at Intermediate not knowing at the time he would visit, or did he?

Climbing into Ape Cave and exploring its depths was also fun and a day we will always remember.

The park was really pretty and we were lucky
enough to see a beautiful sunset on the mountain. Not a cloud in the sky!

 

Posted in Peru, Corinne | Leave a comment

Yellowstone Report (Sean)

Yellowstone National Park is located in Wyoming in America. There are precisely fifty-six National Parks in America! Yellowstone was the first in the country opening on the 1st March 1872. Yellowstone is an active Volcano, (one of the largest, and most violent on earth) made up of Waterfalls, Wildlife, Geysers, Hot Springs, Fumaroles and Mud Pots!  Every Geyser, Hot Spring, Mud Pot, and Steam Vent has a unique name. Example: Pearl
Geyser or Mystic Spring. Some look like the namesake. Others do not!

“Geysers”

There are just about one thousand geysers in the world and more than five hundred of them are located in Yellowstone. Yellowstone has many Geysers such as “Old Faithful” the most famous, which for seventy-five years has erupted every hour or two of each day! They can tell when the next one is going to erupt by timing how long the previous one went off for. This represents the amount of water passing through it and using a calculation they
can time when next eruption will be. This only works with Old Faithful. Since the 1950’s the people of Yellowstone have been able to predict when it will go off, but the average time between eruptions has increased, partly due to earthquakes.

 

“Hot Springs”

In Hot Springs, water flows freely to the surface. The colours come from minerals – tiny, heavy loving life forms – and retracted light. The biggest Hot Spring in Yellowstone is The Grand Prismatic Spring and is also the brightest!

“Fumaroles/Steam Vents”

Fumaroles or Steam Vents are Geysers with small amounts of water. It flashes into steam
before it reaches the surface, producing a hissing noise. The fumaroles are the hottest hydrothermal feature in the park!

“Mud pots”
Mud Pots are the result of acid water and melted rock turning into mud and clay. When
it’s time, they boil up, producing a rotten egg smell.  These are what tell us the Yellowstone volcano is still active!

 

Every year approximately 2,500 earthquakes occur in Yellowstone! Although this many earthquakes happen each year in Yellowstone, they are often too week to feel. Earthquakes are another sign of  volcanic activity!

One very important piece of information is that “Geysers Need Earthquakes.” Earthquakes can change the shape of Geysers and Hot Springs. They can cause Hot Springs to erupt like Geysers, and Geysers to become (more like) new hydrothermal features!

To detect the earthquakes, the movement of hot water creates stress creating earthquakes. Yellowstone’s earthquakes are detected by a seismograph. The earthquakes shock wave shakes the earth’s surface, sometimes causing great destruction.

Yellowstone is also one of the biggest National Parks standing at 2.2 million acres with
five main Ranger resorts at “Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful, Canyon Village, Grant Village, and Lake Village.

20,000 years ago The Canyon Village area was covered in 4000 feet of ice! Glaciers
have covered Yellowstone for the past 2 million years. Unluckily, The Hot pots played a part by elevating the Yellowstone area. The increased elevation made Yellowstone cold enough for massive glaciers to form locally. These glaciers made Yellowstone’s landscape what it is today!

The most common animal in Yellowstone is Bison and has been present in the region for thousands of years. At the moment there is close to 3000 bison in Yellowstone. Bison often travel in herds of 25. In the Winter the Park is closed to tourists and the Bison and other keep warm around the Hot Springs and Geysers in the snow.

For animals such as Grizzly Bears and Wolves that cause trouble (get into human garbage) or get injured in Yellowstone (and other spots in America) they get transported to the Grizzly and Wolf centre in West Yellowstone. They keep them there until they are better or if they don’t reintegrate properly they stay there for good.  New bear proof bins are tested on these bears. If they can’t open it in ninety minutes then it’s passed the test. There is also a new eagle centre. This way, the animals of Yellowstone will stay safe and comfortable when injured!

I consider Yellowstone National Park to be the best in America for sheer size and
variety of life, landscape and animals.

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Glacier National Park (Corinne)

We didn’t know if we were going to be able to get back into the States or not. Our visa waiver had already expired up in Canada after Alaska. We were careful to get out before the date! Thinking it through we decided to find out if we were entitled to get another 3 month visa waiver by filling out the forms we had printed off online.

Driving to Pincher Creek on the Canadian side of the National Park, we stocked up on food and found a camp for the night.

Entering the border crossing in the morning at Waterton Park the American immigration officer very kindly looked at our filled in paperwork, told us it was no good as it had to be on the original blue form itself not a printed version, gave it all back, asked us a few questions which he checked online and then waved us through! When we checked our passports he hadn’t even stamped them. Ah well we were in and that meant the world to us as we had some special places selected to still get to if it was possible! It was a wonderful
feeling to be back in America!

Unfortunately we couldn’t drive through the Glacier National Park from the top of the going to the sun road. The trailer exceeded the length of 21ft. So we skirted around it all and found the smartest KOA we had ever come across at the West Entrance. It was $54 a night just for camping but it was like staying in a resort. It was so well kept. Heated swimming pool and spa surrounded by pine trees and a games room for playing pool meant the kids were off our hands and we enjoyed the spa first thing each morning as we thawed ourselves out from sleeping in the cold. Once again we had timed it well as the
Park closed in four days!

Thinking it would be fun to take the motorbike into the Glacier National Park for a couple of hours we both left the children entertained and had quite a time going through the Park and up the “going to the sun road”.

The mountains were dramatic and the valleys at that height
really looked like big bowls between. It was something else indeed.

The road is only open four months a year and is constantly being worked on. It’s the most
expensive road in America. I can see why. Even the edges are made of the stone
walls. We passed some of the stone masons putting them together. What a skill!


I don’t think I’ve ever seen that on a road before! It just kept going up and
up and up. What amazing views!

Back down at our “base camp” we realised the car would not make it up that road with all the stopping and starting due to road works. We knew it wouldn’t cope with that hill. Would we go directly to Seattle from here or try for Yellowstone?

We decided we were here and may as well give it a go, Yellowstone National Park it was!

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Jasper National Park (Corinne)

Someone said to us when we told them we were going to Jasper and Banff National Parks that “We had left the best till last!” They were quite right. We were continually “awed!”

We found the only camp open in Jasper and were given a great site within the trees and with our own fire ring. Great. Firewood is free in these parks so its worth paying for a permit. There is something nice about cooking on an open fire. The boys are definitely getting better at cutting up wood!

Funnily enough we hadn’t seen elks anywhere on the trip, but here they were right in our camp up close and personal! We have been so lucky! It was rutting season so the male was continually herding the five females and calling out to them.

It was quite an experience camping alongside the elks and something we will never forget!

The next day we decided to drive back through the Park to take photos as it was sunny. So glad we did. We saw Jasper in it’s full glory!

We decided to earmark this place for another time, a must come back trip. This place was so beautiful!

 

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Dawson Creek to Grand Cache (Braden)

From Whitehorse we had a two day trip back to Dawson Creek. We had a night at Liard River at the camp and enjoyed the hot pools again. This time we saw a black bear on
the boardwalk and we had to wait for it to move!  Mum and Dad had another swim in the morning before we left.

The car was starting to overheat for the first time so we took lots of breaks until
Fort Nelson. We stopped at a workshop and found out we could get the car
serviced in Dawson Creek and the transmission looked at there. The OD light
kept flashing on the dashboard.  For some reason it rained again at Fort Nelson like it had on the way up through here. I quickly pegged the tarp over Mum and Dads tent as it started. They were really pleased when they came back and found it already done!

The next day we stopped a lot of times and watched a movie in the car while the engine
cooled down. It was a slow trip but at least we made it. It was good to arrive
at Dawson Creek again. We had stayed a few days here on the way up going to
Alaska and had enjoyed the Mile ‘O’ campground!

 

Once we arrived at the camp, we set up the tents and got out the cooker and made some
baked beans and eggs.

After a nice dinner we went to go find someone to play with. We found a boy called Seth
and his sister called Cadence. We went swimming with them and one day when they
were helping their Mum at kindergarten my sister and I road on their bikes.

Every night there were so many flying bugs that when we ran they went in our eyes and
up our nose.  I found out that those bugs fly in your hair and bite behind your ears “gross aye!”

We stayed at Dawson Creek for seven days and had the car serviced.

On the last night we saw the northern lights in the sky at 10.30pm, it was
green and red and it was always changing shape.

Once it left, we went to bed. We were lucky to see it!

When we woke the next morning we packed up and said goodbye to Seth and Cadence and set off for our next destination; Jasper National Park

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Return To Whitehorse (Sean)

After a long drive from Dawson City, we were back in Whitehorse once again!  As soon as we arrived at the campsite, and started putting up the tents, we realized that our
friends were still here in the same campsite that we left them in on the way
through. Before saying another word we were over there and standing right in front of their door. Once we knocked we could hear footsteps coming towards us. As we looked at each other, the door opened and out of the trailer stood the one and only Casey in
surprise. After saying “Hi” and “How are you” we told him of everything that happened since we last saw him; such as Alaska and how cold it was there (although it wasn’t much colder than Whitehorse).  Once we finished talking, we went back, set up the tents, and had dinner. Later that night, we were invited to their campsite to have smorse
with them and their relatives. Definitely a night to remember! The next morning we had breakfast and went over to play with Haven, their daughter. When we sat down together we started playing “duck, duck, moose” which is basically in NZ “duck, duck, goose.” After two minutes of playing, they had to leave for the day to go help left supplies. No matter what Casey said Haven wanted to stay with us! In the end, she had to go for the day which left us at the camp bored! We decided we would go check out the fish ladder once more.
Last time we were there about a month earlier, there were only a small amount
of fish waiting to be let through and this time was completely different. We were looking forward to seeing them in action! They were all gone, not one small fish wanting to be let through.  Disappointment! However, the woman did say they had just let three go before we got there! Drats, we had missed out on seeing the fish ladder in action at its busiest. The good news was this year they had counted 1371, much more than 672 the previous year. Later that night we weren’t able to have a fire like we did last night because Casey was feeling sick. He blamed it on the stew his wife made. Although it tasted good, Casey obviously had too much of it! The next morning was freezing and too cold for us to stay
another day, so we packed up our tents and gear and just before leaving we went over to say goodbye.  It was zero degrees! Only Casey was awake so we had to ask him to pass on the message to Haven and Tracey. They are definitely one of the closest families
we’ve met on this trip!

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The Dredge (Sean)

While we stayed in Dawson City, we witnessed a very special day which commemorated an event from 100 years ago. On this day they held a memorial service, which is dedicated to four men whose lives were lost. They were Royal Canadian Mounted Police who died of starvation between Fort Macpherson and Dawson City. They took a wrong turn which lost them a week and their provisions were meagre for a 30 day trip. Not just that, the food they did take was not high enough in fat. An important ingredient when your body is trying to keep warm in zero temperatures.
It started off as a battalion of Royal Canadian Mounted Police in full dress uniform.

They and the police of the town marched a good kilometre towards the R.C.M.B HEADQUATERS. Once there, they gave half an hour of speeches, a woman singing the Canadian National anthem and a play telling us about the men and why they were important.Because it was the 100 year  anniversary they decided to do this service. The stone statue was unveiled and it was good to be a part of it and understanding how rough it was living up here in those days.


Dredge #4


It is located just outside Dawson and was invented by two men from New Zealand who sent the plans over to the Canadians. They brought it all the way to the riverbeds in pieces and put them altogether there and floated it. There were about a dozen on that riverbed in its lifetime. Of course it is not active at the moment but they still let the public in for tours to show how it used to dredge for gold here in the Yukon area.
When it was working, it was basically floating on a small pond where most of the gold is located in that area! It moved a long way up the riverbed while it was operational. It was interesting looking at all the old equipment and engineering they used years ago. Although, most of the time we were drinking free lemonade and biscuits. The dredge itself doesn’t work anymore, they are still restoring it. Some of the wood is rotten. The dredge itself had been sunk when the damn burst upstream. They put it upright and have been working on it since the 1990’s. We watched what tools they use and how big the wood is when it arrives. The wood is from trees 6 -700 years old. Nothing is wasted. They are using the same type of wood they used to build it at the beginning.

All the tools are old. The only way to fix it is by using the old techniques. It cost a lot of money to do this which is why they don’t let one bit of wood go to waste, even if it’s old!


Once the tour ended, we went up the road to search for gold for free in the river. We decided to use our old bowls since we weren’t well prepared! This man gave Braden and Lara a hand since this was their first time.

In the end they accomplished nothing. Not one piece of gold.  I see why it was so hard to get back then! We all enjoyed the great experience of the dredge and getting to see how it worked.

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We’re on our way, on our way to happiness today! (Corinne)

Packing up in Anchorage we began talking to a man with two huge dogs which loved nuzzling up against us! Wouldn’t you know it; he had actually worked at Denali National Park!

He said if we were arriving late it was best to go on the late shuttle bus through the Park anyway as that’s when the most animals came out.

 

That was now the third time we’d heard about Denali! We were getting plenty of signs to go there now…

Driving out of the City we were shocked to run into bad weather; rain, rain, rain. We pulled into a town which had a Walmart and spent the next two hours happily engrossed in buying watches, jeans, gas for the cooker etc.

It was still raining when we came back out. It didn’t look like it would be worth stopping at Denali after all. I wondered why I had been getting so many signs to go there. It was pouring and slow going!

David had always been keen to get to Fairbanks as the visa waiver was getting short. I fell into a doze and when I opened my eyes thirty minutes later I smiled. We were just about at the Denali National Park turn off and the weather had miraculously cleared! We could camp without rain!

Finally locating the Wilderness Access Centre in the Park at 4.40pm we asked when the next shuttle was. It was at 5 o’clock and went until 11.30 tonight. We didn’t have anywhere to stay but decided to grab the bus anyway and worry about that later. I dashed back to the car while David purchased the tickets and booked a campsite nearby. We scrambled to get our snack food together and warm clothes for the bus trip.

Lining up for the bus with our warm coats and food, I smiled knowing that we were meant to be here all along!

I had no idea how beautiful it was going to be. Why is it, the best places are those that are protected from us humans?

The valleys, mountains, trees and rivers were incredible. The dazzling colours even at that time of night were amazing to me. I loved it all! Every bend brought another panoramic view!

I was so glad we had come! Seeing wildlife as well was just an added bonus!

The first surprise was the wolf that sauntered past the bus which the driver spotted. Tall and sleek he looked at us with no fear at all!
It was good to see.

At the river stop halfway we looked at the moose and caribou antlers on show.  The kids had some fun with them!

On the way back a grizzly ran across the road. Its fur looked black with the rain. Sean was surprised how fast it could move and shot a video!

The next thing we saw was a falcon, and then a lynx ran across the road with its two eyes reflected in the bus lights. Too fast to get a shot but we were grateful to see it!

Chatting to a great couple – Bryan and Elaina they told us they had three children too. Their oldest was 27 and their youngest 18. She was 45 like me!

They confided they had just finished fostering four little souls under five and from the same family. They had only asked for two to foster but there were two more children and they had opened their hearts and taken them all in! What a wonderful thing to do! They had them for a year and had only just passed them on to be adopted two weeks before this trip.

Divine timing I believe.

Bryan had to learn Spanish as the children were Latino and they were going to an uncle who spoke Spanish. The more I spoke to these two the more I liked them both!

The time went quickly and the kids loved practising some Spanish with them. Before we knew it we were back at the start and saying goodbye to them both. The bus driver mentioned a free dog sled show the next day at 10 and 2.

Sounded perfect for us! We would look forward to seeing that!

The camp was close and for the first time we put up two tents in the dark and close to midnight! It took us a while to find a free tent site.

There’s a first for everything and as we’ve discovered you just have to go with the flow!

We were meant to be on that bus and we were meant to meet Bryan and Elaina!

Keep following your signs people!

God Bless!

Posted in Peru, Corinne | Leave a comment

Anchorage and farewell to old friends! (Corinne)

We sadly packed up from Homer. Of course it was another beautiful day and we would have stayed if we could have….but our ninety day visa waiver was running out! We still had more of Alaska to see.

It was a beautiful drive back to Anchorage and we made good time arriving at 4pm. Only problem was the bike had been taken out for a test run and we had to wait an hour to get it back!

When it was finally strapped in we were off to the camp. It was good to see it sunny after spending four days in the rain there before.
Quick as anything we pitched both tents and registered to stay the night.

Earlier in the day David had rung George to let him know we were on our way back to Anchorage and only staying a night. Perfect timing therefore when Eileen rang just as we’d finished pitching the tents to see if we wanted to meet them at a local pizza place called “Uncle Joes”. Good idea, it was already 7o’clock and we were all hungry!

What a great place Uncle Joes was. They had a band playing and the atmosphere was warm and inviting. We said hello to George, Eileen and Spence and enjoyed talking over the Kenai Fjords Boat Trip in Seward and our beautiful time at Homer. They were amazed we had such good weather too!

The kids were once again happy to recall all they had seen and learnt through the experience. The food was superb. The best pizza we have had in a very long time along with the company of course!

George remarked that they usually took family there when they came to see them.  They certainly felt like family to us all!

Asking where we were off to next, George also pointed out that the Denali National Park was worth stopping for on the way to Fairbanks.
This was the second time we had heard about it so I decided to make a mental note to look up any info in our brochures. It sounded like another great place to stop if we had time.

We were surprised and grateful when George and Eileen paid for the pizza and drinks! This was quite unexpected and the first time on the whole trip it had happened!

Very kind, thank you George and Eileen!

Saying goodbye was sad. These are great people.

However, I have a feeling we will be seeing them down under,
and it will be our turn to pay for the pizza!

Posted in Peru, Corinne | Leave a comment