June 16th

        Bad weather today. It was raining and windy but we hoped that it would be better in Whittier. Shortly after taking off we realized the Jeep was low on gas. The little light on the dash even came on to warn us. We headed up towards Alyeska to get fuel and after some tense moments of wondering if we would make it we arrived at the pump. We both thought the station was closer than it actually was. When we made the turn toward Whittier the weather started to get worse. We decided that we had two other days we could make this trip and we turned around. We did a little relaxing around the camper before deciding to go to the Seaview Cafe for supper. We told Chrissy we would meet her at the Seaview Bar when we were done. Unfortunatly the Cafe was closed. We ended up having a delicious meal at the Discovery Cafe. We met up with Chrissy afterwards and put a large dent in the one case of Bud Lite the bar had gotten in earlier in the day. After having more than enough beer at the bar we convinced Chrissy to come back to the camper for a couple more. . . . . . .

Jun 17th

        We got a late start this day. It was a short walk to the cafe next to the campgrounds where I found some great biscuits and gravy. Returning to the camper I grabbed the laptop and headed to the library to get on the internet. It was closed as usual so I drove around town taking a few pictures of life in Hope. When I got back, Rita was about to start pre-cooking the brats for the afternoon gathering. I took a short nap while she cooked. Around 5:30 we put the cooked brats and a bucket of Bud Lite in the Jeep for the short trip to where Chrissy and her Mom were staying. The weather was good and we had a nice time sitting outside chatting and eating brats. At one point a bunch of us left the party to view a bear that was out on the mud flats at the end of town. It was gone by the time I got there. The party broke up just before 9:00 and we took our lawn chairs etc back to the camper before heading down to the Seaview. It was Jam Night at the bar and several locals were on hand to provide entertainment. We discovered that what they thought was Budweiser on tap was actually Bud Lite and the evening took a definite up turn. The locals turned out to be quite talented and we hung out at the bar until about 3:00. It is hard to know when to go home here in Hope as it never really gets dark during the summer time. No beers at the camper tonight – we had already had more than our limit at the bar.

Jun 18th

        Second slow morning in a row. Must be something in the water. We spend most of the day around the camper doing misc. chores in preparation for moving the next day. Chrissy and her Mom took off for home today. They left Hope around noon and headed for Anchorage. They had some visiting to do before catching their 11:30PM flight back to Milwaukee. It was a 6 hour flight and that only got them to Chicago. From there it was a second plane trip or maybe a bus ride to get back to Milwaukee before driving the last 45 minutes home to West Bend. We thought that made for kind of a long day and we wished them well on their trip. Chrissy left us some frozen salmon to take back to Wisconsin for her. We had supper at the Discovery Cafe before returning to the camper for some TV. We had taped a marathon showing of the Deep Space 9 series and we found them very entertaining.

Jun 19th

        No reason to get too early of a start today as we only have about 100 miles to travel. The road was easy except for the section near the Russian River where there seemed to be people everywhere. They were doing what they called ‘combat fishing’ in response to the spawning cycle of the salmon. Don’t ask me – I don’t fish. The campground was easy to find for a change. After checking in we maneuvered the camper into a rather small site. The campground was basically five rows of slots facing the water. The site had 50 amps which was a welcome change from the 15 amp site in Hope. We also had cable TV with 48 channels! Not to say that we came to Alaska to watch TV but you have to sit down at some point. Lunch was found at Don Jose’s, a nice Mexican restaurant. Good food and a nice atmosphere. We spent the rest of the day exploring the area. I spent about an hour getting the email. Way too much SPAM for dial-up access. Lunch had been late enough we decided to skip supper. After a failed attempt to watch the Beluga whales in the bay we settled in to enjoy the cable TV. I spent some time preparing web pages to update the volley ball scores on JoJo’s web site. We ended the night watching movies until 2AM before turning in. When it doesn’t get dark you forget how late it is getting.

Jun 20th

        Happy Fathers Day!! I called both of my kids (Chad & Erin) today. Erin was in the process of preparing to move to Madison where she has taken a new job as an RN. Chad was relaxing after having spent the prior day out on a 4X4 trail with the Jeep he has been rebuilding for the last several years. Both were in great spirits and wished us well on our trip. Words can not describe how proud I am of these two kids! Talking to them made for a very happy Fathers Day. Our usual slow start got us to Taco Bell in Soldotna shortly after noon. Following a delightfully inexpensive lunch we headed south towards Homer. We planned to spend the day driving around, taking pictures and visiting gift shops. The road to Homer was mostly without gift shops. There were several nice views of the various volcanoes that are scattered about the area. Homer itself was just another town but the spit of land that jutted out into the bay was something else. The land was just wide enough to be lined with one row of businesses on each side. All of the art & crafts stores were in this area as were several low cost or no cost parking areas for RVs and more charter boat operations than you could shake a stick at. Fishing charters and general water taxi services were everywhere. There were also several restaurants and bars. One of these was called The Salty Dawg. We stopped in for a quick drink with the locals. A very small bar but it looked like it could be fun. The place was almost completely papered with one dollar bills that had been signed and tacked up by the various patrons over the years. When we finished our beer we drove the 90 or so miles back to the camper without stopping for anything but gas. We cooked a pizza and watched TV for the remainder of the evening. I worked on my diary and prepared more pages for the web. Tomorrow we head back to Soldotna to shop the various stores there as well as down the road in Sterling.