Birthday Celebration Comes to a Close

A three day birthday celebration might seem a bit excessive, but honestly that’s just the way it turned out.  We were going to see Worthington Glacier on the down, but because of the late start we moved it to the way up. The special crab leg/steak birthday dinner we scheduled on the day we returned because I was a little worried I might be nauseous from the boat trip.  So on Wednesday we had two fun things to do and we all headed out back towards Glenallen.  Kelly and Bill had never seen the glacier, and Ben and Jo had seen it sixteen years before on their honeymoon, and were excited to see it again. So off we went and were all excited that there was some sunshine when we got out of Valdez.

When Jo and Ben were here 16 years ago the ice came all the way up to where Lee is standing. They showed us the pictures from that day.

When Jo and Ben were here 16 years ago the ice came all the way up to where Lee is standing. They showed us the pictures from that day.

Peyton was very excited to walk up to the Glacier

Peyton was very excited to walk up to the Glacier

Jo is recently recovered from a broken ankle but she was a trooper. We just took our time

Jo is recently recovered from a broken ankle but she was a trooper. We just took our time

I love this view of the valley

I love this view of the valley

The arch was changed from the last time we were there.

The arch was changed from the last time we were there.

Lee walked out on the rocks and got these pics

Lee walked out on the rocks and got these pics

I got nervous that he climbed up so high

I got nervous that he climbed up so high

y092

Cool shots though

y091

Not color corrected

After he got this shot I made him come down

After he got this shot I made him come down

Ben took this great group shot

Ben took this great group shot.  Peyton, Ben, Bill, Kelly, Jo, me, and Lee

At one point Kelly turned to me and said, “This does not suck.”  She was totally right.  We loved sharing this experience with them. Lee didn’t take any video this time, but if you missed the video from the last time we were here, it’s worth a watch.  I think it’s one of Lee’s best, plus you can see how much the glacier changed since June.

 

After the glacier we headed back to Glenallen for our big birthday dinner.  Last week Kelly and Bill had gone to considerable trouble to buy fresh frozen crab legs for me and at $75 for 3 lbs we all wanted to make sure they were perfect.  Kelly steamed them for me and even had unsalted butter, and with much anticipation we all dug in.

Well. they were absolutely delicious.  I had intentionally selected Brown King Crab because it is cheaper than Red King Crab and actually has a milder taste.  I loved it and Lee took the pictures to prove it.

Crab legs steaming in the pot

Crab legs steaming in the pot

One amazing birthday dinner

One amazing birthday dinner with perfectly cooked steak!!

Bill made pina coladas

Bill made pina coladas per my request.  Traveling with a personal bartender is highly recommended 🙂

Crab legs yummy face

Crab legs yummy face

After dinner we had a fire and then all said our goodbyes in the morning.  Jo and Ben will be seeing Kelly and Bill later in a couple of weeks, but this may be our last shot at seeing either of them for awhile.  We are hoping to all get together this winter though at some point, and in this lifestyle you have to take these moment when you can.

Lee and I had changed our days off, so we were back to work without a day off until August 25th.  We had tons of chores to do including tons of laundry and since Marc went back to Anchorage it was just the two of us for a few days. This was a good thing, because the fact that we were coming to the end was sort of right in front of us and we started making a list of all the things that needed to be done before heading back to the lower 48.  The truck needs looked at (brakes checked, AC fixed, and a rattle in the engine checked out), furnace needs fixed, editing work to be done, finish and send my nephew’s present, and lots of other stuff.  I was actually starting to feel a little overwhelmed by it all when Bob Abrel stopped by.

We met Bob and Lindy at the RV-Dreams reunion rally in 2015 and our routes have been very close to one another ever since.  They were late getting up to Alaska, but were able to stop and see us on their way out and it was great seeing them.  Then the next day Carole and Scott stopped by to say hi after a 4 day trip to McCarthy.  I just love their energy, and it was great seeing them as well.  One of the nice things about being in Glennallen is that sooner or later everyone stops by here, and seeing people has been a lot of fun.  But to be honest I was still feeling a bit bummed about the birthday thing (thanks so much to everyone for their kind words, Nancy you made me smile as always) so I called DeDe, my mother-in-law.  I can always count on DeDe to give me the best advice, and she has a knack of getting to the heart of a matter very quickly.  She said when I was 70 I would look back on 50-65 as the best years of my life, and since DeDe said it, I know it must be true. Then Denny said it’s not downhill from here but uphill, since getting to 70 is a slog uphill, and everything felt better.  I love talking to them, and between the 4 hour time difference and my 11-8 schedule it’s been tough to find time recently.  I’m glad we scheduled something though because their unwavering support of what we are doing is really very special and I am so very lucky to have them in my life. Love you guys!

We also finalized a job selling Christmas Trees in San Antonio over the holidays.  The Good Sam representatives who passed through here a few weeks ago started talking to us about it and recommended us to the company they used to work for.  Since we plan on being in that area anyway and I always wanted to try selling Christmas trees, we were in!  So this fall will be the beet harvest, a stop at Escapees in Livingston, and then selling trees in San Antonio.  Still not sure what we are going to do for the winter yet, but those jobs should give us some cushion going into January.

Oh, and while we were gone we got another really nice review.  They have been coming in steadily all summer but this one was really special so I thought I would share it.  It really feels great to see the impact of the work we have been doing.

Camphost Review2


Camper Chronicles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, a program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We very much appreciate any purchase you make via our website links as they support our blog. Thank you.   Search Amazon.com here

First Time Walking on a Glacier

Glenallen is a natural stopping point on the way to Valdez and I kept hearing from our guests how beautiful the drive down there was.  Their feedback, coupled with the fact that this road was named one of the most beautiful in America made the drive an obvious choice for our first sight seeing day trip.  Our goal was to make it down to Worthington Glacier and put a major check on my bucket list by walking on it.  So we got up on Sunday, packed a lunch, and headed out.  The first 40 miles or so from Glenallen was nothing special.  The road is not in great shape (it’s not Tok Cutoff bad, but not great) and the scenery was largely forest.  Then about 40 miles in, we saw this.

y324

One of the coolest parts of the drive from that point forward, and something it actually took me awhile to realize, was there were waterfalls everywhere.  The lines of snow coming down from the mountains are actually part snow and part waterfall.  Once I was clued in, I was transfixed.  I haven’t seen that many waterfalls all in one place since I visited Kauai with my mom, and being able to stop and take pictures of them was amazing.

y553

y278

The upper section is waterfall and it runs under the snow cover, which is why I missed it at first

y271

Some were more obvious 🙂

y249

Along with the numerous waterfalls was breathtaking scenery.  Glacier rivers ran through the scenes along with many different types of mountain terrain.  It really was a feast for the eyes and it was difficult not to stop  every 5 seconds and take a picture.

y265

y333

 

y336

y341

We also caught some glimpses of the pipeline as we traveled.  I have been hearing about the pipeline my whole life and I don’t know what I expected but aesthetically it wasn’t really a big deal.  I can’t comment on how it impacts animals, but the pipeline itself was largely unobtrusive as it sat pretty far back from the road and usually was hidden by pine forest.

y559

Then suddenly we turned a corner, and there was the glacier.  We had seen a glacier on the way to Alaska, but the Worthington Glacier is much closer to the road and appears much bigger.  It has been designated a Federal Monument and there is a nice day use area to park  in so you can walk up.  The terrain to get there is loose gravel, but if you are careful it’s definitely walkable.  Or you can just stop at the paved section and take a picture from there.  If you are at all able though I absolutely recommend walking up.  I’ll let the pictures show you why.

y002

y005

 

y351

y016

The walk to the glacier looks much worse than it was

The walk to the glacier looks much worse than it was.  See the little people on the left

These giant boulders were pushed by the glacier and then left when it receded. They were huge

These giant boulders were pushed by the glacier and then left when it receded. They were huge

The view from behind as we were walking along the mostly dry lake bed was amazing in and of itself

The view from behind as we were walking along the mostly dry lake bed was amazing in and of itself

Our first views of the glacier made the walk so worth it

Our first views of the glacier made the walk so worth it.  The group of kids on top had a guide and equipment and walked up into the glacier itself.  Not recommended unless you have metal spikes for your shoes.

I'm touching a glacier!!

I’m touching a glacier!!

y132

y121

y113

Took so many pictures of this shot from slightly different perspectives. Wow.

y160

Lee getting some video

 

There were some people there, but everyone tooks turns getting their shot and allowing others to do the same. Sunday mornings are a great time to see things like this

There were some people there, but everyone took turns getting their shot and allowing others to do the same. Sunday mornings are a great time to see things like this

This is what I had to walk on to get onto the rock in the picture abaove. It is dirt, rock, some snow, and a thick layer of ice. Very slippery, but I wanted to walk on it

This is what I had to walk on to get onto the rock in the picture above. It is dirt, rock, some snow, and a thick layer of ice. Very slippery, but I wanted to walk on it

What I didn’t expect were the waterfalls. The running water has cut the most beautiful “stair-step” gorge, and we actually spent more time on the rocks with the water. The people who were visiting largely just looked at the glacier and skipped the waterfall area, so we were along down there for a long time.  Unfortunately,  Lee kept leaning closer and closer to get “the shot” and I finally said “Veto” because I was afraid he was going to fall in.  The water was running very fast and going into the gorge would have been extremely dangerous.  He was having a wonderful time though.  I got some of the best pictures of him I have ever gotten and he said it was in his top 5 experiences since becoming a full timer.

y172

y427

I loved how this waterfall went down then across and then down again. So beautiful

y105

y178

y181

 

y208

Loved the water running under these snow mounds

y229

y495

Blowing Lee a kiss

y484

y441

this is where I called Veto!

this is where I called Veto!

Not ok lol

Not ok you goober!

It was an absolutely lovely day and we could have pressed on and seen more, but we decided to call it a day.  We are here for several months and there is no need to cram it all in, so we drove back home had a nice dinner, watched some TV and went to bed.  Some things are special enough that they should really stand on their own and this experience was definitely like that.

Life always finds a way

Here’s some of the video Lee shot. If you have the bandwidth, be sure to watch it in 1080 and full screen. He didn’t put in any music because the waterfalls make their own music.

(I take no responsibility for the video making you need to pee. – Lee)


Camper Chronicles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We very much appreciate any purchase you make via our website links as they support our blog. Thank you.   Search Amazon.com here