June 11– Sunday – Left Bend about 10AM I just couldn’t take it any longer. Stayed up on the pass on the way to Salem at the Forest Service campground at Lost Lake. Been by it 100 times but never pulled in.
June 12 – Monday – Went by Jeff and Jeans to go to breakfast with them. Got to see Amy. They both are doing very well. Then on to Skip Fisher’s place in Sheridan.
June 13 – Tuesday – Spent the night at Skips. He is doing great. He really made some good financial decisions over the years. Should have hired him as a Mentor or the decision maker. His place is first class. Headed to Vancouver, Washington about 10AM to go see Jeff and Jimmy Nowland, George Newland’s 2 boys Mike Nowland’s brother. Both Mike and George died first of last year.
Stopped at Jeff’s 1st. Jeff also has cancer and the prognosis is not a good one. Evidently it is in his blood and bones. Very sad. I spent the afternoon with him. I have known him since he was a young boy and he was up in Alaska with all of us off and on.
Then went to Jimmy’s and spent the night. I have also known Jimmy since he was a little boy.
June 14 – Wednesday – Left about 7AM for Lance Nowland’s place in Randle, Washington. Lance is Mike Nowland’s older brother, I have also known Lance for years. He and Judy his wife were also in Alaska for years. Arrived at his place about noon.
He was in the process of putting in a small RV pad for a lady who is a disabled vet out of the Gulf War to help her out. I helped him level the pad and set the trailer. He has a great little 8 acre place. He is 78 now won’t be long and he is going to have to make a change, he just can’t keep the place up.
Both he and Judy are doing great. She still substitutes teaching.
I left for Bothell, Washington to meet with Tom from Wild River Press about helping me edit, organize and self-publish my “narrative” “A Vietnam Soldier Remembering” on my 26 months in Vietnam.
I stayed in the Fred Meyer parking lot about 5 minutes from his house.
June 15 – Thursday – Wasn’t a bad place to spend the night, no one bothered me and surprisingly enough it was quiet. I was at Tom’s at the appointed time.
Tom is quite a guy. Www. Wildriverpress.com is his website. An avid steelhead fisherman, fishing all over the world. He has published a variety of books.
The end result of our conversation is he is going to help me and the book should be ready by Christmas this year for me to give as Christmas presents.
He is also going to help me the same way with “101 Ways To Tell The World To Kiss Your Ass”. My plan is to have that done and ready for him on my way back.
After our meeting we headed to Bellingham, Washington to catch the ferry to Skagway on Friday at 6PM. Once in Bellingham I found out I needed a health certificate for Stormy so went to the Vet to get it and by 3 that was accomplished. Then we went into long term parking across from the Ferry Terminal and spent the night.
June 16 – Friday – Spent the morning getting a few things and getting some food to eat on the ferry. We also went for a long walk in a park in town. Once I checked in it was a patience thing until about 3 when they started to board the ferry and put the vehicles on.
2643-65000I put all my bags on the baggage carts and kept 1 bag and the food bag which is actually one of those ice bags. I hurt my stomach muscles and pulled both my back upper leg muscles and suffered greatly. I should have made that big red bag 2 bags. I handled the other bags easily. That one was just too heavy. It was an issue until I finally got to the campground in Whitehorse.
We had to be patient once again. Since I was a walk on we stayed on the upper deck under the solarium which was more than adequate. The ferry left on time at 6PM.
June 17 – Saturday – The 1st night on the ferry I did not sleep at all. None. I didn’t even doze. I don’t know why. Obviously, it was a very long day. My legs and stomach were bothering me, I was stressed in such an enclosed area and I was miserable. I let a lady with 2 kids sleep on my cot, rather than see her sleeping on the hard deck. There were deck lounge chairs but not enough. I had my sleeping pad so I was comfortable. But that 1st night was tough.
00The off yellow color is because of the tint in the glass in the solarium.
June 18 – Sunday – I slept good last night. By 5 or 6 last night I was almost sick I was so tired. But I took my Melatonin and 2 AM/PM Tylenol. I woke up feeling good except for my stomach. I have pretty much walked off the soreness in my back legs walking around the ship.
I have eaten only once so far down in the galley, it was a hamburger and fries and suffered.
Lot of Coast Guard guys transferring in to Sitka, Juneau, Haines and Wrangle. None of them know Lavonne’s Justine. Also met a nice lady from Northern Ireland who is in Qatar helping that country set up a Cancer Research and Treatment Center.
Met a great couple from New Zealand who have been to the Vanuatu Islands and told me they are very beautiful and would be a great place to spend months kayaking from Island to Island.
I haven’t been reading. With my vision deteriorating, I tire easily and if I read at all it really wears my eyes out. Going to make this trip somewhat more difficult. I hope I can get them operated on soon after I get back.
Stormy has been the hit of the trip with the small kids and everyone. She is very good with the small kids. They climb all over her and she just lays there.
00June 19 – Monday – It was good to get to Skagway. I couldn’t take much more. Another day and the next stop I think I would got my gear and just paddled the rest of the way. The scenery along the Inland Passage Way is beautiful. The Waterfalls are numerous and spectacular. I have decided to kayak it in Summer of 2019 from Bellingham to Skagway. Met a lifelong fisherman with his own boat who has fished these waters all his life, he is going to help me plot the route.
Once off the boat, the motel I had made reservations at had the courtesy van there. I obviously wasn’t the only one. With all my bags, I waited and was the last one to be picked up and taken to the motel. Room was great, small but worked. I took a long hot bath which made me feel better. I am beginning to think the discomfort in my lower stomach is more a urinary thing. I don’t think it is Kidney stones I have had them before and doesn’t feel like it. I know I am peeing continually. If it keeps up going to make being in the kayak tough.
I just snacked again for dinner and went to bed early.
June 20 – Tuesday – Up early, I certainly have no problem getting up. Stormy and I went for our normal morning walk. Left her in the room and went and had a bowl of oatmeal. I had no idea that Skagway had so many cruise ships stop, several every single day of the season. Yesterday there were over 5,000 people off the ships. Today, there will be over 10,000. It reminds me of New Orleans when I finished the Mississippi last year and was there to get the van. I have never seen anything like it for basically a one main street, 6 block town. Unbelievable the amount of shops and the quality and quantity of what the sell them and what they buy.
00To be sure there are the Well Fed, The Over Fed, The Inbred, The Brain Dead, The Newly Wed and The Near Dead.
Never seen anything like it in my life. Every day all summer long. I think I could come up here in my ’29, set up and sell 30,000 copies at $20 a piece in a summer season. Do the math. I might postpone the Lake Baikal trip to see if I can next summer. The ’29 would be a hit, one of the main attractions in town and fit right in. The title of the book will sell the book. Every single day one has thousands and thousands of new impulse buyers and the 101 Ways would sell.
00We caught the bus at 2PM and the drive to Whitehorse was beautiful. The only thing is tour bus after tour bus of every size. RV’s by the hundreds and motorcycles by the hundreds. There is no break it is endless, not my style. A Couple offered to take us and the bags in their pickup truck once we got to their RV park which I greatly appreciated.
Within an hour of arriving I had the tent set up, things organized and ready to assemble the kayak 1st thing in the morning. There are pine squirrels all over the place and of course know how to tease the dogs. Stormy is in heaven. I even caught her pretending to sleep underneath a tree with one eye open hoping one would come close. She has completely worn herself out chasing them. No rain, which is a blessing as I am getting things ready. KC has been here, dropped his stuff off and is on his way to Fairbanks.
This tent Cam gave me and it is going to work very well. I just need to learn the best way to set up in it.
This is the 1st picture of the Yukon River, the main channel is at the top of the picture.
If KC doesn’t show up today, I am going to l load up in the morning and go down river and get out of here and wait for him along the bank. This camp ground is right on the Alaskan Highway and 1 feel like I am in the middle of a freeway.