Day 319: From BC to Alaska and Back

Shabbos was interesting at this latitude.  Shabbos started at 10:30pm on Friday, but because of the shallow angle of the Sun relative to the horizon at sunset, Shabbos didn’t end until 12:16am on Sunday.

Friday night we heard something moving around in the basement, and we were pretty sure we had a mouse in the RV.  In an RV with slides, there are gaps where the hydraulic pistons that actuate the slides enter the undercarriage of the RV.  There’s nothing that can be done about this, as the gap is needed to allow the piston to move freely.  In cold, wet places, I guess mice smell the food and get up into the RV to find food and somewhere warm and dry to hang out.

Saturday afternoon, around 9pm, we heard the mouse under the kitchen island.  Shortly thereafter, he went running across the floor.  By blocking off various doors and openings, we were able to get him to jump out of an open door.  After Shabbos was over, we set traps in case he came back.  This morning, we had caught him in one of our traps.  I guess he couldn’t resist coming back in again.

This morning, before we left Clements Lake, I built a cowling for the WiFi Antenna.  I had purchased the tub a week ago, but it took this long to find the time to get it installed.  This will protect the cell antenna and the WiFi antenna’s center column from being damaged by low hanging branches:

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I also finished adding the gas plumbing that allows our catalytic heater to be used in the new RV:

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I added a quick release inline with the gas supply under the stove top:

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When the catalytic heater’s hose is attached, the hose runs out from under the stove top:

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Heading West, we arrived after 10 miles at the town of Stewart, BC.  There’s no cell phone coverage anywhere in this area, but we did find WiFi at the local general store:

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Continuing West, we crossed out of BC and into Alaska’s Southern panhandle at the three-block town of Hyder, Alaska.  We’ve made it to Alaska!

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Following Fish Creek, we pulled off into an observation area for watching bears feeding on migrating salmon.  Unfortunately, the salmon won’t start running for another few weeks, which might explain why we seem to have beat the crowds here.  We didn’t see any bears, but we did see plenty of great views of the river and surrounding terrain:

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We continued North onto Granduc Road, following the Salmon Glacier self guided auto tour.  The road was gravel and precipitous, but we could see the Salmon River far below as well as a glacial kettle, the blue-water pool seen here:

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After 15 miles of driving North, we crossed back into Canada.  5 miles of further driving up to about 3,700 feet above sea level, we reached the Salmon Glacier, Canada’s 5th largest glacier:

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On the way back down, we stopped to look at the part of the glacier that is lower down and not covered by snow.  The blue ice of the glacier is more evident here:

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By now the truck has taken on its Alaska two-tone paint job:

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Here’s the terminal end of the glacier:

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Returning to Hyder, we crossed back into Canada.  The border guard gave us quite an interrogation, which was amusing since the only way into and out of Hyder is via this crossing, so obviously we’ve already been vetted the first time we came into Canada.

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Hitching back up in Stewart, BC, we had dinner:

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We tried to fill up at the one gas station in town, but it was closed for the night.  We have enough gas to get to the next gas station on the Cassiar, about 100 miles away, but not enough to get to the next one if that station is out of action, so we will return to Stewart tomorrow to fill up before heading back to the Cassiar highway. Since Stewart itself is posted as having no overnight parking, we left Stewart.  Driving out of town, we didn’t see any pullouts where we could park overnight until we reached Clements Lake, where we were last night.

As I was writing this post, I saw a mouse go running by.  I’m not sure if we just picked this one up since we’ve been parked here, or maybe he’s been with us since Shabbos.  I put out the traps again, and hopefully we will catch him overnight.

See the trip map for today’s drive and out current location.

Day 314: Extended Door Clasp and Expensive Yellow Diesel

The door clasp that holds the RV’s door open is too short because we have a mezuzah mounted to the door frame and the door collides with the mezuzah before it is fully open. The solution was to buy a length of toilet fresh water supply pipe, cut the door clasp in half, and shove the two halves into either end of the pipe. This allowed me to extend the class by about 10 inches:

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Leaving the Walmart at Williams Lake, we stopped to fill up on diesel. I had to triple check the pump since in the US diesel is always the green handle, but here it’s yellow, and green is for unleaded:

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At a bit under $6 per gallon, it’s no surprise that our first gas station visit in Canada set a new record for the most expensive yet:

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On the way out of town, we stopped at the local tourist center.  We picked up many pounds of brochures.  The center had this car on display, they look like they’re ready for fun:

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The theatre showing a regional promotional video was quite authentic:

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You could also pretend to be having outdoor adventures:

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M loves fishing:

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We did laundry today, so we got off to a late start. We drove about 3 hours north to Prince George, British Columbia, where we are overnighting at the Walmart here. This is the last town we will see before we head west on the Cassiar Highway  and reach Yellowknife in the Yukon. See the trip map for details.

Day 306: Coast-bound again

This morning, I found this note on the doughnut holes.  Our kids need to learn to share.  Or maybe I need to learn to share:

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Yesterday, my PPG companion Nick suggested we head to Sand Lake on the coast to do some flying.  We hitched up and said our farewells to Portland.  Heading West, we stopped at the dump station we used when we lived in Hillsboro (ah, the nostalgia!)  Next we stopped at Lowes, which I think occupies the former location of Griffith Polymers.  How’s that for progress?

We purchased the wall sections for the already built wall frame in the kids’ bedroom.  Having it cut here is a big time saver:

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I’ll install these while we’re at the beach.  They are white and smooth, so we’re hoping the kids can each have a dry erase wall in their room!

We drove over the coast range to Tillamook, then South a bit to Sand Lake.  Were staying at the West Dunes “campground”, which is just one large paved area adjacent to the dune field which is two miles long and about a quarter mile wide, and is adjacent to the beach at the South end where we’re staying.  When we arrived it was very windy, but tomorrow’s forecast looks better.  Hopefully I can get in the air!

Day 305: Gardening and Skating in Portland

Another sunny day in Portland, could this be a dream?  Truth is, summers here are the dry time of the year and very pleasant, it’s been in the 70s every day so far.  This morning I drove out to Sauvie Island to do some PPG flying.  I had an issue with the starter, and by the time I fixed it, Nick, my flying companion, told me it was pretty rough aloft, so I decided to get in some kiting practice instead and call it a day.

Trish and the kids drove to Southeast Portland to visit her high school friend Erica and her amazing backyard garden:

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Meanwhile I fabricated a sewer hose holder from a length of 5” vinyl fence post.  This gets the hose out of our basement where it was in the tub at left and stinking up the place:

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My childhood hangout, Skate World in Hillsboro, is going out of business after 33 years after being unable to renew their lease.  I had to go skating one last time:

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By the end of June, this place will be just a memory.

Day 293: Blackhawk Powered Paragliding Training, Day 3

Another beautiful day at Blackhawk:

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This morning we did more rope tows:

M found a dead squirrel to photograph:

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Tessellation work continued in math class:

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During the afternoons, when the wind is too strong, we have a break.  I cut and assembled the new bunkhouse wall using the 2x2s we brought with us to Blackhawk.  We used a sheet as a temporary divider:

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I also installed the locks that keep the fifth wheel in the bed of the truck:

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…And installed the kids new medicine cabinet:

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Yet another ranch dog showed up:

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This afternoon we practiced kiting with the motors on:

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Mark gives me some tips:

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Will out first flight be tomorrow?  Stay tuned!