Christmas Gift Ideas  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Do you have someone on your Christmas list that is hard to shop for? Perhaps, Santa's little helper can save you some time. First suggestion for this holiday season and in keeping up with the current events, this gift idea is perfect for that person on your list that feels that the "Bill and Hillary Show" should play the White House one more time.

Plumma Espresso Cafe and Conference Center  

Posted by Stan Harrington

For those living in the LA area, coming soon to your fair city is the new Plumma Espresso Cafe and Conference Center, a new business that my son in law, the Plumma and my daughter have been working on for some time. Knowing his love of the plumbing industry as well as his taste for good coffee, it is only natural that it would be just a matter of time before they developed a marketing plan that could combine both features. I wish them success in their new venture.

Their strategy is well thought out and cost of construction will be reduced due to the fact that the Plumma can do all of the required plumbing and has been collecting fixtures for several years. At first you might consider this concept as ridiculous, just as I did when they first approached me with their marketing concepts. However, I am now convinced that the concept is very good and in the future I foresee franchises being offered on the market.

Before you consider it ridiculous, consider a few basic facts: (1) How many times have you been sitting in a "cafe" enjoying a cup of coffee, visiting with friends or just contemplating life when mother nature calls. You have to get out of your seat, walk across the room and wait in line to gain access to the appropriate restroom. By the time you have returned to your table, your espresso that you are paying $4.50 for, is now cold. (2) How many boring, long conferences have you attended that the speaker has forgotten to take a break, you pay very little attention while squirming in your seat hoping that they will take a break soon so you can make a dash for the "john". (3) Most businesses conduct some type of conference at varied times of the year, a lot of company money is lost during these conferences due to the decline in production and salary costs for employees attending conferences. With the new conference room at the the "Plumma Espresso" a full day conference can be reduced to less than four hours due to the fact that no "potty breaks" or lunch breaks will be required. The comfortable seating arrangements are full service toilets, when the need arises you will not even need to leave your seat and your coffee will not chill, you can even continue to eat your lunch is you so desire.

With the Plumma and the Screamer working the kitchen and their three daughters hustling drinks and acting as hostesses, I can foresee a great future for them on their path to success.

Curb Appeal of Plumma Espresso Cafe

No Need For Table Napkins,
A Roll Of Charmin Is Provided At Each Table

Hands Dirty?
Just Lift Up The Table Top And Wash Away


Posted by Stan Harrington

Granddaughter Heather setting the table for Thanksgiving Dinner with her Great Grandmothers China dinnerware. I purchased this China for my mother as a gift in Naples, Italy in 1965. The China was made in Germany with the majority of the pieces remaining intact after forty three years, it has become a tradition in our family that this dinnerware is used twice a year on Thanksgiving and again on Christmas.

Mother Nature Convinced Me That The
Day Before Thanksgiving, Was Not A Good Day
To Fish Steelhead Trout On The
Anchor River



Posted by Stan Harrington

"Walking The Mile, Boss" "Walking The Green Mile"
"Dead Turkey Walking"

Wishing All of You A

Turkey Dinner  

Posted by Stan Harrington

It is a big chore preparing a Thanksgiving Dinner, I have watched my wife do it for years! The planning usually starts about two weeks before the big dinner: who is coming to dinner, menu, seating, why is Stan making so much candy, why are all my roasting pans full of fudge, how do I make mince meat, should we have turkey and ham or just turkey or just ham, how many pies, and above all how many cans of black olives are going to be required and the day after the big dinner, how many egg noodles do I need to make, what do you mean we need a jello salad, we already have three other salads, I don't care how your mother did it, I am doing it this way - it is always so much fun to watch the stress factor as I sit back and sip a hot egg nog. Stuffin the old bird and popping him into the oven is no big deal, especially when you consider the planning to prepare this dinner:

Now this Chef knows how to prepare for a large family gathering.
This is no ordinary Turkey - it is a 1,213 pound Camel.
I guess they do not follow the same Thanksgiving traditions that we do.
How do you want your Camel cooked? Want a butt or shoulder cut?

Walking In A Winter Wonderland  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Since the majority of you do not follow the weather as closely as some, I have taken the opportunity to post the current three Doppler Radar images as of 9:03 pm this evening. As any prognosticator can tell you, it is going to rain so forget walking in the white wonderland of winter. It is ugly out there and before it gets better it will get uglier. However, I do not need to look forward a few days at the long range weather reports, my instincts tell me that we can expect continued rain showers for a few days, then the first of two clearing trends (called highs) will converge on the area and temperatures will plummet downward to give us our coating of ice. Two to three days of freezing, then it will warm up just enough for the next low moving through to dump a heavy load of snow on us. I would project this movement of weather patterns to occur from now until the snow starts falling on December 2nd, 3:47 pm local Anchor Point time - which by the way would be the same time in LA. I will also project that the Anchor River will reach flood stage no later than 2:14 pm on Wednesday, November 21st and breach the banks before the turkey is done on Thursday, Turkey Day. However, all this is o.k., we are well stocked up on Thanksgiving trimmings and three pans of fudge, Chocolate Fruit and Nut Supreme; White Chocolate with Walnuts; and Smoothie Peanut Butter Fudge laced lightly with crushed peanuts. Let it rain!

Leave My Friend Alone  

Posted by Stan Harrington

I really do not care if you are Male, Female, a White Saxton Protestant, Catholic, Black, American Indian, Messican, Jewish Faith, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or any other religion or race, this is my friend. He has been my friend for the past 62 Years, 6 Months and 1 Day, I will be the first in line to defend him, his reputation and the good will that he spreads each year when the world really needs a dose of good will.

For just an instant, stop and think of the millions of people from infants to seniors that he has made happy through the years. Consider the "good will" that he has spread between those who cannot tolerate anyone in their family or workplace, except at Christmas. Bringing happiness and hope to millions of people, but he asks nothing in return, not even the Nobel Peace Prize! Why hasn't he been considered for this coveted award? He has done so much more for mankind than Al Gore!

As I pointed out last year, I still believe in this man! I have seen the good that he does and have seen the eyes of the children light up when they catch sight of him. For those in the United States that are mounting the drive to force businesses into insuring that those Santa's that visit their store are slim, fit, and skinny in order to "set the example" as being healthy. They do not want to see any Santa's with a big tummy! To those that are concerned about a overweight little man driving a sled pulled by reindeer, get a life and visit your local McDonald's and "super size" your Happy Meal.

To those that reside "Down Under" that are suffering from "Imus In The Morning Syndrome" and want to prohibit Santa from saying "HO - HO - HO" so as to not offend any woman of the black race! I am sure these same ladies, being Black also enjoy the good will of Santa Claus and find no offense at his belly laugh. Although, I do not know the origin of the word "Ho" but I am sure Santa was using this term long before it become degrading to the black woman.

To all who want to down play the presence of Santa in our lives and the meaning of Christmas, including our school system, I hope all you get for Christmas is a big "fat" piece of black coal in your stocking and all you hear is the tinkling of little bells in the dark of night and a hearty, HO-HO-HO-HO-HO as he drives out of sight.

HO - HO - HO

Won't Be The Same  

Posted by Stan Harrington

My favorite sporting event of the entire year is rapidly approaching, the National Rodeo Finals out of Las Vegas from December 6th through December 15th. Although, I was in Las Vegas one year during the National Finals, but could not pry my youngest daughter away from the slot machines long enough to take advantage of the expensive tickets that I had purchased from a "scalper".
I have vowed, that I would return and watch them live, but once again I am going to have to resign myself to watching ESPN for a solid week. Now that I am unemployed, I could go but it would not be the same. I will not go until my favorite Calf Roper is in the finals again. Fred Whitfield did not make the cut this year, he placed 37th and only the top 15 in each event go to the finals. This is the first year that Fred has missed the finals in a long time.
To add insult to injury, big Joe Beaver will also not make an appearance, he and Fred hold most of the titles and a lot of the money over the years. However, the good news is that my other favorite cowboy will be there, Billy Etbauer, back again to show the youngsters what an old cowboy can do on a Saddle Bronc - I guess someone must know but he has some many titles and buckles to his name. All three of these guys, Etbauer, Whitfield, and Beaver are old school.
Looks like Trevor Brazile will walk away with the "All Around Cowboy" title this year, all he needs to do is show up, his current winnings is at $285,412 and the next in line for the title is only about $140,000 behind.
Regardless, it will be a good rodeo but I would sure like a shot at those slots again!

Town Went to Hell  

Posted by Stan Harrington

In just the few short weeks that I was absent from the community, everything went to hell. Upon my return, I discovered that the Texas Hold'em Tournament was on the verge of going broke. Although, I did get to play and win the first round of the tournament prior to my departure, upon my return I discovered that I was still leading. A strong indicator that either not a lot of action was taking place, poor record keeping, failure to post results, or someone was assuming my identity. I am back into the position of tournament organizer. Kicked off the 1st Round of the Snow Rondi Tournament last night. The Championship Round will be played during the Snow Rondi weekend. When I made an inquiry to the local Chamber of Commerce to determine when the Snow Rondi would be held so I could make up a schedule, the response was it would be the last week of February, perhaps in March but no later than April!

"Cease and Desist" Needing a snail mail stamp, I stopped by the local Post Office, stamps are now forty one (.41) cents each now a days! Just the few short years ago that I was a kid they were only seven cents and those letters went by "Airmail". I am surely glad that I only have to buy one or two stamps a year! However, upon entering the Post Office, I could not help but notice a very large legal form posted on the front door. I had never seen a "Cease and Desist" order before, issued by the State of Alaska, Department of Fish and Game pertaining to the camping area at Whiskey gulch. Do not know the story behind it, but all structures both permanent and temporary must be removed within 30 days of the dated posting. Guess I had best wander down and take a look to see what is going on.

"Political Correctness" has reared it's ugly head in Anchor Point. I understand that the annual "Halloween Carnival" could not be held this year at the school. The carnival has been a community activity since my little brother went to school (he is pushing 60) in Anchor Point! The project is supported by local businesses and private individuals with no funding coming from the school district, except the use of the gym. Whatever happened to the concept that the school was the center of the community, used for public meetings, social gatherings as well as education. If the kids cannot have a Halloween Carnival, then I guess we had better forget the concept of having anything that resembles Thanksgiving, (I bet they serve taco's for lunch on the last day of school before Thanksgiving) and forget anything that even suggests CHRISTmas, that was abolished several years ago. I refuse to sit on the hard bleaches to hear "Snow Flakes Drifting Down", "Bring In The Winter Clowns" and "Fun In the Snow". Now I will endure the pain of splinters in my butt to hear, "Silent Night", "Little Drummer Boy" or any one of the other thousands of Christmas Classics but don't try to appease me with a program called "Winter Concert". I want to see a little fat man, dressed as Santa passing out candy, a little toothless boy singing "All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" and everyone wishing one another a hardy "Merry Christmas".

In my absence, we have obtained a medical clinic, dentist office, an approval for a Golf Club House which is suppose to serve meals and libations in time. Several separations, a divorce or two and a bunch of DWI's or DUI's.

Have to cut it short, I need to do a little research on "Winter Vacation" plans - I ain't sticking around here!

Trivial Matters  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Having recently made a round trip on the Alcan Highway after a good number of years, I was surprised at several things. I made my first trip over the Alcan Highway in the back of a one ton jeep stock truck. The rack of the truck was covered with a tarp and in the back where my brothers and I rode from Colorado to Homer, Alaska my father had built a set of bunk beds, three high. Two hundred miles per day was a good day on the highway, but come nightfall, all it took was to pull off in the barrow ditch and camp out.

Today, the highway is paved all the way and easily driven at 60 to 80 mph when the roads permit. My biggest disappointment was that though the years, the original highway has been re-aligned to permit faster driving and shorter distance. Throughout the trip, you can see the road bed of the old highway, slowly being overtaken by grass, bushes, and trees. You will not see a single sign commemorating the "old highway" or given the opportunity to drive the original route. It seems our neighbors to the south have forgotten the cost and number of Americans it took to build this historic roadway in order to defend their country and our country to the north of them. The "old" lodges and road houses that I remember as a kid are now gone or reduced to deserted, weathered, wood skeletons.

In those years of long ago, when a "potty break" was required, all one had to do was bang on the truck window, grab a couple pages out of the Sears, Roebuck, and Company catalog and head for the nearest bush.

For the first time in our history, the Canadian dollar is stronger than the American dollar. However, with this modest landfall of unexpected income, the Canadians have utilized the extra cash flow to upgrade their rest areas so potty breaks in the bushes are no longer required.

Mile Post 963

Always on the outlook for tasty morsels, I have not been back in Alaska long enough to look, however, much to my surprise while cruising the isles of one of a thousand "Wally Worlds" that we saw, I came across an unfamiliar box of "Whoppers". One of my favorites when held tightly in the mouth and then a sip of hot coffee to dissolve it in your mouth. Chocolate, Malt, and coffee, the balance of delicate flavors is overwhelming. What I discovered, and I will be very disappointed if you already know about them but they now come in Strawberry Flavor. It took six boxes of them to establish a "fair and balanced" comparison with and without coffee. The new flavor is good but when taken with coffee, the old fashion Chocolate flavor is far superior. However, the Strawberry is very satisfying!

Today, while shopping for "bird feed" to assist our little feathered friends during this "global warming" period, I came across a second tasty morsel. This one is hot!!!!! Last year in December, I spent a lot of writing skills to fully introduce everyone to the proper methods of enjoying chocolate covered cherries. Again, you may already know but if not, rush to the store and grab a bag today. Hershey, the master of chocolate has developed the "Hershey Kiss Cherry Cordial"! In appearance it looks like the familiar chocolate kiss, but as it melts in your mouth or you bite into it, you are treated to a liquid Cherry Cordial creme. The particular bag I purchased is a 2 pound 6.5 ounce bag, enough to fill both of my candy jars. By this time tomorrow, they will not be available in the Homer area. If you like Chocolate Covered Cherries, there is no way that you will not savor these. You will thank me!

A Safety Note  

Posted by Stan Harrington

This Holiday Season, Always Designate a Driver!

Anchor Point, Alaska  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Our trip was completed today at about 2:30 pm., I do have to admit that it was good to see the Old Anchor River Bridge once again, after crossing several hundred bridges on our trip. Arrived in Anchorage yesterday afternoon, shared some good hours with the family and I had a great slumber party with my two oldest granddaughters. Their giggling kept me awake for almost 5 minutes. Slushy snow as we left Anchorage, Turnagain Pass had a little snow but overall the road conditions into Anchor Point was good. As for a review of the trip, It Was Great! We had the opportunity top see some beautiful country, see family and friends that we have not seen in years, and enjoyed some great opportunities to see and do new things. One of my personal highlights was to see where my parents lived as a young couple and visit the resting sites of both sets of my grandparents, two of which I never had the opportunity to meet. Solving the mystery of my Grandfather Henry Philo "Ten" Harrington made the trip well worth the time and effort.

Total Miles Driven: 12,106.4 Miles
Visited 17 States
Visited 3 Canadian Provinces
Drove Less Than 600 Miles on Interstate Highways
(Remainder of Trip Was on Secondary Highways)
Gasoline Consumed: 778.151 Gallons (Litres Converted to Gallons Included)
Average Cost Per Gallon: $3.31 Per Gallon (Litres Converted To Gallons)
Cheapest Gasoline: Grand Island, Nebraska ($2.64 Gallon)
Highest Gasoline: Toad River, British Columbia ($5.05)
Gasoline Average Cost: $3.37 Gallon
Miles Per Gallon Of Gas on Trip: 15.57 MPG
Gas Cost Per Mile: .21 Cents Per Mile
Coffee Consumed: 1,213 Gallons
Donuts Consumed: 179 Glazed / Apple Fritters
Most Inspirational Site Visited:
Mt. Rushmore National Park
Favorite National Park:
Capital Reef National Park (Utah)
Favorite Part of Drive: (Tie)
Lassen Volcanic National Park / Trinity River Valley (California)
Black Hills of South Dakota
Favorite Historical Site:
Little Big Horn, Custer's Last Stand
Greatest Number of National Parks In One Area:
State of Utah
Most Surprising State:
Arkansas - Beautiful Scenery and Great Living Conditions
Least Favorite Drive:
Las Vegas to South Lake Tahoe
Best Place To Gamble
Colorado Belle, Laughlin, Nevada
Harrah's, South Lake Tahoe
Best Motel
MicroTel, Elma, Washington
Worst Motel
Coachman Inn, Bellingham, Washington
Average Motel Cost
Nicest Stranger Met
Linda Morris Fuehrer
Post Mistress, Benedict, Nebraska

Tok, Alaska  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Drove out of Whitehorse, YT this morning, shortly after daylight to find dry roads for the remainder of the 381.4 miles to Tok, Alaska. It is good to be back home again. Total trip mileage as of today is 11,576.7 miles so by the time we reach the most westerly highway point in North America, our total accumulation will exceed 12,000 miles.
A quiet day on the road today, no traffic at all and even less "wild" animals to look at. Southbound and northbound, we have yet to see any wildlife in the Yukon Territory, perhaps a telephone call to their Fish and Game Department is in order.
Daughter Heidi has decided to start a new photography project by capturing"church steeples" as her subject, so I could not resist this shot.
This Catholic Church is located in Haines Junction, YT, originally founded by a traveling priest in 1954. The church was adapted from an old "Quonset Hut" that had been abandon by the U.S. Army after completion of Alcan Highway during WW II. You will have to look close, but hanging from the belfry at the rear of the church is the ideal bell for the HITW. Once again, my drive along companion would not scale the wall and secure the bell for safe keeping. I tried to convince her if we did not secure it into our custody, someone was going to steal it. That is the second bell that she has declined to retrieve, I am starting to run out of churches! Does the Jehovah Witness Church in Homer have a bell? I know the Salvation Army has a lot of bells, I here them twinkling throughout the Christmas season.
Did discover one thing today, the short time that we were gone, the Alcan Highway came alive and grew. Southbound, we found the typical "frost heaves" associated with this section of the highway since it as built. A problem that has never been resolved despite the best plans of the engineers that have tried to solve the problem. On our return trip, five weeks later the entire highway has decided to move up and down, it was ugly in some spots. You hit one when you are not expecting it at 79.6 mph, it will make you clutch the car seat as you catch air. Fortunately, because of the way we are loaded, the back of he truck is heavier and we always had a rear wheel landing. Good thing Grandma is little, anymore weight in the front and we may have been out of balance. I now know what it feels like to make an "arrested landing" on the deck of a aircraft carrier.
We will move out slowly, but smartly in the a.m. and poke our way along the highway inbound for LA. Susie has you locked in on GPS at 318.6 miles and 4 hours 52 minutes driving time. Perhaps unless we encounter a "kodak" moment, snow, ice, wind, or highway closure. See you soon. Happy Birthday Devyn!!!!

Whitehorse, Yukon Territory  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Pulled out of Fort Nelson, B.C. this morning at first light and under light snow flurry weather conditions. Pulled into Whitehorse this evening at 7:15 and 584 miles north of Fort Nelson. Staying in the same motel that we stayed in on our trip south. Total road miles accumulated to date, 11,195.3 miles. After leaving Ft Nelson, about fifty miles up the highway, it had snowed during the night and we drove most of he day on snow packed roads. Seventy miles south of Whitehorse, we finally hit dry pavement again and picked up some lost time.

What a great day it was, despite the snowy roads. If you ever want to go go big game watching, the stretch of highway from Fort Nelson to Watson Lake is the area they you want to visit. This is the same area we saw all the game on our way south. Like General MacArthur once said, "I shall return" but next time I will spend several days in the area. It is better than Yellowstone National Park,these animals are wild! Hopefully, my pictures will do them justice. First, we saw so many caribou today,the migration to the lowlands is on. This particular herd had two big bulls. The largest bull was a little leery of something crouching on the ground and stayed back a safe distance, but the smallest of the two bulls gave me some good shots.

This was taken at Toad River, the entire herd was bedded down in the horse pasture, it was then I wished I had a better telephoto lens. It was quite a distance, but I could make out some antlers so there had to be some large bulls.


We saw so many buffalo again today, this years calves, yearlings, heifers, cows, small bulls and some big bulls. Buffalo everywhere!


We finally saw our first moose on the trip, same area as all the other game. This young bull was skittish, but got a decent shot of him. Quite dark haired compared to the Alaskan Moose.


We saw several bands,herds, flocks, or whatever you want to call them, but this particular group caught my eye because of one big ram, there was perhaps fifteen in this band, mostly ewes with several lambs. I was concentrating on getting a shot of the big Ram, which I did and in my haste to scout out the herd, I had missed seeing the largest ram since he stayed by himself, feeding in a little thicket.

If he saw me, he did not react to my presence and continued to feed while moving up a gully. Despite only having a vest on and in mt tenny runners, a few inches of snow was not going to stop this stalk.

He went behind the ridge one way and I went the opposite, when he came around the corner of the ridge, I was waiting for him, he did not seem to concerned that I had sneaked up on him, he stopped, looked me over and walked away, these shots were taken without a telephoto lens and within 25 feet of each other.

Getting these shots was so exciting, the way he looked at me, those big yellow eyes and he never bolted, just wandered off to gather up his band and then went up the mountain. Terry also captured this on video, the two of us playing tag so I am anxious to see if she caught the entire episode.

Tomorrow, we will have a leisurely drive into Tok Junction for the evening. If all goes as planned with no major hitches, we should pull into Anchorage on Friday afternoon. I believe it is someones birthday, now you know why Grandma has been pushing me to make more miles each day, I think she has become just a touch of homesick!

Fort Nelson, B.C.  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Moved out of Williams Lake at first light this morning and have been behind the wheel most of the day, at least 11.5 hours for a total of 641.7 miles for the day which boosted our trip total to 10,610.9 miles. The good news, where we sit tonight, we are 1,503.4 miles from the intersection of the Old Sterling and New Sterling Highway in Anchor Point. Keeping that in mind, Suzie has projected that we can reach that destination in 27 Hours and 1 minute. I think not!

We are now on our repeat trip, been on this route just a few weeks ago, however, we got onto the Alcan Highway without having to go through Mile "O" at Dawson Creek. Took a neat little short cut from the Hart Highway that meets up with the Alcan Highway just north of Ft. Saint John. I was warned to take a look at this route before I took it, however, it was as good as the Hart Highway, if you are not driving an 18 wheeler. The highway follows the Peace River, beautiful river and scenery. Would like to drive it in the fall when the leaves are turning, a lot of Aspen and Cottonwood trees in the area.

Started the drive this morning with a light rain and by the time we gained a little altitude it had snowed during the night. By the time we reached it, the snow was off the road with just slush alongside. About 100 miles south of Fort Nelson, ran into clear weather and dry roads. No sign of snow in this area. Moving toward Whitehorse tomorrow, they are calling for sun for the next three days. Why did I buy studded tires? But I know, I will get to appreciate them before I reach home, it is just a matter of time. Tomorrow should be a good day for sheep, buffalo, and possibly caribou. Going to have my Kodak ready!

After seeing all the game that we have seen this trip,I have decided to take up hunting again! Except with a camera! So all of you semi-professional shutterbugs, help me pick out a good camera with good telephoto capabilities. However, my concept is to get up as close to my shots without having to use a telephoto lens. I want to concentrate on animals and old buildings. A new hobby!

Moving out again at first light, see all of you in a few days unless we decide to take the Fairbanks route and possibly the Haul Road.

Williams Lake, British Columbia  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Run 344 miles to the north today, will have over 10,000 trip miles logged before I finish my first "on the go coffee" come first light. Had a much better than expected day in Bellingham, Washington and was on the road three hours ahead of schedule. Called a vet at 0800 to see if we could get Dutch in for his "Health Certificate" since they are only good for 30 days and we got his last one in Homer thirty four days ago. After being told by the vet office, that we did not need one, all that was required was proof that he was current on his shots. A quick call to Canadian Customs verified that information was correct. Remind me to ask my vet in Homer, why I needed a separate "Health Certificate" that was only good for 30 days to start with.
The next call was to Les Schwab Tires in Bellingham, their shop was three blocks from the hotel, they had the tires in stock that I needed and they were studded. Also dispelled the rumor that the state of Washington was outlawing studded tires. Very efficient operation, tires off the truck, new tires mounted, balanced, and re-installed on the truck in less than an hour by a crew of three, which included two ladies. We were on the road again. Just a few miles to the border, someone needs to send Custom Officers (both Canadian and U.S.) to diplomacy and personality school. "Got any guns, long guns, shot guns, pistols, replica, antique or modified guns, pepper spray, switchblade knives or brass knuckles? " No, to all of the above! "Are you sure, you know we can search and if we find them we can not only fine you heavily but also confiscate your vehicle?" Yea, so? No other questions ask! He look an awful lot like this guy!

Had a beautiful driving day, the Frasier River and Thompson River Canyon is a spectacular area. Both large rivers with an abundance of "white water rapids" and from some places along the highway, they are a long ways down below you.

Could not help but hit the emergency brake and cut hard to starboard to get this picture, Dutch and Terry was not impressed with my traffic maneuver but I got the shot! The entire concept was to get the picture and while I and Dutch distracted any onlookers, Terry was suppose to climb up the steeple and rescue the bell, it has not been used in years! I know a much better location for it that can bring hours of enjoyment to a lot of people.

The highlight of the trip today for me, was seeing a sign that read "Watch For Bighorn Sheep On Highway", around the corner from the sign was a herd (flock) of about thirty head. This time, it was "full emergency break and all ahead full to port". They were right along a side road, we could have spent hours with them because they were in no hurry to leave, especially two of the rams that had something else on their mind other than a man approaching. The herd had three big rams, one stayed back but the other two were mixed in with the ewes and at one time, had their heads together like they want to test each other out. I was able to walk very slowly up to the herd, the ewes kept their eyes on me the entire time but the rams ignored my presence. I was within 35 feet of them and could have got even closer, but guess who's camera battery died! I was so great being that close to them.
To appreciate the "sheep shots", you really need to click and enlarge the picture. they are a beautiful animal. The next to last, is a lousy picture, unfortunately it was blurry since I was blocking the highway and was in a hurry. But a great trivia question, a few of the lines to assist you: Jasper: "Hat Creek Ranch, Hat Creek is in Texas and we are 3,500 miles north of Hat Creek!" Pea: "But Jasper, that is who we are, we are from Hat Creek".

Be on the road at first light, unless we get sidetracked, we should be ready to once again make the trek up the Alcan on Wednesday. Keep the light on, a bottle of chilled Barcardi Select, two limes and six pack of coke.

Bellingham, Washington  

Posted by Stan Harrington


Pulled out of Elma, Washington after visiting the Pyhala families until about noon. Headed up to Port Townsend to catch the ferry, according to the ferry schedule it was leaving at 2:15 and according to Suzie, our arrival time was going to be at 2:06 pm into Port Townsend. By cutting a few corners short and kicking up a little speed on the straightaways I managed to pick up 6 minutes arriving in plenty of time to be one of the last few cars to board the ferry. So our time in Port Townsend was cut short. Whidbey Island has not changed that much, but Oak Harbor is now a city including Wally World. Toured the area before going out to visit Roger and Mary. You would know Mary instantly, she has not aged a day since we last saw her. After our visit, we headed north to Bellingham to we could get an early start on our pre-Canada crossing.
Last night we found the "motel from hell", fortunately for me it was one your mother selected. It was terrible, all night I expected the cars on the freeway to come through the room, then the train, then the smell, then the constant drip of water! I was not going to take a chance of hooking up my laptop, we were up and out by 7:30 looking for coffee!
As a word of advice in your future travels, Bellingham is now a good size city, however, do not ever try to buy four studded snow tires or see a veterinarian on Sunday. The few places I did check on tires, Wally World, Costco and Sears they looked me like like I was stupid and did not have my size tires in stock and standard question was "why do you need them studded", "you know they are going to be outlawed next year!" The largest tire dealer on the West Coast is suppose to be open tomorrow, of course all large dealerships close on Sunday. I even hate to think what the vet is going to tell us, "oh, he is a dog, you know they are going to be outlawed next year"! Needless to say, the chores we wanted to do today will be postponed until tomorrow, still hope to be out of town by 1300 and into Canada headed north.
My son in laws will be happy to know that I had enough time to to kill today that I did get an oil change, lube job, fuel filter, antifreeze check, and I have 35 pounds of air in each tire - I may have that same air when I get home if I do not find any new tires.
Tonight we are staying in the LaQuinta Inns and Suites and had dinner at a "Olive Garden", a step up in comparison to last night at the "motel from hell" and IHop. Surprising what you can find in the daylight and are not tired. Hopefully, we will be up the road a piece, somewhere in Canada tomorrow night - if not I will be in a bad enough mood, I will not be blogging! Likely see you sometime this weekend or maybe next week if we decide to take the side trip into the Northwest Territory, I have always wanted to see Great Slave Lake.

Elma, Washington  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Made the trek north a few more miles today, don't know how many! I have not done my book work for the night, I guess now I know I am going to live, I can do it in the morning. Woke up this morning not feeling the best and during the course of the day it got worse. I finally had to pull over and let Terry drive (first time this trip) for about sixty miles while I took a nap. Had turkey breast for dinner last night, I think that was the cause because even now, it turns my stomach thinking about it. I want to thank Safeway for trying to poison me! It was bad enough I did not want any coffee until late this evening, you know I am sick when I do not drink at least two pots of coffee before the morning news!

Got into Elam and checked into a very nice motel, wish we would have heard of this chain earlier in the trip. They are called Microtel Inn and their attention to detail is awesome. Everything is quality, including the special dog run that they have developed in the outside recreational area. Right now, I am sitting in their lobby using their hard wired computers as mine kept dropping the signal. It is great, a non ending supply of coffee, juices and even popcorn.

How ill was I, we cancelled our get together with Al and Patti for the casino night, we will see them in the morning. Likely we will pull out of here tomorrow, although exploring a casino is awful tempting to spend another night.

From here, we will head to Port Townsend, grab a ferry to Whidbey Island to spend a night and visit with Roger and Mary Johansson, been a few years since we saw them. Following that, we need to get four studded tires on the truck and find a vet to check out Dutch one more time. I cannot believe that a health certificate is good for only 30 days when all the shots are good for three years! Maybe it because of 911 and they may consider him a terrorist and want to make sure he is not going to spread a disease. I understand that is happening in Alaska with a wolf that had rabies - now, who is against Wolf control by aerial hunters? You thought Dutch was spoiled before, hey this guy is smart and has developed even further into spoiledhood! Hey, John, like my new word!

Did cross the big bridge at the mouth of the Columbia River today from Astoria. Oregon to Washington state, 6.2 miles across the river. It was great, how wide is it across Turnagain Arm?

Considering it is now 0130 Pacific Time, I had best pack up and "get ready to pull out at first light, keep you gun handy, Blue Duck may come riding in at anytime." Spend the winter watching the movie so you will know what in the hell I am talking about!

Newport, Oregon  

Posted by Stan Harrington

One of a billion, beautiful trees on the Oregon coastline

One of a million beautiful rocks along the beaches of Oregon

One of hundred beautiful rivers to fish on the Oregon coastline.
Smith River

Newport, Oregon: Just 267.9 miles north of where we were last night, just had an easy day and enjoyed the scenery. Crossed out of California into Oregon this morning, the majority of the fog had disappeared, just a light haze out to sea. Spent several hours in Bandon, Oregon visiting our friends Matt and Cindy Hrebar and their new home. They live just off the beach in Bandon in a new home they had built to fit their needs, moving here from Colorado after they each retired. A beautiful home, one car garage but two additional garages built on to house their boats. Tomorrow we will continue to work our way up the coast, kind of dragging our feet as we know what lays ahead of us on our final push into Alaska. We are going to meet up with Al and Patti Pyhala in Washington state tomorrow or Saturday. Plan on spending the evening exploring the nightlife at one of the casino's.
Found yet another river to add to my list today, the Smith River. Flows through the dense forest of redwoods and great looking water. A good number of boats on the river today but did not see any action taking place.
As of today, we have driven 9,194.8 miles this trip. In reviewing some past comments, it came to my attention that several person's was wanting me to slow down, don't speed and take my time. Some comments were down right critical of my driving habits pertaining to exceeding the regulated and posted speed limits. I took the time to review this data this evening. Since we left Anchor Point, we have been on the road 29 days, that is only an average of 317.1 miles per day. During this time, I have utilized 585.8 gallons of fossil fuels with a small corn additive while we were in the Midwest. The old Ford -150 is not getting the mileage that I had expected on an"open road" drive, currently the average is 15.58 miles per gallon. Far below the expected federal guidelines. The average price to date is $3.10 per gallon. The cheapest gas prices were while we were in Arkansas and Oklahoma where we took on fuel four times. The next cheapest gas that we have seen was in Anchorage, Alaska. Forget California, $3.29 a gallon was the cheapest we saw but as soon as we crossed the border into Oregon,it dropped twenty cents a gallon.
Knowing that my calculations may also create comments, I did ask Suzie to give me a print out in order to verify my data. Since she logged onto the trip, she has logged 8,977.2 miles driving distance with an average of 55.2 miles per hour actual moving time. She also logs in all down time or non-driving time so that average is moving down the highway. Now according to my instructor who has been using this system, if you are pulled over by a state trooper for speeding, Susie will stand up in court showing the speed being driven at the time and of course the average of the total miles driven. However, there is one small block that also shows highest speed obtained, Susie is indicating 90.1 mph however, I am sure it was likely on a cloudy day, raining, and interference from overhead power line that created that erroneous reading. I really, do truly love her and hate to see the day when the trip ends. To keep her happy, I will more than likely drive out to the Homer Spit each day, purposely taking a few wrong turns and drive through McDonald's a couple of times, just to keep her happy. To hear her voice each day brings a sigh of relief. I do not know why Ranger Bill does not upgrade and get rid of Tom-Tom, hearing his rough whiskey voice each day on the highways has to get on the nerves eventually. As the Old Ranger would say, "Gonna ride out at first light, see you up the trail".