Monday, September 28, 2009


Although we only had a few days here at home I wanted to make sure to show AL the most important! Friday we just kind of recouped after four long days of driving but Saturday it was back to work playing hard - we went out and stop at Lake Cour D'Alene and walked on the longest floating boardwalk in the world. Then of course we headed out to Athol for some intense rides at Silverwood too!

The next day we went and explored Riverfront Park, rode the carousel, fed the trash eating goat, walked down to see the falls, and ran along side the bloomsday statues. All classic things that you must do while in Spokane. We also headed out to St. John for dinner in the country to show AL our amber waves of grain!

I think she had a really good time and although it's a lot packed in there is part of me that is looking forward to coming home and enjoying it firsthand again. Oh one thing that is really funny however is while in Alaska you could ask me population, elevation, and all sorts of random questions that I knew the answer too so Amy has been asking me these questions here and Washington and almost everytime I have to answer "I don't know"! Man when I get back I really should learn more about my own state!

The Alcan

When I knew I was coming up to Alaska this summer I automatically had the desire to drive through Canada and take the infamous Alcan Highway (Alaska Canada Highway). On the way up though I wanted to spend time with my family and my new nephew and so I flew up for convience but when my friend needed someone to show her the Northwest and help drive her truck I jumped at the chance.
So we left Anchorage with a few friends and their cars and spent the next four days enjoying the open road. Day one was heading east in Alaska and finally across the border much to Amy Lou's dismay (she had a bad experience the first time coming up with the border patrol and declaring mase which she didn't know was illegal there). Once we entered Canada though some of the roads turned into carnival rides - the frost heaves cause sections to sink and rise creating these waves so it's hard to go over 50 mph in some areas, and I'll admit that once or twice I think I had all four truck tires off the ground! But we made if safely into a motel for the night -7 people one room = real road trip!

Day two we headed out and stopped in Watson Lake at the sign post forrest, this was so cool people from all over the world add their sign posts - some are "relocated" from their original place of origin and some are homemade and specific to those that posted them there. It was fun to walk around and see all the signs. Then we made a quick stop at Laird Hot Springs to relax in the pool and smell like sulfur from the rest of the day (not sure it was the best idea but it was fun)! We made it into Fort Nelson and my favorite hotel receptionist gave us a nice deal on a very good room with complimentary breakfast - and of course the much needed shower!

We made it to the end of the Alcan in Dawson's Creek on day three and this is where we split - half of the caravan headed toward Vancouver and the other two cars we went into Jasper/Banf National Parks. We were already enjoying the beautiful fall colors but the parks were gorgeous and had amazing rock structures and glaciers and gorgeous lakes - it was really one of my favorite parts of the trip and worth sleeping in the cab of the truck by a lake!

Finally on day four we enjoyed the park in the morning and made a few stops at waterfalls and ice fields and then we left our wingcar and out of the park - just in time to see two big horn sheep right in town. Amy Lou totally had a staring contest with the one (that's why we come up here)! We entered back into the US of Eh? (funny book we read about how Canada controls everything) with no real difficulty except that the border agent asked us what we do for an occupation and we had to explain that we are college graduates that just got down working a seasonal tourism job and have no real plans for the immediate future but are trying to figure out of lives. He just smiled shook his head a little and said "well welcome back"!

Quick staring contest you and me - you win again you ALWAYS do!
Oh I should mention too, everyone says that you see tons of wildlife on the Alcan and although there is wildlife abundant in this part of the world it's all a matter of timing. We were lucky enough to see Bison, Caribou, Elk, Deer, Moose, Bald Eagles, Black Bear, Fox, Big Horn Sheep and one car even saw a lynx and a wolf. So we were very lucky to get some wildlife accenting the beautiful scenery.

Look closely there is a black bear right by the trees!

So now I'll show Amy Lou my home town and the land that I love - it's good to be back in the lower 48 but I know that I'll miss Alaska for sure and hopefully I'll get to go back next year - it's a place that I feel like once you've been you now HAVE to return every so often to feel complete! And if you ever get the chance make sure you take the time to drive there or back - especially if it's in the fall season, it's bucket list worthy for sure!


Well just a few days before I left Anchorage my friends Luke and Tyler came back into town from their hunting trip (Luke got a Caribou and Tyler a Black Bear - they were pretty proud so I wanted to give them a shout out!) but we all decided that on one of our last days we'd try to go to The Lion King which was showing in Anchorage this month. We also heard about their student rush tickets so we got an amazing deal and were all able to go enjoy the show!

Of course the costumes were superb and the music inspiring adn overall I think we were all impressed with the performance, and yes we left singing the songs for sure! Of course the night was pretty funny we were in quite a rush to get home and change after we found out we got the tickets - and used Tyler's missionary ID instead of a student ID which totally worked - but then the boys weren't able to pick out outfits so Amy and I just took over and told them what they were wearing and we all got changed so quickly got back downtown and I realized I had only brought heels and we were suppossed to meet up with some friends from work to go dancing. So with about 12 minutes to spare we ran into JC Penny's downtown and I bought the first pair of black flats I could find (which were also on sale) and the whole trying on/transaction was done in 6 min, just enough time for us to run to make it for the curtain call!

Luke, Amy Lou, Tyler, & Me
It was such a great night and I was in such great company!

The End of a Season

Well the leaves in Alaska were changing like crazy as our season came to a close and the weather inviting me to move a little further south for a while. But as my time here counted down I really just tried to enjoy the last few days visiting friends and taking in the scenery that I have come to love. So although this post is a little late it's just a closure to a great experience that I hope I will be able to come back next year and be a part of - and if anyone has availibility from about May - September and wants to work for a great company let me know and I'll try to help you out!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Alaska State Fair

You know I LOVE the insert-your-face cut outs!

Well I have a few days off before I go back to my last week of work and I made sure to head out to the Alaska state fair. Luke and I got in just in time to see the lumberjack show, racing pigs, and went over to watch a hip hop group perform (I made a group of friends watch step up 2 the night before because they had never seen it!) however we quickly realized that the group was actually a dance group for people with mental disabilities but we had already sat down so even though we left the end of the lumberjack show and wanted to go back for the log rolling competition there is no way you can get up and walk away because you are disappointed with a performance that wasn't quite what you thought it was, however just afterward we we able to watch this great family perform from Florida (they were like the Brady Bunch but with instruments and the seventeen year old daughter wore her hair in a high ponytail and whipped that thing around every song while everyone wore the hugest smile THE ENTIRE TIME)! They were at the fair last year so we really lucked out that they came back - I can only cross my fingers for next year but the one daughter did dance kind of sexy so next year she could be knocked-up and I don't know how that would add to the whole act!

Getting ready to cheer our lumberjack on through the gruling games! Yo Ho!
(Which apparently is the official lumberjack cheer - I thought that was for pirates but either I've been misinformed or just didn't realize how closely related they are!)

Racing pigs - Ham Solo, Magnum P.I.G, and Franken"swine"

This was the best photo I got swinging hair far left - check, full grin on everyone ALL the time - you better believe it!

Needless to say we had a great time and I did get to see some of Alaska's giant vegetables that I tell my guests about becauase (insert tour director voice - kind of like a flight attendant) "Although Alaska has a shorter growing season they do enjoy longer daylight hours which help to more than make up the difference!"

Giant Cabbages and Pumpkins - All Alaskan Grown!

Then unfortunately my camera died so Luke got some photos once the rest of our friends showed up and we ate some traditional fair food as we enjoyed the night!