Saturday, June 16, 2007

A slow return to normality.

Good news is Maryann, John and the dogs did survive a rocky float across the Gulf of Alaska! They had some sea worthy tales to tell, but good times were had. In fact many of our former shipmates from the first ferry were as well on board with them for the trip across the gulf. So they reunited and had some good times together. Me, well, I had a killer set up in Whittier compliments of our realtor. Whittier isn't much really, literally. It used to be a military base back during the cold war and acted as a supply line drop off point for ships. From Whittier, trains would then transport the supplies into the interior of Alaska to the military bases. The only way in or out of Whittier is through a tunnel that runs 2 and a half miles through a mountain of solid rock. This road through the mountain is only like 10 feet wide and shares with the railroad track running right down the middle. Fortunately due to the hidden narrative talents of our son, we have live 'dash cam' video from the dashboard of the Chevelle that we will hopefully be able to share with any tunnel enthusiasts once we get DSL and can feed it through! Apparently as he drove the Chevelle through the tunnel he kept the video camera rolling, while stationary on the dashboard! Right now the tunnel is only open to either direction for a half an hour each direction, while it closes to all road traffic when a train needs to run through it. In the winter this schedule is altered severely due to the inclimate weather.....but then again Whittier pretty much shuts down for the winter with the exception of a few die-hard locals that act as caretakers. The entire town lives in this huge apartment building that used to house the military. That is the only living quarters in this little village. Incredible.
We did successfully unload the moving truck, just the 3 of us on the 14th, and spent most of the day yesterday in Anchorage returning the truck, getting our Costco membership and supplying up (yea Tom and Bea, we are official Costconians!) and buying a washer, dryer and fridge at Lowes. And, John and I got our gear for King Salmon fishing (we are still waiting for you to get up here Johnny B.). Anchorage is a very bustling city located aproximately 3 hours to the north of us.
Today was spent re-establishing the basic amenities that we have been without the past 2 weeks. The kitchen was in need of some serious cleaning before Maryann would even start to unpack the kitchen stuff. We are almost there on that. Finally some food in the fridge! John and I were up til 11:30 PM last night (still light out as day at that time) putting in the fridge so we could have a normal breakfast come morning, compliments of Maryann. Today was also spent ripping out a cabinet to get the washer and dryer put in. Since we are on a water well system now (something we are not used to yet) we had to figure out the basic operation of the system and replace several in-line filters that are used to eliminate the odor and bad taste of the natural mineral deposits in the well water. If there is anyone who has experience in this realm....HELP MEEEE!!! Arrrgh! Still have to go through the water softener tomorrow. We also rebuilt the rear shelf of the outhouse, which was dilapidating due to rot. :0 (LOL) With several other little chores we are slowly improving the quality of life here at the compound. As I write tonight, I am using the ice chest for a seat and the foot rest from the couch for a computer table.
Bad news for the day....we are stuck once again with slow speed Internet. Gone are the days these past 2 weeks on the road when we had wireless and DSL! Apparently the phone company needs a piece of equipment ordered before they can get us patched in to DSL. They tell me..."yeah, good thing its now and not winter, otherwise we would have to wait until spring to get you set up!" And they were serious!! Good news for the all of my relatives, don't worry about me. We found a dego here in Nikiski who owns 'La Casa Italian Restaurant' out on the highway! Went there for dinner tonight and it is damned good eating. The owner does all of the cooking, and sings the native Italian tongue back in the kitchen while he prepares the meal. Couldn't find that in Dorrington! After dinner we took the dogs out on the beach here in Nikiski to let them run. They are passed out here on the floor now! The other 3 of us spent some time collecting I got my family hooked on stones! The past several days have been very cool and breezy here. Today there wasn't much breeze and it got up to a warm 70 degrees. Currently it is overcast with lows expected to be in the mid forties tonight. There is 19 hours and 1 minute of daylight today.
Maybe tomorrow Maryann will post some pics....or maybe we will just wait til we get DSL.... as I cant find the camera in the disarray tonight. Egads, it's 10:30 and I need some sleep. So signing off for now, I can say we are very happy, and beginning the rebuilding of our lives now.
Oh, Dad made it through his hip surgery just fine. Thanks for all the prayer and positive energy channeled in his direction, as I do believe that it does work. Have a good night and a happy fathers day to all the dads out there!

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