This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (http://rbmartiniv.smugmug.com).

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Fairbanks

We have been touring around Fairbanks for the past couple of days and I have a few photos I can post. Hopefully, the slow internet will allow me to do so.

One of the more interesting things we did was make a visit to a portion of the Alaska pipeline that transports Prudhoe Bay crude oil to the tankers at Valdez, 800 miles to the south. It is above ground wherever there is permafrost as state law prohibits disturbing the permafrost by digging in it. 

This photo shows mile marker 450 of the 800 mile pipeline.


Yesterday we went on a paddle wheeler cruise for three hours on the Chena River. While on the cruise, a bush plane with pontoons landed and then took off next to the boat. In the winter, the pontoons will be exchanged for skis for snow and frozen lake operations.

This plane was a 1951 Piper Super Cub, a very popular airplane in Alaska we were told. In a land where bush planes provide an important service, 78% of Alaskans are said to hold a private pilot’s license!


While on the cruise we passed the kennels, which has won the famous Iditarod dog-sled race four times. For such a manly sport, all four of those wins were by a woman, whose daughter currently operates the kennels.

We also visited a reconstructed native Alaskan village where we were shown how salmon were caught, cleaned, fileted, and smoked.

Tomorrow we will join our tour group and travel by train to Denali National Park where we will spend two nights at a lodge deep in the park. There will be no phone or internet service but I will post again as soon as possible.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

It Was a Long Day

We spent Wednesday night in Houston at an airport hotel because we had an early flight Thursday morning. The alarm went off at 4:30 AM so we could make the 5:30 AM shuttle to the airport for our 6:30 AM flight - the first leg of three. Ten hours and 3,300 air miles later we were wheels down at Fairbanks International Airport. We were bussed to our hotel where we immediately took a nap before dinner. There was no hurry to go to dinner as the sun doesn’t set until 11:39 PM. It will then rise again about 4:14 AM. In the land of the midnight sun there is not a lot of night time in the summer.


Communication with the outside world will be difficult. T-Mobil cell service up here is non-existent and the hotel internet is super slow. I will post whenever possible.

It Was a Long Day

We spent Wednesday night in Houston at an airport hotel because we had an early flight Thursday morning. The alarm went off at 4:30 AM so we could make the 5:30 AM shuttle to the airport for our 6:30 AM flight - the first leg of three. Ten hours and 3,300 air miles later we were wheels down at Fairbanks International Airport. We were bussed to our hotel where we immediately took a nap before dinner. There was no hurry to go to dinner as the sun doesn’t set until 11:39 PM. It will then rise again about 4:14 AM. In the land of the midnight sun there is not a lot of night time in the summer.


Communication with the outside world will be difficult. T-Mobil cell service up here is non-existent and the hotel internet is super slow. I will post whenever possible.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Alaskan Intinerary

Our upcoming Alaska tour by plane, train, and bus begins soon. I know that internet access will be spotty at best but will post reports and photos when possible. Our itinerary is below:

July 22:  Fly from Houston to Fairbanks.
July 23:  Tour orientation and free day.
July 24:  By train to Denali National Park. Two nights at Kantishna Roadhouse, 95 miles deep in the park by shuttle bus. No phone or internet will be available.
July 25:  Hiking and sightseeing in the park.
July 26:  Shuttle out of the park then the train to Talkeetna. Two nights at Knik River Lodge.
July 27:  Day trip to Hatcher Pass and Independence Mine Historical Park.
July 28:  Depart Talkeetna for Anchorage and visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
July 29:  Fly from Anchorage to Juneau and board the Wilderness Adventurer for a 7-day cruise through glacier country. This will include Glacier Bay National Park/Icy Strait, Chichagof Island/Baranof Island, Frederick Sound/Stephens Passage, and Ford’s Terror/Endicott Arm.
August 5:  Return to Juneau and shuttle to airport for flight home.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Next up, Alaska!

In a couple of weeks, we will be in Alaska, but without the motorhome. On July 20, we fly from Houston to Fairbanks via Salt Lake City and Seattle. It will be a long day, but worth it to get away from this heat we are experiencing here in Texas.

Our first week in Alaska will be a land tour, primarily of Denali National Park and surrounding area. A train will deliver us to the park entrance where we will board a bus for the 95-mile, 5- to 6-hour trek into the park where we will spend two nights in the lodge and hopefully get some good views (and photographs) of Denali, the mountain. We will then work our way to Anchorage by the end of the week where we will jump on a plane and fly to Juneau for the second week of our Alaska experience.

In Juneau, we will board a small ship (60 passenger maximum) and slowly cruise the inland waterways and fjords. Along the way, we will be able to kayak among the icebergs and get up close to the glaciers. Hopefully, spotting some whales along the way.

I will be posting our experiences and photos as often as I can during the two weeks of our trip. There will be times when there will be no Wi-Fi but I will post as soon as it is once more available. My next post will include our itinerary so you can follow along.