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The Things that Happened in the Land of the Midnight Sun, Alaska

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S: The Things that Happened in the Land of the Midnight Sun-----Alaska

FC: The things that Happened in the Land of the Midnight Sun | The Things That Happened in the Land of the Midnight Sun ALASKA | by Nancy Campassi Volume 1

1: The Things that Happened in the Land of the Midnight Sun ALASKA | by Nancy Campassi 2010-2011

2: This book is a journal of our trip to Alaska. It truly was a trip of a lifetime, however, it was not for the faint of heart! Leaving Montgomery, Texas on July 17, 2010, we traveled 11,300 miles, of which I drove 30. We traveled for 3 months, met new friends who will be friends for life, saw things we have always dreamed about, and experienced the trauma of being stranded on the side of a mountain in our motorhome, for 3 days. What would we have done differently? NOT A THING! !

3: Who in the world ever thought we would drive to Alaska! Especially in a new, 45 foot motorhome, pulling a jeep tow car to a place where they don't even sell new cars because the roads are so bad!! For some reason, we decided this would be a trip of a lifetime so we signed on for a RV tour with "Spike". Sam, Harpo and I planned to leave here July 15th, 2010 and would meet the group in Hazelton, British Columbia on August 8th. July 15th 2010 We bought hiking boots, fishing boots, rain gear, anything we could think of that we could not do without in the Land of the Midnight Sun. July 15th came and off we went. Made it to Wichita Falls the first night and on to Clayton, New Mexico, the following day where we searched for a good restaurant with good margaritas. We finally passed a place called the Rabbit Ear Cafe, decided it looked pretty good, we walked in, ordered margaritas only to be told ,,,,,, "NO ALCOHOL"! what? So we settled for a room full of really fat people and had bad food. July 17th 2010 The weather is extremely hot, but we were quite comfortable as we traveled through New Mexico on our way to Colorado. All of a sudden we hear the dreaded "beep, beep" which in rv language means "oh crap"! The light on the dash said we had water in the fuel, so Sam made a u-turn and back we went to Camping World to see if a technician could help us. But they had no service at this C.W.! Of course not. Not a good way to start the trip. But since we had no help, we decided to go on and take our chances! That evening, we stayed at Johnson's Corner RV Retreat. The parking spots were very small, you could probably reach out and scratch your neighbors back, but it was only for a night so what the heck. July 18th, 2010 We planned to travel to Casper Wyoning, a short ride, 245 miles. Beautiful mountains in the background and no beeping, what more could you ask for! We arrived at the Bar Nun, Wyoming, had dinner in Casper, then went back to the coach. I hadn't felt good all day, I had had parathyroid surgery right before we left and I think I have been pushing myself too much. It is very difficult being the co-pilot!! We stayed here for 2 nights to take a break from traveling. July 20, 2010 Drove from Casper Wy. to Billings Montana. After checking in at the KOA, we went to eat at the "Windmill". | ***************************

4: Our trip to Alaska

5: Calgary, Alberta

6: This is the first and only time I have ever taken a nap while Sam was driving but I think it helped! But my feelings were hurt, after all, how could Sam drive without my help? We stopped at Cummins to ask about the beeping "water in the fuel line" thing. They said it was ok. We love Cummins and would come to love it more as this trip went on!! Nice people, always helpful, little did we know just how helpful! We spent another night in Billings and tomorrow, it is on to Great Falls. July 22, 2010 Today we are traveling through beautiful rolling hills and wheat fields everywhere you looked as far as the eye could see. It was 58 this morning, felt so good, I am not a hot weather person! We arrived in Great Falls at the KOA park. It was a narrow entrance to the park so while I went in to register, Sam unhooked the tow car. Problem # 2. A piece broke off the gear shift and we could not move the jeep. RV's were lined up behind us, waiting to get in to the campground. Finally, they pushed the jeep to the side, we parked the coach and waited for tow truck #1. They towed it to the dealership and had it fixed the next day. We stayed in Great Falls for 2 nights and the last night we ate at Jakers. Ribs and Steak, yum! Always helps to have a good meal. The morning we were to leave, we had a really hard time getting out of our spot. I had to hold up a limb of a pine tree and Sam ended up going over a big boulder in the motorhome. I know everyone was inside peeking out at us, laughing. But after we got out, I know they were amazed at my man's expertise! July 24, 2010 We are on our way to Cochrane, Alberta, which is just west of Calgary. We stayed at an rv park near a convention center, where there was a muslim convention going on. They were everywhere! Some in the burka garb, a little unsettling! Behind the rv park, there is a walk along the river where you can walk your dog off the leash. All the dogs played together and the owners chatted. It was beautiful and very relaxing. We sat on a bench and watched the fly fishermen and canoes. On the 26th, we decided to take the jeep and drive to Banff and Lake Louise. Both are gorgeous, but I have to say, Lake Louise is amazing. We drove up to the huge Chalet Hotel, where a lady was playing the Harp. We walked outside in the back and there was the beautiful lake, with a glacier in the background, surrounded by mountains. And beautiful flowers everywhere. I felt like I was dreaming. Please God, let me come back here!

7: cALGARY/cOCHRANE, ALBERTA

8: BANFF NATIONAL PARK

11: Banff, Alberta

12: LAKE LOUISE, ALBERTA

13: ICEFIELDS PARKWAY, B.C. | I

14: July 28, 2010 Cochrane to Canmore, near Banff This area is so beautiful we decided to come and spend two nights here to explore. Our rv park was full of little rabbits running around, they are so cute. We drove up through the mountains, saw a lot of wild animals, mountain goats, deer, and adorable little baby moose, twins to be exact with their mama. They stayed right by the car as long as we were inside but I as soon as I cracked the door open a little, they walked away. The last evening there, we walked around the park, I stopped to pet a dog and his owner came out. He said he was from Meadville Pa, 20 miles from my hometown. Small world. July 30, 2010 Today we leave for Valemount, Alberta. The drive was amazing. Through the Icefield Parkway, the mountains were beautiful with the glaciers tucked around them. Each turn was more beautiful than the last. We wanted to stop and walk around but with a 45 plus rig, there aren't many, if any, places to park, so we drove on to Valemount. There we stayed at Irvin's Rv Park, it was nice but nothing special. Rv resorts or rv parks can't compare to the ones in the U.S. I think we are spoiled! We took a drive and found a stable that rents horses so we made an appointment for the next day. Then we came back in the little town and saw Caribou Grill. We stopped to eat and it was so good. Prime rib to die for, Sam had chicken Meditarranean, which he liked but nothing compared to the great cosmos made for us by the owner. We decided we would stay in Valemount for several days, lots to see and do. The next morning, we pulled out to go horseback riding and another motorhome had pulled out onto the highway with his awning out, so we chased him down the highway until he finally pulled over. We are so kind! We got to the stables and loaded up and headed out on our horses. We rode way up in the mountain which was thick with firs, but no varmits! It was so much fun, I could do that every day. When we arrived back, Brenda and Mike Kerr, whom we had met in Canmore, were sitting by their coach. We stopped to chat and asked them if they would like to go to the Caribou Grill for dinner. We all went and enjoyed the food and conversation. They are from Horseshoe Bay. Another example of a small world!!

15: The following day was a do nothing day, other than cleaning up, laundry, packing up to leave the next morning for Prince George, British Columbia. August 3, 2010 The next morning, we headed out for Prince George, ran into Tony, our guide on the horses and he helped us get coolant for the coach. On our way out of Valemount, a huge deer ran out in front of us, we have to be careful. Brenda text us that she was driving their coach that morning and hit a bear! Didn't hurt the bear but a huge dent in their pocketbook repairing the coach! On our way to P.G., the dreaded beep came on again, water in the fuel line. We made an appointment with Freighliner for the following morning. After evaluating the problem, they thought it was just the sensor so they cut the line to the sensor. Hope we never have water in the fuel line!! We were staying at the Hartway Rv Park which is so narrow, you have to duck under the slides and crawl around the picnic table! We had to ask the neighbor to put their awning in so we could put out slide out. That's close! Prince George is an ugly little town, in fact we drove by one house with a dryer hose hanging out the front window. I guess he thought it was a decorative touch! We rode around, not much to see or do, so after the coach was fixed, we headed out for Vanderhoff, which wasn't far up the road but it got us out of there. We ended up at Dave's Rv park. There was another big rig beside us, we didn't see anyone around but found out later they were on our tour. Had we known, we could have caravaned into Hazelton ! August 7, 2010 We left Vanderhoff about 10:00 to go to Hazelton to meet the tour group. We are really excited, can't wait to get going. When we pulled in about 3:00, there were some people walking around, we chatted a little, John, the tail gaiter, handed out the itinerary and walkie talkies which we would use while traveling. It won't be long til we are "On the Road Again"! | The next morning, we went up into the mountains and found a bear safari place, where we signed up to take a boat to see the bears and the beautiful waterfalls. Several bears came down by the water near our boat, I must say, is was pretty exciting! And the scenery was, my favorite word, gorgeous!

16: ON TO VALEMOUNT, BRITISH COLUMBIA

18: bLUE rIVER, b.c.

19: V A L E M O U N T

22: Prince George, B.C. | what is that?---> | rv park very crowded! Yah think?

23: HAZELTON, B. C.

24: August 8, 2010 Sunday morning,,, our first worship service with Spike. It was very nice and some of us took part in a few of the readings. Afterward, Sam and I tried our luck at fishing where the Bulkley and Skeena rivers meet. It was beautiful but no fish liked our bait! August 9, 2010 We got up and took the dog for a walk, then drove to a town about 20 miles away and watched the Indians catch salmon. There was a gorge with cliffs all around, the men would tie ropes around their wastes, then lean way over the water falls to catch the salmon. Scariest thing I ever saw!! They would then run the salmon over to a table, where they would be cut up and hung up to dry. Very interesting but not for me! August 10, 2010 Our first outing as a group was driving to a totem pole village where we learned about the Indians, their beliefs and what the characters on the poles stood for. The Indian groups were the Frogs, the Ravens, and the Wolves. You marry outside of your tribe but the woman' s children become part of her tribe. Lots of old traditions have been passed down throughout the years, you have to respect them for the loyalty to their tribes. We went back to the RV park, where we had a potluck dinner and met everyone. One couple lives right down the highway from us in Montgomery! We chatted about the problems with motorhomes, seems like everyone has something wrong. Hopefully, no problems on the trip that can't be fixed! Spike gave us the instructions for leaving in the morning, this would be our first caravan with all of the RV's. Everyone is really excited about the adventures that lie ahead. AND THERE WOULD BE ADVENTURES! August 11, 2010 Today is the big day. We leave for Hyder Alaska in our first motorcade. It is really an exciting day. Along the route, Spike told us of some totem poles we passed and about our surroundings. Spike started this tour group because after living in Alaska, he wanted everyone else to see the place he loved so much.

25: We arrived in Hyder Alaska, which is a tiny little community, very quaint, peaceful, nothing much there but everyone fell in love with it. A group of us went out to have dinner, burgers at an old bus turned into a kitchen with seats outside! That too was quaint and unique! After eating, we went to a stream and watched bears catch salmon out of the river. The bears would walk slowly along, then pounce on the salmon, take it to the bank of the stream, where they would tear it apart and eat it. Mainly for the skin, which has the fat. Sounds good to me! August 12, 2010 The next morning, we asked another couple to ride with us in the tow vehicle caravan to see Salmon Glacier. It was beautiful, then back to watch the bears. August 13, 2010 Today we caravan to Deese Lake in British Columbia. We will spend the night, then get up early in the morning to go to Watson Lake in the Yukon. August 14, 2010 We are up early so we can get in line on the side of the road to wait for a pilot car who will lead us through the forest fires in the ares. We waited for 2 hours on the road then drove through the smoke and small fires that were still smoldering. We got to Watson Lake and a group of us walked over to the "sign forest:. There are over 60,000 signs on posts, left by people from all over the world. And not to be outdone, we all nailed our signs to the post. It was nice to leave our mark on the world! Then off to eat in the tent and home to call it a day. Tomorrow is off to Teslin.

26: driving into HAZELTON to meet the group. scary, see through, one way bridge over river way down below!

27: huge wood carvings in village

28: Hazelton, B.C. First Nation Indian Village

30: Indians netting salmon, Moricetown, B.C.

31: And we're off to Hyder, Alaska

32: HYDER, ALASKA | GOLD TRUCK!

33: FOREST RANGER LECTURING US ON "SOMETHING"?! | ARE DICK AND VICI BORED?

34: ODOMETERS TO ZERO, LIGHTS ON, AND OFF WE GO!

35: OUR FRIENDS AND A LITTLE BUS THAT SERVED HAMBURGERS!

36: PAPA BEAR POUNCES, DRAGS AND EATS HIS SALMON

37: BUCKY BEAVER

38: SALMON GLACIER AND sPIKE IN HYDER | fIREWEED | This plant is the Fireweed, seen all over Alaska. We were told to gather some of it's seeds, then put it in water and freeze it. When we got home, I put it in the freezer until spring, when I planted it. All that work for nothing! Nothing sprouted, well, we will have to go back to Alaska and get some more!

39: bEAR MAN, LIVES IN A TENT NEAR THE GLACIER

42: HARPO'S FRIEND, WHISKEY

43: tHE cASSIER HIGHWAY FOREST FIRES | smoke and fire

44: EVEN A BIRD HAD TO WAIT FOR HOURS ON THE cASSIER FOR THE PILOT CAR TO LEAD US THROUGH THE FOREST FIRE!

45: ON TO WATSON LAKE AND THE SIGN FOREST, OVER 60,000 SIGNS

46: THE SIGN FOREST, STARTED BY A SOLDIER IN 1952 WITH ONE SIGN. NOW THERE ARE OVER 60,000 FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD!

48: ODOMETER, LIGHTS, TESLIN LAKE | DOGS PHOTO DAY!

49: beautiful view in the rv park

50: OFF WE GO TO SKAGWAY, ALASKA

51: stopped in Carcross on the way to Skagway

52: CARCROSS

53: BEAUTY COMES IN ALL DIFFERENT SHADES.

54: lADY MUSHER, mICHELLE pHILLIPS AND HER PUPPPIES

55: PUPPIES IN cARCROSS, MET mICHELLE IN WHITEHORSE, YUKON | WHICH PUPPY CAN I HAVE

56: August 15, 2010 After our parking lot prayer service, we took off for Teslin, which is a beautiful place on a gorgeous lake. Sam said I uttered two words this whole trip, "beautiful" and "gorgeous"! But the words applied. At the Teslin campground, we stopped at one of the rv's and played a coin toss game with 4 other couples. This is a fun group!! We decided that we would all sit outside and watch for stars. The problem was it didn't get dark until about 11:30! We all gathered at our coach, sat around and talked and waited for the stars. Before it got dark, about 11:00, we thought we saw a star. That was all it took, everyone jumped up, grabbed their chairs and said good night. But it was so much fun getting to know everyone. August 16, 2010 After a good nights sleep, we were all up and ready to head to Skagway. Skagway is located at the bottom of the biggest and most beautiful mountains I have ever seen. It was a little scary going down the steep incline, hoping brakes wouldn't fail. One of the trucks pulling a fifth wheel began smoking, but he made the trip down without damage. Arriving at the campground, all of the motorhomes were parked in the parking lot over looking the harbor where the big cruise ships come in. It was fabulous getting up in the morning, looking out and seeing one big ship leaving as another was coming in. We even had a mama sea lion and two babies on the wharf in front of the motorhome. Amazing! August 17, 2010 After a tour of the town, Spike asked me to be in a skit about Soapy Smith and other characters of the Gold Rush era. They had a shootout and Soapy was killed. I was a saloon girl and had to wear a brothel dress! After the Oscar performance, we all loaded up in cars and went to the Chilkoot trail. This to me is the most fascinating part of Alaska. Desperate men from all over the world climbed an unbelievable mountain, using rocks and roots to pull themselves up. If we could climb to the ranger's station, a long climb at that, we could sign a book to prove we had made it up there. I felt like Rocky as we made it to the top!

57: After making it to the rangers station, we traveled to the cemetery where a lot of these characters were buried. Seeing the tombstones and reading a little about them, made you feel the spirit of those who had struggled so hard for a better life, only to end up with nothing . August 18, 2010 Up early, we all boarded a boat for Juneau, the capital of Alaska. The only way to get there is by boat or plane. On the way, we saw whales, bald eagles and sea lions. Even though this was the only day of rain that we encountered on our trip, it didn't stop us from walking around and enjoying our visit. from walking We all ended up at a saloon called the "Red Dog Saloon", which had a bear climbing a post after a man at the top, sawdust floor, a dj that had everyone singing and laughing. Afterward, we piled into a bus and went to a glacier where chunks of ice were floating around the lake. We walked around, watched a bear eating salmon, then went back to the bus, that took us back to the boat for the trip home. What a day! August 19, 2010 This morning, we boarded a train to go up the mountain-- Beautiful! Gorgeous! We traveled up the huge mountains we had previously come down, it was pretty amazing. How in the world did the workers ever build the rail tracks?! But I am glad they did, the scenery was breathtaking.

58: GOING DOWN HUGE MOUNTAIN INTO SKAGWAY, SOOOOO BEAUTIFUL! | JIM, THE TAIL GUNNER | NANCY, THE CAMERA LADY!

59: THE VIEW FROM OUR MOTORHOME.

62: Sam on stage in Skagway | One of the "can can" girls, looks like Cori!

63: train trip out of skagway | Like ships passing in the night, everyone gave the moose sign!

65: THE CHILKOOT TRAIL, OVER THE MOUNTAIN TO DAWSON CITY The miners each had to carry 2,000 pounds of provisions with them, unable to carry it all at one time, they had to make many trips up and down this mountain, what were they thinking!?

67: BURIAL GROUNDS OF THE GOLD RUSH STAMPEDERS

68: WE CLIMBED THE WATERFALL AT THE BURIAL GROUNDS

69: RV PARK AND DOWNTOWN

70: SOAPY SMITH SHOOTOUT

71: WE TOOK A SHIP TO JUNEAU, THE ONLY WAY YOU COULD GET THERE, OTHER THAN BY PLANE! | sea lions

72: SEVERAL WHALES PUT ON AN AMAZING "SHOW" FOR US

73: THE OL' RED DOG SALOON IN JUNEAU, WHAT A FUN PLACE | iT DIDN'T TAKE LONG FOR US TO LOWER OUR STANDARDS!

74: A "JUNEAU" BEAR HAVING HIS SALMON DINNER

75: ON THE WAY HOME FROM JUNEAU

76: August 20, 2010 Today we arrive in Whitehorse, Yukon. We are staying at the Pioneer Rv Park. Because of the rain, it is very muddy and very close quarters! After getting settled, we toured the town, shopped for groceries, then went back to the coach for drinks and homemade chili. August 21, 2010 We met the group at 9:30 to go to the Yukon River, where we toured the "fishery" home of the fish ladder, which allows the salmon to get up over the dam. They are heading back to their "home" to spawn, then die. After the fish ladder, we toured the paddle boat, Klondike, which took many up the Yukon to Dawson City. Then on the the Beringia Center where we saw a film on Beringia, the land that used to connect Russia and Alaska. Because the of land attachment, the people and animals migrated across the land, until the glaciers melted and Beringia was lost to the sea. That night, we all went into town to the Klondike Grill, where some of the group had caribou stew, bison rib eye and other strange things, however, Sam and I stuck to prime rib, even though it was more like a steak! After our meal, we went across the street to see the Frantic Follies, another stage presentation of the gold rush. All of a sudden, one of the singers, came down off the stage, got me and took me up on stage, where they sang to me. Seems like everywhere we go, one of us is taking part in some production! I think this is a set up! August 22, 2010 Today is a free day. We did laundry, washed the dog, and got diesel. In the evening, we went to the rec hall to have dinner with Michelle Phillips and her family. She talked to us about her experiences while competing in the Ididarod. Afterward, we met her, had photos with her and she thanked us for helping to sponsor her in the race. When the evenings activities we over, we went back and put the bra on the jeep, in preparation for our trip to Dawson City, 330 miles away. August 23, 2010 Heidi called to have us wish Kenzie well on her first day in high school. It was great to

77: talk to them even though it was 4:30 in the morning! | We lined up at 9:30 for our 330 mile trip to Dawson City. We we prepared to leave, someone on the walkie talkie said there was a fox on the side of the park, however, we didn't see it. Darn! The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day to travel. We arrived in Dawson City about 4:00, set up the rv, then drove around town to see where things were, came back, ate and went to bed. August 24, 2010 Went into town with the group, then to Jack London's and Robert Service's cabins. Robert Service wrote the Sam McGee poem, which Sam has memorized. Next stop was a cemetery at the top of the mountain to view the beautiful city below. Afterwards, we went with friends for drinks at an old saloon. Some of the "Sourdoughs" came up to us and started talking, (Sourdoughs are people spend their winters in Alaska) and after, we went to Sourdough Joe's for dinner. Fun group! August 25, 2010 Today we are touring the Commissioner's Residence, a beautiful old home. They had a chair made out of moose horns, pretty cool. The home has a big wrap around porch on it and if you look out from there, to the middle of the Yukon River, you will see a little cabin,,,,, IN THE MIDDLE OF TH RIVER! A man lives in there, getting to and from shore in a little boat,,,,, what about plumbing?? hummm After lunch, we went to a gold mining company, learned how they processed the tons of dirt in order to "shake out" the gold, and then on to pan for gold, and shake it ourselves! Although we did find some gold flakes, it would not support us for the rest of the day, let alone the rest of our lives.

78: the klondike riverboat

79: in and around whitehorse, yukon | the airplane is a weather vane! | a scary swinging bridge, EEEEEK

80: whitehorse, yukon

82: wHITEHORSE, YUKON This ladder allows the salmon to get up over the dam.

83: Dragged up on stage again, i think this is a set up!

84: The Beringia Center, Whitehorse, Yukon

85: the beringia center, Russia and Alaska were once connected by land called beringia, the glaciers melted and water covered the land | whitehorse

86: Dawson City, home of the Klondike Gold Rush.

87: Panning for gold in Dawson City | thars gold in them thar hills! yes indeed!

88: Dawson City

89: GETTING READY TO LEAVE THE NEXT A.M . FOR THE TOP OF THE WORLD HIGHWAY AND CHICKEN! YIKES!! | WE DROVE ABOVE THE CLOUDS

90: AFTER TAKING A LITTLE FERRY BEFORE DAYLIGHT,AND RIDING ABOVE THE CLOUDS, WE HAD TO WAIT FOR A PILOT CAR TO TAKE US TO CHICKEN. | another group of cars waiting for the pilot car to take them back the other way

91: The Aurora Borealis, ( Northern Lights) as seen in Chicken Alaska photos taken by Jim Lang, tailgunner on our tour Thank you JIm!

92: August 26, 2010 Last night, Spike sent us photos of a mountain road that had been washed out,, the one that we were going over today. I must say, "what bad timing"! We were up at 3:30 for our trip to Chicken, population 6. We got to the little ferry at 5:00, no lights, completely dark, only flashlights and men yelling "come on"!! To make matters worse, I had to go first, then Sam would come with the motorhome. I was very nervous but moved the jeep onto the ferry, trusting their voices to guide me. A short trip across the river then I was getting off, only to sit in the dark and wait for Sam. After the whole group got over and hooked up their tow cards, we were on our way up through the clouds! When we got above the clouds and looked down, it was surreal. Beautiful but surreal. We drove on to a little village, 1 store and that was it, where we went in, had coffee and waited for the pilot car to lead us over the damaged mountain road. It had been rebuilt temporarily, and to be perfectly honest, the road up to that point was scarier than the rebuilt road. We traveled around barriers, men working and all went well. One in the group had a flat tire on their coach, but it was the inside tire, so after calling for a new tire on the satellite phone, we were on our way to Chicken. By the time we got there, the tire was waiting and the coach tire replaced. The campground was very busy, another group was waiting to go where we had just come from and they were lined up waiting. So, we sat and waited to for them to leave so we could go to our spot. The little village was adorable, a little schoolhouse, an eating place called Sue's, where we went for pot pie. That night, we were called to tell us the Northern Lights were out, so I went to the window and looked but was too tired to go outside and look. BIG MISTAKE! I thought I would have another chance to see them, but I didn't. What I did see was beautiful, it looked like a gauze curtain of soft green swaying in the sky. Tomorrow we head to Tok. August 27, 2010 \The saying in Chicken, was you had to get laid in Chicken! Hummm. After preparing to leave for Tok, we left Chicken the next morning to move onto paved roads and at last, cell phones. After getting to the Tok rv park and setting up, we had a Survivor's Party because we made it across the Top of the World Highway, to Chicken! After eating, we played Pancake Toss into the bucket. If you got it in, you won a free breakfast the next morning. Yea, I won! (and it was good) Spike gave out several new name tags, Sam was renamed "Sockeye Sam", I was renamed "Salmon Nancy"! We had such fun that night, we laughed til we hurt, especially when Patty took her turn at tossing the pancake and hit Karen right in the face! Too funny.

93: August 28, 2010 Today, we leave for Fairbanks. After our delicious breakfast, we loaded up and headed out. We stopped at a beautiful place called Ricca's for lunch. There were beautiful flowers, adorable cabins, and a little shop where we all loaded up on souvenirs. Then we headed out for Fairbanks, but FIRST!!! We have to stop at the North Pole to visit Santa and see the reindeer and of course, get souvenirs! August 29, 2010 This mornings prayer meeting was down by the river in the motorhome park. We stood in a circle, took turns giving the daily reading, then we said prayers for a few who had the flu and our dear friend, Bill, who is battling cancer. Bill's son lead the prayer and it was so touching. After the service we did our tour of the city. Fairbanks is kind of a dull, 50's ish town with old buildings, nothing over 2 stories that I could see. After lunch, we went on the riverboat Discovery and on the way up the river, we passed Susan Butcher's dog kennels for the "musher dogs". She passed away a few years ago but her partner put on a demonstration for us, hooking up the dogs to the sled and off they went! It looked like so much fun, I would love to take a long ride in the sled. Those dogs can fly. After to dog exhibition, we went on up the river and toured an eskimo village. We learned how to fillet salmon, saw their furs and clothing, and walked around the village. IAfter the tour, we went to Pioneer Park, where we enjoyed a salmon bake and walked around the beautiful park. The flowers were the prettiest I have ever seen. Of course we all had to climb on this wooden fish and pretend we were rodeoing! After a long day, we went home to bed. August 30 & 31 We had two free days which we used to fill prescriptions, laundry, and cleaning the coach. The evening of the 31st, we went to Susan Butcher's place for a prime rib dinner. They drew a name of someone to come up and put on the mushers winter wear. Of course, they drew my name! Now I know it was a set up. But it was fun. Then we got to go out and hold some of the puppies, which I loved. The racing dogs are very lean, not filled out like I expected them to be.

94: FAIRBANKS, ALASKA | pioneer park in Fairbanks

95: Salmon bake and beautiful flowers.

96: The building on stilts is an example of those used by the Eskimos to store their food.

97: THE NORTH POLE, ALASKA

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Nancy Campassi
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