Thursday, September 12, 2019

fall roadtrip

 my friend flew in so we headed north the next day.  we cruised up to Fairbanks the first night and stayed at Pikes.  the room was nice. they have a little "dog park" area plus areas to wander with the dogs.  they were also welcome by the fire pits and even in the lobby where we got ice cream one night.  they are always a hit where ever they go.  tourists are often missing their own pups.
 we stopped for walks with the dogs.  nothing too long but enough to stretch our legs and the dogs.  above was a stop at the xyz lakes in Talkeetna.  a new favorite.  below was at Creamers Field.  we did see a few Sandhills, most had moved on.
 we also popped up to Chena Hot Springs.  they have put this plane up and done some remodel of the entrance to the hot springs  area.
 this was another shortish walk we did before leaving the dogs in the car to go to the hot springs.  Granite Tors i think.  seemed mostly boardwalk.  they have been replacing the old stuff with new.  seemed nice.  lots of muddy bogs....we lost one tennis ball to the bogs
 downtown Fairbanks.  still quite a few flowers left. less tourists...I'm sure they are starting to get the aurora tourists in already.  keeps them all busy i think.
 xyz area again.  these are all mixed up as usual.  all iphone pics...just an overview of the trip
 it's Sept 11.  started to watch a show about it.  too depressing.  in a way i was lucky as i missed much of the details of that day as i was off the grid as i moved from Ketchikan to Anchorage.  another road trip.  looks like such a horrible day for those who had to go through it in real time.
 my friend and i finally take a selfie. i don't think either of us are big selfie takers. haha.  we worked together back at Eagle Rock Emergency Vet Clinic years ago.  made many a really good friend there.
 more flowers.
 stopped frequently to let the dogs out to stretch and chase tennis balls.  they are somewhat high energy dogs so best to release the energy every few hours on a road trip.  they mostly slept well in the hotels
 we had some rain, but mostly pretty decent weather i think.
 our last night was 40 + miles in the Denali highway at the Maclaren Lodge.  then we did the rest of the cross over and back to Anchorage the next day.  we did hit some areas with some great fall colors.  the middle section was awesome.
 Tusker looking very relaxed in the hotel in Fairbanks.
 another of us. 
 downtown Fairbanks. we were pretty chill in our adventures i think.  relaxing.
 more from the Denali Highway. the wind really picked up through the night but we seemed to be fairly lucky and had many sun breaks the next day. we hit one down pour on the way back to Anchorage.  may have even been some hail on that section.  could barely see it was coming down so hard.  i think it was right before South View...which of course, had no view.
 back at the xyz trails.  these are great trails if you are in the area.
 the typical Fairbanks photo downtown.  taken by many a tourist. 
 the hot springs.  didn't take a camera in the hot springs.  more fun to take pictures in the winter in there when every one's hair is frozen.
 caribou vs moose tracks...seemed more caribou at the time.  we only saw a few moose along the trip.  we saw one on the Denali that quickly retreated...who can blame the poor thing with hunters all over out there.
 we for sure saw various heads and racks in trucks headed out of the area.
 we also saw some of the fire damage from this years fires. 
 i head back to work for three tomorrow night. we shall see what that brings. 
 more views from the highway. 
 had to pull through North Pole.  haven't ever done that.  my friend thought it was funny that there was a town called North Pole. they actually have fun with the theme and the street lights and various other things are made to look like candy canes. 
 swimming hole for the dogs. 
 she was asking me about the Palins...which i haven't heard much about lately...of course, when we got back to Anchorage i saw in the news that they are getting divorced. i suspect the worst thing that happened to that family was the VP run.  seemed to screw up their lives.  some cannot handle fame and being in the spot light. 
 another national security advisor is out...3 in 3 years i think.  an abysmal record in this administration of keeping staff.  many positions remain open or are held as temporary.  further breakdown of norms, this decreases our ability to function on the world stage.  you can't be critical of him, you aren't allowed to have and express opinions that are counter to his, especially publicly. 
 North Carolina's house republicans pulled yet another fast one on their doesn't matter anymore with the GOP, only power and winning matter.  they are so full of themselves now that they believe that they and only they are right so they feel justified in being amoral or unethical if it gets them their results.  in this case they had told the Dems there would be no vote on that day so the Dems could attend a 9/11 remembrance...the GOP then used this to turn around and have a vote anyway.  only a few of the Dems were there but enough GOP members to over ride the Dem Governors Veto.  it will still go now to the states senate house...their behavior is appalling.
 the hotel has several fire pits around, which is nice.  i think we were eating a quick breakfast out there
 my friend waits outside the visitor center while i check out trails near the hot springs.
 the battle of keeping the dogs in the back of the car continues.
 every time the seat was free'd up...Tusker would reclaim it.  it is where he sits.  i ordered bacon for breakfast so i could use it through the day to bribe him back to the back.  he can get a bit dramatic and play limp and unmovable when he feels stubborn.
poor Tusker was never successful in booting out my friend for long.  clearly he is a bit spoiled, that pup.
 if only he weren't so darn cute!!
 out on the Denali Highway.
 these are new cabins at Maclaren.  we walked before we came in for the night.  the cabins have a view of the lake in front of them.  the only down side is that the proprietors keep loads of bright lights if there was a chance to see Northern lights you'd have to wander off from the main property a bit.  they sound like they cater to snow machiners in the winter months...who have little interest in the aurora. they will close after the hunters and then re-open for snow machines in February i think they said.
 old snow machine around the Chena Hot springs hotel
 that road dead ends into the Chena complex...we wondered who was paid off in order to have such a fine road built to their lot.
 hikes and tennis ball tossing breaks.  the dogs and i joined speedy for a walk today...they do seem tired today but were still ready to play again.
 not much keeps them from desiring a walk though.
 other than many, many kids we had a pleasant walk.  :-) 
 here are the light posts of North Pole.  pretty cute really how they hit upon the theme and went for it.
 liked this of the foot print and the little pond.
 inside the Maclaren lodge. 
 these are actually now massage rooms at the Chena resort.
 a few more of the Granite Tors trail.  seems like it's actually like a 15 mile loop. they had a shorter loop but it seemed to be under construction when we were there, so we just went out and back a ways.
 just happy they didn't knock my friend in to a muddy bog.  they did drop their tennis ball in one...never to be seen again. 
 the pups in down town Fairbanks...i shall retire to bed. 
thankful for A.  sleep  B. a safe journey and beautiful sites C.  all those who attempted to help out on the day of 9-11 despite the risk of their own lives.  my heart goes with all those lost that day in that horrific terror attack. it changed our many ways we have never recovered.  i hate to say that because it was the goal of the terrorists. they were successful in making us more fearful, more paranoid and more divided. 

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