Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Memorial Day, Work Days

Memorial Day was memorable. We took the Martin's toad (that's RV lingo for "towed" vehicle) from Delta up into the Alaska Range. On the way we stopped at a crossing of the pipeline. Here Lynne and I attempt to hoist the pipe.Follow the pipe towards the horizon alongside the road and you will see it zig-zag on it's way 800 miles from Prudhoe Bay on the Artic Ocean to Valdez. The photo on the right is of glaciers in the Alaska Range.

Below is the frozen Delta River. The dark horizontal line is the edge of a solid sheet of ice about two feet thick. Closer to the shore is fast running water and ice chunks.

Summit lake is situated at the crest of the Alaska Range where the Richardson Highway passes on its way from Fairbanks to Glennallen, then on to Valdez. The wind was strong and cold, but the sun was bright and warm out of the wind.

These visitors are checking out a bear proof trash dumpster. Yes, bears are quite numerous and have the right of way.

Tuesday, we made the 200 mile, 4 hour round trip to Fairbanks for supplies and more groceries. On the return trip, after passing North Pole (yes, that's a real town) we stopped at the Knotty Shop for ice cream. The creature I'm "petting" is one of many created from boles, knobby growths on birch trees.
Another day of preparation. I painted signs for Vacation Bible School. The theme is Boomerang Express, "It all comes back to Jesus", thus the Australian, kangaroo.

Frizbee, my cat alerted me to the red squirrel perched in the cedar only feet away from the RV. Taken through the window and screen, the little fellow is difficult to see.
We've seen numerous snow shoe hares with huge white hind feet and bodies now turned brown for summer. Moose and a couple of porcupine have been added to my wild life list. Fresh bear scat was discovered not far into the forest from camp. I'm not anxious to meet up with a bear.

Camp prep. has included sorting and organizing crafts materials, painting the floor in the pantry, kitchen and dining hall, washing ALL the pots, pans and utensils in the kitchen and cleaning all the cabins.

While cleaning the kitchen and dining hall we discovered evidence of mice, and trapped one. While cleaning out the crafts supplies I found a bag of bird seed that had been scattered and must have fed a whole family of mice. Later, cleaning out a box of yarn that had house critters, Dale discovered this nest of seven baby mice. He released them into the woods.
Two weeks ago when I arrived the forest floor was dry and brown with winter leaves. Now tiny flowers have sprouted in the warming sun and 21 hours of daylight. What a surprise to find Bluebonnets! Actually a cousin, the artic lupine. With the help of friends and a flower book, I've identified lowbush and highbush cranberries, wild strawberries, labrador tea, wild sweet peas in pink, white, and magenta.

Yesterday, Monday, June 1, was our first day of Vacation Bible School. About 50 kids were in attendance. Here one of the teachers is assisting with crafts. We are teaching kids grades pre- K through 6. They are a lively, receptive bunch and a delight to work with. I'm so thankful for all those years of teaching.
VBS will continue all week. We are at the library again to use the internet, so until later. Have a great summer

1 comment:

LKHarris-Kolp said...

Wow- what amazing pictures you have. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. Good luck with the art! I'm thinking about you a lot and missing you!

P.S. We had a blast at Disney World!