A Travellerspoint blog

August 2015

We have arrived home...Happy 35th Anniversary

Long flight home, without our luggage, but still HOME!

This will be my finally post from the Alaskan Anniversary Adventure.
What memories we have made with Bob and Evelyn. I'm sure we will go back and read about this adventure many times over the next 35 years, Lord willing. Bob plans to make a nice coffee table book and I plan to do a DVD of the adventure once I get all the pictures edited. But the Blog was fun to write as we experienced each day. Thanks for coming along on our journey. I loved seeing the majesty and beauty that each day gave us, but I will admit that this will probably be the only time I go to Alaska for a vacation. Wynn has said many times that I am a beach baby and prefer the sun to the cold. We do want to take a journey to the Northwestern states and also up the East coast to Maine. But those are for the future.

Our Day 15 started with a lovely rain storm. We were all really thankful that we took the time to purchase Rainproof, not rain resistant coats before we traveled. Wynn and I also had waterproof hiking boots and our feet never got wet! Before piling into the car, we first got everything to fit into our suitcases (miracle) and grabbed a quick breakfast sandwich at McD's before heading for the last of the souvenir buying. We also took time to walk around their JoAnn Fabrics just to move inside from the rain. Then we spent a few hours at the Fairbanks Visitor Center. We saw many exhibits of what life in early Alaska was like. We also watched a creative movie on the Northern Lights. It was a nice way to start closing the chapter on this adventure. We ate our lunch at the River's Edge Restaurant. Of course I have to show you the picture of our delicious meal (I mean,desserts!) we had a very friendly waiter who filled us in on the change in climate the last few years in Fairbanksand the upcoming visit by the President.


I forgot, we also saw the downtown Fairbanks city monument, and the clock tower, that plays chimes on the hour.


Then it was indeed time to head to the airport for the long flights home. Red eye flights no longer hold their appeal for me. Our flight was suppose to go to Seattle, Chicago and then Cleveland. But the connection to Chicago had been cancelled and in its place was a connection to Miami. Our flight from Fairbanks to Seattle got a very late start, due to a lady having to be transported off by the EMT's. So instead of having a nice layover before boarding to Miami, we ran off the plane and down the concourse to catch our plane to Miami. Everyone was a little frustrated at this point...mostly because we didn't get time to eat anything before the all night ride. This flight link was hot, crowded and made sleep nearly impossible. When we got to Miami, we did have just enough time to get a quick sandwich and bottle of water before boarding a little commuter jet (2+1 seats across). I think we all managed to sleep a bit on this final leg home. I basically remember hearing the pilot say we are beginning our descent.


So now we are home ? but our luggage did not come with us. I have a feeling it did not make the connection when we ran to our plane in Seattle. Hopefully we will get it tomorrow and nothing will be broken or ruined. Scott and the girls picked us up at the airport. It was so fun to see the girlies again.

So Wynn is already out riding his bike. I got groceries and am putting the final touches on this trip. There are so many highlights...but I think the best part was spending time with my soulmate and best friend. How Wynn has put up with me for these past 35 years is beyond me. God has not yet completed the work He is doing in our lives. The beauty and majesty of the mountains and scenery was breathtaking...but pale in comparison to the work He has done in creating our marriage and our family. We are indeed blessed! Our next anniversary trip may be to Australia in a couple of years. We have a fun bike ride planned down the Natchez Trace next Fall. So hopefully more trips will appear on our blog as we go Here and There...

Posted by brendagerber07 15:11 Comments (2)

One more sleep to go

Day 14 in the books...

Good evening everyone,
I think we will have an interesting time getting back in the swing of Eastern Standard time. It is 9:34 pm here, but that is 1:34 am back in Grafton. But I am just beginning to download. I will see how the internet speed is tonight.

We stayed in little cottages last night and tonight. We ate breakfast at the Lodge, definitely nothing to write home about! Over priced and under flavored... Then we took a taxi to the airport on the hotel. (They did not have a working shuttle this morning) We picked up our rental car and decided to keep it an extra day so we don't have to be waiting on a shuttle. We had two goals in mind today: drive to the North Pole and Santa's house and drive to Chena Hot Springs.

So off we went to find the North Pole...


I mean how cool is this? Then we found Santa's house, complete with reindeer. We had fun shopping and looking at all the ornaments and paraphernalia. And of course, we got our picture with Santa.


This whole little place reminded me of a Hallmark Movie...especially the one "Moonlight and Mistletoe". The whole time we were there I was cracking up and waiting for the maker of the nutcrackers to walk through the door. Ha! And...when talking with Santa, we found he didn't care for Wynn's OSU sweatshirt. He was from that school up North. Bleh! Hope he will still bring Kendall and Maddie a trampoline for Christmas!

Then we headed back through Fairbanks and after a quick stop at the Fred Meyer store for munchies, we headed off down Hwy 6 in search of wildlife and the ever elusive Moose. Although we still did not see a moose, we did find this fellow and had a wonderful time watching him show off for us.


We also drove back into a recreation area and found these three lost and caught up in a fenced area. We found a Park Host and he said that the dogs had been reported missing. The owners will be glad to find these three beauties.


We continued on our way and literally came to the end of the road. We had arrived at the Hot Springs. The first thing we did was attend a demonstration in the 20 degree Ice Carving Museum. The artist was actually working there. She was a world champion for several years. She and her husband work all year, restoring and replacing the different sculptures. Unbelievable! And I know the pictures do not do these justice. The intricate sculptures were beautiful. Take a look.


Then Wynn and I decided to take a little time in the hot springs. The 20 degree cold was nicely offset by the 100 degree water. It was a soothing time and soon our legs were feeling like jelly. Evelyn found some horses to feed and Bob tried to stay warm in the greenhouse. He is still feeling a bit poorly, but continues to push through and successfully gets us all around.


As we started down the road back to Fairbanks, I realized that I could not find my Visa. Talk about panic...Bob swiftly turned around and we drove back into the Hot Spring Resort. Evelyn walked into the pool area and the worker there had my card. ?

Talk about being grateful! We all breathed easier and continued our quest for moose...well, maybe tomorrow!

We hunted down one last gift shop in downtown Fairbanks. The streets were all torn up but we persevered. Then we headed to Pike's Landing for dinner. It was a great little spot with huge helpings, all situated on the river bank.


So now our bellies are full, we are tucked into bed and will be soon be asleep. One more day before we climb back on the airplane and head for home. What an adventure!


Posted by brendagerber07 22:22 Comments (4)

Illness hits the Hobars

Days 12 & 13

Day 12 was suppose to be a very early morning, but the fever and cough were too much for the Hobars. Wynn and I did not make it up at 4:30am either so our tour into Denali National Park was put on hold. It was raining like crazy so I didn't mind staying in town. We stayed at the Grand Denali Lodge. Wynn and I went down the mountain into town on the shuttle and did some shopping. We had to go to the liquor store to find DayQuil and Robitussin. We stayed down for lunch and spotted our supper spot and an ice cream place for dessert. We ate at the Old Prospectors and it was historic as promised.


After a restless night for me, ( everyone else was knocked out with NyQuil) we got up on Day 13 and took the shuttle to the Denali Visitor Center. Had to love the sign out front while waiting for the shuttle.


They were re-paving the road on the way to the park entrance so we were a bit off schedule. They had Bob's passport stamp and also his Nat'l Park Stamp collection. They had a really nice display set up in the Center.


We hiked for about an hour, in spite of the drizzling rain. We took the Taiga Trail.


After a long cold wait in the rain, we caught the shuttle back down the mountain and had lunch at the Lodge. Evelyn got her sweet potato fries and I got regular. It was good to see her get a bit of appetite back. Bob's is still a bit suspect today. One more shuttle to take down the mountain...this time to the Denali train station. We were back on the rails with the destination, Fairbanks.


We got checked in and found out our tickets included a dinner, free drinks and a dessert. A wonderful surprise since we would be on this train for 4 hours, arriving at 8pm. This train was a more leisurely paced trip with a lot of beautiful scenery. And yes, the food was yummy.


We arrived into Fairbanks, picked up our luggage and loaded into the transit for River's Edge cottages.


We checked in and took a walk around by the river and through the park. It was a good way to get our legs stretched out a bit after the train. I have to say that the flowers around here are tremendously beautiful. The 19 hours of sunlight in the summer months produce vibrant blooms!


So now we are settled in for the night. I doubt it will be clear enough to see Northern Lights tonight. Tomorrow we are driving to the North Pole. Maybe we will see Santa ?

Wynn and I leave you with our beautiful sunset across the river's edge.

See you tomorrow...

Posted by brendagerber07 22:59 Comments (2)

Denali National Park...We have arrived

7.5 hour train ride from Anchorage

Hello everyone from way up high in Sugarloaf mountain-The Grand Denali Hotel, right across from the Denali Depot. We started off early this morning on a shuttle from the hotel to the Anchorage train station. We got our luggage checked in and then Bob and Ev had a little fun in the train station gift shop before boarding a shuttle to the actual train.


We met our conductor and also our tour guide and bartender, who tag teamed a lot of the narrative. It was such an interesting team. I actually got video taken of the bartender reading a poem called, "The Call of the Wild"

There was so much beautiful scenery. I especially loved the views that included rivers, mountains and trees in the same shot. I will include some of my favorites. I really liked to train ride. It was a high top car with windows all around and on top. We ate in the downstairs restaurant, which was a first for me.


We could see our hotel as we pulled into the station. It is the 25th today and free entrance into the Nat'l Parks today. This hotel is celebrating Christmas in August.


Bob and Ev are feeling poorly so please pray that they will feel better after a good night's sleep. We have to be at the shuttle at 5:30 am to catch the green bus line into Denali National Park. We will see how the day goes as to how long we will tour. We went to eat in the hotel restaurant. Meals were in the $35 dollar range and I had a wonderful grilled pork chop with a mustard peach chutney and Yukon mashed potatoes. Wynn had a seafood pasta. Too full for dessert!


So good nite to all of you. We are heading to bed early. I did mail postcards to our grand girls and boy! We love you all and miss you. Denali was under clouds today which made us all the more thankful that we clearly saw it yesterday and took our flight in clear air. We have had such beautiful weather thus far, that we can't complain if we get a bit of rain. Again, just thankful that we were in the 30% club that saw Mt Denali clearly! ( and the 10% club to see it clearly from Talkeetna in the summer!)

Wynn and Brenda

Posted by brendagerber07 21:57 Comments (2)

We saw Denali and Sheep Mountain

Days 9 & 10

We are back in Anchorage at the Comfort Inn on Ship Creek Rd. Our hotel is right across from the railway station that we will be using tomorrow. What a fabulous two days. The terrain was very different since now we are moving inland with no seas in sight. But wow, did we ever see the mountains. We had started our morning by going to a preserve that took injured or orphaned animals in for protection and healing. We all enjoyed this adventure.


Sheep Mountain Lodge was located in a remote area with no cell service, TVs, and very limited Internet access. Our cabins were adorable log cabins. We went down the mountain a quarter of a mile to catch a restaurant and ordered a thin crust pizza. It was delicious. We came back to our cabins and got settled in for the evening and heard that the northern lights were going to be on display for the rest of our trip. All we needed was dark skies. So at 1:30 AM, Wynn and I stumbled out of bed and met Bob and Evelyn outside under the dark skies. And yes indeed, we saw the northern lights. They were not all green and purples like we imagined, but the skies did look green in Bob's pictures. We are hoping to view them again in another day or so. Cannot do this every night . ? We did see some mountain sheep way up high as well.


So after falling back to sleep, we had breakfast right at the Sheep Lodge. Homemade cinnamon rolls and hot eggs and thick bacon gave us a good start for a new day. We drove back into Palmer and then decided to head to Talkeetna. It was such a clear day, that we knew we would be able to see Denali. They told us there that only 10 % of visitors in the summer months see it as clearly as we got to today. We stopped several times along the way to take pictures of Mt McKinley.


We also saw where some of the forest fire went through.


When we got to Talkeetna, we decided to go through a few gift shops and be tourists. We picked up T-shirts, ball caps… and Evelyn got me a very cute moose coffee mug. And then, Bob and I got to fulfill one of our bucket list items, we booked a small air flight to go over the Southface of Denali


Here are some pictures from the air that I was able to shoot. I have not downloaded any of Bob's pictures today, as they are returning the rental car right now. I wanted to get the blog up before I got too tired. So you will have to settle for my photography.


So after a couple of days, we are ready for our scenic train ride from Anchorage to Denali. After having seen it from the air, it will be fun to tour the Nat'l Park. We will be staying in the Princess Lodge for the next two nights.

Wynn and I both took time to call our Mom's today. Today marked the 2nd anniversary of my Dad's arrival into Heaven. I miss him and knew my Mom would be missing him too. Wynn talked to his Mom and reminisced with her about their trip to Alaska in '93.
G'night from the Hobars and the Gerbers...

Posted by brendagerber07 22:34 Comments (4)

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