Friday, December 18, 2009

Sorry have been offline...

Glass art on the bridge to Tacoma Glass Museum in Tacoma, WA.

Hello from Oregon's coast. As I sit here trying to type I can here the thunderous sounds of the waves crashing into the rocks outside our lodge windows. It was a beautiful drive and hopefully we can explore more tomorrow.

I am sorry I have not been online. We were on the ferry for 3 days with no internet. I used a lot of that time to start organizing my folders in picture folders and work on some of them but the rocking of the boat made certain moments nauseous. The first days were not bad but the last day we rocked all day and it took Bo and I a couple days to re-acclimate to level ground once we were in Washington. Once we docked in Bellingham, WA we went straight to my brother and his wife's place in Seattle. We spent 6 days with them and was busy sightseeing and just spending quality moments with the family. We enjoyed our time with them and places we visited.

We left Seattle today and headed down the coast of Oregon. We are very tired from driving all day and trying to deal with days of rain. So this will be short but I just wanted to let you all know we are safe and no there is no snow here. :) The coast is a beautiful area. I wish we had more than just one day to spend here.

Well my eyes are growing heavy and I still have to download pictures so goodbye for now but hopefully I can update more sooner.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Haines, AK

We came into Haines, AK this afternoon. But the sun started setting early at around 3pm and it was pitch black by 4pm. So we tried to take some pictures before the darkness set in. We plan on taking more tomorrow before we board the ferry. The roads here were not that bad but we did pass into mountain passes with fresh snow.

Crossing the border back into the US was good. The Customs Agents were really nice to us. The temperature here is pretty warm and the scenery is just amazing.

I just wanted to share a few pictures so far.

The sun setting behind the mountains in Haines, AK.

Glow of the setting sun on the thinly iced beach of Portage Cove.

The lodge we are staying at overlooks the Chilkoot River. It is a very comfortable room with a walkout deck. The owner Fred was very friendly and welcoming to us. I wish we can come back and experience Haines in the summer.

Here is the view from our deck and window of our lodge room.

Another view of the Chilkoot River.

As I have more time I will share more pictures of this small but beautiful town.

We are in Canda! :)

We are in Canada!

We woke up early and just started loading up our vehicle. I was so stressed that we brought so much stuff but at the same time we have to think of things we have to live on for the next couple months. After packing up the truck-boy it is loaded, we hit the road and headed out. We had our late lunch and early dinner at Fast Eddy's in Tok, Alaska then kept on driving to the border of Canada.

We made it to Haines Junction in Yukon Territory Canada tonight and are exhausted from a long drive here. Tomorrow we will be heading out to the Haines Highway which uncharted territory for us and spend the day there before we board the ferry.

No matter how long I have lived in Alaska I am always amazed on how it can be pitch black by 4pm in the winter time. It felt like it was 9pm. So the window of opportunity to take pictures of the scenery was limited but I did catch a few on the road.

Wrestling the day before went good but ended up emotional. It was hard for the boys to say goodbye to their teammates and friends. It made it even more emotional when they had a meeting after the tournament for the coaches to give both the boys their high school letters for wrestling(Both were Varsity 103-Jared was the first until Nick came in and wrestled). We will not be here for the State finals or the banquet so it was a nice going away present to them. We have a great set of parents, kids and coaches and they will all be missed. They all have impacted our lives and we hope to keep in touch with most of those that we made great friendships with no matter how far away in miles we are.

Nick on his match

The boys getting their letters. (It looks like now we have to order their Letterman's jacket.)

The team carrying the boys and doing their little group chant.

Nick and Jared with their Coaches, Osborne, Jamison and Bockert. Thank you so much for such a great season.

Our Lathrop Wrestling Team taking Regionals!

Our season may be over with our high school here in Alaska but the boys will continue on with this sport. Bo and I are so proud of both of them, they have really shown us their dedication and their true character is shown when put in situations. We are so proud to be wrestling parents. :)

I found this poem and thought of all the parents that shared the bleachers with us this season. :)

A Wrestling Parent
Dr. Bill Welker

Parents in wrestling are courageous -- it's true,
They feel all the pain that their child must go through,
At home, when he diets, they wish it could stop,
Yet know he must do it to stay at the top.

Excuses for losing they will not endure,
"Don't blame the ref, son, because of the score,
The coach, he will show you the best way to move,
Keep working in practice if you want to improve."

At dual meets, you'll see them breathing a prayer,
As their boy must compete with no one else there,
Whatever the outcome - mom cheers with deep pride,
While dad -- you will notice - stands right by his side.

They'll drive to a tournament many miles away,
To witness a child who's prepared for this day,
Their boy, he has trained, with all of his might,
Having dreams of becoming a champion tonight.

But should he fall short, at his corner you'll find,
A mother and father -- supportive and kind,
They teach that through wrestling he'll learn about life,
Yes, living is filled with both triumph and strife.

Now if you are searching for people who care,
Just look by a mat, they'll always be there,
Such love for a sport is truly inherent,
That's why we salute The Wrestling Parent.

We are excited to drive the Haines Highway tomorrow and visit Haines. I hope some of the Eagles are still around. The only wildlife we have seen so far on this trip was a pair of Moose.

It is late, I guess it is an hour ahead here. I get insomnia though during our trips, but I know I have to at least try to get some shut eye.

We will update as much as we can. Have a great Monday!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Moving on...

These last weeks have been hectic and hard. First we had movers come in and pack us out then we had to worry about shipping out our Yukon. We have been in a hotel now since the 25th of November and thought we can relax but it just got more hectic. The kids were still going to school and wrestling practice, Bo was still clearing and I had to make sure with Bo to get our house cleaned and turned in and everything set before we leave.

We are moving to Ft. Knox, Kentucky and it seemed like we had all the time in the world before the actual time would come but nope it rushed on through and now we are at our last 2 days here in Alaska. The kids had their last day of school today then Nick will wrestle Regionals for LHS since he is ranked #6 in State. Then we head out(by driving not flying-yes in the winter) early Sunday morning to try to reach Haines Junction and cross the border into Canada. We will not be here for the State tournament because we have a ferry to catch in Haines, AK. I know right now it is stressful since we are still here and it is hard to say our goodbyes and still have events like wrestling Regionals, but once we get on the road it will be a new adventure for us.

Our first leg of the journey will be a drive out of Fairbanks to the Alcan Highway to cross the border into Canada and stay the night at Haines Junction. The next day we drive the Haines Highway to Haines, AK once again crossing a border into the US. At Haines we will spend the day there and board the ferry the next day.

These pictures are not mine but I wanted to share how our travels will look like.

Haines Highway

The City of Haines

Taken from

About Haines
Native Culture - Tlingits

The first people to call the Chilkat Valley home were Tlingit Indians. Originally called "Dei-Shu" or "End of the Trail," Haines is home of the Chilkat Indians whose mother village is Klukwan, located 22 miles north of Haines. Klukwan is recognized as the earliest of the Chilkat villages and contains many reminders of its rich past. Now the Haines Highway into Canada, and previously the Dalton trail used by gold-seekers, the Tlingit trade route to the interior was dubbed the "grease trail' because the most important item carried was oil extracted from the eulachon fish.

Due to the bountiful resources of the area, Tlingits could spend less time on survival and more on developing other skills. Tlingits were the first settlers in the Chilkat Valley, and their traditions still flourish today.

Haines and Fort Seward, History

Haines was named in honor of Francina Haines of the Presbyterian Home Missions Board. Accompanied by his friend, John Muir, S. Hall Young, was the first missionary to the area in 1879. The purpose of their trip was to scout a location for a mission and a school.

The first known meeting between white men and Tlingit took place in 1741 when a Russian ship anchored near Haines and started the fur trade in the area. In 1892, Jack Dalton established a toll road on the Tlingit trade route in to the interior to cash in on gold-seekers and others heading north into Canada. Parts of the Dalton Trail are now the Haines Highway.

In 1902, ongoing border disputes between the U.S. and Canada provided the justification for the first permanent army post in Alaska. The white buildings of Fort William H. Seward still stand and are a distinctive landmark of Haines. Decommissioned in 1947, the fort was bought by a group of war veterans with hopes of creating an arts and commerce community. The buildings are now privately owned homes, accommodations, restaurants, galleries, and shops.

We will be staying at a lodge on the Chilkoot National Park and we will have the Chilkoot River on one end and the lake right by us also. The area is known for bears. But I am not sure if we will see any at this time of the year. I am just anxious to already be there to take in the history, culture and the beauty of the place.

The next day we board a ferry that will take us through the inside passage and end in Bellingham, WA. There we will continue on and stay with my brother for some days in Seattle then the second part of our journey will begin when we leave Washington and go across to the US to end up in Kentucky. I will do my best to keep everyone posted on our trip. We are hoping to enjoy every state we pass through.

Our ferry and the route:

As for now I am just ready to start the first part of our journey since I am anxious in crossing the borders and driving our highways in the winter. I know it will be a memorable drive but I will be happier once we are in Haines.

Tomorrow is a huge day for my son Nick. I wish him lots of luck on his matches and good luck to the rest of the LHS team. We have a great team and of course great coaches and parents, I hate to have to leave at this time but unfortunately that is what we have to do. Good luck LHS wrestlers!!

This week has been exhausting....I am heading to bed...tomorrow will be a long day for us. As everyone is getting ready for the Christmas season we will be trekking across the US. I hope to get on here once in a while and update everyone. As for now good night! :)