Teardrops last hurrah

The teardrop /t@g/furter has made it from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean in one season. That’s pretty amazing. For those following along (get it?), after many wishy washy purchases, the teardrop sold before Veronica and we are in our final trip in the T@g-A-Long.

It arrived in James Island campground Friday with Helena our exchange student. She has officially seen then Atlantic at sunset. We also apparently have been withholding restaurants. This was our first restaurant dining and she’s been here 6 weeks. (I’m not sure whether to be proud of that or embarrassed…) .

George has never had the opportunity to run the Cooper River bridge run before since its usually in early April, but thanks to covid we had the most normal race morning (delayed 6 months). We got up at 5, caught the masked shuttle with 25k other fully vaccinated people and ran a 6k across an awesome bridge.

We spent about 4 hours at the beach and watched a random wedding (random to us. It was special to the bride & groom). Then we broke out the #CampgroundChef who magically prepared flounder and scallops.

A little fairy dust… until about 30 minutes ago tn was beating fl in Gainesville. That’s changed since I wrote this, but I’m tired and may not be fully invested.

Glorious Finale to a wonderful t@g. We will miss you furter.

Yeah, and that.

Last day in AK

Well, we have made our way back to Anchorage and are waiting to board the plane to Chicago. Our day started with moose!

Then we went down to the Homer spit to get one final fish and chips for the family.

On the way out, we headed to the Kenai Wildlife Refuge / Russian River valley and took a final walk about and watched a fisher man pull in two salmon.

It’s always sad to end a trip, but it’s been lovely. If I had to stay for a few more weeks, I wouldn’t complain, but I miss my pets and my bed. I am glad to have this time to spend with my family.

Tonight we pick up our exchange student (Helena). Busy week!

Harding Ice field

3500 feet up, nearly 7 hours, and 9 miles of amazing hiking. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

We saw two marmots at top of the cliffs
My mountain spirit animal posing for me. It’s just a mountain groundhog.
Exit glacier at top of the cliffs.
Top of the cliffs
Exit glacier at top of the cliffs. 2500 ~feet

The whole hike took 4 hours to get up to the top. Started the hike at 8 am. The last bit was hard but it was packed with wildflowers, mountains, snow, glaciers and ice fields. I forgot how hard I was working because of the sheer beauty of the scenery.

Austin girls
Red algae on snow
Mountain side of the Harding ice field
Lots of snowy ice fortis
Family at the Harding ice field
Yes, how cool is that?

Tiny People on the glacier

Kenai and exit glacier

It was a rainy morning traveling from Healy to Seward, but south of Anchorage the weather was amazing.

By the time we got to Exit Glacier the weather was amazing!

We hit the grocery and made our fancy dinner at the rental and then had an after dinner walk.

Denali tease

Today, first stop: dog sled kennels. These Alaskan huskies are still in used in the park during winter. The are on holiday now and get walked by volunteers. The coolest thing about them is their circulatory system is intertwined so that the arteries warm the veins. The park huskies mush around 5 to 6 mph, but race huskies go about 9mph in the Iditarod.

Along the Nenana river
Horse shoe lake
Beaver dam @ horseshoe lake
Beaver stuff

It was another beautiful day. Beautiful mountain ranges on both sides of the road. We thought Denali (the high one) might poke out in the evening but she just toyed with us. She only rears her head 13 to 30 percent of the time (depending on who you ask).

So close

And yet

So far away

Denali or bust!

Hit the Anchorage market before heading out of town. Two rings and two wallets later we’re on the road to Denali.

It was worth the wait.

Vrbo gardens

Anchored down in Anchorage

After a 3 hour mechanical airplane delay we managed to get to Anchorage. Finally asleep by 1:30 am AK time, we managed to sleep in until 630 am local time…Jet lag conquest!

We took a walk early and did a little shopping. We also walked parts of the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail but the mountains weren’t out

We found a local brewery (49th state) for lunch. One fish and chips down, and many more to go.

Next we were a house divided. I went to the Anchorage museum with Fiona and Dee Dee. Some of my favorites:

For dinner we had sushi or grilled cheese on the veranda and the mountains came out for us.

Working at home… Kinda

Seriously, I’ve been working my behind off. I cleaned the basement and took an entire load in Frank to  goodwill. It was so big, the first goodwill sent me away. I have also taken three cars for either inspections and /or oil changes.

I also tackled the yard. Slowly making progress. Before and after shots of the garden.

Ringo also headed to the beauty parlor too!

He’s so handsome

Fiona and I have started some college tours since last year covid canceled college excitement. We visited Appalachian yesterday.

We have also managed to squeeze in the friends and family time!

We leave for the originally scheduled Austin vacation to Alaska Thursday! 5 days!

Raining in Asheville

Asheville next 6 exits = rain.

We have officially made it home, all of us, including Veronica who has been cleaned, waxed, and vac’ed. It’s a race to see which camping equipment sells first! We are going to let fate sort out these details. If you know of anyone wanting a t@g or hippie van send them our way.

Shiny and ready to sell : https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/4338807926186901/
Also cleaned and ready to sell : https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/2990966021145817/

Probably hard to believe but I’ve spent the last two days cleaning up all the cars for potential selling. I would make a horrible detailer, it’s taken hours even though the kids have helped. It’s the cleanest the cars have been since we bought them.

This is what your ‘garden’ looks like after 5 weeks of neglect. There are actually 🍅 in there… Somewhere.
Ringo on the way to the beauty parlor, but he didn’t end up with a hair cut. Stay tuned until Friday.
Pizza night

South Dakota to Memphis

There wasn’t much to see yesterday as we spent 14 hours in the car.

Thanks to the Dwyer’s who hosted us and Sadira. Julia met me at the door with a margarita after a harrowing journey across the Mississippi River bridge which was under construction. I managed to sandwich frank between the construction wall and a semi on the smallest section of the construction zone with an accident on the opposite side at night facing flashing lights. The margarita never tasted as good and her velvety sheets were amazing.

Ringo was cracking out after the 14 hour drive
Family time
Maps and recommedations
On the road… Again