Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Berry Patch Cabin in Eagle River Camp Grounds

As we were hiking through the Eagle River Camp Grounds, we could hear a dog barking, barking as if he were having a lot of fun. We saw a cabin, and one of the park rangers playing with a big brown happy dog. We walked over; he had just finished cleaning out the cabin and it was empty. He asked if we would like to take a look.

I hope you are sitting down. The rental of this beautiful cabin, per night, is $45.

This is the interior. You can see where people can sleep, downstairs and up. Maybe room for 8 – 12 people.



From the table, this is your view:

Sign on front of cabin:

View from your front porch:

You have to bring in your own equipment, including propane to run the heating stove, and your own bedding. There might be running water. You would need all your sleeping gear, food prep, and there are many electrical outlets in the cabin for charging up all the electrical gadgets you probably can’t use. I think we did have phone coverage in the area. 🙂

Although it feels remote, you are not that far from Juneau, and there are major grocery stores even closer. There is a Fred Meyer – where you can pick up just about anything – near the airport.

I dream of bringing our grandson here with us one summer. We’d have to be sure he was old enough to be careful about bears, and any other wildlife. At the same time I dread the logistics. Maybe if I think about it for a couple years, it can become do-able . . .

September 2, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Alaska, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Building, Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, Environment, Exercise, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Road Trips, Wildlife | Leave a comment

A Trip “Out the Road” to Eagle River


One of the things AdventureMan and I did in Juneau was to drive every road. It’s not hard. You drive all the way south, and all the way north on Douglas Island, then you drive out to Thane, then on the Juneau roads, up behind in the basin, and then “out the road.” Everyone in Juneau knows where “out the road” is.


When I was a kid, the road got bad just past the airport, on the way to Skater’s Cabin, which I thought was on Auke Lake, but discovered is really on Mendenhall Lake.

00Glacier and Lake

You had to go out the road to get to the airport. You still do, but it is only like six minutes, the road is so good, unless you hit a deer (which we saw happen) and have to stop and call Fish and Wildlife Rescue. You can’t leave an injured animal on the highway.

So we have a morning, and it is not raining! The sun is even peeking out now and then! It’s a beautiful day, we dress warmly and head out the road, out driving all the roads. Look closely, and you will even see blue sky in the photos 🙂  We drive the Lena Point road, looking at all the cabins where we used to go picnicing, then to Amalga Bay, with it’s beautiful still lake and reflections.


You’re just going to have to bear with me as I show you photos with a lot of green in them. It’s not that Pensacola doesn’t have green, but it doesn’t have Alaska greens. I remember in Germany, a long time ago, years ago, having a discussion with AdventureMan about how many different shades of green there are, and ever since then, he has reminded me of that conversation. This year, on this trip, he said “Now I know why you are so sensitive to greens!” Alaska is full of greens, and mostly they are blue greens, and oh, I love the spectrum of blue-greens. 🙂00AmaglaBay2


As we approached the end of the road, there was heavy road construction going on. Winter is coming, to quote Game of Thrones, and in Alaska that means a short window for all the road reparations that can happen as a result of brutal, icy, rainy, snowy winters. The construction traffic controllers told us it would be about twenty minutes before the pilot car would be back to lead the next line of cars over the broken, rocky, off-road paths, and we decided, in our little 2 wheel drive rental, that we would forego that pleasure. We headed back for Eagle River Picnic Grounds, which were beautiful and serene:


This is one of the covered picnic cabins, heavy duty timber



You can see one of the ferries departing nearby Auke Bay from the ferry terminal00FerryDepartingEagleRiver


We head on a little further to the Eagle River Camp Grounds. We are in love! This place is beautiful, with hidden campsites with cabins and campsites for RV’s, but all hidden from sight. No indoor plumbing, but the public restrooms are clean and well kept. You can hike around, there are many trails.


Salmon spawning in the stream – the ranger tells us a mother bear and her two cubs were by earlier, but we missed them. You can smell all the rotting salmon on the banks and know that the bear are eating well.00MoreSalmonSpawning

An old dock, long gone, from Eagle River – and look at all those beautiful greens in the background 🙂00EagleRiverCampSites

Seagulls feasting on salmon the bears left behind. Bears are not very efficient eaters; they strip parts of the salmon and leave a whole lot:00SeagullsFeastingonSalmon

A Stellar’s Jay, the kind I grew up with. The Jays in Pensacola are more white with blue markings and much bigger. But look at the blues on his feathers, so intense, so radiant!




We love Eagle River campsites so much you will see more on our way back out through Juneau 🙂

September 2, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Alaska, Beauty, Birds, color, Exercise, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Photos, Road Trips, Travel, Wildlife | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Homecoming and Judgement

Home again, home again and the daily grind recommences. Giving up a vacation is hard for me. Part of it is my compulsiveness; my mind whirls with my must-do’s and almost all the things I really like to do are not on the must-do’s list. Must do’s include things like laundry and dishes, tasks which are mindless and I don’t really mind too much, but they get in the way of what I want to do, which is to tell you about our Alaska adventure 🙂 Before I can do that, in addition to the must do’s, I also have to transfer all my photos from my iPad to my computer, which makes blogging so much easier, so once again – something hard before something fun.

Am I grumbling? Sorry if it sounds that way. I love vacations. I love other people doing the cooking and cleaning and me just responsible for putting clothes on and figuring out what I want from the menu. I love the stimulation of seeing new things, smelling new smells, walking new paths.

As soon as we got home, we dropped our bags and zipped as fast as we could over to our son’s house to visit with him and his family. I got to hold my new little granddaughter for the entire visit – oh, so such a sweet tiny baby.

Yesterday, I hit the early service, hit the commissary, put all the groceries away and then AdventureMan and I took our little grandson to Red Robin, where . . . . in a momentary loss of my senses, I ordered a hamburger, my second of the year. It didn’t taste as good as my 4th of July hamburger, serves me right. But we had such a fun time, and here is the grand triumph – our grandson is using a napkin! He is wiping his hands and mouth with a napkin, not with his hand or arm! Wooooo HOOOOOO! He chats and makes conversations, oh, he is so much fun.

So today, on! On! Get that laundry done! Get those files transferred!

Yesterday’s sermon was on the tendency of the most Christian of Christians to want to sit in the highest seats, and Jesus’ words to choose the lower seat and allow the host to move you up, giving you honor, rather than choosing a high seat and being asked to move lower so that someone of higher distinction can have your seat. Father Neal Goldsborough mentioned that he sees the saving-of-the-seats, the tipped chairs, the stretched out handbags all the time, and we were all squirming. We’re all guilty. It was a great sermon.

From today’s Forward Day by Day readings on the daily lectionary:

James 2:1-13. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

It’s easy to pass judgment—she’s too liberal or too conservative, his clothes are too cheap or too rich, she doesn’t believe the “right” theology, his values aren’t properly aligned, etc. As easy as passing judgment is, it can do a lot of damage.

All too often, this judgment happens in churches. Comparisons and assessments pop up, and the pews that should be a safe haven for all people become trial benches. A 2007 Barna Group survey found that 87 percent of young non-Christians perceive present-day Christianity as judgmental—and half of their churchgoing counterparts answered the same. I’d be surprised by these numbers if they didn’t ring so true with perceptions among my own friends and acquaintances.

Putting mercy above judgment does not mean moving into a slippery relativism. It means embracing the radical Good News of Jesus and living as a conduit of Christ’s love to the world. Today’s passage from the book of James precedes tomorrow’s familiar proclamation, “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (2:17). An act of mercy is a work of faith, a witness putting Christianity in its rightful place.

September 2, 2013 Posted by | Blogging, Character, ExPat Life, Financial Issues, Lectionary Readings, Relationships, Travel, Values | 8 Comments