The Fireweeds are Blooming!

Between work and planning:

Jasmine and Robin are playing in the rain.

Jasmine and Robin enjoy a sunny day at the playground.

Robin enjoys the world upside down.

Ready, set, jump! Cheyenne sails through the air, to break her jump-from-swing record.

Till we meet again neighbor Angela!

Our maiden voyage in Old Blue:

From Fairbanks to Denali National Park.

From top to bottom: Cheyenne, Jasmine, and Robin. They love their bunks.

Road side snacking. How luxurious to have a table on board.

Throwing rocks into Savage River in Denali NP. We built a dam last year, asking Cheyenne where it could be now doesn't leave her baffled: "The melted snow has changed the riverbed."

Cheyenne on Savage Rock.

Jasmine is looking for wildlife.

Last year, Mt McKinley graced our view from Savage Rock. This year it is Old Blue who does the honor.

Cheyenne is staying the course.

Working on their Junior Ranger badges.

Camp Pedouin in Denali National Park. The simplicity of parking and being ready is wonderful.

Getting a fire going to knock the chill off.

Lunch before we head deeper into the park.

Bill decides to work on the fans for the heating in the bus instead.

Skirting Riley Creek on our way to the Visitor Center.

Observing the Siberian Aster.

At the Murie Science & Learning Center.

At the Dog Kennels.

Lucor is one of the pups that were born in the park when we were visiting last year. He's definitely no longer a pup. He is already part of the team.

Back at Riley Creek.

They've earned their badges once again.

South to Cantwell, east over the Denali Highway to Paxson.

Old Blue is going faster then the train!

Then again, we still need to wait at the railroad crossing.

Lunch at the Creekside Cafe. A little bit south of the park.

Enjoying the sun on my face.

Many miles of wilderness awaits.

Bill takes us into the wilderness.

Pull overs allow for easy access to scenery viewing.

A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do...

Welcome aboard "Old Blue" on the Denali Highway:

Getting ready to cross the Susitna River.

My turn to drive.

At the Clearwater Creek. Rain is blowing in from the west.

Creek=Water; Rock=Dam; Water+Dam=Fun.

We've sort of made a dent.

Rain on a tundra rose.

The rain has arrived. Picture by Robin.

One of many beaver dams.

Quite a view.

Necco time!

Jasmine almost got it.

Camp Pedouin on the Denali Highway.

Just a pretty picture.

Hot chocolate and instant coffee with breakfast.

Alaskan boyscouts. They've walked 50 miles through the wilderness.

North to Delta Junction and north west back to Fairbanks.

We're heading for the Gulkana Glacier.

We drive over gravel, into a creekbed, up a wash, until we can go no further. This bus is incredible.

The glacier runoff.

Robin hunts for pretty rocks.

There are many pretty ones to find.

That must be cold.

On the rope bridge that crosses the glacier run off.

The rock collection.

The glacier through Yeller's spokes.

Clouds are rolling off the mountains into the valley.

A crisp creek joins the glacier run off to make an even wider Delta River.

After the rocky, wobbly and hobbly Denali Highway, there seems to be something wrong with the fuel tank. The engine doesn't take in enough fuel and stutters across the road. We think we're out of gas, although we certainly hope not. Bill flags down a fellow traveler and buys a couple of gallons of gas. This should get us closer to a filling station. At the Black Rapids lodge we buy a couple of more gallons of gas, until we finally make it into Delta Junction to top it off.

A new and used fuel filter. There is a lot of crud in the fuel tank. That might be why.

On the way back we stop by Wayne Hunter the Wood Cutter from Salcha. He came up with his family in their old schoolbus several years ago.

Back home on Old Murphy Dome, where the sun just about set at midnight!

The verdict is: Old Blue is doing great. It was a wonderful weekend. Now all we need to do is figure out the fuel problem.

The final weeks in Fairbanks:

Our last weeks in Fairbanks go by like a whirlwind.

  • The girls get a haircut; they all want it shoulder lenght, just like Mae.
  • Bill has his 50th birthday which we celebrate in the yard of the Klein's; a last-minute-put-together party which turned out to be a blast.
  • We're having a picnic along the Chena River with the Underwoods, where we eagerly await the duckies.
  • Our first blueberries of the year are ripe for the picking (we were here for the blueberry picking too last year!).
  • It's moving time; I divide all our stuff into three groups: to give away, to take with us, to throw away. It is amazing how much stuff we have gathered around us in only a winter! It feels so good (but also overwhelming) to get rid of most.
  • The books finally make it to Alaska. We sell the first copy straight off the pallet. What a start.


Jasmine enjoys her haircut.

Cheyenne is determined to send her hair once more to "Locks of Love".

Robin and Cheyenne observe a moose in Laurie&Martin's yard.

After seeing Jasmine and Cheyenne with shorty hair, Robin is soon to follow.

Bill's 50th

Happy Birthday Bill!

The girls are decorating the cake.

In the company of friends. They all brought a box of maple cookies; Bill's favorite.

Cheyenne, Kindra and Luke enjoy the cake.

The Ducky Race

We're gathered with the Underwoods to see which ducky crosses the finish line first. Go 1531!

Five thousand duckies float down the Chena River. It's a hilarious sight to see them coming. Too bad none of our duckies made it to the top 30!

Blueberry harvest

Good picking Robin!

Moving on

Our kitchen stove is already in the bus. I make warm water on the fire outside.

Only part of the stuff we give away; snow boots, winter clothing, cloth, craft supplies, etc etc.

Cheyenne paints our "destination boards" which we'll put in the marquise of Old Blue.

The boards for the bunkbeds get a lick of paint too.

A picnic with fresh picked blueberries.

All this packing up and cleaning out is exhausting. Robin takes a wonderful nap.

Arrival of the books

The books have finally arrived! After finishing writing, it still took almost three months to get via the Interior Designer, the printer company and the transportation duration into our hands.

Open the first box with us and get a peek into the quality of our production!

Having the books in our hands was worth all our effort of designing the book according to our demands. We've made a great product!

Marlene and Beverly buy the first book straight out of the warehouse at Alaska Feed, where the books were delivered. The book signing is on!

The Blue Collar Book Tour is on the Road!

Getting Ready for Winter
Our First Month in Fairbanks.

Winter is Coming!
Our Second Month in Fairbanks.

Winter is Here!
Our Third Month in Fairbanks.

Life in a Winter Wonder Land
Our Fourth Month in Fairbanks.

A New Year with New Adventures
Our Fifth Month in Fairbanks.

Buried in Snow
Our Sixth Month in Fairbanks.

Crawling out from Under the Darkness
and from Under the Snow
Our Seventh Month in Fairbanks.

A Snow Covered Spring
Our Eigth Month in Fairbanks.

Spring is on the Horizon!
Our Ninth Month in Fairbanks.

Spring has Arrived!
Our Tenth Month in Fairbanks.

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