Friday, June 22, 2007

Smoke and Rain

I got up at 6 this morning after having gone to bed around 10 last night. We were tired and Nana was not feeling well from the effects of the cold Dom gave her. I decided to let everyone sleep in, but at 9 am they were all still asleep. Enough is enough! Get up you lazy critters.

What a difference a day makes. The weather was beautiful yesterday except for some late evening thundershowers. This morning there was more rain and we were socked in with a combination of clouds and smoke. A huge fire somewhere, one of the 56 burning in Alaska right now, was covering the whole area with smoke. Visibility was only ¼ mile or so and it was cold and drizzly.

We were ready to leave the RV park at 10:30 and had to make a stop at the bus loading area since we realized Deidra’s digital camera had been left on the bus yesterday. We arrived there about 10:45 and after 45 minutes of wading through government red tape we were sent over to the baggage claim office near the visitor center. There more government red tape was unrolled as it appeared someone else had also made a claim for her camera. Why someone else would want a cheap digital camera with dead batteries and a view screen that only works if you fold it up to just the right angle is beyond me. Regardless, after another 45 minutes of unrolling more red tape, including a call to Dayna and Chris to verify the brand of camera, they finally decided to release it to her instead of mailing it. Of course, the camera itself was not there, it was at dispatch. So, they requested it be sent over to baggage claim where it finally arrived while we ate lunch in the parking lot. Deidra still had to put new batteries in it and show them that there were pictures of her and Dom on the camera before they actually let her have it. We finally left with the camera at 1:30. I’m sure we used up several miles of their tape, but unfortunately there is a never ending supply of the stuff.

We motored off into the smoke. Even with the vents closed the smell was oppressive. After an hour or so the smoke became mixed with rain and later fog and low clouds. At times the visibility was reduced to only a couple hundred feet and I slowed to 45 MPH. The road was wet, it was raining and we couldn’t see anything. That is not what we came to Alaska for. By about 3:30 we found an Alaska State Park that is nothing more than a paved turnout along the highway where we pulled in for the night. Hopefully the clouds will lift overnight and whatever fire the smoke is coming from will be extinguished by all this rain.

In the meantime, we are warm and snug in our home, hooking rugs, watching DVD’s, playing games, eating popcorn and hoping for a better day tomorrow.


  1. I am glad they came to the realization that if it was their pictures on the camera, it probably belonged to her. That is just crazy!

    Stay clear of smoke, they say 2nd hand smoke is bad for you! ;)

  2. It's days like these that you are glad you have a big house to stay in.