Skagway

Last stop before Glacier National Park and our disembarking in Seward was Skagway. A small, quaint town just 23 blocks long and 4 blocks wide. The National Park Service rescued 15 buildings here and its a real piece of history. This was where the gold rush folks started their trek up into the Yukon. The Chilkoot Trail is just a few miles out from Skagway. It is called the worlds longest museum. Also called the Golden Stairs, the gold- seekers had to make it over the ‘meanest 33 miles in history’.  More than 30,000 men, women, and children made it over this trail carrying enough supplies to last them a whole year between 1897-99. They would have to make several trips to carry it all over. The winters were brutal and some lost their lives. Click the link above to read more about it and see pictures. We did not go to the trail! But you could imagine all the people pouring into Skagway getting ready for the trek to their fortunes.

Eventually the White Pass Yukon Railway took its place and became the main means to access the Yukon. There are several of the trains on display in Skagway. They have big rotating blades on the front to dig through the snow! I can’t imagine living in that time!

Here’s some photos I took of our day in Skagway…

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Raven

 

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Camping Ready

We decided to sell our 27ft. travel trailer and get something smaller, easier to tow. It’s usually just Bossman and I anyway. We got a 23ft. with a small kitchen slide-out to give us more room. It has a murphy’s bed, the new ‘thing’ in campers. We really like it. It folds up in the wall during the day and we have a couch to sit on and when we’re ready to go to bed we pull it down over the couch. There’s so much storage space inside!

We took a ‘maiden voyage’ with it a couple weeks ago. I love it. The awning is all electric all I have to do is hit a button and it rolls out and it has tiny lights built in along the outside so I don’t even need to get the hanging light strands I’ve pestered Bossman about for years!

We went to Warrior’s Path State Park to camp and I didn’t get one picture to show you! It is a lovely park with so much to do there, canoe/kayak rental, beach for swimming, pool, golf course, hiking trails, horse stables, disc golf. I’m sure we will make use of this park often! It’s in Kingsport about 40 minutes from us. It’s named for its proximity to the Great Indian Warrior Trading Path used by the Cherokee and colonials.

This is the only pic I got in the park, robber flies mating on our rug!

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Here’s the camper, named Labour’s End!

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Whales, Juneau Part 4

Spur of the moment we decided to do a whale watching tour once we got into Juneau. Bossman said no before, as these extra tours cost quite a bit. But the fella offered us the bus ride to Mendenhall and two tickets for the tram ride I posted about earlier. The tram alone would have been $60 for the two of us so that convinced him 🙂

We saw several whales. All alone, not in a group like you see in all the touristy pictures. The naturalist with us said that is rare to see, of course it is! They are basically solitary animals and only rarely do they do that group feeding. We did see three whales do the fluke thing with their tales as they dove deep. That was very cool! Mostly we just saw the hump of their backs briefly. I didn’t get a pic of the tail thing. It happens so fast and I don’t have a fancy camera. I decided to not even try and just enjoy myself instead of missing all the action trying to get pictures of it.

It was a beautiful day and I love being on the water anyway. The scenery was spectacular of course and we saw a glacier off in the distance. There were eagles sitting a top the posts on the docks. Here’s a shot of an adult and an immature one…

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This was not our boat I just thought it made a nice shot.

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Look close, you’ll see our first whale…

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Porch Talk

Hey y’all! It feels like forever since we had a good chat.
So sit down here and let me yak at you for a while.

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This little guy was yakking up a storm to us in Ocean City, MD. this summer. We gave them a few fries and that did it. I loved it though. The grandkids have come and gone. We had a great time with them. Ocean City was our last week together and Ian loved the pool. He was afraid of the water and each summer in Maine he got a little more brave and a little more brave, but he wouldn’t swim without the life vest on or jump in the water. This summer he was swimming like a fish, underwater! By the time his folks got there for the last two days with us he was cannon-balling into the pool and diving to the bottom in the 8 ft. end to retrieve toys we threw in! His dad couldn’t get over it. He is nine now, you know 😉 they grow up so fast. I love having them to spoil and enjoy for a whole month each summer.

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I was so lucky to get into  poison ivy at the back of the yard a week before we went to the beach and I had it all down my neck and on my arms! It was so embarrassing!

While my friends were here for the eclipse we went up to Elizabethton and Johnson City shopping and sitting at a red light in Johnson City a Ford Expedition rear ended us! Thank goodness she swerved a little at the last minute and hit to one side of my car instead of square in the rear! I’m surprised it didn’t have more damage. She hit us really hard and pushed me out into the intersection. My car is a 2005 Taurus wagon. They couldn’t total it, but there are a couple parts no longer available too! It’s not too bad of damage so we can live with it. We are going to get a new car next year probably anyway. Its a great car though, this is our third one. We love it. 2005 is the last year they made them and its getting harder to find one that isn’t high mileage now so we have to come up with something else! I’m just glad she had insurance, not everyone in Tennessee does! Your suppose to but you don’t have to show proof of it to get your license or tags. It’s crazy.

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We’re excited about our church’s new building. It’s almost done and we should be able to move in soon! It’s not real big, I’m afraid we will outgrow it too soon. But that would be a good thing! We are holding a City Worship event in Greeneville in October at a place called The Shed. It’s kind of a public building and grounds that different groups use for lots of different things. There’s Bluegrass bands there every Thursday through the summer for free and there are food trucks etc.

Friday for Agatha Christie’s birthday I went to a play at the Capitol Theater, ‘And Then There Were None‘. It was excellent! Last year they did Mousetrap. Their going to show The Creature From the Black Lagoon and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane for halloween! I LOVE my Capitol Theater!

We are off this week back home to Pennsylvania for nine days. Bossman is golfing with his league. We are taking the new camper and camping instead of staying with someone. It will be nice to have so much time to visit. It’s always hard to fit everyone in. My friend and I are planning on taking a day trip to Shanksville to see the Flight 93 memorial. Did you see Vice President Pence’s speech there on the 11th? It was so good. He said he was in the Capitol at the time the plane would have hit and he would have been killed so they saved his life.

Have you ever read Sarah Ward’s DC Childs books? There are three in the series. I have not. I’ve been following her blog, Crimepieces, though and would like to. Well, I just won all three in a contest she had! Stop over to her blog and check it out!

I’ve hosted the Read Scotland challenge for four years now and really enjoyed doing it over at Goodreads. I’ve read so many wonderful books by Scottish authors. But I’ve decided to not do it next year. One of the gals in the group is going to take over for me though so it will continue. I’m glad for that. I’m going to sign up for a challenge but I won’t have to be ‘large and in charge’!

We’ve always played acey-deucy with our backgammon board so I’ve never learned to play that. Recently I was helping Ian collect gems for a dragon game he plays on his kindle. I installed and played different game apps to certain levels to win the gems. Backgammon was one of them. I had to watch videos on Youtube to figure it out. I kept trying to play the wrong pieces! Its confusing after playing acey-deucy, but I really like it and I’v taught Bossman how to play. We play occasionally, but he prefers acey-deucy. Do you play many games and which ones are your favorite? I love playing games!

I picked up a couple new old books recently, Agatha Christie’s Funerals are Fatal/ After the Funeral in the UK, The Silver Leopard by Helen Reilly. It’s an old Dell paperback with the crime map on the back cover! And Michael Gilbert’s Blood and Judgment. Everyone says they like him so I’ve been picking his books up when I see them. One day I’ll get one read!

Well sweeties, my Green Bay Packers are playing and Bossman is waiting for me to get in there and watch with him so I better sign off for now. Hope your doing well and life is treating you grand! I’ve got a few post scheduled for while I’m gone so you won’t forget me!

XXOO”S

 

The Day the Falls Stood Still

by Cathy Marie Buchanan

70535321915. Niagara Falls. The dawn of the hydroelectric power era. Seventeen-year-old Bess Heath who has led a sheltered existence as the younger daughter of the director of the Niagara Power Company, meets Tom Cole by chance on a trolley platform and finds herself inexplicably drawn to him – against her family’s strong objections. Tom is not from their world. Rough-hewn and fearless, he lives off what the river provides and has an uncanny ability to predict the whims of the falls like his famous grandfather before him. His daring river rescues render him a local hero and cast him as a threat to the power companies that seek to harness the power of the falls for themselves. As the paths of Bess and Tom become entwined, Bess must make a painful choice between what she wants and what is best for her family and her future.

I picked this book up a little over three years ago! The setting of Niagara Falls (Canada) caught my attention. We use to live just four hours from it and would go there often for little get-aways. The winter was my favorite time, it was a frozen wonderland. Thanks to Cathy @746 books for getting me jump started with reading books that have been languishing on my shelves with her 20 Books of Summer. Who knows how long I would have taken to get to this, if ever!

I love reading a book set somewhere I am familiar with and we have gone into museums there and learned the history of the Falls and the power companies so this was really special for me. Ms. Buchanan really brought the time period alive. Set during the early 1900’s when the power companies were harnessing the power of the Falls and people began to fight back and try to protect the Falls. Tom Cole chief among them. Then he falls in love with a girl whose father is a bigwig at the power plant and a proponent for bringing electricity to the area and Canada.

Incorporated in are many of the early stories of attempts by ‘stunters’ at fame by going over the falls one way or another and heroic true rescues. The character of Tom Cole is loosely based on real life character Red Hill. Ms. Buchanan was born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario. At the start of some chapters are actual photos from the day.

Love, adventure, history and a family in distress. A meaty, engaging story. You should get your hands on a copy of this! Ms. Buchanan has a second historical fiction novel out, The Painted Girls, set in belle époque Paris and inspired by the real-life model for Degas’ Little Dancer, Aged 14 and by the era’s most famous criminal trials. I’d like to read that too.

 

In the back of the book there is an author’s note about the story and the history. She states that the amount of water plummeting over the Horseshoe and American Falls is now about 50 percent of the natural flow during the daylight hours of the tourist season and only 25 percent otherwise! I can’t imagine being alive to have seen the Falls in it’s full glory before the power plants diverted all that power! It must have been amazing.

Have you gotten a chance to go the Falls? Summer, winter? What were your thoughts about it?

Spring is in the Air?

We have lots of baby or immature birds in the yard this last couple of weeks! I thought that happened in spring?! Seems to be two different ages of young cardinals. Thought I’d share some of them with you.

Lots of cardinals and doves…

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two young male cardinals and dad. one young dove to the left

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Father and son cardinal and young dove in the middle with two adults

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young male cardinal and dove

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young dove

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Father and son cardinal and young dove to the left

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feeding buddies, dove and cardinal kiddies

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two young cardinals, thinking a male and a female

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August 28 male

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September 6 male

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September 6 male

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two young cardinals. notice the difference in the color of their beaks

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Dad has a seed in his beak for junior

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aw! Daddy’s feeding him

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Young female, no red on her chest

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looks like a youngster feeding a baby!

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Not sure what kind of baby this is but think it is a house sparrow with the mom sitting there with it.

We’ve had a nice size flock of house sparrows hanging around the house for the last month. They’ve pretty much chased off the finches. They love the shrubs in the front of the house and mob the feeders several times a day. Sometimes when I’m sitting at the computer I look up and one is sitting on the outside window sill looking in at me.

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He’s not a baby, but he has a boo-boo 😦

We’ve had a bumper crop of rabbits this year too!

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There was a young Red bellied woodpecker at the suet too but I wasn’t able to get a picture of him. I was sitting outside reading last week and a huge red shouldered hawk (pretty sure that’s what it was) swooped low over top of me and I thought he was going to hit me in the head! He was hot on the trail of a bunny in the neighbors yard, but the rabbit run under a car sitting in the yard and the hawk missed! That was quite an experience!