Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Trip to Reno

We had an excellent trip to Reno to find a place to live. Some voted that they didn't know where Reno was. It is in Nevada just to the east of Tahoe, about 50 miles. Follow this link for more info on Reno.

I got the vett detailed and it looked great, left for Reno on the 11th of May. Stopped in Tok at Crazy Eddies for the night. Up early and our ride to Haines, AK. When we left Tok it snowed all the way to Haines Junction in the Yukon. Vette looked a mess. Some advice, if you drive to Tok from Haines or Haines to Tok, have a full gas tank. We didn't and before the start of the tourist season, there are very few gas stations open.

We found a station opened in Burwash Landing but had to drive a quarter of a mile to the lodge in town to get the owner to come pump our gas. When we walked in the restaurant, we told the waitress we needed gas. She told us the owner was eating and did we want some coffee while we waited.

Ok, but we didn't have Canadian currency, but they took US dollars. So I gave her four dollars she gave me some change in Canadian, about 25 cents canadian, I think the coffee actually cost me $3.95 for two.

Well the owner got through with his meal after about 30 minutes, and came out and told us he would meet us at the station.We got in the vett and tried to drive to the gas station. There are two roads in this town of 150, and guess what, we took the wrong road. After we realized out mistake, we made it to the station just before the owner left.

Had lunch at Haines Junction and cruised into Haines. Haines was founded in the early 1900s as a military base. In the fall over 4000 eagles come to Haines. To learn more about Haines, AK go to this link Haines, Ak

We got on the ferrry at 4 pm. Ferry looks like this. The vechicles load from the side. This is a very good and inexpensice trip to take. In fact it is sometimes called the poor mans Alaskan Cruise.

You can bring your vechicle, bicycle or just walk on. You can rent a stateroom or bring your sleeping bag and sleep somewhere around the ship. Even better you can pitch a tent in the Soloreruim. See picture on right.

You can bring your own food, booze or buy it on the boat. We booked a room and went to the bar to see who was there. We immedately made friends with Joe and Bob. Joe was in the AirForce being transferred to Arizonia. Bob worked for the government but had worked on the Time Bandit. (worlds deadlist catch).

Also met Billie who was going to Sitka to work as a deck hand trowling for salmon. She was from Oakland California and this would be her first year as a deck hand. She was a knock out.

In this picture Joe is on the left, my wife Arlene is next to him, I am in the back ground and Bob is on the far right.

Tomorrow I will up date this blog on the ferry trip and some interesting facts we learned.

OK, this is tomorrow, and I am going to update our trip to Reno.

Another good thing about taking the ferry, is that most of the people are Alaskans or work in Alaska. Where as on a cruise you meet very few Alaskans. The benefit of traveling with Alaskans is you can learn more about Alaska.

For example, we , met a man named Gary who used to be a professor of chemistry at University of Alaska. He now lives in Oregon but travels to Sitka to fish for salmon. He has a commercial boat he keeps in Sitka. He explained that his boat has a crew of three, including him self, one being a deck hand, like Billie. He fishes for King salmon using a certain lure, when he wants to fish for a different salmon he uses a different lure.

Also on the ferry, the state of Alaska has contracted with the Department of Agriculture to have men and women from the forestry department to be on board most ferries to explain to the travelers various aspect of Alaska. For example, we had lectures on ravens, the towns we were about to arrive at, whales, orcas, eagles, salmon, etc.

One thing I do remember from one of the lectures is how to count in salmon:
1. thumb sounds like "chum"
2. index finger is used to poke, sounds like "coho"
3. middle finger is the largest, refers to "king salmon"
4. ring finger is where you wear "silver salmon"
5. little finger is the pinky or "pink salmon"

Other thing I learned from Bob, who was once on the Time Bandit, is more details on fishing for crab. He wasn't to sure but he said that the king crab travel in groups, he described it as traveling in a ball. At the time they fish for crab, the crab are feeding in crevices off the bottom of the ocean feeding on carcasses of salmon.

I also asked how do you fish for the different types of crabs, ie King Crab vs Dungeness crab. Bob said the crabs of different types operate at different depths. So you fish for Kings at one depth and Dungeness at another depth.

We only got off the ferry at one stop, this was at Ketchican where we spent several hours. We, Arlene, Bob and myself went to town and had lunch and then did a pub crawl back to the ferry. After about the seventh bar we caught a cab to Jerimias, which is across from where the ferry was docked. I didn't know this but the cab reports his fare to the dispatcher by giving his number, in this case 6. Then the first name of the business the fare was picked up in front of. We were picked up in front of "Dicks Automotive Parts". And then where the fare was going. We were going to Jeremias.

The cab driver always wanted to say this, and caused the dispatcher to come back with "what". I'll let you put it together.

When we got to Jermias, we learned there is quite a cult following of the crew members of Worlds Deadliest Catch. In fact, the boats each have their own fans. Bob was quite popular with the ladies. See picture to the left.

Want to take some quizes on the Worlds Deadliest Catch? Go here

From left to right Millisa, Cindy, Bob, and Amanda.

More tomorrow plus I will show the place we bought in Reno