Tuesday evening, Aug. 23 camping again in the Anchor River campground. We had a bad/good/great day!
Written by Dad/Ed:
First the bad - last night we had a short visit to the "Salty Dawg" Saloon just to see what the interior looked like, but got out of the place quickly as the cigarette smoke was too onerous. Besides we did not want to smell up our clothing with cigarette smoke. The place has wood chips on the floor, nice wooden table/benches, a bar, and every inch of the walls and ceiling are covered with dollar bills with the visitors names written on them in felt marker. Some of the previous female visitors had left brassieres and other under garments which hung from various places on the ceiling (don't get any ideas, Barry, for your hot tub room at the lake!!!!). After being there less than 15 minutes, we left to get dinner. Mom/Mim had placed her backpack/pocket book on the bench seat next to me and left without it. In the dimly lit room, I did not see it as I squirmed out of the very tight bench seat. She did not discover it missing until 10:30 this morning. After an hour of frantic search of the truck cab, the camper and trying to remember the last time that she had it, we decided to begin calling the credit card companies to report it as missing and to check on whether they were being used. No activity on the cards, whew! She could not recall if it was within the last 3 days that she had last carried it as we have been in isolated locations with little need to have the pocket book. And most times, she just carries a little cash in her pocket.
We called Barry to have him go to our house to check the telephone answering machine in case someone who might have found the pocketbook had called. We retraced our steps of the previous evening, checking in at Leslie's shop, and the pizza shop with no luck. After receiving a call from Barry that we had two calls from Credit card companies , one being the security dept. at the home answering machine, we got really worried. Lastly I went to the Salty Dog Saloon, the place we thought most unlikely to find it and I asked the gal behind the bar if anyone found a pocketbook last night. I had to lean over the bar to talk to her and as she asked me if I could describe the pocketbook, I saw it sitting on the shelf behind the bar. I said there it is right there. So, you see, there are many great and honest people in this world! To think what someone could have done with the debit and credit cards in there! Mom/Mim was extremely happy and relieved to say the least! Our day had turned great very quickly!
Myrna and I went shopping on Homer Spit while Dad/Ed and Butch hung around the beach, looking at boats, and Bald Eagles eating fish (with the crows harassing them to try for a few morsels), and gabbing (they never seem to run out of stories to tell each other). We looked for a place to send our journal, to no avail. Before we knew it, it was time to leave for Anchor Point where Leslie and Jens live with their 2 children, Erika and Bjorn, as they had invited us to dinner.
A great evening! They live outside town, in a wooded area, in a home that Jens built, and is currently adding to. Swedish influences are found everywhere - a log guest house, sauna in a separate building overlooking a pond, and furniture made by Jens. I especially liked the beds he made, copies from an Ikea catalog.
They have quite a menagerie at the present. Ducks (raised for eating), rabbits galore(all running around the yard and under the sheds), 2 large pigs, (named Thanksgiving and Christmas), chickens, and a lovely horse named Grace (Arab x). 3 years ago when we were with the Klaars at Key Largo, they were discussing the possible purchase of a horse, mainly for Erika, and asking Dad/Ed for advice. Erika and Bjorn are enjoying Grace a lot.
Erika and Jens did the cooking, with Leslie arriving from her shop when dinner was just about done cooking. Erika made a delicious smoked salmon dip (with jalapeños and cream cheese). She and Jens served deep fried haddock, roasted duck (two of the ducks had been axed that afternoon), potatoes, and salad. A feast with superb conversation and lots of laughs. Such a nice family! Erika (age 16) and Bjorn (first year of middle school), are the greatest kids we have met! Erika is not only beautiful, but smart, athletic, (she is a runner and cross country ski racer), and interested in many things, including hunting, fishing, and the normal "girly" things that any teenager likes. Handsone Bjorn is quite the boy - a great conversationalist, soccer player, football player, hunter, and fisherman.
Just before our arrival Jens and Erika had been on a 10 day Dall sheep and caribou hunt in the area of the Brooks range north of Fairbanks, They did not get a sheep as those that they saw became obscured in the heavy smoke from the wildfires burning on the tundra near them. Jens had prepared to shoot a caribou one with the bow so that he could hunt within one mile of the haul road but due to the warm weather, the caribou had not left the area around Prudhoe Bay and the cooling Beaufort Sea. They had to drive to Prudhoe and ended up shooting one with the rifle 5 miles from the haul road as it was too far for a bow shot. The two of them packed the entire animal out on their backs in one trip!!! Those of you who have never walked on tundra cannot appreciate just how difficult a task this was for them.