Trip Diary
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Our Motorcycle Trip to Alaska

June 13, 1998 thru August 5, 1998

Trip Participants were:

Art & Nita Fockler - Canton, OH & Naples, FL (Both retired from Ford Motor Co.)
John & Carol McGirr - Alliance, OH & Naples, FL (John retired from Ford Motor Co.)
Harry & Charlotte Memmer - Akron, OH (Harry retired from Akron Beacon Journal)
Bob Menegay - Beloit, OH (Presently working at UPS (retirement end of October) &
Rita Hull - Salem, OH (Nurse in Hanoverton, OH)
Fred & Peg Nichols - Hartville, OH (Fred retired from Monarch Rubber Co.)
Jack & Vera VanHorn - Canton, OH (Jack retired from Timken & Vera retired from teaching in Plain Schools)

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Subj.: We're in Wisconsin! Best Western Park Oasis - Mauston, WI

Date: 6/13/98

Beginning Odometer: 46606 End of Day Reading: 47227 Total Miles Traveled: 621

We arrived in Mauston, WI at a lovely Best Western about 5 PM, Wisconsin time. We rode 620 miles from our driveway in Alliance, Ohio to here. It was a beautiful ride and we had some rain in Toledo, but not bad rain. We put on our rain pants, but didn't need them so much for the rain as for warmth. It was in the 60's, but it was overcast and humid, which felt damp, so we needed a little more than we all thought we did.

We (Focklers, Menegay, Van Horns and McGirrs) got out of Canton, Ohio as planned before 5 am, and met up with the Nichols and the Memmers before they had even reached I-77, so we didn't even stop for breakfast at the service plaza as planned. We rode on into Toledo and had breakfast at a Bob Evans.

We made it thru our favorite city of Chicago before noon and now we can just enjoy ourselves as we ride. No more big cities to worry about! The traffic in Chicago wasn't bad, but going the opposite way that we were going, there was a "parking lot" for many miles. We don't have any idea why, but we were glad we were heading north.

We'll send another installment tomorrow night, so we're signing off for tonight, we're going down to have some dinner and early bed since no one could sleep last night for the excitement.

The Ohio group (we're trying to figure out a name for ourselves, but it's not coming to us tonight, maybe we'll figure it out tomorrow.)

Subj.: We made it to ND, Fargo to be exact! Motel 6

Date: 6/14/98

Beginning Odometer: 47227 End of Day Reading: 47668 Total Miles Traveled: 441

Hi everybody,

We arrived in Fargo, ND about 4:30 on Sunday evening after another very nice ride across some more beautiful country. Jack & Vera got to add 2 states to their list of states that they have ridden through. They had never ridden their motorcycle thru either Minnesota or North Dakota and we've hit both today. The rest of us are "world travelers" and we had those states already. So they're catching up with the rest.

We did get into a little bit of rain today, but barely enough to have our rainsuits on, but we had stopped prior to the rain hitting us and put them on. It was a good practice and it also felt good when we passed thru the "front" as it had cooled off considerably. We rode 441 miles today and it was nice to get off the road feeling good.

The guys are down swimming in the motel pool and then we'll go for dinner about 7 tonight. I haven't told them yet, or rather reminded them that tomorrow's ride will be about 500 miles again. But they are all seasoned travelers and they will handle it well.

So, until tomorrow...or whenever we can hook up...

As ever, The Ohio Eskimos (how's that one sound?)

Subj.: We arrived in Miles City, Montana! Motel 6

Date: 6/15/98

Beginning Odometer: 47668 End of Day Reading: 48167 Total Miles Traveled: 499

This is a special note from Harry to Peggy (you know who you are) He misses you terribly and THAT'S GREAT! PS He's terrible too!

We arrived about 6 PM tonight after a very nice day of riding. We even took time out to visit Teddy Roosevelt's National Park. It's the ND Badlands, which none of us knew even existed.

Carole Monteith - we saw wild horses mating....what a sight! We also saw 3 buffaloes and lots of prairie dogs running all over the place. They had told us there would be 300 buffaloes, but they lied....we were supposed to see pronghorn sheep and white-tailed and mule deers, but they weren't to be found either. Maybe next time! We saw a couple of antelope on our way into Miles City, but only a couple.

 

To the Menegay kids, why don't you stay in the office Laurie? Your Dad tried to call you from Medora before we went into the National Park and you weren't there....He's enjoying himself tremendously with this bunch of nuts. The weather has been great, even with the little bit of rain we've had, nothing big....but tomorrow....might be a different story....only time will tell.

We were asked where we might be on Sunday, we haven't a clue...so between here and there. Just send a card thru AOL if that's what you want to do.

And to the Fockler and Marks family....all is going good and having fun. Weather is great and more fun tomorrow.

The Van Horn family - Lost communications with your Mother after observing an elephant standing behind a horse. Never saw a trunk that long...spent one hour trying to decipher this, will explain if ever able. Love Jack & Vera

To everybody else....we are all enjoying ourselves very much. The group is a good group to travel with and we work well together. We traveled 500 miles today and have traveled a total of 1544 from Art's driveway. We're not doing too bad for a bunch of retirees plus one....(Bob Menegay retires in October). Tomorrow we expect to arrive in Canada so crossing the border should be fun with this group. We'll send you updates whenever we can hook up.

Until then, The Ohio Eskimos is heading "North to Alaska" (our theme song)

Subj.: We are in Great Falls, Montana! Town House Inns of Great Falls

Date: 6/16/98

Beginning Odometer: 48167 End of Day Reading: 48531 Total Miles Traveled: 364

Hi everybody,

We arrived about 4 PM today in Great Falls, Montana after a very miserable day of riding. It has rained since we left Miles City this morning before 7 am. We stopped in Billings, after 145 miles, and had our breakfast and then put on more clothes and rode until we reached Great Falls, for a total of 364 miles. We came up short of our goal for today, but we all were very cold and wet and miserable. We rode in some of the worst rain that we had ridden in for quite some time. We think by staying here tonight, the rains will move on out and we will have dry riding tomorrow. I called the lady in Fort MacLeod and she was worried as to where we were, she knew we had to be cold and wet. Boy, did she have it right! She reminded me that anytime we're in her area to be sure and stop by and spend the night. We'll remember that!

This is a practice test for when we get to Alaska to see if we have the proper clothing for whatever comes up. We have already purchased some additional gloves, because the ones a few of us had got quite wet, and wet gloves are a no-no. We live and learn! The motel that we are staying at is the Town House Inns in Great Falls and it has a casino, a swimming pool and a hot tub. It also has a restaurant and laundry facilities, so we have it made for tonight.

Our ride today was really enjoyable in the matter of seeing animals. We saw quite a number of deer and antelope along the way. If the weather had been better, the scenery would have been also, because it was a very nice way to come from Billings. We took a 2-lane highway instead of the interstate. While we were at breakfast this morning, a man was talking with me and asked if we were heading on out I-90 to I-15 and then heading north. I told him that we weren't, that we were taking Rt. 3 to Rt. 12 to Rt. 191 to Rt. 87 and then hitting I-15 at Great Falls. His comment was that's the best way, with the weather the way it is you would probably encounter snow on I-90 at the Continental Divide. So we did something right. They are calling for snow in the 6000-7000 foot range out here, so we probably would have had a trip....

We'll sign off for today and we'll be in touch again...

Ohio Eskimos heading "North to Alaska"

Subj.: We made it to Edmonton, Alberta Canada! Comfort Inn

Date: 6/17/98

Beginning Odometer: 48531 End of Day Reading: 49055 Total Miles Traveled: 524

Hello everyone,

We traveled 524 miles today. We just checked into our motel here in Edmonton at 9:45 PM and it was still daylight. We arrived in Edmonton about 7, but couldn't find our motel. It was to be a Comfort Inn within 1 kilometer of the big Edmonton Mall. They lied! It is within 3 miles of the Mall. What a Mall! We went there and had supper at the Hard Rock Cafe. It was a good choice! John and I had never eaten at one of those restaurants and we were glad we got the opportunity. He had wanted to eat at Hooters, but the wait was at least 20 minutes and nobody wanted to wait (especially Jack), we were hungry. After we finished eating, we went looking for Door #24, which was near where we parked. We walked for a long way and finally got to where we had parked, outside the Sears part of the Mall. None of us realized that we had walked the entire length of this Mall. It is 3 city blocks wide and 8 blocks long. Tomorrow morning, some of the females in the group are going exploring....shopping.

Our trip today was really a good one. We left Great Falls about 9 am in cloudy and threatening rain. The weather improved with every mile that we rode. Harry says, "It was a miserable ride because he had everything on that he owned. Just kidding!" When we reached the Canadian border at 11 am, customs was a farce! The only shady looking character must have been Jack, because they asked him about guns and pepper spray, as they had asked all of us. They asked Jack if he had any "sharpened sticks". But, we all cleared customs and moved on.

We made it thru Calgary without much trouble. But when we got north of there, John decided we needed to visit a rest area. Well, we're here to tell you that Canada doesn't have as nice of rest areas as the USA does. When the sign said to get off for the rest area, John tried to go into the Maintenance Shed. (Doesn't that sound familiar Charles?) And everybody followed him there, but we got turned around and finally, after much trouble, found their rest area. Charlotte agrees that they didn't want any one to find their rest areas.

There were some snowcapped mountains off in the distance today, after we crossed into Canada. They are the Rocky Mountain range and they were gorgeous. We saw miles and miles of grain growing and that seems to be the only industry. The size of these farm fields must be 10 miles square.

We're going to stick around tomorrow and visit the Mall and then we're heading north to Fox Creek, Alberta for our room tomorrow night. We had to make several phone calls to find some accommodations, but we lucked out.

It is now 11:06 and it is like twilight outside, it is beautiful. So, until later,

The Ohio Eskimos heading "North To Alaska"

Subj.: We made it to Fox Creek, Alberta! The Alaskan Motel

Date: 6/18/98

Beginning Odometer: 49055 End of Day Reading: 49215 Total Miles Traveled: 159

We had a very enjoyable time at the Edmonton Mall. We rode from the motel down to the Mall in bright sunny weather in our shirt sleeves. We ate lunch at Hooter's and the guys enjoyed the view. Then we were to meet up at the bikes at 2:30 to leave for Fox Creek and when we came out of the totally enclosed Mall, it was RAINING. Yep, you heard it right! It was a full blown thunderstorm. Of course none of us figured we were going to be in a full blown thunderstorm, so we didn't really dress appropriately. We could have put more clothes on and we would have been much more comfortable for this trip. But we arrived, after 159 miles, and we're now getting warm ready to go and eat our supper. The bikes are filthy. And we have all threatened Robert with his life if he washed his bike again. Vera told Bob if he washed his bike again, she was going to kick his ass and she meant it. He had washed his bike this morning before he even had breakfast so we are blaming him for this latest weather phenomena.

We looked for moose but never found any. Maybe tomorrow. There was a lot of wood being wasted up here. We saw probably 40 to 50 miles of trees that had been taken down for the widening of this highway. They are burning the wood, but Bob came up with a possible reason. The sap would plug the chimneys and they are just destroying the wood. What a waste!

We wanted to make sure and remind Robin that we are all thinking of her for next Monday and we are saying little prayers for her speedy recovery. We also would appreciate it if Roy were to let Carole Monteith know when Robin has come out of the recovery room and then we can relax and quit worrying. Thanks Roy! Good luck Robin!

A little note to Jodi and Steve - your Dad and I were DRY underneath our rainsuits. Also there is a package coming in about a week. We have also added a code to the pager codes....111 means to check your e-mail!

TTYL, Ohio Eskimos heading "North to Alaska"

Subj.: We made it to Dawson Creek, BC! The Trail Inn Motel

Date: 6/19/98

Beginning Odometer: 49215 End of Day Reading: 49427 Total Miles Traveled: 212

Hi everyone,

We had some beautiful weather today, for a change. We had almost decided that our rain gear was going to be our uniform of the day, but not today. The temperature is in the 70's and pleasant. We saw several moose along the way, but didn't get any pictures yet. We rode 212 miles today. We actually rode a few less than that to get here, but then we went and delivered our laundry to the Laundromat and then had some lunch at a place called Mr. Mike's and then stopped and visited the downtown area, including the place that all the pictures of Dawson Creek include, the 0 milepost with the mileages to Fairbanks and in between. Then we saw a movie over at the visitor center that shows the building of the Alaska Canada Highway. Boy, were we born in the right era? Those people that built the highway had it worse than the ones that built the Hoover Dam. What with all the elements they had to deal with.

The fellas are all outside washing their bikes, they didn't get Vera's OK, but she's sleeping so they figure they'll be all right. All the bikes will be clean, so she can't kick all their asses. I just went out and checked and informed Arthur that he had forgotten to wash his pipes, tail pipes. His comment was: well, they're both dirty equally. He had to admit that it looked bad, so I think he will have a little help in getting them clean. The guys are having fun doing their thing. As I have said before, this is a very good group to be with on this trip.

I've been asked if I care if this message is shared, the answer is "no problem". If someone wants to know how we're doing, let them know.

We have over 2800 miles on our trip as of tonight. So that's not too bad for a bunch of "old farts" traveling on Gold Wings. We left 7 days ago and rode in a lot of rain to boot, but from seeing the movie today, our trip is now about to begin. We have all decided that this trip will be our supreme test and we intend to pass it.

So until tomorrow, TTYL, Ohio Eskimos heading "North to Alaska"

Subj.: We're back in Dawson Creek, BC for another night! The Trail Inn Motel

Date: 6/20/98

Beginning Odometer: 49427 End of Day Reading: 49671 Total Miles Traveled: 244

Well hi there everybody,

We just got back from a very nice relaxing ride through the countryside which included rolling hills and farm land and even snow-covered mountains in the distance, however there wasn't a whole lot of wildlife....sorry Carole! No moose pictures today, we did see a couple of moose, but not when we could get pictures. We'll get them soon! The temperature started out about 64 degrees at 8:30 this morning and this afternoon, it was 86 degrees and really hot. But no rain... until we were about 10 miles from our motel and about 30 sprinkles hit us and Bob was praying hard.

We rode 244 miles and made the Hope Loop Trip, which was a recommended tour in The Milepost. We left Dawson Creek and rode west to Chetwynd (we tried to do a lumber company tour, but not on Saturday) and then went north to Hudson Hope area and stopped and visited the Peace Canyon Dam. Then we rode up to the W. A. C. Bennett Dam....now that's a dam. It is the largest earthen dam in the world and it impressed the guys, of course, but it even impressed us females. It was cute when we arrived, the girl from the tour bus came running out and asked us if we wanted to go on the tour ASAP or wait an hour. She had been called by the lady down at the Peace Canyon Dam and told that we were on our way. That was really nice of them.

After touring the dams, then we rode east to Fort St. John, which joins the Alaska Highway about 54 miles northwest of Dawson Creek. So after getting some petrol (the price is up to 59.9 a liter), we headed back southeast to our motel. We will be going back over the last leg of our trip tomorrow when we leave for Fort Nelson. There will be a side trip at milepost 17, which will be about 10 kilometers long), so not all of it will be a repeat. We rode over a bridge that was all grating with the Pine River and we have to go back the other way in the morning. So Nita and John will not sleep tonight....

Well, we must get off here and go and have some dinner for tonight, so maybe we'll write more later...If not, don't worry, we'll be in touch tomorrow.

TTYL, Love from the Ohio Eskimos heading "North to Alaska"

Subj.: Our home tonight is in Fort Nelson, BC! Fort Nelson Hotel

Date: 6/21/98

Beginning Odometer: 49671 End of Day Reading: 49954 Total Miles Traveled: 283

Happy Father's Day to everybody from the Ohio Eskimos! We had a nice Father's Day riding the Alaskan Highway. We rode 283 miles to Fort Nelson and saw some very desolate areas. We saw black spruce forests, which are useless. We started out this morning by seeing a wrecked pickup truck about 30 miles north of Dawson Creek, if that! A large moose was laying about 30 feet from the truck in the ditch. We regretfully inform you that we didn't stop and take any pictures. We all decided that we should have done so, but it was too late. The pickup truck needed a new front-end on it, for sure. It really woke us up to the fact that we don't want to see a moose that close.

Then we made a scheduled detour to see the only remaining timber bridge left on the original Alaskan Highway. It goes over the Kiskatinaw River and it was a curved wooden bridge that was in excellent repair. We took lots of pictures and enjoyed the detour.

We rode for many miles of nothingness and then came to Milepost 175 and had our lunch there. It was either stop there or not for another 60 miles, as there wasn't much to be had. But we must say, we have had very good meals and motels along the way. We got a surprise tonight when we got into town, the outside of this motel wasn't too inviting, but when you get in here, it's really nice. We're glad we're here. So that just goes to prove, "you can't tell a book by its cover."

We are really enjoying getting all your e-mails and if we don't get around to answering every one of them, don't feel bad! We try to answer all your comments in these updates, but if we have failed to do so, we apologize!

We're off to have some dinner. It's 6 PM here and there's a Chinese/American restaurant across the street. Arthur went over and checked it out and that will be our place to eat tonight.

We have rooms at Muncho Lake for tomorrow night. We have to go across the only part of the Alaskan Highway that anyone has mentioned to be bad. That will happen tomorrow. It will be a 15 mile area of construction around a mountain....

Subj.: We made it to Muncho Lake, BC! Highland Glen (Northern Rockies Lodge)

Date: 6/22/98

Beginning Odometer: 49954 End of Day Reading: 50110 Total Miles Traveled: 158

You all will be getting this a day late, because we can't hook up tonight. We have no TV's, and only a couple of pay phones. We have no electricity and this place is powered by a generator. Remember, we are in the middle of nowhere! (As quoted by John & Harry together.)

We have so much to tell you about from today's ride. We left about 9:30 this morning from Fort Nelson and saw a herd of buffalo a few miles out of town. Then we rode and rode and didn't think we were going to see anything....then we got into the construction zone. We had heard all kinds of horror stories before we got here, but until you do it yourself, it isn't true! Believe me! Anything they tell you is true! It was 1 miles of "hell" and 15 miles of white knuckles. We all made it through with no injuries, but we did have a few problems negotiating this construction zone. If it would have been raining, we would never have left. Just remember that whenever anybody else attempts this trip, if it is raining, don't leave where you're at, if you have construction to go through, because it all becomes slime. We were very fortunate that it didn't rain on us until AFTER we were out of the construction zone. No big rain, just a nuisance.

Right before we had all the construction, we passed a Mama Moose with a pair of twins, and we got it on video tape. That has to be a rare sighting, but we did it.

We stopped and had some lunch about Milepost 373. The place was called Summit Lodge across from Stone Mountain. We had sandwiches made out of homemade bread and some homemade soup and a fresh cookie for dessert. We left there and rode for a while again.

We rode some more and saw a caribou along the road, we also saw stone sheep a number of times. Our biggie today was when we stopped for Jack & Fred to have some ice cream. Of course, we all had some ice cream. But John & Bob took a walk behind the place called Toad's River Lodge and there was a big bull moose in the river eating his way down the stream. We all got to see him and observe him for a long time. We got him on film and video so everybody will get to see it.

When we arrived at our "home for tonight", we were quite impressed with it. It is a log home, almost as nice as Kelly's, Carole, but it's built by a log company in lower BC and it is a lot larger than Kelly's. We all have rooms facing the mountain, which isn't bad, but we were too cheap to pay the extra 10 for the lake view. We have since found out that we did the right thing, because there are trees that would prohibit you from seeing the lake anyway. So we saved some money.

We have really been surprised by the costs up here. We are sharing rooms that are averaging $90 a night (Canadian) for 4 of us. That isn't too bad. Everybody tells us that we will really be surprised when we reach Alaska, because the prices will go up tremendously. Oh well, we knew that coming in.

Well, that's it for tonight, we're going to go and have some dinner here at the lodge. They are serving Swiss style meals. We will have a Swiss Breakfast Buffet in the morning.

TTYL, The Ohio Eskimos heading "North to Alaska"

Subj.: We are in Watson Lake, YT! Belvedere Motor Hotel

Date: 6/23/98

Beginning Odometer: 50110 End of Day Reading: 50281 Total Miles Traveled: 171

We arrived here about 4 PM today after riding only 177 miles. We had a couple more construction zones to negotiate....bummer! But we all made it through perfect, with very dirty bikes. The first thing that the guys did was go across the street and wash the bikes. We should get much better gas mileage now that they are lighter...This is the place where we will put our signs up from our hometowns. There is quite a display of signs which we will have pictures of when we return.

We started off our day this morning by seeing a caribou run across the road in front of John, but I think everybody got to see him. No pictures though! He seemed spooked! Then Nita spotted a black bear and several people witnessed that sighting, but still no pictures. We wonder if the deer alerts aren't spooking the animals.

We took a couple of side trips today. The first one was the Liard Hot Springs where we walked back to several hot springs areas. It was a nice change. Then we rode on and went across a suspension bridge (the only one still on the Alaskan Highway - 1143 feet long) and came to Smith River Falls. Now there's a falls! It is quite beautiful to see. There were only three of us that did the entire walk. We had a bunch of wimps! Bob, Fred & I are the only ones that did it. It was 169 steps each way. But it was worth it at the bottom. Coming back up wasn't easy, but we made it. There were three young gentlemen that came down while we were down there, and they passed us by as we were coming back. We're getting older!

We then rode quite a distance without seeing any animals, just construction and gravel areas. We tried to stop for lunch twice, but we got refused twice, once because the restaurant was full and the other time because they didn't serve anything but coffee and donuts.

Then right before we got to Watson Lake, John & I spotted a black bear, but we didn't get any pictures again. So someday we might get pictures, but today wasn't the day. We're going on to Whitehorse tomorrow and then to Skagway for possibly two days. We have reservations for all those nights. The motels are starting to fill up now, so we have to think ahead.

A note to Cathy, I just wanted to let you know that your Dad is really enjoying his thermometer on his bike. He is amazed at the temperature ranges we experience.

Norma Nicholson - please make sure that my Mother has written the check for our credit card bill, because we sure are using it and we don't want to not be able to do that. I have talked with her a couple of times and forgot to mention it every time. CRS is getting worse!

OK! Enough for tonight....we'll TTYL, the Ohio Eskimos almost to Alaska!

Subj.: We are in Whitehorse, YT! Stop In Family Hotel

Date: 6/24/98

Beginning Odometer: 50281 End of Day Reading: 50556 Total Miles Traveled: 275

The first thing we need to tell everybody is that we saw our first bald eagle. He was only about 100 feet from the highway when it was raining this morning, so we didn't get any pictures of him, just in our minds. He was sitting in the top of a topless tree and boy, was he beautiful. He is probably the first of many, from what we hear.

Yep, you heard it right, we left our motel this morning in Watson Lake in the rain. It was only 46 degrees outside and it was cold. Vera only had 8 layers on, including her electric vest. But she became warm and toasty. If she ever shorts out, you're going to see the Northern Lights in the summertime.

We stopped at the Sign Forest on our way out of town, and there really are 37,000 signs. Now there are 37,006 but it is hard to explain this and the feeling isn't the same in the rain.

We rode for about 75 miles and then stopped to get warmed up. We all had a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. It did the trick. At this rest stop, we met a guy from California named Hans. He is only 36 years old and he is a retired person from GM/Toyota. He is traveling by himself to Alaska. He joined up with us and rode the rest of the day. He hasn't seen as many wild animals as we have seen.

We followed the Teslin River for many miles, the Milepost says we would follow it for at least 50 miles. We saw a lot of beautiful scenery, in spite of the rain. Then we rode on into Teslin, which is a town across from the longest bridge that spans the Alaskan Highway. It also has a grated bottom, which makes it an "unfriendly bridge". But again, we all made it. The good thing with that ride was that the rain had finally quit. We ended up eating our lunch there at a very nice place called the Yukon Inn. That was also the last of our construction zones for the day. We had been told that we wouldn't have any construction on this leg of the trip, but they lied again. We can't believe anybody up here when it comes to the construction.

We arrived in Whitehorse and were really surprised, it's quite a large town, really spread out...especially after seeing nothing for many miles. We have a nice motel tonight, and lucked out again and it has a restaurant right here. That makes it real nice, when you arrive in the late evening, you don't have to go out for dinner very far.

Well, it's time for dinner again, so I'll send this on its way and we'll connect up tomorrow night. I had to talk with the motel clerk to get her to let me connect up, so I'll only send and receive at this time.

TTYL, The Ohio Eskimos heading "North To Alaska"

Subj.: We made it to Alaska....Skagway! Westmark Hotel

Date: 6/25/98

Beginning Odometer: 50556 End of Day Reading: 50671 Total Miles Traveled: 115

Hello from Alaska,

The Ohio Eskimos have made it into Alaska today. You know how everybody always says that they have been here and want to come back. Well, here's to tell you....there are 11 other ones ready to come back again and we haven't only just begun to see it. It has a beauty that we have never seen before in all our travels across this country.

We left Whitehorse this morning and went on a tour of a Fishway, in other words, a Fish ladder. This was a very nicely done tour, even though we didn't get to see many fish on the ladder. It's the wrong time of the year for the salmon to be here. They come in August of the year. But the tour guide was very informative and told us much more than we have ever been told before. This place has the longest wooden fish ladder in the world. That in itself was impressive.

We left there and headed out of town to pick up the Alaskan Highway and back up to the road to Skagway. What a surprise! It was 100 miles of the most scenic highway any of us have ever been on and that takes in a lot of highway. The mountains were on both sides of us, many of them had snow on them, the clouds were building up on the back side of them and the colors were spectacular. We stopped a dozen times to take in the view. We stopped at a lake that was so smooth that it looked like a mirror. We can never in a million words explain the beauty. We didn't see any wildlife today but with the scenery we were seeing we hardly missed them.

We got to Skagway too early to check in so we went to the RED ONION SALOON for lunch. Nice place!

We are going on the Glacier Bay tour tomorrow that leaves at 4:30 AM and returns at 7 PM so if you get an e-mail tomorrow, it will be late. We also made plans to go on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad tour on Saturday. That tour will only be for 3 hours. So we have been busy little people since we arrived in Skagway.

We are taking lots of pictures and videos for all of us to enjoy. For amateurs, we aren't doing too bad. The first of the videos will be mailed out the first of the week for editing.

Well, that's it for today folks, we are all really enjoying ourselves more than anyone would imagine. This is a fantastic group to travel with and we look forward to what's happening tomorrow. So TTYL, Love from all of us "Ohio Eskimos"

Subj.: Skagway, AK

Date: 6/26/98

Beginning Odometer: 50671 End of Day Reading: 50671 Total Miles Traveled: 0

Hi Everybody,

Just figured I’d let you know that the plans got changed last night. We couldn’t get a flight to connect for the Glacier Bay tour today, so we’re going on Saturday. It’s quite a chore getting everything in order for 11 people to go on this tour. We were led to believe that we could wait until we got here in Skagway to make our tour arrangements. They lied again! With a group of this size, all the planes were either booked or they didn’t have a pilot with extra hours available to fly us over, we could have gotten back, but you have to get there to get back. The girls at the Gray Line desk are the ones that have to make the arrangements and they really tried their darnest to get us out of here today. The Glacier Bay tour involves us leaving at 4:30 in the morning by shuttle to the airport, then a plane over to Gustavus, then a shuttle to the Glacier Bay lodge, then on the boat named the Spirit of Adventure for 9 hours, then back to the lodge, back to the airport, back by plane, back on a shuttle to our hotel. Quite a trip! We are supposed to arrive back about 7:30 in the evening.

Since we aren’t doing the tour today, we’re going on the train ride, only 3 hours, that will go north out of Skagway and see some beautiful sights along the way.

We just came back from paying our monies for our trips. Now we’re broke, not really, but slightly depleted. You only do this once. We’re all doing our own thing today until 11:30. Then there is to be a bagpipe show over by the train depot that we were told should be pretty good. We’ll let you know! There are a couple more cruise ships in port now. This is a real hopping place.

Well, it’s off to get this sent…so we’ll TTYL, Love from the Ohio Eskimos

Subj.: Skagway, AK

Date: 6/27/98

Beginning Odometer: 50671 End of Day Reading: 50671 Total Miles Traveled: 0

Hello everybody,

Most of the guys cleaned their bikes this morning, they had to use gasoline to remove all the tar. We haven’t the slightest idea where the tar came from, but there surely was enough. After the bikes were clean, then Bob & Fred took a couple of young things for a motorcycle ride. What really happened was the two girls, Lisa & Heather, that helped us get our tour together for tomorrow, when they found out that we were on motorcycles, they wanted a ride. So being the nice guys that they are, Bob & Fred took them. It ends up that it was a very informative ride for the guys, because Lisa, the manager of the Gray Line here, is very informed as to what they were seeing. So now when we leave on Sunday, they can tell us everything they learned. That was a nice way to repay them for all the work they put in getting us a tour scheduled.

Right now, we are just killing a little time waiting for the next thing to happen. We had an enjoyable ride for 20 miles up and 20 miles back on the narrow gauge railroad. We saw some more awesome sights along the way. Most of us saw a black ball of fur in a tree, but I don’t think anybody really got a picture of it. We found out that it was a bear and believe that it was.

When we returned we went and had our dinner, since we had missed out on lunch. After dinner, I walked down to where the Alaska Marine Ferry was unloading to see what’s happening. When I turned around, up in a tree, way up high, was a whiteness, so having the video with me, I zoomed it in and sure enough, it was a beautiful bald eagle sitting here in a tree. Now the video isn’t the greatest because I was zoomed to the max, but you can tell it’s an eagle. We’re hoping tomorrow to get some better pictures, but at least, we have one.

We are all going to a show at 8:30 called "Soapy Smith". Everyone has told us to be sure and see this show, so we’re doing it. Then we will all come back and go to sleep for a short night, because we have to get up about 3:30 in the morning to be ready for our 4:45 am excursion. We hope that it is as good a tour as the one we had today. The weather was fantastic and the temps are in the upper 70’s. Can’t ask for anything more, can we?

Until later, signing off…the Ohio Eskimos enjoying Skagway, Alaska

Subj.: Skagway, AK

Date: 6/27/98

Beginning Odometer: 50671 End of Day Reading: 50671 Total Miles Traveled: 0

Hello family and friends,

Yes, there is a God. We saw his wonders today. No human being could ever construct what we witnessed today. The eleven of us have pretty well decided that there isn’t anything else that could top today.

We did, in fact, leave our hotel this morning at 5:30 am (it got moved back because they got a different airline to fly us today, after the one that was supposed to fly us couldn’t pass with the FAA.) We arrived in Gustavus by 6:30 as planned. We had a very enlightening flight over some beautiful glaciers and along the Lynn Canal (which connects Skagway and Haines to the Pacific Ocean). We were transported to the Glacier Bay Lodge where we boarded the boat called "Spirit of Adventure". We went for 65 miles up the Glacier Bay National Park and saw a number of wildlife. We saw eagles, a brown bear, several whales blowing and John even got a picture of one’s tail. We saw Mountain Goats hanging on the cliffs, even a mother and two little kids. We saw dozens of harbor seals jumping into the water. We saw puffins, scooters, cormorants and generally were mesmerized by the scenery. We heard glaciers cracking, but we didn’t get to see any calving of glaciers. That’s about the only thing we didn’t get to see. The Glacier Bay tour was nice, but the airplane ride was just spectacular. The return trip was so great because he flew us so close to the glaciers that we could almost count the cracks in them. They are so blue down the crack. We just saw things today that blow your mind.

Well, enough for today. I sure don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but it can’t be much better. Of course my son-in-law keeps telling me that you’re only just beginning to see Alaska. It has to be a great place and it has been so far.

TTYL, going back to Whitehorse tomorrow and then onward towards the rest of Alaska.

Ohio Eskimos enjoying life!

Subj.: Whitehorse, YT….The Yukon Inn!

Date: 6/28/98

Beginning Odometer: 50671 End of Day Reading: 50782 Total Miles Traveled: 111

Salute!

We are having a very hard day figuring out what to do. Yesterday was a hard act to follow. We got up this morning and went and had some breakfast, then we all did a little shopping in Skagway. We left there about 11 and started our northward ride. It was good to get on the bike again. We all made that comment. We rode a total of 110 miles and it was a beautiful ride, the weather is really nice. Warm and dry! This is not a normal weather for this area, is what everybody is telling us. I gather that you don’t normally have 3 dry days in Skagway and we had 4. We looked at the weather for the next several days and it seems to be a warmer pattern. That will be nice.

We are leaving here in the morning and riding about 300 miles to Beaver Creek, YT to stay for the night. We are going to stay in a little motel named "Ida’s". Let’s hope it’s as nice as all the others have been. Then on Tuesday we will be heading for Fairbanks. We will make a few stops along the way.

As for tomorrow night, there isn’t any phones in the rooms, so I might not be able to connect and send anything out. So if you don’t get anything, don’t worry….we’ll be in Fairbanks on Tuesday and I’m quite sure we can hook up there.

TTYL, the Ohio Eskimos traveling "North To Alaska" again!

Subj.: We are at Ida's at Beaver Creek, YT!

Date: 6/30/98

Beginning Odometer: 50782 End of Day Reading: 51063 Total Miles Traveled: 281

Good evening,

Well, everything you ever heard about the Alaskan Highway is true. We are here to tell you this. Today we left Whitehorse to head up here to Beaver Creek, a distance of 281 miles. We had at least 60 miles of gravel road today. Now it wasn't bad gravel, in that it wasn't wet or slimy, but it was gravel. And we don't like gravel roads. But we did it and if tomorrow we have more, we won't be happy, but we'll do it.

When we arrived here, we were tired, dirty, hot, thirsty and hungry. We have taken care of a couple of those items. We are no longer hungry (Ida's had great food and beer) and we are mellowing out because of Ida's beer. The rooms at Ida's are of a kind we expected all along and didn't have. Well, we got them tonight. One room has a double bed and two singles, another room has a double bed and three singles, and the third room has a queen bed and two singles. There isn't any air conditioning when you get up here either. The temperature got up to 85 today and there isn't any air. But we're making out just fine. We're a spoiled breed.

Tomorrow we are going back into Alaska and will be 4 hours different from you all again. At least for you that are in Ohio and the East Coast this will apply.

The gas prices have now climbed to $73.9 per liter here in Beaver Creek. We'll let you know what it is in Alaska tomorrow. When we were in Skagway, the price was $65.9 per liter there. So it is climbing upward.

We didn't see any animals today, but we decided that was because it was so hot today. They're smarter than us, by staying where it is cool.

So long and we'll TTYL, the Ohio Eskimos almost to Alaska again!

Start of  Fairbanks Section

Subj.: Destination: Fairbanks, Alaska....Goal Met!

Date: 6/30/98

Beginning Odometer: 51063 End of Day Reading: 51380 Total Miles Traveled: 317

Just a quick note to let everybody know that we have arrived safely in Fairbanks at 6 PM Alaska time today with a temperature of 91.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It normally is in the 70's here, but we brought them some heat. It is supposed to rain tonight, so the heat will probably leave with that.

Our address while we are here will be:

Ranch Motel
2223 S. Cushman St.
Fairbanks, AK 99701

Phone 907-452-4783

We had a beautiful ride today of 317 miles from Beaver Creek, YT. We made a few stops along the way to "smell the roses" and get some info too. We stopped in Tok, Alaska at the visitors bureau to check on our ferries for when we have to leave this place. That's not for quite a while, we hope.

We saw the Alaska Pipeline for the first time today. We thought we saw Mt. McKinley, but then found out it was Mt. Haines instead. I guess we will see Mt. McKinley a little later.

So, until later, we remain the Ohio Eskimos in Alaska

Subj.: Thanks to everybody for their help with Mother!

Date: 7/1/98

I want all of you to know how much I appreciate everything that has been done for my Mother. It’s because of all of you that I can be up here with John and the group enjoying this trip.

I talked with Mother this morning and she was going to the doctor’s office to find out just what all is broken. She has an immobilizer on her left arm and she is doing real well with it. She asked us about going to work tomorrow and we told her to drive the car around the block and see how she does. If it works all right, we saw no problem with her going to work. She enjoys that and needs that time with others.

Ryan was so nice to come and move her bicycle up into the little bedroom for her and she won’t be riding it for a few days, but whenever she can, it will be good for her.

She thinks that she passed out and that might have been how she fell, but at least now she’s on carpet. John says when he gets home, he’s going to build her a cage around the bike so she can’t get hurt again. I don’t know about that one, but the thought is meant well.

Until later, Love from US

This little note to Chase, Thank you so much for the page yesterday, Grandpa and I really enjoyed it. Keep up the good work. And if you go up to Great-Grandma’s, don’t forget to let her win once in a while. Ha! Ha! Love from Us

Subj.: We did our resting up today!

Date: 7/1/98

Beginning Odometer: 51380 End of Day Reading: 51402 Total Miles Traveled: 22

The "Ohio Eskimos" did their thing today and everybody washed their bikes, cleaned the tar off of them again and now they were clean....yep, the key word there is "were". We celebrated this evening by going to dinner at a special place called "The Castle". Art bought the champagne and we all toasted our arrival at our destination of Fairbanks and the promise of an even more spectacular return trip during our stay in Alaska and then to home. We had a very good dinner and then when we walked out of the restaurant, the bikes were wet and it was wet outside. Now, the people around here were real tickled with the rain, they need it. But we all hurried up and got onto our bikes and rode back to the motel and the guys dried off their bikes. All their work for not! Oh well, that's the life of a biker!

Today, we did some shopping for necessities and some souvenirs and we all are getting ready to ship some clothes home, thinking that we are probably done with the real heavy stuff....after all, it is now July 1st. We should only have mild weather now.

So, until tomorrow, we remain the "Ohio Eskimos" enjoying Alaska

Subj.: Educational, but fun day!

Date: 7/2/98

Beginning Odometer: 51402 End of Day Reading: 51426 Total Miles Traveled: 24

Hi there people,

The group got educated today. We went to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks to the Museum. We attended a presentation on the Aurora Borealis and have all decided that we want to fly up to Alaska in March 2001 to see a most beautiful sight.

We also decided that we didn't want to participate in the native Alaskan Olympics after that presentation. You'll have to ask us about them. We did enjoy that presentation.

Then after lunch we went out to the Large Animal Research Station that is owned and run by the University. There we had a presentation about the musk ox and the reindeer and the caribou. We also learned about the sandhill cranes.

When we were done with all our educational programs, we were brain-dead. We decided to stop and visit at the Alaskaland park and just relax a while. It also had a lot of antique machinery which interested the men in our group. Also there was a train car that President Harding had ridden in to visit Alaska on exhibit.

So we had an enjoyable and educational day. We're all going to go out to visit the Alaskan Pipeline tomorrow. There is another exhibit that is supposed to be good, so we will check it out. It's called Gold Dredge # 8, so we'll let you know tomorrow if we went or not.

There is a lady up here that I have written back and forth to for some months now. Her name is Ann Roberts. I got to meet her the first night we were here and she took me for a tour around the city so I would be familiar with it and could lead the group without difficulty. Her help was very much appreciated and all that she has provided for us has been well received. Thanks Ann! We heartily recommend the Ranch Motel (where she is a desk clerk) if you're ever in Fairbanks. They are very helpful and the motel is nice. Donna Gilbert is the manager there - she is running for Fairbanks City Mayor.

So, until tomorrow....we remain "Ohio Eskimos in Alaska"!

Subj.: We had a very enjoyable day today! We did what we all like to do....ride!

Date: 7/3/98

Beginning Odometer: 51426 End of Day Reading: 51558 Total Miles Traveled: 132

Happy 4th of July to everybody! Thanks to everybody for their 4th wishes. We appreciate any and all wishes.

We are up here where the sun shines brightly all day and night, so there won't be any fireworks for us to see. But we don't care. We are having the time of our lives.

Five of the six families mailed packages home today. The Memmers decided they didn't have anything they didn't need, so they got to save some money. I think Harry had that one planned. The packages should all arrive at their destinations by the middle of next week.

Then we rode up to the Alaskan Pipeline Visitors Center and talked with an Alaskan tour guide named Evelyn, who knew the answer to any question that anybody wanted to ask. While we were talking with her, a bald eagle was soaring overhead, so we got some tape of him, but he didn't land where we could see him closer. Oh well, in time we'll see all the eagles we want to see. While there the guys were quite fascinated with the construction of the pipeline. Across the highway from the Visitor Center was an old truck, that also got their attention. Evelyn, the tour guide, told us about a real good restaurant about 10 miles up the highway. She also told us that the highway would end, meaning that the pavement would end, about another 20 miles. So being the adventurous people that we are, we took off for the unknown. We followed the Steese Highway for at least 20 miles after a fork in the road and then stopped at a place called Captain's Creek. Bob wanted to pan for gold.

We have video of Bob going down into the creek, taking off his shoes and socks and wading out there and getting some dirt and then him and John trying to convince us that they found some gold. We were pretty much believing them until a little bit later. After this we decided that we probably took the wrong fork of the road and were going to head back and take the other fork. Harry went on up the road to see just how far it would go.

On our way back we stopped at a place that we had seen a few motorhomes and people milling around on our way up the road, and discovered they were all panning for gold by digging dirt out of the mountain and then using the creek to sift it out. They showed us what real gold looks like. Now, not the big stuff, just dust! Before we left there, Harry & Charlotte came back and he had to ride just 11 more miles until he ran out of road. We should have had patience and went also.

We then took off and went the other fork of the road named Elliott Highway and came upon the restaurant that Evelyn had told us about. It's called the Hilltop Cafe. It sits upon a hilltop. We went in there and had a wonderful lunch and a piece of pie. They are known for their homemade food. We can see why.

After lunch, we rode north on the Elliott Highway until we came to the end of the pavement. It ended at milepost 28. Then we turned around and came back to Fairbanks. We didn't get back here until after 4 PM, so we had a very nice day, just doing our favorite thing, exploring and riding.

Now, about 7 PM tonight, we all will go and greet Rita as she gets off the airplane from Cleveland. She is supposed to arrive about 7:57, then we will all go and have some dinner. She surely will be surprised when the darkness never comes. It hasn't stopped any of us from sleeping though. When it's time for bed, you go to sleep.

Until tomorrow, The Ohio Eskimos in Fairbanks

Subj.: Happy Independence Day!

Date: 7/4/98

Beginning Odometer: 51558 End of Day Reading: 51659 Total Miles Traveled: 101

Happy Holidays to all of you!

We are up here where the sun keeps shining and we don't seem to know night from day. But, we sleep and then get up and do our things. This morning we all got up (the temperature was 73) and left about 8 am to take a ride up to one of the nicest places we have found to eat, the Hilltop Cafe. We all ate hearty and then we split up because a couple of people, Art & Nita and Jack & Vera, wanted to go to the North Pole, so they took off for there. Then Bob wanted Rita to go and see all the sights that we had all seen in the last 3 days today.

The other three couples took off to go to the end of the Steese Highway, we were in that group. So I can speak with authority as to what happened with us. We rode out to the end and then took our time coming back. We stopped at several places we had discussed that we wanted to explore further. At one stop, Harry, Fred & John took off with the video camera and went over into the "tundra" and discovered just what tundra is. When they came back, Harry, being as ornery as he is, put his hand out for me to get something from him, which he does a lot with pop tops. So I, being as naive as I am, opened my hand and plop. Harry gave me 3 moose turds. Needless to say, we all had a very good laugh, Harry was laughing so hard he almost cried. It was a sight to behold, and John got it on video too. I didn't use my hand until after I washed it, Mother, several times. But I still love Harry, but I'm going to get even someday.....hopefully!

Then we rode on down to the place that we had all seen the big gold dredge yesterday when we rode by. So we stopped there and the guys took off again with the video and us girls, Charlotte, Peggy and I went into the lodge that was across the road from the dredge. This place was a museum inside and we had a good time exploring it. I found a white arctic fox pelt that Dan Stuckey had asked me to watch out for. So I called Dan and sure enough, we're bringing a fox pelt home as far as we have to get it shipped to him. We probably will do that in Anchorage on Monday. There was a 1955 T-Bird that the guy who owned the lodge had restored in very nice shape. It was a fun time for us all.

Then we came on back to the motel to rest up for our biggie tonight. The others all returned after a fun day also, some with packages that they had to ship home and Bob & Rita with stories of what they saw. We are leaving in 30 minutes to go on our plane ride to the Arctic Circle. So I will finish this note when we return and let you all know that we returned safely. Until then....

We made it back....all in one piece and we had a decent time. We are all in our rooms at 12:15 am on July 5th. We crossed the Arctic Circle and landed in Bettles after going through a little storm. Bettles is in a remote area of Alaska and there are only 30 people that live there year round. We all got attacked by the mosquitoes at this stop. There were more mosquitoes there then we have seen in the entire trip. And all of our mosquito sprays were at the motel in our bikes. Good move! We survived it anyway.

We enjoyed this little ride, but after being in Skagway and having that trip, this one was really a letdown. We had been told that there wasn't anything much to see and they didn't lie. But we made it across the Arctic Circle and that was our goal. We are truly glad that we took the plane instead of the bus....good move again!

We're leaving here in the morning for Palmer, which is down just above Anchorage. So we'll ttyl....sleep fast, we are going to do that. Love from us all!

End of Fairbanks Section

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Subj.: Palmer is a beautiful place! Fairview Motel - Palmer, AK

Date: 7/5/98

Beginning Odometer: 51659 End of Day Reading: 51996 Total Miles Traveled: 337

We rode 337 miles to get to Palmer today and it was a very enjoyable ride, except for the last 10 miles. Those 10 miles it rained, and we all had our rain suits on, but we still don't like the rain. We had put them on earlier in the day when it tried to rain on us and didn't, so we all kept them on for warmth as well as protection. We needed them in the end.

We left Fairbanks this morning after breakfast with the temperature in the low 70's and the sun shining. By the time we stopped to take a look at Mt. McKinley we had to add some clothes. You don't have to get too far out of Fairbanks to get into the real mountain areas. We rode down the Parks Highway all the way today and it was a very nice road, only 2 spots of bad road all day long. That's a first in Alaska.

We stopped a couple of times to ogle at Mt. McKinley and we aren't really sure if what we were looking at was the big mountain or not. I guess we'll find out when we go back up there on Thursday. We did see where we're going to be staying when we go back.

Well, it really wasn't an exciting day to report, other than seeing all the mountains. We were quite surprised to find out that all big mountains are really down here in the southern part of Alaska. We had it in our minds that Anchorage was in a flat part of the state. Boy, are we wrong! We are sitting here tonight in Palmer, which is only 30+ miles away from Anchorage and we are surrounded by mountains, big ones at that!

So, until tomorrow, we remain the "Ohio Eskimos in Alaska"

Subj.: Just another day in Paradise! Uptown Motel - Kenai, AK

Date: 7/6/98

Beginning Odometer: 51996 End of Day Reading: 52223 Total Miles Traveled: 227

Hello everybody,

We just came back from a moose hunt and we had the same success that we have had since we came to Alaska. They have all these moose signs stuck up everywhere and we don't see any moose anywhere. We're going to go back to Canada where we did see them. The kid at the restaurant tonight told us to go down Marathon Road, we went down that road and didn't see anything. Of course Menegay was leading and when the road turned to gravel, he refused to go on. So we came back defeated! They don't know it but the cannery tour tomorrow is down a gravel road. Surprise! Surprise!

We left Palmer this morning in rain...which makes everybody happy. We all bundled up like "toads" to keep dry and warm and rode the 40 miles into Anchorage and then we had to make a pit stop at Taco Bell and got them to open up for us. Some people added some more clothes because even though it had quit raining, it was only 52 degrees. That's a little cold!

We rode through Anchorage on the Glenn Highway and then turned onto the Seward Highway in town and headed south. It didn't take us very long to negotiate Anchorage. Surprisingly, Anchorage isn't a very big city. It took us about 10 minutes to get clear through the town, 15 at tops. When we reached the southern end of Anchorage is when the surprise happened. It was a beautiful surprise! Going down the Seward Highway is something to behold. There are mountains on both sides of you, with the Gulf of Alaska (Cook Inlet actually) off to your right. As you continue down the highway, you are met with very strong cold winds. But the beauty is such that you really don't seem to mind it for a while. There's also the Alaska Railroad going down along your left and there was a train way out ahead of us, so it made for a wonderful trip. The tide was out while we were traveling down. You do a complete 180 around the end of the bay and head back up for about 2 miles, then turn west and head through a cut in the mountains to join up with the Sterling Highway with spectacular views on both sides. Of course we had rain off and on for most of the trip. We stopped to have some lunch in Sterling and then it really rained on us, but we were dressed for it and we rode on into Kenai to our hotel.

Then everybody did their own thing and we all had a good time doing just that. Harry & Charlotte and us took off and went for a ride to check out where the cannery tour will be tomorrow. We met the people that are in charge and they told us of their operation. It turns out that they aren't a little company, but rather quite a large company. We also went to the Beluga Whale Beach where you are supposed to be able to see whales....NOT!

We ended up riding a total of 227 miles, what with the moose hunt included in the mileage. Tomorrow we are going to go on the cannery tour and then spend a little time going to the museum here and head down to Homer for the night. We have reservations there. People have told us how nice it really is so we figured we'd check it out.

We seem to be a novelty in this area in particular. Everybody can't believe that we have all ridden our bikes clear up from Ohio. The cannery owner also informed us that he is going to take a picture of all 6 bikes and put that up on his wall in his office in Seattle. Big shots, aren't we! Just kidding!

Well, we're out of here and off to bed, so must get this all sent before that, so TTYL, Love from the "Ohio Eskimos" doing their things.

Subj.: Homer Spit! Ocean Shores Motel - Homer, AK

Date: 7/8/98

Beginning Odometer: 52223 End of Day Reading: 52376 Total Miles Traveled: 153

Hi there,

We started off our day very good by seeing our first moose while we were at breakfast. John gasped and said..."there's a moose out there?" Then we all got up and left everything and went outside and saw it go out of sight, but we had seen it. Of course all our cameras were back in our bikes or motel rooms, so no picture.

After breakfast we all loaded up to go for our fish processing tour. As we were leaving the motel parking lot, I noticed over to the right, we think, the same moose grazing....this time we had all the cameras and videos going, so we got pictures. It was only about 50 feet from us, so we got some good ones.

Then we went on our fish processing plant tour out at the Ward Cove Packing Company. The head of the plant there is a neighbor of Charlotte and Harry's son Carl in Seattle, so thank you Carl for hooking us up for a great tour. Bill gave us over an hour of his time, valuable time, showing us all around and answering all our questions. We all really appreciated you Carl, thinking of us and even recommending that we do that tour. We got our eyes opened as to how our beloved salmon gets sent to Florida or Ohio for us to eat and enjoy. There was a gravel road going back to the fish plant, but with all our experiences on gravel on this trip, it wasn't a problem!

After the tour, we did our own things, like going to the K-Mart, going to the museum and whatever, then met up at noon to leave for Homer. We were all very comfortable as the sun was shining brightly in Kenai, but as we rode down the highway, the temperature started to drop and the sun went under. Bummer! I think it dropped to around 49 degrees and the high had been 60....that seems to be normal for this area. So we stopped and put on a few more clothes to warm up and continued until we could stop for lunch. That is another story! We stopped where the Ninilchik post office people had recommended we stop for lunch. It was a little place similar to a root beer stand back home, but it was called "The Whaler", well, it had a rock driveway and the guys had fun with that, so they all parked over out of the way, along the edge. Well, we're sitting there waiting for our lunches to come out and this irate lady comes up and wants to know who owns the motorcycles. Now, being proud owners of our motorcycles, we say they're ours. She said that is a PRIVATE DRIVEWAY and really continued commenting, but our guys just got up and went and moved the bikes and didn't even argue with her. But they were thinking....we think there must be a problem between the little merchant and the irate lady resident next door. Oh well! Some people you just can't make happy!

We were riding on down the highway and on our left there was a field of eagles.....John was leading and wouldn't stop. So there aren't any pictures of them either. A lot of unhappy people, but no pictures. On down the way, there was a moose and Harry stopped and got a picture of that for all of us. Then an eagle flew over John's head and it was an immature eagle, but we couldn't react quick enough for a picture. We had another eagle fly across with a fish in its talons, but it happened too quick so again, no pictures.

We arrived in Homer and stopped at the top of the hill at a scenic view and what a scene! You look out over a body of water at nothing but mountains and glaciers.....awesome! After we got done ogling at the scenery, we checked into our motel and couldn't believe our view out of our windows. All full of mountains and snow and water...just great!

We loaded ourselves back onto the bikes and rode into town to check it out. At the end of the road in town, you ride out onto a "spit"....a natural jetty out into Kachemak Bay. We took another road to the end of the pavement. But the end of this pavement also ends in the water. Out there are a lot of little shops and touristy things. There were a lot of charter boats and camping. This is known as the "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World". We saw a lot of halibut fish on the hooks at all the charter places. The fish were any where from 40 pounds up to 110 pounds. We saw a lot of fish.

I talked to a lady about taking a plane over to Kodiak Island to check out the bears, but she wanted $475 a person to go over to see the bears. I told her "thanks, but no thanks....too much money". We will get to see bears in Denali when we get there on Friday.

We then took off and went looking for a place to eat. Well, let me tell you there isn't too many places to eat in Homer. We settled on a Mexican restaurant called "Don Jose" and had a very good meal there. They also served Italian, get that...a Mexican restaurant serving Italian. I had a Calzone and it was really good, so they can cook Italian too.

Then Charlotte and I came back to the motel to work on the motel arrangements for tomorrow night and John, Harry, Fred & Peg, Bob & Rita all took off for a ride to check for moose. They came back a little bit ago and they saw moose and got pictures. So it was success tonight!

Well, that's about it for tonight, so we'll fill you in again tomorrow. We're still "Ohio Eskimos in Alaska" and enjoying ourselves.

Subj.: We're in Moose Pass, Alaska for tonight! Trail Lake Lodge

Date: 7/8/98

Beginning Odometer: 52376 End of Day Reading: 52577 Total Miles Traveled: 201

Hello everybody,

We had a nice ride today of 201 miles. We left Homer this morning in a light rain and cooler type temperature of 49 degrees. But when you dress for it, you really don't get too cold. We all dressed for it. We rode up to Soldotna for breakfast and then after we finished eating, it had pretty much stopped raining, but it had warmed up a little bit. Nobody took anything off though. We rode on into Moose Pass and checked out the facilities for our stay tonight and then rode on down to Seward. While we were at the motel area, Fred sat on a toilet that was way up in the air. We got pictures -when you gotta, you gotta!

We headed on down the highway towards Seward and when we were only about 10 miles out, a big bald eagle flew alongside of us, but again we didn't get any pictures. It's pretty hard to just stop when the traffic is so heavy, we don't want to get into any problems so we do miss some things, but not with our eyes. We then rode on into Seward. It is a nice little town along the coast, but our favorite place still is Skagway. Sorry, but it's true! We ate lunch in a place called the Legend, it advertises itself as the start of the Iditarod race. There were all kinds of pictures and sleds and that stuff all around it. It was a good place for lunch.

We did do the tour of the new Alaska SeaLife Center, or rather, most of us did it. While we spent a couple hours there reading and watching the sea lion and the puffins and the seals, the ones that weren't there did some shopping and went to the post office. The SeaLife Center is also a research center and this is only the 3rd month of operation for them. They will have a very nice facility if they keep expanding.

We're all just relaxing and waiting for the time to go for dinner downstairs. We are staying in a lodge/motel tonight. There are two rooms with a queen size bed and a single bed and a single sofa-bed for 4 in each room. Then the other two couples are staying across the road in a motel, each with their own room. We had a hard time even getting these accommodations, but they will do fine.

Tomorrow we will take off and go back up to Denali for three days. We hope that the weather will cooperate with us and let us really see Mt. McKinley and all it's glory. We also want to see a lot of animals.

Subj.: We are in Denali for three nights! Backwoods Lodge - Cantwell, AK

Date: 7/9/98

Beginning Odometer: 52577 End of Day Reading: 52886 Total Miles Traveled: 309

Hi there everybody,

We left Moose Pass this morning and it was a little on the cool side, but not real cold as the day we arrived in the Kenai. We rode for quite a while and then we saw some mountain goats and took lots of pictures. We arrived in Anchorage and had some sun for a change. We rode up to Trapper's Creek and then stopped and did our laundry. We hadn't been able to do it for several days and we didn't figure we'd find anyplace around Cantwell to do it, so we just stopped and took about 2 hours and got it all done. Then we continued on up the Parks Highway and stopped at a Denali Viewing site and realized that what we had been seeing and believed was Mt. McKinley, probably wasn't the mountain at all. It's really high and mostly in the clouds, it sure was today.

We arrived in Cantwell, Alaska at the Backwoods Lodge. This is more like an apartment than a motel, for sure. We have two queen-size beds and a single bed in our room. The second room has the same configuration, but the third room has three queen-size beds in it. We have a microwave, a refrigerator, a coffee pot, paper plates and real silverware. We also have a TV with 2 channels, one of which is pre-taped movies. The other channel is nonexistent.

We arrived here in a little rain, but walked over to a restaurant that was .2 mile from the lodge. It was nothing more than a truck stop, but it had very good food. We met a couple of German fellas that had had their dirt bikes shipped into Toronto and had ridden all the way to here, they were going to Anchorage after spending the next two days here. Then they will see Kenai and then they intend to hop onto a ferry and go to Vancouver and then on down the coast of the USA into Mexico. They took six months off from their jobs to do this trip. Their only bad comment was how expensive everything is for them. They said that our dollar is such that it takes 6 of their dollars to equal one of ours. That's terrible!

By the way, we can't hook up the computer here, so you will all be getting this in a group, which amazes us because this is only the second time we couldn't send or receive our messages since we left.

As ever, your "Ohio Eskimos" in Alaska

Subj.: We saw Mt. McKinley many times today!

Date: 7/10/98

Beginning Odometer: 52886 End of Day Reading: 52886 Total Miles Traveled: 0

Hello there,

We all got up this morning and went down to the pond behind this lodge at 6:40 am and saw Mt. McKinley, all majestic as it shows up. We got all kinds of pictures of it. We found out that we were about 90 miles away, but it is big and beautiful. We have heard how people have come up here and have left without seeing the mountain, we have been fortunate in getting to see it.

Then we left about an hour late on our tour with a woman tour driver. Her name is Valerie and we all really enjoyed our tour today with her. We think she is probably the owner of the tour company, Alpenglo Tours. (Ann - she says she knows both you and Donna real well.) We rode 92 miles back to a Gold Camp and had our lunch and did some gold panning. Needless to say, we didn't become millionaires yet, but Bob and Fred and Harry think there might be a chance later. They all would like to come up here and spend some leisurely time just panning for some gold.

Along the way we saw a couple of grizzly bears, far off, but we did get some pictures. We also saw an eagle in its nest, we are guessing that it is an immature one, but we got pictures to that also. We saw caribou, moose, beaver, dall sheep, arctic squirrels, willow ptarmigan (Alaska's state bird other than the mosquito), little critters that Valerie called gerbils but we think they are like prairie dogs - about the same size.

Susie & Gary - you were right about the roads in Denali, they aren't very good, but our tour driver maneuvered like a pro and we all were very comfortable riding with her. I'm sure that we would never ride our Gold Wings out through there, even if we were allowed. We had 4 different rain storms while we were on our way back out the 92 miles. When those dirt roads get wet, they get real slimy. Thanks for the tip about taking the long trip, it sure was worth it and we didn't take the park tour, we took a private tour van. It was a 15 passenger Ford van and it handled it just perfect.

Today was a special day in other ways. This was Peg's 59th birthday and Jack & Vera's 44th anniversary so we all celebrated big time with them. Even Valerie had us sing to them while we ate one of our snacks. We are going to have some cake as soon as the rest of the group gets back from eating their dinner.

Well, that's it for today. We'll write more tomorrow and you'll get it when we can send it.

TTYL, The "Ohio Eskimos" in Alaska

Subj.: Another fun day in Paradise, otherwise known as Alaska!

Date: 7/11/98

Beginning Odometer: 52886 End of Day Reading: 52981 Total Miles Traveled: 95

Hi there,

We went back to Denali today and took in the dog sled demonstration at 2, we missed the one at 10. They are all Alaskan Huskies or another name for them is "Mutts". It was quite an interesting demo that we all enjoyed.

When we realized that we had missed the earlier demo, we hopped back onto the bikes and rode the park highway as far as we were allowed. A total of 13 miles. There is a rock formation called Savage Rock and that's where you have to turn around. We parked and several of our members climbed the rock. The rest of us looked far and wide for animals, but we didn't see any. In fact, on our trip out there today, we didn't see any animals except the little squirrel types. Bummer!

Then after the dog sled demo, we split up and three couples headed back for the lodge. The other three, Nichols, Menegay and us headed up to McKinley Park, which is a tourist place with little shops, we all got a new cap to commemorate our Alaska adventure. Then after it started raining, we decided it was time to head for the lodge. We rode for about 15 miles in steady rain and all of a sudden, we spotted a female moose and her little baby in a river along the highway. We stopped to take a picture and she started to run, so deciding that the stop wasn't really a safe one, we continued on without a picture.

When we arrived at the lodge, we had it made out that Fred & Peg and Bob & Rita would bring Harry over a drink with his NEW swizzle stick. The next time you see Harry, ask him about his swizzle sticks that were a gift from Carol.....got him!

We all went over to a new place to have our dinner tonight. The food was good, the service was slow, but there is hope in the wind. While we were sitting there, a couple rode in on an older Wing and came in and we got to chatting, they were from Wisconsin. She had just flown into Fairbanks last night (sound familiar) and he and his son had left Madison, WI on June 20th and had ridden up here together. He told us about riding up the Dalton Highway to the Arctic Circle and back and thought we missed it by not doing it. In his dreams!

Well, that's it for tonight. We'll TTYL, The "Ohio Eskimos" in Alaska

Subj.: No McKinley today! Fairview Motel - Palmer, AK

Date: 7/12/98

Beginning Odometer: 52981 End of Day Reading: 53170 Total Miles Traveled: 189

Good evening folks,

On our way out of Cantwell this morning, we had hoped to get one last look at Mt. McKinley, but NOT! It was raining continuously the whole way down to Palmer. We came by the viewing places and there wasn't even a mountain there at all. I can believe how people have commented that you can come to Denali and never see the mountain. We lucked out and saw it the first day we were there, but it hasn't been seen since.

We did have a nice ride down to Wasilla and stopped at the Walmart to get some supplies before coming on into Palmer and our motel. We arrived at the Walmart about noontime and figured that our motel wouldn't be ready for us yet. I called and talked with the manager and he thanked me for calling and said to give them at least an hour. When we got here, our rooms were ready for us. Imagine this! We had stayed here last Sunday night and he remembered us and even welcomed us. We must be doing something right!

Across the street from this motel is the Alaska State Fairgrounds. This weekend they have had truck pulls and they were still going on when we arrived. So the men couldn't decide whether to go over or not. Art & Jack rode over to check out the happenings and when the guy told them that they were half over and they still wanted $15 to get in, besides another $2 to park, the decision was made, it wasn't worth it. So they stood at the balcony and watched and listened for a while. Then everybody went to their rooms and took little naps. It's surprising what a ride in the cold rain will do to you.

Tomorrow our plans are to go into Anchorage for the day. Some of us want to visit the zoo, others want to go to the Honda shop and get new shields for their helmets, and Harry needs to go and get a new sock for his headset. The other place we intended to visit was the Ulu factory, but I called there and there isn't a factory tour, so I don't know how much time we'll spend there. We will be staying at this same motel one more night and then we'll be moving on down to Valdez. I just called and made reservations for us to tour the Alaska Pipeline facility there, so we'll be busy on Tuesday doing that.

Until later, the "Ohio Eskimos" signing off in Alaska

Subj.: Bears - we saw bears, moose, caribou and all kinds of animals today!

Date: 7/13/98

Beginning Odometer: 53170 End of Day Reading: 53285 Total Miles Traveled: 115

Well, we did it! We saw bears today, up close and personal. We went to the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage. It is a nice zoo, much smaller than any zoo we had ever been to before. But the nice thing about it was that they had animals that are in Alaska, so we saw a grizzly, a black bear, a brown bear, baby moose that had been orphaned, just all kinds of animals that we had wanted to see more of in the wild. So we're seen them now.

We had lunch at "Peggy's" restaurant when we finished with the zoo. It was a nice restaurant and we had seen it several times as we passed, so we thought it would be a good place to eat, and it was. We now know that Peggy has been busy, feeding all these people up here in Anchorage. Which reminds me Dale, Peg enjoyed her birthday wishes very much.

Then when we got home, or rather, back to the motel. John decided to check our front wheel bearing. It was a good thing that Fred had an extra one in his bike, after last year's episode with his bike, because ours was bad. So it has now been changed successfully and we can all roll on tomorrow, just fine. John confessed that he had been noticing something not quite right for the last couple of days, but didn't say anything. We tried to stop at the Honda shop in Anchorage earlier today, but it's closed on Mondays. Then we stopped at the Honda shop in Wasilla this afternoon, but they didn't have what he wanted, I guess. We stopped with the excuse that Harry & Vera needed new socks for their headsets. They do need new socks, but he had other things on his mind.

Well, I'm off to send this off to everybody, and then we'll be going to dinner in a while.

Just a little favor to ask. Please feel free to send us e-mail, but can the jokes please wait until after we're home. We can't hook up to get the ones that have to be gotten while online, because we are just able, at present, to hook up long enough to send/receive. Later on, all jokes will be welcome. Thanks!

Until later, the "Ohio Eskimos" in Alaska

Subj.: Valdez is wet and beautiful.....Westmark Hotel!

Date: 7/15/98

Beginning Odometer: 53285 End of Day Reading: 53546 Total Miles Traveled: 261

Hi everybody,

Where do we begin? One thing we want to tell Art's family is that he and Nita just visited with the Wanner's from Navarre, OH. She works at Mid's Spaghetti House in Navarre. She is also Art's granddaughter Laura's mother-in-law. Her and her husband arrived tonight at our motel and Art spotted them walking by and went and got them and they visited for a while. Small world!

The next thing we want to share is when we left Glennallen today after lunch, we noticed this motorhome traveling by us with a tow bar hanging with nothing on it, dragging the pavement. So we all got him to pull over, after a little while (we think he must have thought that the Hell's Angels were after him) and then John went and asked him if he was supposed to be towing something because there wasn't anything there. The guy looked almost like he was going to have a heart attack and said, "You mean there isn't a car behind me." So we left them not knowing where or when he had lost his car, but hoping that everything would be all right with them.

The ironic thing is that when Art & Nita were talking with the Wanner's, the Wanner's told them about this green car that was less than a mile from the intersection where we spotted the guy in the motorhome. The green car was in the woods and they couldn't figure that one out. We hope it was the motorhome guy's car, but we'll be going back that way tomorrow and check it out.

We left Palmer this morning with a temperature in the upper 60's and it was clear and beautiful. We rode the Glenn Highway all the way to Glennallen and had some construction again, but nothing that we couldn't handle. The road was really bumpy in a lot of places. It probably was one of the worse roads that we've been on since we left Canada, for the longest period. We saw several beautiful glaciers along that stretch of highway and got some pictures. We had been told that when we headed for Valdez, we would enjoy that highway as much as we did the highway to Skagway. Well, the first 50 miles we didn't agree with that statement, but after those miles were gone, the real beauty showed up. It's a different scenery than the highway to Skagway, but just as awesome. We rode into Valdez and right after we arrived at our motel, it started to rain. Oh well! We are going on a tour of the Alaska Pipeline at 7:30 tonight and I called the place and they are going to pick us all up at the motel. Can you believe it! We don't have to ride our bikes out there in the rain. Of course, I didn't ask if they were bringing us back, but I'm sure that they will.

We aren't leaving Valdez until around noontime tomorrow as we want to see a little more of this lovely little town, hopefully it won't be raining, but if it is, so be it!

We were discussing the Monteiths and we haven't heard what you guys found out with your bike, so please will you enlighten us. To answer your question as to how many miles we have ridden since we left, a total of 6960 miles about now. The price of gas today was $1.549 in Glennallen, but that's a little bit higher than it has been normally in Alaska. Food prices are somewhat higher, but it depends on where you eat and what you eat. We just ate supper tonight and it cost us $25, which is about normal for an evening meal. Breakfast usually costs us almost $20 and lunch is about that price too. So I guess you could say, it does cost us more up here, but if you play, you pay! Thanks Carole!

We'll write some more when we return from the tour.....we're back....it's 9:56 PM here in Valdez. We just returned from our tour of the Alyeska Marine Terminal here. That is the name of the Alaskan Pipeline that we all have heard about. We rode on a bus for over two hours all over this terminal. Our bus driver, a female, gave us so many numbers that we all decided we are on overload. But it was a very informative tour as to what all takes place with the pipeline. We saw two ships -- one being loaded, the other one was loaded and finally left port.

On our way out the road from the terminal, she stopped several times to let us see some bald eagles. We got some pictures of some eagles and we all decided that on our way out of town tomorrow, we will go down that same road and see if we can get some pictures in the sunlight. There's also supposed to be some black bears on that road, so we're hoping!

Well, it's off to bed time for all of us, so TTYL, the "Ohio Eskimos" still exploring Alaska

Subj.: We made a round trip.....2945 miles....Young's Motel in Tok, Alaska!

Date: 7/15/98

Beginning Odometer: 53546 End of Day Reading: 53815 Total Miles Traveled: 269

Hi there folks,

The ride up from Valdez was really beautiful and the weather was nice too. We decided that the ride was "majestic" to say the least. We didn't leave Valdez until noontime and then rode out to see if we could see any eagles and/or bears out at the terminal, where the tour driver had told us they would be. We did see some and got some pictures, of eagles, not bears.

We had lunch in Glennallen, where the guy lost his car yesterday. We saw a place that we saw that could have been where his car ended up, but the waitress or the owner of the restaurant didn't know anything about it. After lunch, is when we got onto the bad road. Gary, you told us about these kinds of roads up here, but believe me, this was the worst. The name of the road is the Tok Cut-off and we did it. There was a driver from NJ that was driving a motorhome that if we could have gotten hold of him, he wouldn't be driving again. He was the biggest jerk on the entire trip so far.

We made it, not until 7 PM tonight. We thought about 3 PM that we might not make it, but we did it and nobody had any real problems, but we have all decided that this was the worst day of our trip so far, as far as the gravel roads are concerned. We had a section of highway that the sign said was 55 miles long. Well, they weren't kidding one little bit. Harry said he deformed his handle grips and John said he was in love with his. It was longer than that, because the bumps were really bad, some to the point of hurting when we hit them. But we had a celebration when we arrived here tonight. We drank 18 beers between all of us, that's not too bad considering how the roads were. It's called "tension release". Then we went and had our supper. We're all going to bed early tonight, we have another day of gravel tomorrow that we were through on the way up here. There isn't any other way to go, or believe me, we'd do it.

 

Subj.: We have made some arrangements.....Gateway Motel in Haines Junction, YK!

Date: 7/16/98

Beginning Odometer: 53815 End of Day Reading: 54108 Total Miles Traveled: 293

Hi everybody,

We arrived in Haines Junction, YK tonight after a lovely ride down from Tok. We had traveled this road back on the 28th and 29th of June, so the road was a familiar one. The funny thing about it was the road was much better than we all remember it being, in one respect and much worse in another. We did not remember all the frost heaves that are there now. The gravel part seemed much easier today after our 55 miles on bad gravel yesterday. Today's was more firmly packed and much smaller in diameter, 3/4" size (for those of you with motorcycles). It was a very pleasant day to ride, the temperature was in the 60's for most of the day.

We had a very enjoyable lunch today. We stopped to gas up and eat some lunch at this roadside place and it was an experience. The lady that pumped our gas, took the monies for our gas was also the cook, bottle washer and cashier. We had a very good lunch there, all home made foods and breads. In the parking lot, there was a pickup truck loaded with sled dogs and his sled, driven by a native who was heading to Yellowstone to put on a sled dog demonstration.

After we arrived here tonight, I got Peg cornered and we made some plans for the next few days. We are all going to Haines tomorrow and then on Saturday morning, Peg & Fred and Bob & Rita are going to be at the ferry dock at 7 am in hopes of getting on the 9:30 am ferry that will take them to Bellingham, WA for Tuesday morning. So keep your fingers crossed for them. That way they should have no problem getting back across the USA in time for Bob & Rita to go back to work. We have to have somebody working to pay our retirement benefits, right!

The rest of us are going to stay in Haines until the "day ferry" takes off at 5:30 PM on Saturday and we will go to Juneau on that and arrive there Saturday night about 10 PM. Then if we're lucky, we will get on a ferry on Sunday afternoon and go to Sitka on Monday. We have reservations for Monday night in Sitka and then will leave there on Tuesday morning on another ferry and head down to Bellingham, WA, expecting to arrive there on Friday, the 24th. We are to have some stopovers along the way that we hope to be able to do a little sight-seeing. The one will be at Ketchikan and if it's the same as the other ferry, we should have a 5 hour layover there. So cross your fingers for us also.

Well, that's what's happening with us now, we'll TTYL, Love from the "Ohio Eskimos" in the Yukon tonight.

Subj.: All arrangements have been made and finalized,

Date: 7/17/98

Hey, everybody got their arrangements all made and finalized for our trip on the ferry, so everything I wrote in last night's letter has come to be. More later!

Subj.: Haines, Alaska.....Captain's Choice Motel!

Date: 7/17/98

Beginning Odometer: 54108 End of Day Reading: 54266 Total Miles Traveled: 158

We arrived in Haines this afternoon after the grandest of all our rides....we saw a grizzly bear only about 50 feet off the highway. It was just moseying along the side of the highway eating all the berries it could find. We were the lead bike and spotted it, but I only got video of the back end of him. Rita & Bob were the fifth bike and she got excellent footage of that grizzly. Nobody else got any pictures because nobody got off their bike (for obvious reasons) to get their cameras. We will all enjoy Rita's video.

When we got to Haines, we went straight to the ferry terminal. That was a good move. We had already gotten the tickets for the four couples that aren't leaving early before we left the motel. But we hadn't gotten our day ferry tickets to go over to Juneau. So we wanted to do that. Also we wanted to try and get the Nichols and Menegay/Hull arrangements for their ferry, if possible. Well, the lady that was in the booth to help us today, told us that we had been told an untruth that we could get spots easily by just showing up. It would work, most of the time, for the Prince Rupert destinations, but not for the Bellingham, WA destinations. But she went to work and got them on the ferry out of Juneau tomorrow afternoon and a day ferry to Juneau today at 5:30 PM. So they all left us about 3:30 PM to go to the ferry. We are going to watch them go by our motel here about 5:30ish and hope to get some pictures of them on their ferry ride.

So it's getting to the end of the journey, we are starting to split apart now. When we reach Bellingham on the 24th, we will probably do some more splitting. But that's a week away. We have really had a good trip. Seen a lot, done a lot....and we all will have lots of good memories and pictures to look at when we're too old to ride our bikes anymore, whenever that is!

We have ridden a total of 7660 miles to Haines today....some more, some less....but basically that mileage!

Enough for tonight....it's a little sad around here. Love to all....the rest of the "Ohio Eskimos" hanging out in Haines while the other two bikes are on their way to Juneau....

Subj.: We saw their ferry go by....

Date: 7/17/98

It's now 6:30 PM Haines, AK time and we just came back inside from watching the ferry go by with Fred & Peg and Bob & Rita on it. We think we saw them at the back of the ferry, we took some video of whoever it was, but we think it was them....Peg & Fred with their shorter green jackets and Bob with Rita's jacket on and Rita with her long down coat.

We have it set up with them that they should leave us a page with the amount of miles they have accomplished each day, but that won't start until they reach Bellingham, so we probably won't hear from them until then. Harry told them to leave us a note at the motel that they're staying at tonight, because it's the same motel that we're staying at tomorrow night. We'll see!

Until tomorrow....bye...the orphans of the "Ohio Eskimos"

Subj.: Juneau, AK......Super 8 Motel!

Date: 7/18/98

Beginning Odometer: 54266 End of Day Reading: 54307 Total Miles Traveled: 41

We made it into Juneau at 10 PM last night....it took us almost an hour to get into the motel. We got lost in our first night time riding experience. It was like a twilight dark and we couldn't see. We didn't get too lost, but it took a little while to get our bearings. Then when we got here, the desk clerk gave us a hard time. But we straightened her out quickly. She gave us two rooms for the eight of us and we went to our rooms. When Charlotte went to unlock the door, we opened the room up and it wasn't cleaned at all. Now at 11 PM, we weren't in the best of moods to have this to deal with. Besides that, this was our most expensive room to date. She called down to the desk and got another room very quickly. Then she went to take a shower and there weren't any towels in the bathroom. So I went down stairs to get us some towels. I came back with a big stack of towels and when Harry went to take a shower this morning, there still was only two washcloths in the stack. They got us again!

We had a good day yesterday before we got to Juneau. We took a couple of rides around Haines and saw lots of eagles. We took lots of pictures of eagles and we went to the American Bald Eagle Foundation display that is in a new building in Haines. The man that started it gave us quite a talk about them and all the other native animals in that area. He was quite interesting to listen to and we learned a lot. His display was really something to behold! We took lots of pictures there too. I picked up a brochure for you Randy.

We boarded the ferry about 5:30 PM and it is a really nice ferry. We had a lot of things to see while underway. We saw whales, porpoises, chum salmon jumping, and lighthouses and some more glaciers. Here at Juneau is quite a large one named Mendalhall, which I'm sure most of you have heard of in the past. On the ferry, it's truly like a small city. There are showers, a cafeteria, lounges, observation areas, and lots of bathrooms, berths, cabins (which are not available because they are taken already). It is a very good experience so far. We'll let you know after we reach Bellingham if it has been good all the way.

Well, we're going to get dressed and go have some breakfast, so we'll be in touch on Monday. We get onto the ferry today at 4:30 PM and won't touch land again until Monday at 9 am when we dock in Sitka, so we won't check into a motel until after noontime that day. So you won't be getting anything until sometime Monday. We have a lot to see here in Juneau until we board the ferry later.

TTYL, the "Ohio Eskimo" orphans

Subj.: We're in Sitka, AK......Westmark Shee Atika Motel!

Date: 7/20/98

Beginning Odometer: 54387 End of Day Reading: 54393 Total Miles Traveled: 6

We arrived in Sitka, AK at 11 AM instead of the 9 AM I had mentioned in the earlier message. I was incorrect with the time. They didn't have any problems. We checked into our motel about noontime and decided that we would meet up at 6 PM to have some dinner. Yep, we made it through the first two legs of our journey by ferry. I know that Charlotte and I didn't get quite as much sleep as the rest of the group did, but everybody seemed to be doing pretty good. I'm too nosey and she just didn't sleep much. Art caught most of his sleep early this morning in the dining room, but that's another story. John slept very well just sitting in a chair, which is not abnormal. Jack got quite a bit of sleep in all kinds of places. He even managed to lose his one hearing aid early this morning, but then retraced his sleep places and found it himself. Way to go Jack! Harry slept pretty good in an upright position which he can do pretty easily. Nita stayed in her chair most of the night sleeping pretty good too. Vera seemed to get her fair share of sleep in various places too. Everytime I went for a walk to check things out, she was in a different place sleeping. I do know for one thing, that I will attempt to get some more sleep on our next leg of the journey. We have it in our heads that we will try to get different arrangements for our comfort when we board the next vessel, if possible.

It was quite a journey coming to Sitka from Juneau. The ship was the Le Conte and it is one of the smaller vessels on the Alaska Marine Highway. It is still quite a nice vessel, just a lot smaller. We had some very good food onboard and we saw quite a number of animals through the trip. We saw some orcas, a black bear, some porpoises, some deer, some flamingos (pink ones), some more chum salmon jumping, and a lot more eagles.

We have to call the ferry system in the morning to find out what time we have to go to the terminal, it all depends of how the tide is as to what time we will depart. The tide is quite low and sometimes a ship can be late getting into port.

Subj.: Orcas, orcas and more orcas!

Date: 7/23/98

Beginning Odometer: 54393 End of Day Reading: 54400 Total Miles Traveled: 7

We are writing this on Thursday aboard the Alaska Marine Highway vessel named MV Columbia. We have just finished watching and filming quite a show put on by wild orcas. It was an awesome sight to behold! The area that it happened in is where the film "Free Willy" was made. We don't really know how many orcas we saw, but it was a bunch. Our captain stopped the vessel for over half an hour so we could enjoy the show. Floatplanes and a cruise ship named Galaxy steamed on by while we were stopped dead in the water. They got to see some also, I'm sure. We are now sitting here in the lounge enjoying the video while we're writing. Don't tell us we can't do three things at once.

Earlier this afternoon, our crew had a "man overboard" practice. They threw a buoy overboard and turned the ship around, stopped, lowered a lifeboat, went out and retrieved the buoy and then came back to the ship and brought the lifeboat back up and tried to give CPR to the buoy. Not! It didn't make it.

This has been quite an experience, going back by an Alaskan Marine vessel rather than the Alaskan Highway. We left Sitka about 3 PM Alaskan time on Tuesday and the first night we didn't sleep so well. We were all so nosey, we had to get up at every stop to see the sights. But we have all found our special little niches and rented pillows and blankets and found out that the floor can be slept on very easily, if you need the sleep.

One thing, it has rained the entire time we were in the Southeastern part of Alaska. When we reached Prince Rupert area this morning is when the rain finally stopped. So the Alaskan Marine Highway is definitely a "rainforest" as advertised. It is now sun shining very brightly outside and there isn't many clouds in the sky. We haven't had too many rain-free days since we left Haines, but thankfully we didn't have to ride the bike only on and off the ferry twice during that period.

If anybody thinks they can't sleep in what we call "airplane seats", just spend 3+ days on a ferry. We had signed up for a possible stateroom, but our time ran out when the captain announced after we left Ketchikan that the staterooms had all been sold. But by this time, we had all figured out that we could make out all right anyway. We will all have our stories about the ferry ride, but I think that everybody really will remember "Gary". Our last leg had a new baby that was only 10 weeks old and we thought that he might create a problem, but he was a good little baby. I'm sure everybody will have their own little stories to relate about their ferry experience.

When we stopped in Ketchikan, I checked on the pager and found out that the Nichols and the Menegay/Hull foursome had ridden 374 miles the first day off the ship on Tuesday, so we figured they must have reached Spokane, as they had hoped to do. We'll find out how they did the rest of the trip after we hook off in Bellingham or Everett, which ever we decide to try.

Harry just gave me a piece of advice to those of you that are wondering about coming to this beautiful place named Alaska. "Don't think twice about coming to Alaska, just do it."

When we arrive in Bellingham, the group will do some more splitting. Jack & Vera are going to head straight home to Ohio, Art & Nita are trying to decide what their plans are going to be about either going on to CA or back to OH. I'm sure they'll make their mind up soon. We'll keep you posted. John & I are going to stay around in the Seattle area with Harry & Charlotte. We aren't sure of our plans so far, but we'll let you know.

Until later, we were the "Ohio Eskimos", now we are "Buckeye Bound"

Subj.: John & Carol are in Everett with Harry & Charlotte! Motel 6 - Everett, WA

Date: 7/24/98

Beginning Odometer: 54400 End of Day Reading: 54603 Total Miles Traveled: 203

Hi there,

Just a note to let you know that we are in Everett, WA with Harry & Charlotte for several days. We are staying at a Motel 6 and Harry & Charlotte are staying with Carl and his family. We took a ride up to Mt. Baker today after we had breakfast with Charlotte's son Carl, who met us all at the ferry terminal at 6 am this morning. He must really miss his "Mommy" to get up that early to drive 55 miles to meet up with her and Harry. That was surely nice of you Carl, glad to meet up with you. Art & Nita joined us all for breakfast and then they took off for CA. They expect to arrive there tomorrow sometime, but we'll let you know when we hear from them how far they traveled today.

We got messages from the Nichols and Menegay/Hull team and they traveled 424 miles yesterday, 643 the day before that and we got their page from today and they traveled 456 today for a grand total of 1897 so far for them. So they should have no problem getting in sometime either late Saturday evening or early Sunday.

Jack & Vera took off straight from the ferry this morning, they didn't even stop to have any breakfast with us. Their goal for tonight was Spokane, WA and they are also supposed to let us know their distance when they stop.

So that's the news from this end today. We'll be in touch. Since the BIG TRIP is over now, if you wish to be removed from our list, please let us know.

Thanks and we'll TTYL, John & Carol

Subj.: Art & Nita got 521 miles...

Date: 7/25/98

We got a page from Art & Nita and they rode 521 miles after they left us this morning, so they definitely should make it into Modesto by tomorrow. We have it figured that it should be about 800 miles to get there, so they did good.

It sure is good to hear from them and know that they made such good mileage today. They didn't leave us until after 7 am so things went well for them.

TTYL, Carol

Subj.: Back to reality!

Date: 7/26/98

Beginning Odometer: 54603 End of Day Reading: 54685 Total Miles Traveled: 82

Hello friends and family,

Before I forget it, Art & Nita have made it to Modesto and are visiting with her Mother now. They arrived there yesterday about 4:30 after driving around Crater Lake on the east side. She said they had just opened up the east side on Thursday. We heard from the Nichols/Menegay/Hull group that they had went 573 more miles, so they should be about home by now. We heard from Carole Monteith that they had taken a trip through Mt. Rushmore area, so they are getting to see some sights along the way.

As I'm sure all of the "Ohio Eskimos" can tell you, we have all had to face reality once we're back in the "lower 48". We have been up in the "boondocks" for such a long time that when you come back into civilization where the traffic is so terrible that you really would like to go back to the peace and quiet up in the North. It's so unreal how you can adapt to their easy way of life. Our reality hit us yesterday big time, when we traveled down into Seattle for a visit. I noticed it and became uneasy, which I haven't been that way for a long time. Harry made the statement while we were in Seattle that he could go back to the North real easy just to get away from this mess. As soon as you develop an attitude towards all these rude drivers, then you can cope with the situation as we did before. We're learning again!

Carl took us down to the Pike Place Market to see how a real market should be. It was an eye-opening experience. There were lots of fresh fruit and vegetables available, which up in Alaska, they don't have a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, because they get everything shipped in basically, so it was good to get some fresh stuff. In a restaurant in Alaska, they will have a "fresh fruit plate" that includes canned or frozen fruit pieces accompanied by maybe one piece of something fresh. That's the best they can do.

We ate lunch in a nice Italian restaurant at Pier 59 on Lake Union. We sat there and watched the boats and kayaks and Floatplanes all having the time of their lives. Then after lunch, we walked down on the dock and looked at some really nice boats for sale. I told John we could forget the villa and just buy this one boat and move around on it all over the country. He didn't seem to like that idea!

We also rode past a lot of homes that are built on pontoons and stay in the water, a real house boat. They are pretty large homes and they have flower gardens and it is really something to see.

Then we went down to the Hiram Chittenden Locks area and watched some boats go through the locks and walked across the locks over to the fish ladder. We even got to see some fish going up the ladder. The other fish ladders that we had seen didn't have any fish going up them like this one did. Time of year!

After we got back to Carl & Linda's, we had some smoked salmon for dinner. Carl smoked it with some alder branches and we must tell you, it was delicious! John even liked it better than the way he has been fixing salmon for the last three years, but I liked it also, so now we have two ways of fixing salmon. We don't seem to really enjoy eating beef much anymore. We are getting to eat a lot of fish and it's better for us anyway. We also had some "rainier" cherries that I had purchased at the Pike Market, which are big like a "bing" cherry but sweeter. I don't ever remember seeing them back in Ohio or Florida, but we will be looking for them. Linda had strawberries and angel food cake for dessert that was good too.

This morning I decided to catch up on some correspondence while John went with Carl and Harry and Scott (Carl & Linda's son) to a car show. That didn't interest me like it did John, so I just said I'd stay put until he gets back to pick me up. I called my Mother and talked with her and she seems to be in good spirits, with everybody's help. I sure do appreciate everybody helping me out by looking out for her. She's a pretty good Mommy. She wanted to know just when we were figuring on getting home and I'm not for sure on the date yet, but the rumors are we are going to leave this area on Thursday and start home. We figure on coming back the northern route, Route 2, and then coming down through Michigan into Ohio. We'll let you know more when we know more.

Until later, Carol & John along with Harry & Charlotte

Subj.: Nichols and Menegay/Hull arrived home today!

Date: 7/26/98

Beginning Odometer: 54685 End of Day Reading: 54722 Total Miles Traveled: 37

Just a little update to let everybody know that the Nichols and Menegay/Hull group arrived home today. They stayed in Angola, IN last night and then rode on in today. I talked with Peggy and they had a good trip across the country. They had good weather for their trip and stopped to see Mt. Rushmore and drove up to Crazy Horse but didn't go in to see it. They also rode through the Badlands in SD and stopped in Mitchell to see the Corn Palace there. So they are home, safe and sound.

We haven't heard a word from Jack & Vera since they left us at the ferry on Friday morning, so we're hoping that everything is fine with them. Whenever we hear, we'll let you all know.

TTYL, Carol & John

Subj.: Hurricane Ridge

Date: 7/27/98

Beginning Odometer: 54722 End of Day Reading: 54932 Total Miles Traveled: 210

Harry & Charlotte and John & I took off this morning and rode our bikes to the Mukilteo Ferry and took it over to Whidbey Island and visited with Linda’s grandparents that live there. They are 94 and 93 and are in pretty good health. Her grandfather, Walter, would have been a joy to be able to sit and talk with at length as he has traveled all over the NW and Alaska. He told us that his first trip to Alaska was in 1918. Now that’s a long time ago, because that’s when my Mother was born and she’s old….just kidding, Mom!

After we left the grandparents we rode over to take the ferry to Port Townsend and then rode to Port Angeles and took the road up to Hurricane Ridge. Harry had told us about going there last year, but when we were in the area, it was fogged in so we skipped going. We went this year and it was a very nice ride. It wasn’t a cool ride, because it was very hot. When we parked the bikes and started walking over to the Visitor’s Center, right beside the center was a doe just laying in the grass trying to keep cool. She laid there and we took some pictures and it didn’t even bother her. Later on we saw a young buck laying underneath a pine tree keeping cool also. Some jerk decided he’d like to disturb the deer, so he got up and went roaming and then laid down where nobody could get him. Smart deer!

We left Hurricane Ridge and rode back to the ferry at Port Townsend and took it and then took the Mukilteo Ferry again and got back after a nice 210 mile ride and four ferry rides. We had a good day!

Until later, the McGirrs and the Memmers

Subj.: Latest Update!

Date: 7/28/98

Beginning Odometer: 54932 End of Day Reading: 54967 Total Miles Traveled: 35

Here is the latest on the Ohio Eskimo group:

Jack & Vera have arrived home with a total mileage of 2633 miles. They paged us at 4:02 PM PST, which is 7:02 PM EST. We don't know anything about their trip, but they are home, that's what counts. When we hear more, we'll fill you in.

Then when we sent them a message, we received a message from Art & Nita that they are leaving CA for Reno, NV on Thursday and will spend Thursday night with her niece Tammy and then leave on Friday for Ohio either by Rt. 36 or Rt. 80. Hopefully they will do as before and let us know how they are traveling by sending a page with their mileages.

We (John & Carol) are leaving on Wednesday morning to head home on Rt. 2 and will go on Rt. 2 into Michigan and then drive down to Ohio that way. We will have the computer with us so we can keep track of everybody while we're traveling and we'll keep you all posted as to our travels.

Harry & Charlotte are leaving this weekend for Ohio after spending a few more days with their kids and grandkids. They will probably travel on Rt. 2 across the country also. I have asked them to please send a page each day with their mileage so we can keep track of them along the way. Then when I write my message in the evening I will be able to let you know how far they have traveled.

So we're all headed in the same direction, just at different times. Good luck to everybody and we'll meet up in Ohio soon.

Love, the McGirrs and the Memmers

Subj.: Special note for Harry! Libby, MT - Super 8 Motel

Date: 7/29/98

Beginning Odometer: 54967 End of Day Reading: 55425 Total Miles Traveled: 458

Hi everybody (including Harry),

We arrived in Libby, MT about 7:15 MST tonight. We rode 458 miles in 11 hours, all on Rt. 2. We had several areas of construction to contend with and Harry, we even had "loose gravel" for 8 or 10 miles just before we arrived here. Not bad though when you've been through what we all have been through. Right! Another thing Harry, about milepost 170 in Washington there is a lawn chair off on the right side with reddish webbing, looked pretty good while we rode by. If it is still there, maybe it would be nice to have in Deep Creek.

The temperature was in the high 90's all day....in Spokane the banks had 99 several places and when we arrived here, the thermometer out front showed 90, not a good temperature to ride, but we'll handle it. We're coming home! Probably won't be there until late Sunday or Monday, we're discussing whether we want to go up to Sault St. Marie and watch some ships or not. We'll let you know later what we decide. If we do that, we'll pick up Rt. 28 in Wisconsin and go into Sault St. Marie that way, then come down I-75 to Mackinaw and onward.

Well, the Indians are playing the Seattle Mariners on TV and we're going to watch it. The Indians won last night....yeah! Hopefully they can do it again.

I need to make a correction to last night's message. I said that Art & Nita were leaving CA on Thursday....wrong! They left today as we did, so they are having dinner with her niece in Reno as I write this, so they could make it home before us, if so....good going for them.

Also, I forgot to tell everybody that we (Memmers and McGirrs) went on a Boeing plant tour yesterday. We all enjoyed it very much. We had also gone to the Everett Honda shop earlier in the day and Harry got his oil and filter changed in preparation for the trip home. John didn't do his because he's using Chuck Isom's magic oil and it seems to work just fine.

TTYL, The McGirrs

Subj.: Another good day to ride motorcycles! Glasgow, MT - Cottonwood Inn

Date: 7/30/98

Beginning Odometer: 55425 End of Day Reading: 55940 Total Miles Traveled: 515

Hi everybody,

Before I fail to mention it, we got a page from Art & Nita and they rode 401 miles today. The page came through at 7 PM EST, so that should be 5 PM in the time zone that they are traveling. They were to leave Reno, NV and head east, so I have them somewhere short of the Salt Lake City area. Nita had said in her last e-mail that they hadn't decided whether they were going to run I-70 or I-80, so your guess is as good as mine.

Now about us....we left Libby this morning and it was really nice, about 64 degrees and the sun was shining. We rode along to Glacier National Park area and enjoyed the view very much. We found the Paola Creek Bed & Breakfast, after we had passed up the road and turned around and went back. We took some video from the outside and they have completed the addition as Kelly had told us they would. It looks just as nice as when we stayed there last year. We didn't stop because John said without calling, we couldn't stop. I had wanted to call and see if she had a room for tonight, but he didn't like the idea much. You can see who wears the pants in this family....ha! ha!

We then continued on Rt. 2 going towards Browning and Jack, we came under one of your "fronts". It turned so cold right now and we had about 10 miles into Browning, so we just bit the bullet and rode on in. We put on several layers of clothing to warm up, got our gas, and took off. We had only ridden about 30 miles and we ran out of the "front". The weather warmed up because the sun started shining and the rest of the day was really warm. The temperature was in the 80's today, which is very bearable.

We had only one construction hold up today. About 30 miles from where we are staying tonight, we had to stop and ride 8 miles following a "pilot car" over brand new gravel. It wasn't all that bad, but it slowed us down and we didn't get into a motel until after 6, that had been our goal. We are in the Cottonwood Inn in Glasgow, MT. We rode 515 miles from Libby and we're still in MT. But tomorrow we will get into ND before too long.

The one thing that we saw today that struck us both was a red fox, it was just standing like it was ready to pounce on something out in a field about 30 feet off the highway. We didn't stop and get a picture, but we both saw it and it was cute. It was smaller than I thought a fox would be, but I guess I thought wrong.

Well, that's about all for tonight. Oh one more thing, we have eaten a lot of fresh halibut while we were in Alaska and enjoyed every bite, so tonight in the restaurant they had "baked halibut" and I ordered it....I don't like baked halibut, at least the way it was fixed tonight. I'll take mine broiled, fried or smoked any day.

TTYL, Love the McGirrs

Subj.: Those Indians!

Date: 7/31/98

We are getting a late start this morning because we lasted until the 15th inning and shut the TV down...when we got up this morning we found out they pulled it out in the 17th inning. At any rate, we're just loading up now....so we'll probably be in a little bit later tonight.

Bye....Love Us

Subj.: A windy ride! Crookston, MN - Northland Inn

Date: 7/31/98

Beginning Odometer: 55940 End of Day Reading: 56448 Total Miles Traveled: 508

Hi there people,

First of all, the Focklers paged us while we were sitting in a Pizza Hut having our dinner. We were in Crookston, MN and the time was 7:38 PM CST, so it would have been 6:38 PM MST. They had traveled 425 miles today. I know that they are heading for Denver, but I don't really know if that makes it there or not. They have traveled 401 miles and today's 425 miles from Reno, so if my mind is still functioning, they should be somewhere around Denver. If I'm wrong, please let me know. John is laying on the bed in his skivvies and I have my shoes off, so neither one of us wants to go out to the bike and get the map to check it out.

We rode 508 miles today in a very windy section of the country. As I'm sure all of you motorcyclists out there know, coming across Montana and North Dakota are two of the windiest places in the USA. I told John that if someone from Honda motorcycles would ride a motorcycle on the passenger seat out there in North Dakota, there would be some changes made for the passenger. It's rough enough on the rider, but the passenger gets all the wind and you have to hold on to your helmet, or so it seems. But we're into Minnesota now, so the wind isn't a factor, so we should be able to make more mileage in a day. I don't think it's only Hondas, because we saw several Harley riders stopping to take a break and I don't think it was all because of their bottoms getting tired.

Harry, we had some more construction places today, but those should be all done by the time you get there. There will be some more when you do arrive, but that's summertime traveling, isn't it! Are you and Charlotte behaving yourselves? I sure hope so. How was the baby-sitting job? Did you do good! Carl will be sure to tell me if he didn't do good. OK!

Well, that's it for tonight....we're tired and we want to make sure and get up early tomorrow morning. The alarm will be set for 6 am. We aren't going to be watching the Indians again tonight. We watched them the last two nights and we lost some sleep, so they will have to win without us tonight.

Love, the McGirrs

Subj.: This one's for Harry from Bob!

Date: 7/31/98

I just talked with Bob Menegay and he is doing just fine. He has worked all week and he doesn't really seem to be enjoying it. He would much rather be out riding his Gold Wing. Poor boy! Only 3 more months to work, then you can play!

He has a message for Harry and I hope Harry gets this before he leaves Everett. So here goes: Bob was walking over to dinner on the OH/IN border at a Super 8 and lo and behold, there it was....a big hammer. So he got you one Harry. His other message to you is that he went to a "Jimmy Buffet" concert Wednesday night in PA. He thought of you the whole time he was there, but knew you couldn't make it, so he went anyway. Seriously, there was a concert, but Bob didn't get to go to it, but he was sure thinking of you Harry when he heard about it.

I told Bob I'd send you a message, so my job got done, now if you get it, that's the biggie....

Subj.: Last of the Eskimos heads home

Date: 8/1/98 1:56:08 AM Eastern Daylight Time

From: cdvwa@juno.com (Carl Varner)

To: Cmcgirr@aol.com

Well the Indians had to go at least 17 innings to get to the Mariners. Maybe next year!

Mom and Dad are leaving in the morning and are planning on hitting Highway 2. Dad is checking his odometer for the Chair.

Dad watched the kids, it was the last time I will let him do it. He let Scott and the neighbor get the rabbit. Now we have a bunny named Shadow.

We are leaving to go to Whidbey Island in the morning after Mom and Dad leave. The weather cooled off a little bit and we had rain on Thursday this week but the weather is getting nice again.

Linda had her 40th birthday party at the club and it was a surprise to see that she was surprised.

Best wishes on the rest of the trip. We enjoyed your visit, Carl and the gang.

Subj.: Fwd: Last of the Eskimos heads home Dreamland Motel - Gulliver, MI

Date: 8/1/98

Beginning Odometer: 56448 End of Day Reading: 57048 Total Miles Traveled: 600

Tonight's message is being written on the right day, but we don't have any phone service where we're staying tonight, so you will get the message a day late. I am forwarding the message that I received from Carl this morning as we were leaving. I didn't take the time to forward it then as John was waiting for me....

Our trip today was 600 miles across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Wisconsin and back into Michigan. You read it right. Rt. 2 leaves Wisconsin for Michigan and then after about an hour or so of riding in Michigan, you all of a sudden end up in Wisconsin again for a short distance. We were quite surprised because I hadn't even checked the map because we were just going to do Rt. 2 into I-75 in Michigan. When we stopped to get some gas, I checked the map and sure enough, it does do just what it did correctly.

When we reached Escanaba, we decided that we had better look for a motel since it was a Saturday night and in a very touristy location and besides that, all the motels had NO VACANCY all over their billboards. That is a little bit scary, to say the least. We rode about 30 miles beyond Escanaba and lo and behold, there was a motel that didn't look too bad with a VACANCY sign on it and a restaurant next door. We stopped and checked and that's where we are. In a place named Dreamland Motel without a phone, can you believe it? So I called the pager and left a message on that for the immediate family and the Focklers and the Memmers.

Which reminds me....Art & Nita did 465 miles today, so that should put them some where in Kansas or Nebraska by now? I don't know for sure, but that's my guess.

I just got back from walking to a pay phone and checking the pager and guess what? The Memmers called and they rode 440 miles and checked in at 6:03 PM PST. I think that should put them in Montana, which is pretty good for a couple of old geezers like them. Love ya Harry & Charlotte. Oh, by the way....on our ride today, we saw a nice looking pink pillow alongside the highway on the right. If it's still there, we could use a new pillow in our new villa Harry.

We have a good one that happened at this motel while we were eating our supper tonight. All of a sudden, someone spoke up and said...."there's a bear out there." So we looked and sure enough, there was a bear across the street. So John went out and got the VCR and took some real good footage until a couple of Harleys rode by and the bear took off running. That could be our problem when we're riding....after all, those Harleys are out there too and when they go by, the bears, moose, caribou, deer, and any other critters take off for fear of their lives. Sorry Ronnie! We love you too!

Well, I've done enough damage for tonight, so I better shut this thing down. We will be hooking up somewhere in OH tomorrow night, we are to meet up with Steve in Plain City on Monday morning, so we'll be somewhere in that area tomorrow night. More on that one later when we know what's happening.....

Love to all, the McGirrs

Subj.: Number 4 Ohio Eskimos are home now!

Date: 8/2/98

Beginning Odometer: 57048 End of Day Reading: 57615 Total Miles Traveled: 567

We arrived home about 6 PM today after riding 567 miles today from Gulliver, MI where we stayed last night. That makes a total of 11,009 miles from the time we left Alliance on June 13th until we arrived today. The end of a beautiful trip has arrived and we are both very happy to be home and I think my Mother was pretty happy to have us here. It sure was good to see her again and she is really looking good. There truly is "no place like home".

Now, we heard from the Focklers today and they are in Pittsfield, IL tonight. They rode 542 miles today. They crossed over the Mississippi and decided to quit for the day. So they might be home tomorrow and maybe not. Time will tell!

We haven't heard from the Memmers yet. If we hear from them, or rather when we hear from them, we'll update the mail.

So, that's all for tonight. We are just sitting around and catching up on things with Mother, so we'll TTYL, Love the McGirrs

Subj.: Memmers are coming home too!

Date: 8/2/98

We heard from the Memmers and they have ridden 551 miles today, so they are getting closer too. They called in about 9 PM tonight with their mileage, but I didn't check the pager right away, so that's why the delay. I was working on our books and I got involved. Sorry about that!

Until later.....

Subj.: Number 5 Eskimos are home now!

Date: 8/3/98

Hi everybody,

OK, the 5th set of Eskimos has arrived home today. We got a phone call from them while we were gone today and we don't know any of the particulars, but the Focklers arrived home today. We tried several times tonight to call them, but they were on the phone every time we tried, so we never connected with them by phone.

Charlotte called us when we arrived home tonight at 8 PM to let us know that they were in Minnesota, about 40 miles west of Bemidji, in a town called Fossion at a Super 8. They traveled 502 miles, I believe, today. She wanted to know how far it was the rest of the way so I told her about the next town that we had stayed in and the mileage and I wouldn't be surprised if they stay there tomorrow night, in Gulliver at the Dreamland Motel. Then I told her that we had arrived home at 6:10 last night and she wanted to know where the Chapter T dinner ride was, and I didn't know that answer, so I told her I would find out and let them know on the pager where it was. So I have done that and don't be real surprised if they show up at the dinner ride Wednesday night in Zoar.

Well, it's late and I'm ready to head for my bed, so we'll all TTYL...Love the McGirrs

Subj.: The Memmers are doing good!

Date: 8/4/98

Hi there

I got the page from the Memmers and they did 557 miles today and they paged at 8:30 tonight, so they could possibly be at the same motel we stayed at Saturday night.....the Dreamland Motel in Gulliver, MI. So they should make it home with no problems tomorrow. Good for them! We will be real happy to know when all 6 of the Ohio Eskimos are back in their homes again.

We'll be updating tomorrow when we hear or see them and then the "big trip" will come to an end. So until then....ttyl Carol

Subj.: All the Ohio Eskimos are in their igloos now!

Date: 8/5/98

Thank God, we all have made it home in one piece and a little worse for wear, but nothing that we couldn't handle along the way. Charlotte just called and they arrived home in Akron about 6 PM tonight. They had ridden in and out of rain all day from the Dreamland Motel up there in Gulliver, MI. I asked her where they stayed last night and sure enough, that was the answer. If you're ever traveling up in the UP of Michigan and want to stay in a nice little motel owned by some really nice folks, go to the Gulliver, MI area. It's on the lower side of the peninsula above Lake Michigan on Rt. 2 and its a beautiful ride around there. Charlotte said that they decided to stay at home for supper tonight and have a pizza. Then Ron & Dee came over to visit and she just called to let us know they had arrived, safe and sound.

So this is it people, we are discontinuing our Alaska List and going back to the regular types of e-mail sending and receiving. So it's been a fun summer and we, the Ohio Eskimos, will have a lot of tales to tell and pictures to share with those that want to see them. So, farewell friends and relatives....Love to you all!

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