Alaska, Jack B. Nimble

Alaska Arrival – May 18, 2018

When last I wrote, we were in Montana, the weather had become increasingly cold at night, snow still lay along the roadsides, and we were not even in the mountains. I became increasingly apprehensive about continuing north alone where snow and below freezing temperatures were forecast, where there was a real doubt that campgrounds with electricity would be open yet, and the clincher — where we had no way to heat our tent camper except a small electric space heater, and… Jack was cold!


This was an entirely different situation from our only previous road trip to Alaska — which was made in the height of summer, and we camped in a hard-sided, gas-heated camper. So, we made a difficult decision — to drive west to Tacoma, Washington, put the car and the camper on a ship for Anchorage, and to fly the rest of the way to our summer home. We did that, arriving in Soldotna the morning of May 8th. I apologize to all of you who have been faithfully following our progress, but I know you understand.

Our last three days camping we spent in Montana, Idaho, and Washington. We camped in a most interesting town in Idaho named Wallace. It was established as a silver mining town in the 1800’s. In an antique shop in Wallace, Tom bought a very odd antique musical instrument. It’s a “valve trombone,” and the best we can determine by looking it up on-line is that it’s a rare J.W. Pepper and Son instrument, made in the early 1900’s. Tom polished, and now it actually looks silver.


In Washington we camped two nights in a park by Moses Lake. They were having a bass fishing tournament, so Tom was entertained. Canadian geese with dozens of goslings paddled around the lake. Cute!


On Monday morning we took the car and the trailer to the port to ship out for Anchorage, and caught a ride to the Sea-Tac airport to spend the next 10 hours waiting for our red-eye flight to Kenai. We made it home about 6:30 Tuesday morning.

So, we have been home for over a week now. It has been cold (40’s) and rainy almost every day thus far. The birch trees have tiny green leaves, there is still a lot of snow on the mountaintops, and we have spent several days working to clean out the back acre. Tom has cut up fallen birch trees, cut scraggly lower limbs from spruce, and hauled over 4000 pounds of debris to the dump.

Our back acre is virgin territory — never built on, never cut as far as we know. This week we have been inundated with moose! They have taken to bedding down out back, and


when they do, they are almost invisible. There are three moose in this picture. See if you can find Waldo.

Last year two wonderful friends from Church in Florida came to visit, and they built me a greenhouse!


Yesterday I was planting vegetables in it when Tom came rushing in. A mama moose and her two yearlings had quietly walked up behind him while he was cutting wood out back. They followed him toward the greenhouse…


… and while we watched, they strolled by like they own the place…


… which they really do, come to think of it.

So far, I have planted tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers in the greenhouse.


Lettuce and cool weather vegetables — broccoli, cauliflower, radishes and cabbage we’re keeping on the upstairs balcony to protect them from the moose.


Someday, perhaps we’ll build a moose-proof fence and plant such things in the ground. For now, the balcony is fine and easy to check every morning. We have grown vegetables up here before, and they do very well.

I think I’m running out of space for this post, so I will continue the Alaska story in a few days.

Thank you for reading!


Alaska Trip – April 25, Day 3



All the best laid plans of mice and women sometimes don’t come to pass. I had hoped to be able to write here each evening after setting up camp, but tonight is the first time I’ve had wi-fi, and a phone signal.

MONDAY, Day 1, we drove from Pinellas County, Florida to camp at St. George’s State Park, on a long barrier island off the coast of  Apalachicola, Florida. The park is pretty, set in a pine hammock surrounded by sand dunes and sea oats. It is a birder’s paradise, and we saw many of them with their huge cameras and tripods seeking out the perfect photo. I was disappointed that I could not get a signal to be able to write. The stars were spectacular away from city lights. We could easily make out the Milky Way. Outside of the State park area, the island was crowded with houses and condos, but the park was totally unadulterated.

TUESDAY, Day 2, we drove on through Panama City, Pensacola, and Mobile, Alabama to camp near there at Escatawpa Hollow Campground which had come recommended by a lady at a hardware store where we stopped to buy some nuts and bolts. We were greeted by a most cordial campground manager who escorted us to our choice of campsites in a dense forest beside a lovely river. We were the ONLY people in the park. The area had endured a severe flood recently, and the whole place had been under three feet of water. Yesterday, however, it was perfect. I do wish I had the ability to post photos today. Perhaps when we get closer to a big city (which I don’t want to do) I will have the technology to share. At this campground we had neither phone nor any internet signal at all.

TODAY, WEDNESDAY, April  25th, we drove on through Hattiesburg, Columbia, McComb, and Natachez, Mississippi on US 98. We crossed the Mississippi River at Natchez. They were working on one side of an old huge metal bridge.


Tom took photos. Right now we are camped at a private campground near Natchitoches, Louisiana. Adequate, but nothing more.

So far, we enjoyed Mississippi the most. It is a very beautiful state when seen off the interstates… long rolling hills covered covered with pines and sweet gum trees.

Our goal in driving this trip was to travel OFF the Interstates, and, for the most part we have succeeded. We input our next destination into our Garmin navigator, and she directed us perfectly along good highways which passed through picturesque towns.

Well, Tom and Jack are already sacked out, so I’d better stop here before I lose all I’ve written. The nights are cool, so we have sleeping bags at the ready, just in case. Good night!


Alaska Trip Eve, April 22, 2018


Well, the camper is loaded, lowered, and buttoned up. Tom is outside now scrubbing the pollen and city grime from the exterior. Time is short! We plan to leave tomorrow morning early to beat rush hour traffic on US 19 to Apalachicola.


We have been packing what clothes we need for our trip into fish boxes. The clothes  will stay in Alaska, but we will fill these same boxes with salmon, halibut, and ling cod, and the well-used boxes will make yet another trip to Florida in the belly of an Alaska plane. (Alaska Airlines understands like no other how precious our fish cargo is to us!)

Jack knows something’s up. He has been sniffing all the boxes and bags, whining for attention, not wanting me to ignore him to write this. 20180422_143340.jpg

We plan to camp tomorrow night in Apalachicola, so I’m not too worried about snow…yet. We have to cross the Rockies eventually though, so please pray with me that it will have melted by the time we do that. Alaska has been warmer and less snowy than the lower 48 this year. That’s good.

In fact, God is good…all the time!