Sunday, August 29, 2021

Freezing in Fairbanks

Friday - We are freezing at the Fairbanks Community Garage Sale at the Fairgrounds. It has been raining all morning and only 46°F at 2pm. At least it isn’t snowing yet though it feels like it’s imminent. 

Saturday - By the afternoon, the sun came out and it warmed up to 55°F. It felt considerably warmer than yesterday. A lot more people came through the garage sale. The weather probably helped. 

Sunday - It was near freezing this morning. But not raining so it didn’t feel too cold. The Ural was ridden including a loop through town to make sure the engine was warmed up. 

Friday, August 27, 2021

Running Around in the Rain

Monday - I think rain is in the forecast for the entire week and it feels like Fall is here. Some leaves are starting to change to yellow around their edges. After the morning test session, I rode to Costco to pick up a couple of items. Some mornings I have a ramen bowl and the Costo options are much tastier than the typical grocery store varieties. I then stopped at Prospector Outfitters, a local sporting goods store. They sent me a $10 off coupon so I picked up a brimmed hat for hiking. Something that'll keep the sun off better than just a ball cap.

The last stop of the afternoon was another AT&T store. The one I went to last week basically wouldn't sell me the 100GB/month prepaid hotspot plan. He gave all sorts of excuses why I wouldn't like it. It turns out that the first store was a contract store and not an AT&T corporate store. They don't make much on the prepaid plans so he just kept pushing the other plans. The salesperson at this store said that the prepaid hotspot plan was their best deal. Especially if you didn't want/need the ability to add more data after you run out. This one just stops passing data once you hit the data limit. Ideal for us. The post-paid plan for 100GB/month is only $10 more but it'll just keep adding $$ after you reach the data limit. I picked up a Netgear Nighthawk LTE router for the SIM card.

It rained the entire morning while I was running around. The long zipper on the Roadcrafter needed “tweaking” again to get it to zip properly. But it is still keeps me dry. I got back home in time for the afternoon test session.

Tuesday - More running around in the rain today. Morning coffee at Sunshine followed by a visit to the Campus Barbershop. I then ran around looking for ShoeGoo to repair a pair of boots and my motorcycle boots. Both have a worn spot in the same location from rubbing on the fins of the right cylinder. I just need to be more conscious of where my right foot is resting. 

The weather isn't looking too good for the rest of the week. Fortunately, I don't think we have much planned. 

Thursday - Morning coffee followed by a visit with Jed to look at his Ural. The started didn't spin. It turned out to be a broken crimp connector between the solenoid and the starter motor. An easy fix. Then back home for the afternoon test session.

Here is a shot of the leaves starting to change. Interesting how the yellow starts at the edge of the leaves and move towards the stem. 

No new info on the Jeep. Here is the latest from Jeep Chat:

Thank you so much for holding. I am showing that your order is in the scheduling phase of the manufacturing process. The parts required to build the vehicle are being scheduled and as soon as they available and ready, order will be scheduled for build.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Return Delayed

Wednesday - We just postponed our return to the PNW a couple of weeks as the vehicle we ordered in June has still not been shipped from the factory. This is the picture from the online configurator showing what we ordered. It is a two-door, Sport S Wrangler with a soft top and manual transmission. Other options are a limited-slip rear differential, side steps, and floor mats. Pretty basic. The "S" package does include an Apple CarPlay radio, aluminum wheels, power windows, and power locks. It was ordered in the third week of June and there still isn't a ship date yet though the salesman is confident that he should hear something this week. Other Wranglers that he ordered the same week have entered the build process. I hope he's right. When we ordered, he said that 8 weeks was typical. Last Monday, it was 8 weeks.

Over the past couple of months, I've been ordering all of the bits and pieces to flat-tow the Jeep behind the motorhome. No more tow dolly required. The parts needed were around $2k. It's a good thing that I didn't wait to order the pieces as several of the items took over a month to ship. I did not have them shipped to Alaska but to the location where the RV is stored. I estimate that I should be able to get it ready to tow in a long day or two days at most.

It's none too soon to head south as it dipped into the 30s this morning with some areas seeing freezing temperatures. The picture is just the foggy drive to the Quik Lube shop this morning.

Thursday - More rain and cooler temperatures. And, no, I didn't ride to coffee this morning. (Slacking off) I made a honeyberry custard pie to take along with some vanilla ice cream to dinner this evening. I spent most of the afternoon watching YouTube videos. In other words, a very slow day.

Saturday - Two test sessions today. Sill damp and dreary outside. This is sort of typical for this time of year though I remember the beginning of September not being this way all the time.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

More of the Same

Wednesday - A day of errands or at least a morning. All done on the Ural, of course, so were they errands or recreation? I stopped at the university to let the parking office know that I got a new license plate for the Ural. I picked up a new one when I got the permanent registration i.e. no more renewals. That will be convenient. I also sent off the fishing poles via UPS that Tim's group had picked up to fish in Alaska. And I picked up some tools at Lowe's.

I'm trying out some tofu in the air fryer right now. I'm missing several ingredients in the sauce recipe so we'll see how it turns out. Missing items are honey and chili paste. I think I'll just add it to the stir fry and call it good. It didn't turn out too bad though the tofu came out better when fried in a pan. The air fryer dried them out too much.

Thursday -  On the way to morning coffee, Bridget was following in the Prius and noticed that the tail light on the Ural wasn't working. Upon checking, the bulb was ready to burn out (barely holding together) and the ground screw was loose. The ground screw was probably the actual reason and the light has probably been blinking for the last couple of years.

Friday - Two test sessions today plus some more errands. It’s starting to feel colder during the day as well as at night. It seems that sunset was after midnight not too long ago. Today, it’s at 10:16pm. Quite a change. Tomorrow, the local amateur radio club is having a hamfest. Basically a day of presentations and a swap meet. It’s being held at the North Pole Plaza starting at 9am. 

Saturday - Most of Saturday was spent at the North Pole Plaza. There were a few presentations and a lot of used equipment up for sale. There were elections and I withdrew from the board as we are out of town so much. I served on the board for the last three years and they had someone new volunteer. 

Monday, August 9, 2021

Back to Fairbanks

Friday - We left Anchorage around 9:30am. Thank you, Travis and Katrielle for your hospitality! We stopped in Houston, AK, which is just past Wasilla, to meet up with friends Gary and Stacy. We had a good visit over breakfast/lunch and they showed us around their property where they are building a new home. We continued north and made a short stop at Denali National Park before heading back home. I didn’t take a single picture on the trip. It rained in Anchorage, around Denali and coming into Fairbanks. But otherwise, it was just overcast with temperatures around 60°F. The Ural ran great and I’ve put on almost 2k miles this summer. The sidecar was empty on this return trip so performance was a little better than on the trip south. And 33 mpg!

Saturday - Just the normal stuff. Ham radio testing, grocery shopping, etc. I thought about going to the Tanana Valley State Fair but just didn't feel like it. BTW, all of the fairs in Alaska claim the title of "State Fair".

Sunday - Rain in the forecast for the afternoon and evening. It was the last day of the fair.

Monday - Another test in the morning and led a test in the afternoon. Right now, it’s raining and I’m making some burgers on the grill. It’s not raining hard but has been coming down throughout the day. The fireweed flowers are almost to the top which, I’m told, means that summer is over.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Moose Pass then Back to Anchorage

Wednesday - Our vacation is almost over and by vacation, I mean this trip to south central Alaska. On Tuesday, we left the B&B in Cooper Landing and went to a hotel in Moose Pass. The hotel wasn’t stellar but it was very basic and clean. We had dinner in the bar and my jalapeño burger was good. 

This morning, we headed back to Anchorage. The trip from my last gas fillup in Soldatna to the next gas station at the Girdwood turnoff was past my range so I went ahead and dumped the contents of my gas can into the tank. I still stopped at the turnoff but not to get gas. They had delicious baked goods at the ridiculously expensive bakery. 

I was originally thinking of traveling down the Glenn Hwy and visiting McCarthy then returning on the Denali Hwy but I’m just not feeling it. I think the plan is to head back to Fairbanks on Friday. 

Thursday - We are staying with my nephew and their family and he has a surplus army truck. The intent is to turn it into an overland vehicle (off-road RV). You can see a completed vehicle at Lori’s blog at . We took a ride on it today. It’s quite the vehicle. 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Cooper Landing and Seward

Sunday - This is not where we are staying but visiting some who are in the associated RV park. It’s a nice setup. Sunny, clear and 70°F is hard to beat. Actually, I had to find some shade as their site is pretty sunny at this time of day. It’ll be shady in a couple of hours. This morning was a chilly 45°F which makes me think it’s going to be fall soon. 

I’m not really sure if there are any “plans”. I don’t have any. 

 - Today, we drove about an hour to Seward. The first stop was the Alaska Sealife Center. This is a puffin, one of Alaska’s more recognized birds. They dive into the water for fish but it wasn’t their feeding time when we were there. 

I don’t remember what this fish was but it kept swimming near the aquarium glass. 

This is Resurrection Bay from the Sealife Center. We have a beautiful day for exploring Seward. 

We then went to Exit Glacier. It is now a two mile walk from the visitor center to the glacier viewpoint. When I was first here in 1983, it was only a ⅛ mile walk to the glacier itself.