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Prime Time: Return trip from Alaska poses adventures

From left, Marilyn, Neen and Muriel pose with a stuffed bear during their foray into Alaska.

We had to pay for our showers the last night in Canada, and headed on toward the USA, looking forward to lower gas prices, ha, ha. We were still on the tundra. It didn't seem quite as rough; maybe we were prejudiced.

On the last lap of our journey to Anchorage, Alaska, we spent the night at Tolsona Wilderness Campsite. It was time to start cleaning out the refrigerator and cupboard. The squirrels received a few snacks. Just before bedtime we took a short walk along the swiftly flowing river just behind us, and slept in the next morning for the first time. With difficulty we found an RV campground down a steep narrow street within walking distance of downtown Anchorage. After we settled in we looked for the ulu knife factory, which both Marilyn and Neen wanted to return to the next morning to buy knives. The railroad ran just behind us but there was only one train, not too bad. The sun came up at 4:30 a.m. and it was still daylight at 9:30 p.m. We were determined to get plenty of salmon and fish while we were there so we went to The Alaskan Salmon Chowder House. It was great.

Next morning after our trip to the ulu knife factory we visited the museum and zoo. Marilyn was looking for an Eskimo doll for her granddaughter, so we saw a variety of dolls, manufactured and handmade. The prices were all over the place.

We flew from Anchorage to Juneau and took a cab to our Bed and Breakfast which was in the center of town. Time to get out and walk and scope out the town. The first thing I noticed was the size of the dandelions and the ravens that followed us around and talked and squawked at us. They hopped from roof top to roof top. Neen enjoyed having conversations with them. I think maybe it was the same one that followed her all over, and I'm sure it slept outside our window at night. The dandelions were about the size of a zinnia and about eighteen inches tall. They bordered most of the sidewalks and roads.

In Juneau, Marilyn wanted to buy some qiviut yarn,(fine under wool of musk ox, Alaska's most unique product and very expensive) so we popped into a shop on the second floor of a small center. The lady who owned the shop was talking to someone when we came in but soon got to Marilyn. Marilyn told her what she was looking for and the shop owner said, "Oh, that's $98 a skein. You don't want that. You want this - it's only $10 a skein."

Marilyn looked at the different colors and felt the yarn. Then the saleslady told her the scarf she was wearing was of the cheaper material. Somehow the lady started to talk to me and found out I was single and divorced, and from that moment she didn't want to do business with anyone. She wanted to talk to me about her divorce, new boyfriend and her sex life. She really discouraged doing business. She finally sold Marilyn some yarn and gave her a pattern. Marilyn said she needed a knitting needle which frazzled the woman. The lady ended up giving her the needles. We left the store and I told Neen and Marilyn that I thought she was either drunk or high on something. They didn't believe me, and so we laid it to rest for the day. However when we went back the next day, the lady didn't recognize any of us or acknowledge the transaction. She was very much the professional business person.

As we sauntered along the street, window shopping, I spied a skirt in a shop window, I persuaded Marilyn to follow me into the store. Holding up some very exotic articles, I said, " Look! This would be great on you."

We continued on through the shop, and I finally tired of looking, so we left. As we joined Neen standing at the entrance she said, "Did you know this is a sex shop?"

I didn't, but we had a good laugh, and I think maybe the shop manager is still shaking his head.

I found a hair clip I liked and tried to charge it. It was denied. I was upset so I called the credit card company. They informed me I had had two rather large charges, the two gas fill-ups which amounted to about $200 each, which were unusually large purchases for me. They reinstated my card. I felt very secure knowing that the card company was monitoring my card activity. We still had more shopping to do.

We took the city bus back from our shopping trip, to the ferry; the bus was crowded, and a young couple with a small baby sat in front of me. I was mesmerized watching them coo and fuss over that baby. The mother kept smoothing its hair and curling it around her finger. A beautiful love scene.

We headed back to the ferry and our cozy little suite. They had a naturalist who gave periodic presentations. We did a whale watch with no results, but we did see thousands of dolphins jumping and playing. The scenery was beautiful, always a mountain scene on at least one side. I wondered what people did who lived in these remote spots. It was peaceful and quiet. I went off with myself and sat back and reflected on all of the things that I did and saw. It was quite overwhelming.

Life is good.