2013 Christmas Greetings From Larry and Jan!

It is said variety is the spice of life! From our experiences this year, we find living the RV life-style is certainly a cool way to find adventure and have new experiences. We started the year as campground hosts at the National Seashore Park on Padre Island near Corpus Christi. Our campground was on the Inter-coastal waterway side of the island (Laguna Madre). One of the best wind-surfing locations in the US which draws lots of interesting folks. The weather was great (no snow). Our days were spent biking, hiking and on the water.

Padre Island National Seashore - Camp Ground Hosts

Padre Island National Seashore – Camp Ground Hosts

Not wanting to stay in one place too long, we headed out the middle of March spending some quality time in Galveston, New Orleans and Gulf Shores. In April we found ourselves back in Traverse City where we washed off the Texas dust and packed for a summer on the road heading north to Alaska, a trip we wanted to make for years. By mid-May, we were in Canada making our way around the North Shore of Lake Superior. The theme for this adventure was slow down, stop early and explore.

The Northwest Territories called us and we made it all the way to Yellowknife…that is as far as one can drive in the summer (the ice road being closed). Being early spring, there was a major washout on our planned route which translated to a 750 mile back-tracking adventure, lesson learned. Not having enough of the northern exposure, we caught the Alaska Highway, then the Dalton Highway to Prudhoe Bay where we arrived one day short of the summer solstice. Yes, Jan and I waded in the Arctic Ocean. Two things that I can say about the trip…Padre Island was a long ways south and the Dalton Highway is definitely a once in a life time adventure! We can now check off the list all the Canadian providences and territories except Nunavut.

Alaskan Highway - Dawson Creek, BC

Alaskan Highway – Dawson Creek, BC

Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories

"The" Dalton Highway

“The” Dalton Highway

Arctic Circle on the way to Prudhoe Bay

Arctic Circle on the way to Prudhoe Bay

Finally we got down to experiencing Alaska. Our objective was not to leave any stone unturned, of course limited only by places that are accessible to one pulling a RV. The major stops were Fairbanks, Denali, Anchorage, and Kenai Peninsula, Valdez, the Inter-coastal waterway, Juneau, Sitka, Skagway and then back to the Alaska Highway. This took us a couple of months. By mid-August, we were off for a two week adventure in the National Parks in the Canadian Rockies, but it was not meant to be. In British Columbia, Canada, Larry was struck with a blood clot which dramatically took over our lives. After a fairly long delay in Canada we headed back to Michigan arriving mid-September.

North to Alaska

North to Alaska

Fairbanks at Midnight

Fairbanks at Midnight

Alaskan Glacier...one of many!

Alaskan Glacier…one of many!

Kluane Lake...great stop over

Kluane Lake…great stop over

Top of the World View...

Top of the World View…

Muncho Lake

Muncho Lake

Alaskan Inter-Coastal Waterway

Alaskan Inter-Coastal Waterway

Denali (Mt McKinley)

Denali (Mt McKinley)

White Pass Steam Train...Skagway to Whitehorse

White Pass Steam Train…Skagway to Whitehorse

Summer in Alaska

Summer in Alaska

Alaska...Bears and Salmon

Alaska…Bears and Salmon

Native Totem Poles

Native Totem Poles

Fireweed Color

Fireweed Color

To make a long story short, we are sidelined in Traverse City until March. Winter travel plans had to be revised along with securing a snow blower to deal with that dreaded white “stuff” which keeps coming every day. However, you have to admit winter paints a beautiful picture. Right now we are on track to spend April in Gulf Shores, Alabama with a side trip to Kansas for a much needed visit to the RV factory for a major repair. Next summer will be enjoying our home in Traverse City and then looking for adventure in Utah for a couple of months starting in August. Next winter will be spent in a way to give the snow blower a rest!

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Home away from home

Home away from home

Jan lost her Mother in February. She had a long journey and was 100 years old. We miss her and life will certainly not to be the same now that she is gone along with the ties to the historic family farm. Karl, Mark and Cully made the trip from NYC to visit us in October. It was so great to have them here and share what Northwest Michigan has to offer. We are looking forward to a visit from Paul and Marty in January. Good news, Paul is now Dr Paul having completed his PHD work and Fiona has finished her Masters. We plan a trip east next year to catch them on their home turf and take in some city life. It was fun to catch up with the “Snyder’s”at a gathering at brother Dale’s cottage this fall…picture attached.

Mark on the trail

Mark on the trail

Karl at Sleep Bear

Karl at Sleep Bear

Sand Dune...Cully, Karl, Jan

Sand Dune…Cully, Karl, Jan

Snyder's Fall Gathering

Snyder’s Fall Gathering

So as you can see…life is still good here! Keep in touch.

At the Arctic on the first day of Summer!

At the Arctic on the first day of Summer!

God Bless,

Larry and Jan

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Traverse City – 2013/2014!

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