The adventure began August 30th, 2005 when they sold out their household at auction.
Shortly afterward, John drove to Alaska
hauling a full trailer of family treasures. He
flew back to Crane Lake two weeks later, picked up Kalie and the 2
dogs, Spruce & Acacia, and together they
made the 3300 mile drive across Canada around October 1st.
Although they encountered a little snow in the
Canadian Rockies, they were settled in their
new home before the winter arrived in
Alaska. So far it has proved to be a
little milder than winter at Crane Lake.
The first year has been one of adventures.
There were fishing trips on the Cook Inlet and
the Kenai River. John landed his first King
Salmon while they were on a charter trip out
of Homer... by Alaska standards it was a small
one of just under 35 pounds. He also caught
more sockeye than he could count on the Kenai,
and while fishing on the Russian River
he "caught" a young grizzly!
The grizzly had eyes for the salmon that John
had just hooked, and after a brief contest,
the bear won the prize.
In September of 2006 they were lucky to win
the Denali Road lottery, and had the
opportunity to drive the 80 mile long road
into Denali Park in their own vehicle.
Generally travelers to Denali do so by bus,
but one weekend a year private vehicles chosen
by lottery are allowed to enter. Kalie &
John were lucky enough to draw a beautiful
clear day and were able to see Mt. McKinnley
in all its glory. The scenery was awesome, but
they also enjoyed seeing moose, grizzlies,
wolves, mountain goats, marmots, ptarmigans
and swans along the way.
Their lifetime of volunteering has
continued, but has changed direction. John is
a summer volunteer as a Ranger's assistant
with the Alaska State Parks, and spends a good
deal of time on the Kenai River. In winter he
also drives for meals on wheels for the
Sterling Senior Center. Kalie is volunteering
with the Soldotna Police Department, and has
joined the Central Peninsula Crime Stoppers
Board of Directors. They are also members of
the Alaska Peace Officers Association.
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