My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Cup Overflows...

Back to school... When I last posted, I was in the middle of mandatory inservice & meetings for the upcoming school year. Often times these are terribly dull and impertinent to my teaching of chemistry & anatomy. But Monday, one of our speakers spoke about how when "Your Cup is Full", you can better do your job which translates into better educational experiences for students. You betcha! So - I thought that might be a good subject for my next post - "What fills my Cup?"

1) My husband - we've been married for 11 years & together for 16. He makes me laugh, makes me think, and grounds me when I launch into the stratosphere. He helps me find perspective.

2) My kids - Wow! This morning I dropped Orion off at school & he was excited to show me a writing sample he did the day before. This was such a big deal - in kindergarten, getting words (or anything resembling a word) on paper to accompany his drawings was a challenge. His writing sample was all about our 'rode trip' (his spelling) this summer. He was so proud as he had so much to write that he had to continue on the back side of the paper. He even had to scrunch many words in to make it all fit on one sheet. He was so proud & excited - it was so cool!

And - can't forget Iain - he truly adds balance. He's so excited to start kindergarten. He's such a neat and different, kid. Today he was riding his two wheeler up & down the street humming Christmas carols. Then - he came in, found a pillow case, climbed in, and wiggled around on the floor. He just cracks me up. If you've ever seen the Steve Martin movie, Parenthood - Iain is the kid who runs around with the bucket on his head. Gotta love him. I'm almost tempted to send the video of him in the pillowcase to his kindergarten teacher, just to prepare her. Oh - she's going to have a fun year.

3) My Job - When I tell people I'm a high school science teacher, they give me a look as if to say "Oh, I'm so sorry..." Don't be. I truly love what I do. My students crack me up. No 2 days are ever the same, and no matter how well you plan lessons, something always crops up to throw you for a loop. We call those the teachable moments. I'm always entertained by what my students come up with. True - there are some days when I wonder why I chose this profession, but more days than not remind me why I do what I do.

4) The unexpected things. Like, oh , say - the live bird you have waiting for you inside your house. Yeah - a bird. A Live one - with feathers and everything. Take a look:He's sort of cute. (Well, until I found some evidence he had been near the windowsill..) Here he is sitting on top of a 'wall' that separates our kitchen from the living room. I have a hunch how he made it inside. Shall we examine the suspects?

Suspect #1: Raja, our cat. Hmmm - She does have a few 'priors' - a couple of other birds found inside, and several witnesses will attest to the fact she has caught other critters & just plays with them.

Suspect #2: Joulee, our 11 year old black lab. Blogger won't cooperate with the photo. Argh. She has no criminal history, as long as you don't count the time when she pulled a post off of the fence & took some of the neighbors grilling gear. Oh yeah... I forgot about the incident with the ground squirrel.

Hmm - maybe solving this case won't be as easy as I originally thought. My bet is on the cat...

5) Knitting - Goes without saying. It keeps me sane.

Anyhow - my cup overflows. Life is grand.

What fills your cup?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ta Da!!

Yeah - a pair of socks DONE!! This is certainly a record for me - as anyone who's followed my blog this summer, usually several weeks and/or states/miles pass before I ever finish sock #2. I attribute this accomplishment to the 2-socks-on-one-circular needle method. Let's not even mention the orphaned Jaywalker sock upstairs buried in my sock yarn stash.

These are great as they satisfy a 2nd/extra credit pair of socks for August for SAM4 and the SKS KAL. They aren't my favorite socks I've made - I think the rib kind of muddles the stripes, but Orion doesn't seem to care & that's all that matters. :0)


Yarn: 56 stitches using Lorna's Laces in Jungle Stripe
Needles: Size 2 Addi Turbo; Magic Loop; 2 at a time
Pattern: Garter Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks (K2P2 one row, knit 2nd row, repeat)
Modifications: None
Recipient: My 7 year old son. He specifically asked for lime green, striped socks.

Here are a few more photos of this monumental FO:

Okay - I lied. Here is one more photo of the FO. Blogger apparently doesn't want to import my photos from iPhoto w/the correct orientation. Everything came up sideways. Don't know why & right now don't feel like troubleshooting - just too happy that these socks are finished! :0)

Next up: I signed up for the finishing class at our LYS "The Yarn Branch" so I'll have a target date to finish my Cindy sweater. I also signed up for a beaded scarf - I'm interested on how to incorporate beads into knitted objects.

But... since those classes aren't occurring for awhile, and while I'm waiting for the yarn for my Monkey Sock Swap to arrive, I think I'll CO another sock w/some new Faux Fair Isle Yarn I purchased yesterday (I swear it just jumped into my basket!). It's called ON Live Supersocke 100 -Afrika-Color. I'm debating whether or not to do some sort of ribbing down to the foot. I like how ribbing tends to keep the sock up. We have two more days of inservice/meetings - so I need another small project to keep my hands occupied.

Happy Weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Summer is Over...

Yes - it's true. Summer has officially come to an end; if you are a teacher within the Anchorage School District. I know we get no sympathy from non-teachers, but going back to work after a long summer hiatus is still a shock to the system. I'm using that for my excuse for not blogging more this week & lack of any true knitting progress. Today was day #2 back at work - an 'inservice' day where teachers have mandatory meetings, trainings, etc. Like any occupation - some meetings, etc. are more beneficial/interesting than others. Today was no exception. One of the great things about the school where I teach & the department I'm in is our Weekly meeting at the local watering hole/pizzeria "The Moose's Tooth". Ahh - what fun to gather w/colleagues/friends & share a pint (or two). A good way to end day #2 of work.

Here's where I am on the knitting front:
I've made it to the gusset on the Jungle Stripe - 2 at a time - socks. That was the adventure, let me tell you! I was working in bed & just too comfy to jump up & search on the internet for the best way to pick up stitches along the gusset for 2 at a time socks. I quickly realized that when you turn the heel, you have to do one at a time since you work back and forth. That was no problem. The gusset was a bit more tricky, since I don't think I picked up stitches in the right order. So - I had to transfer stitches of the 2nd sock, albeit briefly, to a 2nd circ, pick up those gusset stitches & then put it back on the original needle. This was a bit unorthodox, but it seemed to work. So - just a few more decreases & then the foot & I'll be done with the pair. I still love thinking about that. I recently joined Monkey Sock Swap 3 (There's still time to join if your are interested) & am considering making the Monkey socks on one circular as well - guaranteed to finish a pair at the same time! :0)

I have been making progress on the 'Cindy' sweater. I finished the left side arm & started working on the right when I became concerned about how the 'V' was formed. So - I revisited the Yarn Branch where I originally saw the sweater made up. My 'V' is correct - hooray!
But... I apparently misunderstood the directions. If you look along the arm hole, you'll see a series of CR3 & CRL. When I looked at the made up sweater in the store, it only had a few of these & they didn't run all the way up the arm hole. Hmm... Now if the photo on the pattern would have been more clear about showing more of the details instead of the nifty necklace she's wearing, then maybe I could have avoided this error. Well - I'm just going to call it a new 'Design Feature'. I hope it doesn't affect the shape too much & that when I knit the sleeves, they actually fit. Arghhh... I am planning on singing up for a finishing class that is held in September to seam it together.

Well -

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monkey Sock Swap Questionnaire

The basics:
Do you consider yourself a beginning sock knitter, an intermediate, or have you been doing this so long you could probably knit a pair in your sleep?

I'd consider myself an intermediate knitter. I've been on a sock jag all summer.

The measurements:

Shoe Size: 8 - 81/2, depending on the shoe. I'm a 38 (European size)
Foot circumference: 9 1/4" (24 cm)

Foot length: 9 1/2" (25 cm)

Yarn Preferences:
What colors do you love? Pretty much all colors - I like to have fun.

Do you prefer solids or variegated? Either :0)

Do you prefer wool, cotton or acrylic yarn? Superwash wool or wool blend for socks.

What colors would you never wear? Perhaps bright yellow?

What are your favorite brands of yarn? Koigu KPPPM, Regia Silk, Lornas Laces

Are there any new brands you would like to try? Any good yarn - I've yet to knit with STR, I have some in my stash & will try it soon. I've read alot about Trekking and Knit Picks Essentials. I'm open to anything.

Cookie A. Patterns:
Which of her patterns have you already knit? Monkey Sock - great pattern!

Which pattern(s) would you like to knit and don’t already own? Any are fine - I like surprises.

Other pertinent information:
Would you be willing to have an international Monkey Pal or do you prefer one in the
US? Either - I love to travel so an international Monkey Pal would be fabulous.

Do you have any allergies? Nope

Will your knitting be exposed to smoke or animals? Yup - a dog & a cat. No smoke :0).

Are you on Ravelry yet? If you don’t mind having new friends, what is your Ravelry name? Not yet - I'm still waiting for my invite.

Don't forget - sign ups for Monkey Sock Swap 3 are only open until August 31st. Go here to get signed up!!

Enjoying Alaska

Ahh - on days like today & this weekend for that matter, it's easy to see why we live in Alaska. Check out the photo on the left. What you see is Mt. McKinley (Denali to us locals), Mt. Foraker, and Mt. Hunter all in a row. They are part of the Alaska range & as most of you know, Denali is the tallest peak in North America. It's a rare treat to be able to see all mountains - being so tall, they usually are under cloud cover. But - when you have an opportunity to see them - ahh - what a sight to behold. I've seen "the mountain" a gazillion times - but I never grow tired of it! This photo was taken last Saturday right outside Willow, Alaska. Willow is about 30 miles northeast of Wasilla along the Parks Highway. We were on our way to visit my parents at their cabin.

Here is their 'cabin'. By Alaskan standards - it's pretty nice. You can only get there by boat (in summer) or via snowmachine (in winter - when the rivers freeze) as it's approximately 25 miles off of the road system along the Susitna River system. Here you have all the amenities: Running water (via a spring upstream - delivered to the cabin using my father's engineering skills), a shower complete with fantastic water pressure & hot, hot water, a microwave using a generator, and well ventilated outhouse. No internet access yet, but given time, I'm sure my parents will find away to get wired.

Visiting the cabin is so relaxing that I'm able to get lots of knitting done when we're not busy catching fish or playing outside. Take a look at what I'm working on:
Socks knitted two at a time! I've been meaning to try this for a while & after reading a couple of posts on the SAM4 blog, I was inspired. The cast on was very simple - using a 40" circ:

  1. Cast on 1/2 the amount of stitches for the 1st sock, leaving a long enough tail for the remaining stitches (I had to go back & fix this my first time around). For these socks I used 56 stitches, so 1/2 = 28.
  2. On the same needle, cast on all of the stitches for the 2nd sock. Put these stitches to the cable & divide in half like you would normally do for the magic loop method.
  3. Put the two needles of the circ together & then, using the long tail from the 1st sock, cast on the remaining 1/2 stitches.
  4. Start knitting, and as always "becareful not to twist stitches when you join."
If my ramblings make no sense & you happen to be more of a visual learner (like me!) - check out this site for great photos: Cast on For 2 Socks on 1 Circular Needle

Here's where I ended up after a couple of days at the cabin:
Okay - that isn't totally accurate: I'm actually finished with the heel flap. I can't believe that when I'm finished, I'll have a pair of socks! Wow - no 2nd sock syndrome!!! At first I was a bit worried that it was taking me a while to reach the heel flap on a child's size pair of socks but then it hit me "Hey - I'm knitting 2 socks at once - not just 1 sock & although it may feel like it'll be a while before I get to the foot, ultimately getting a pair of socks completed will be much faster." I'm so excited I could pee. (oops - I'm an anatomy teacher, what I meant to say dear readers was, micturate) These socks will be for my eldest son - he wanted a pair of lime green & purple socks. Believe it or not - Lorna's Laces has such a colorway called Jungle Strip. The pattern is pretty mundane - but I wanted to start something simple for my 1st attempt at 2-at-a-time socks. I think I'm a convert now!

Hmm - what else did we do at the cabin? Well - when cousins get together, naturally you hone your light saber skills:Yes - the force was strong with these three. The little girl is my 4-year old niece. She and the boys had a fabulous time.

Next - you prepare for catching 'the big one' by casting a rubber frog into a 5 gallon bucket. It's harder than it sounds & I'm happy to report that all three were successful after several attempts. I'd like to think it teaches them persistence & gives the adults some much needed knitting & quiet time.

Hard to see - but Iain has inherited the sticking out of the tongue while you concentrate gene from me (I'm sure it's a gene!). Hey - it worked for Michael Jordan!
My father, seen here w/Alexa, is a master fisherman. When you go out with him you're almost always guaranteed to get some fish.

Here's a sample of what we caught:This is a small, northern pike. We caught about 8 when all was said and done. They aren't the prettiest fish, but they are tasty! I recommend cutting them into small chunks (after removing tons of bones!) and making sweet & sour pike. Yum Yum! When the kids were small, they wouldn't eat anything that wasn't chicken, so we started calling all fish some 'chicken' name. So - Pike is known as "River Chicken" and Halibut is known as "Ocean Flat Bottom Chicken". Silly - but it worked. Try it!

Here are the happy & successful fishermen:Iain was particularly happy as he caught the most fish on this outing. By the way - this photo was taken at about 10:15 pm - still light enough to travel up river via boat. Public service annoucement: Kids Don't Float - Wear Life Vests!

Ahh - I love Alaska!


Monday, August 6, 2007

Back in the swing of things.

As I mentioned before - it's good to be home. It's nice to get back into your old routine, etc. Now that the house looks somewhat normal, I feel I can get back to knitting, blogging, etc. I've also started exercising again, so after putting in an hour at the gym, I feel I've earned some time on the computer. Did I mention that road-tripping is not very aerobic? Yeah - sitting in the car for several hours a day and/or eating great food w/great friends & family does wonders for the waistline. No more - off off darn pounds!

Yet I digress... Part of putting the house back to normal included hanging up art in our bedroom we finished painting just days before our epic trip. I love art as much as the next person, but felt our room needed something special, unique, and priceless. Thus - I present some originals created by my two boys:

This was painted by my eldest son as a present to me for Mother's day. Look carefully... what do you see in the vase? Why - a skull & cross bones. Yesiree - nothing says "Happy Mother's Day to the woman who endured 26 hours of labor" than a skull & crossbones. I couldn't resist having this framed - I laugh every time I look at it.

This is a creation by my youngest. No special occasion for this one - it just 'spoke' to me, so I had to have it framed as well. The red mat & frame truly do it justice & red happens to be his favorite color. The colors of the paint faded a bit as I had this art in my car for several weeks before I actually got around to stopping by the framing store.

In addition we spent yesterday evening making our annual batch of jam. We picked as many raspberries as possible from our overgrown raspberry patch (does anyone in the Anchorage area want some raspberry and/or strawberry plants?) & added some blueberries to make one batch. Since the blueberries were on sale at the store, I also made a batch of domestic blueberry jam. Wild blueberries should be ripening soon, so I see another batch on the horizon. With two young boys, we go through lots of jam - usually I make enough in August to last the entire school year.

On the knitting front I finished my Monkey socks for the August Sock of the Month4 KAL and as a gift to a good friend, Margaret. She spends lots of time knitting socks for others & I felt she deserved a pair of socks knit for her as a belated birthday present. Happy Belated Birthday! :0) So - when she reads this blog, she'll know what to expect. I'm wondering if I should block these or not. Certainly they deserve a bit of a soak in some wool wash as I've tried them on several times during our road trip. These are quite the international socks - they were started in Carlsbad, CA. Sock #1 was finished at the family cabin on Palomar mt. & the 2nd sock was started while driving through Canada. I just wove in the ends this afternoon.Details: Monkey Sock pattern from knitty.

Yarn: Lorna's Laces in the colorway, Somerset. I love this yarn - it is very soft. It is aptly named as the colors reminded me of a sunset. I think this yarn worked extremely well for this pattern - I was tempted to keep them for myself. Overall - very quick knit!

Needles: Size 2 Addi-Turbo using the Magic Loop method. I've had a couple of questions regarding what 'magic loop' really is. Rather than the traditional 4 or 5 dpn, you use a long (I prefer 40") circular needle. Instructions for this & other knitting questions can be found here.
Modifications: Instead of the heel flap called for in the pattern, I used a slip stitch heel flap. I felt the slip stitch added more texture which went well with the texture of the pattern itself. I also used a star toe rather than the traditional decrease for a toe w/kitchner stitch. I thought the star toe continued the 'v' shape nicely & allowed me to avoid grafting the final stitches together - a skill I have yet to perfect. The directions for the star toe were taken from the Embossed leaves patter in Interweave's Favorite Socks book.

There was plenty of yarn left over from the 1st sock to knit these:These are similar to the Class Sock found in the Sensational Knitted Socks book. I used the Garter Rib pattern. These will be a gift to my friend's newborn daughter when they move back to AK this fall. I think I'll knit a similar pair with the remaining yarn from sock #2.

I haven't forgotten about my Jaywalker - still need to knit up its mate. However, I have several UFOs that need tending to. In particular:This is Cindy from Berroco pattern book #240. I'm knitting up using Ultra Silk. Ahhh - I can't wait until I actually finish this sweater as the yarn is so yummy & of course, silky. Since I avoid sewing up seams like the plague, I've vowed to finish knitting the front (the back is complete - on left side of photo) & the sleeves & then sign up for a finishing class at our LYS. This sweater is short sleeved & knit on 10.5 needles, so there really isn't any reason besides my own procrastination why I shouldn't finish this soon. Keep on me about it - I love the pressure.

I also want to work on some gifts for Christmas, but first things first.

Happy Monday to all! Ciao~

Thursday, August 2, 2007

There's No Place Like Home...

10,862 miles and 6 weeks later, we've returned home to Anchorage, AK. We had a fabulous trip - no complaints - no major catastrophes - sanity and health intact. I'd say the AK to CA Road Trip of 2007 was a total success. But - there's no place like home. :-)

Gosh - it seems like forever since I've had the opportunity to post. I know several people were wondering where we were since several places through which we traveled had neither internet availability nor cell-phone service. We returned home late Tuesday evening - just in time to post my July socks for the SAM3 (ended 7/31). :-) I haven't had a chance to sit down to blog since when you return home after 6 weeks of traveling - there tends to be lots of stuff to get done like: unpacking, laundry, unpacking, laundry, unpacking, vacuuming the gazillion tons of dog hair, and did I mention - unpacking & laundry?

I have a bit of time (before the next load of laundry is ready to fold - I really hate folding laundry) to do some 'catch up'. I think I'll first post our return & then do some 'back-dating' blogging recounting our adventures since we left Oregon on July 24.

Friday - July 27: Cheechako Ranch, OR to Merritt, B.C. - 585 miles.
This also happened to be my 11th wedding anniversary to Wade - nothing says romance like driving 585 miles. Nice drive north. We decided to take Hwy 97 north & enter Canada via Oroville, rather than driving toward Seattle to meet up w/Hwy 5 & enter via Bellingham. We figured we'd have hit some heavy traffic in Seattle on a Friday afternoon.

Pretty uneventful drive - other than having to give up some wonderful fresh peaches we'd picked while in Oregon. Border patrol wouldn't let us bring them across for fear we'd also bring in unwanted insects. Go figure that as soon as you cross the border there are acres of fruit orchards & a ton of fruit stands. Yeah - they know everyone coming across had to give up any fruit they had. What a racket!

We camped in a town RV park near a sawmill that ran all night. Fortunately we were tired enough that the noise didn't keep us awake.

Saturday - July 28 - Merritt, B.C. to Burns Lake, B.C. - 505 miles
The plan was to drive West & take Hwy 37 - otherwise known as the Cassiar Hwy - north & intersect the Alaska Hwy near Watson Lake at the border of British Columbia & the Yukon Territory. We figured we'd already driven the Alaska Hwy from Dawson Creek, so we wanted to avoid a total backtrack in order to see new territory.

All was going swimmingly - gas & Starbucks coffee in Prince George, a beautiful drive West on the Yellowhead Hwy (#16) & a quick dinner at a nice rest area outside Burns Lake which is 150 miles west of Prince George & about 100 miles from the junction of the Cassiar Hwy. Ever heard of "The Best Laid Plans..."? Yeah - funny how plans change.

We chatted w/a couple who had also stopped at the rest area & were headed toward Jasper. They asked the normal questions "Where are you from? Where are you going? etc." great conversations w/fellow travelers. When we mentioned we were headed back to Alaska via the Cassiar, they told us they had seen a sign saying the highway was closed. CLOSED!

So - imagine instead of 'South' the sign says 'North'. Arghh - we never actually saw the closed sign for heading North - we turned around before then. However - two days later when we drove by the junction for the Cassiar heading south - we saw this sign:
Now - call me crazy, but don't you think it'd be kind of thoughtful to put a sign like this near a large city like Prince George where you then have an option of taking a different highway north? Why wait until the actual junction - so you can watch frustrated motorists turn around in a huff and then backtrack 200 miles to Prince George & then take a different route? I know you might think - well, perhaps you should have checked the internet, or called the phone number. Sure - if we'd had internet connection or cell phone service - or quite honestly, if we'd have thought there was even a remote chance this highway would be closed. I mean - it's a highway - for crying out loud. They are usually open. Wade & I drove the Cassiar back in 1993 after we'd graduated from college. Certainly after 14 years the highway would have been in better condition? Cause for closure: a land slide from heavy rains took out the highway.

Sunday - July 29 - Burns Lake, B.C. to slightly north of Fort Nelson, B.C. - 686 miles
Since we had to drive back through Prince George (again) to head toward the Alaska Hwy (which originates in Dawson Creek - 250 miles northeast of Prince George) we had some miles to make up. The upside? Another coffee in Prince George. I think I now know where all Starbucks locations are in that city.

We did pass this yarn shop along the highway -But alas - as you can see - it was closed on Sunday. Darn.... Can't say we didn't try. :0)

So - with 300 miles to make up (Prince George to Burns Lake roundtrip is 300 miles) we decided to put the pedal to the metal & drive, drive, drive. We stopped briefly in Fort St. John (The Energetic City) for gas, eat dinner (pb&j and some ramen) and run around a bit.
This is a sculpture of a bear that won a welding contest back in 2004. We thought it was pretty neat. The park was beautiful & located next to their community recreation pool & curling club. I guess we can see why Fort St. John is called The Energetic City - they keep active!

Then we drove to Fort Nelson - another 4 hours away - if I recall since it was my turn to drive. The drive was nice & the sun was actually shining. Much of our drive through Canada looked like this:Mrs. Q refers to this part of Canada as "The Wet Coast" - she isn't kidding! After we rolled into Ft. Nelson around 11:00 pm for gas, we decided perhaps we should find a place to sleep. My suggestion of saying the heck with rearranging all of our crap (pardon me - after 6 weeks - you have lots of crap) so we could pull out the seat for our bed, and just check into the Motel 8 that was across the street from the gas station. Wade would have nothing of that, so on we went. We pulled over in a large turnout (found from the wonderful Milepost) & joined three other campers to sleep for the night. The accommodations might not be 5 star, but you can't beat the price.

Monday - July 30 - Ft. Nelson, B.C. to slightly east of Whitehorse, Y.T. - 526 miles
Up at 8:20 a quick breakfast and then back on the road by 9 am. Surprisingly - the other campers were already gone. Perhaps they know something we didn't about pulling over on the side of the highway to sleep. Is there a certain check-out time from gravel pullouts?

Since we were traveling along familiar territory again - we stopped at Liard Hot Springs for a quick soak in the hot pools and some lunch and some coffee. Although we weren't happy about the additional 300 miles the Cassiar closure added to our trip, Liard Hot Springs is a great stop. The boys could have played in the pools for hours and were sad that we weren't camping there as we did on our drive south. We promised we would return again some day.

Another exciting day of driving. However, this time - when we stopped in Watson Lake for gas (the ceiling that was caving in in the bathroom of the gas station was now totally gone), it wasn't raining, so we stopped and walked through sign post forest. According to the Milepost (a must have if you plan on ever driving to or from Alaska!) there are over 61,000 signs in the forest. Next time perhaps we'll plan ahead & have a sign ready to put up.

The Alaska Hwy also affords several opportunities to view wildlife from the comfort and safety of your car. We saw another black bear munching away on the greenery alongside the highway:We also finally saw the herds of buffalo signs kept warning would be on the road. On our trip south, we saw One lone buffalo - certainly not worthy of the numerous signs warning of their existence (I was beginning to question their existence). This time around we saw a few, and then as we came around a bend - whamo - a herd of buffalo! We imagine we saw at least 100 hanging out alongside the highway. It seems that between the time we drove south & now, babies had been born - they are actually pretty cute!We did see another large brown bear, but we were driving too fast to slow down & stop to take a photo. When we did stop, the bear decided to run off into the trees. Trust me, it was big!

We camped in another gravel pull out east of Whitehorse near the Yukon river.

Tuesday - July 31 - Whitehorse, Y.T. to Anchorage, AK, U.S.A. - 724 miles
Yes - you've read that correctly, we drove 724 miles in one day w/two children in the car. 9:04 am: Another tank of gas and coffee from Starbucks (there are 4 in Prince George & 1 in Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon Territory) we were ready to roll. As we put it "We could smell the barn". What do children do, do you ask when you drive for so long?

They sleep...
They play catch with a football while you're waiting at construction near Kluane Lake:

Love the form! Future NFL quarterback?

The Kluane Range is in the background. Wade is trying to intercept the ball...

And... you brush up on your map reading skills to make sure your parents really know where they are going...When you arrive at the Canada/Alaska border, right before you pass through customs, there is a rest area where you can view a swath of trees cut to show the border. You can also stand on a bench and straddle two countries! How cool is that?

Here I am - my right foot (on left side of photo) is in Alaska, U.S.A. and my left foot (right side of photo) is in the Yukon Territory, Canada!

One minute I'm in Alaska....

The next I'm in Canada!
It is 421 miles from the border to Anchorage. We could do it! We filled up w/gas twice more & continued on. We were able to reach our home at 10:15 pm (11:15 pm Canada time (PST)) - just a mere 14 hours after we left Whitehorse! If Wade had even suggested early on in this trip that we'd drive from Anchorage to Whitehorse on our first day, I'd have said he was nuts. But - when you hear the siren call of your own bed, shower, and home - the force is strong. When we were driving past Eagle River (20 minutes north of our house) we joked that we couldn't make it & would need to pull over and camp for the night. Nahh....

For any die hard knitters who've actually read this epic post - I did accomplish some knitting along the way:These are the Embossed Leaves sock - complete. I had finished the first sock during our stay at Liard Hot Springs on our drive down. Yarn: Regia silk (lost the ball band, so can't give the exact colorway), Needles: Size 2 Addi Turbo magic loop. I LOVE this pattern & the yarn is so soft. I think I'll need to buy a new pair of shoes to show off these socks. :0) I also almost finished my monkey socks - I have one more repeat & the toe to complete before they're finished & given to a friend.

Grand Totals for the AK to CA road trip 2007:

Total Mileage Traveled: 10,862

Total Gallons of Gas Used: 548.713 ( I did convert between litres & gallons while in Canada)

Total Cost of Gas: $1989.51 (This is an approx. since some of the cost was incurred in Canada & I'm not quite sure of the conversion rate)

Average Gas Mileage for the 2003 Eurovan: 19.95 mpg

Days Gone: 47

Spending Quality Time and Adventures with Family: PRICELESS!!

Well - time to fold the laundry...