OTR with M and R travel blog

A Picture of Gold Rush Skagway

Another Picture that was in the Chilkoot Room

Margie's Dinner at the Westmark

My Dinner at the Westmark

A Carved Mammoth Tusk. Price $52,500.00

A Picture of the Store I work in Toward the Front Door

Picture From the Front Door

Through the Exit Side of the Museum

Me Next to a Totem in the Museum

The Entrance Side of the Museum with Mammoth Tusk

Me Next to $5,000,000 in Gold Bricks (Well Gold Colored Bricks)

A Woman Leaving after Buying a Stuffed Dog

There Are Bears in Skagway

He Was a Friendly Bear

And Nobody Notices the Bear

Ragged Ass Road, Sign


Week 12 – 6/27-7/3

One thing I wanted to go into was about selling my house and other things you can still do even while travelling fulltime and not having a permanent sticks and bricks house. Margie and I started this fulltime RV lifestyle in September of 2014. Since that time I have deposited checks in the bank, filed income taxes returns for both me and my deceased mother, and sold two houses while being as far as 3000 miles from St. Louis. I have been able to take a picture of any check I have received with my smart phone and deposit it through my credit union’s app on the phone. The first year we started my mother passed away. In 2015 I was working at an amusement park in Iowa when my brother and I sold her house. I was able to get the necessary documents sent to me electronically and sign them and send them back electronically. Some of them had to be notarized, which I was able to do and mail those back. Now this year, just a few weeks ago, I also sold my house while I was in Alaska. Once again I was able to have the necessary documents sent to me electronically and I was able to sign them and have the pertinent ones notarized and mailed back. One glitch to this one was the fact that I had to wire money for the closing costs. The credit union wouldn’t let me wire money without a wiring agreement on file which they could email me but they would have to receive it in the regular mail before I could wire any money. I only had about four days before the money had to be there. This was not enough time to get the form, fill it out, mail it back, make sure it was on file, and then have the funds wired. Luckily I had two people who had access to two different accounts that I could transfer money into, which they could then have a cashier’s check issued for the funds and take it to my real estate agent. One of these people came through and got the check to the agent. However, do some ineptness on the part of the postal service, the documents I had sent just barely made it on time for the closing. However, they did make it in time. So in this day and age with the technology we have, there is no reason to think that you have to live in one place and cannot travel the country and take care of any business you need to. As far as mail, I also have a private mail box in St. Louis at a UPS Store. They will let me know if I receive a package and when my box is overflowing. Then I just give them an address where I am and they forward the mail to me. I receive very little mail since I do as much as possible online.

I realized that in my haste to get caught up last week, I missed a few things. Last Friday evening we ate out at a place called the Northern Lights Pizzeria. That’s a little confusing, since they have so much more than pizza. They do have pizza, and Mexican, and seafood, as well as other stuff. Margie had the pizza. It was Ok but she didn’t care for the actual slices of tomato being on it. I had the captain’s plate, which had salmon, halibut, and huge shrimp on it. It was excellent. I would say it was the best meal I have had here. Coincidentally, when we arrived, there were already four of our co-workers there. After we sat down, the owner’s son and grandson came in, and then the owner and his wife arrived and sat with them. So, all together there ended up being 10 of us from the same company there without any prior planning. Another thing I forgot about was while Margie was cleaning out one of the warehouses she came across a dinner plate. She thought it looked familiar and instead of throwing it away she decided to keep it. When she got it home she discovered that it was an exact match for our dishes.

All this week I have had sinus/allergy issues. A couple of days were really bad. It started a week ago about last Saturday and it is now Sunday a week later. Margie has given me until Monday, which is tomorrow to be well. She’s so compassionate. I think I’ll make it, but just in case I think I’ll be suppressing any sniffles I may have. I did manage to make it to work all week though, and even worked an extra day when I was asked to fill in for someone else.

I had started thinking about the house sale and whether I needed to contact the issuer of my homeowner’s insurance policy. Well, like they were reading my mind they called before I left for work Tuesday morning. They were asking about a change of address that they had put in for me to verify it. I told them that it was the right address for me and that I had actually sold the house and would need to cancel the homeowner’s insurance on it. When I left for work I went to the town viewing spot to try and take a picture of the port when there were four ships docked. When I got there I found six busses parked there with people walking back and forth from the busses to the viewing area. So, I decided to wait until a better day. When I turned around to go back I found a street sign I hadn’t seen before. It was for a private road called Ragged Ass Road. After I got to work I was asked to work next Saturday for another employee that wanted off. Luckily I have been getting Saturday and Sundays off with Margie lately, but I said I would work. I like to be needed and I rarely don’t agree to work when I am needed. On the way home I stopped at the store to get some medicine for my allergies. I was behind two girls and they had a cantaloupe. The clerk asked them if they were sure they wanted it and whether they knew how expensive it was. When they saw that it was $11.48, they decided that they didn’t want it, and said, it’ll be on sale later. I wonder what the owner of the store would think about an employee talking someone out of buying something because it was too expensive. I don’t think my boss would be very happy about it.

When I got home I found out that Margie had picked three peas from her garden. She and another camper ate them raw. She did think to take pictures of them and the lettuce she picked.

I finally rode my bike in to work again on Wednesday since Margie wanted to go to the store when she finished working. We noticed that a workamper that does some maintenance work left earlier than normal. When I got to work I saw why. They had been putting up red, white, and blue bunting on the front of the stores for The Fourth of July.

I noticed that a girl about 16 years old was wearing a shirt that said “Iditarod 2016.” I asked her about it and found out from her and her mother that there is a junior Iditarod and she has run it twice and she is ready to do it again. It is 150 miles long, compared to the adult one being around 1000 miles long. The owner happened to be in the store at the time and I pointed to him and said that he had run in the adult one. I could tell that she really wanted to talk to him and he was in a conversation. As soon as I could interrupt I told him that I thought he was special but now there were two people in the store who had run the Iditarod. He asked who and I pointed to the girl and said that I didn’t know there was a junior Iditarod. He and the girl talked for a while and I could see that she was taking in all that he had to say. I heard him telling her about sleeping on the trail by piling snow around you just high enough to clear your head. Then he told her that you only use a candle for some heat and light but it is enough to eat and sleep. He said that he was warm enough to actually strip off all his clothes to sleep as comfortably as possible.

One of my biggest sales of the day was four five inch bronze totem poles and 10 small bronze totem pole bells to one person for $167.

My co-worker had shown me some medicine he gets in China. He told me that the best as he could make out, part of the directions is for knife and gunshot wounds. That doesn’t make me want to go to China. This medicine is sprinkled on the wound like I think they used to use sulfur back in the Wild West days. He said you can also take it internal with whiskey. I asked, so it’s like radiator stop leak for your body. Well today he brought me a bottle. I don’t really want to cut myself to find out, but he swears it will just about immediately stop any bleeding and begin to heal the wound. I was checking some files today and found the rules to play cribbage. We have some amazing pieces that are made into cribbage boards. There is a large walrus tusk for $4500, walrus jawbones, and pieces of walrus ivory, all made into cribbage boards.

I ended up being $50.39 over at the end of the day. The manager came over with her change box and counted it and it was $50 short.

I got a splinter in my hand when I was closing the store and the front doors. So, Margie was working on it when I got home and started using scissors to dig it out. When she started doing that I picked up the medicine my co-worker had given me and kept it near me. Margie read the directions in the medicine and saw that it also said that one ingredient was some sort of national secret. This medicine is getting weirder by the minute. I sure am getting to sleep a lot more now that I am not trying to write every evening.

My co-worker has been a little spooked ever since the woman with the supposed $100 bill. Well Thursday he lost track of a $100 bill. It turns out that he had but it under the cash register drawer like the manager recommended. However, he wasn’t used to putting money there and had forgotten it. He had already found it but still wanted me to count the drawer to check it. I was pretty proud of myself. I counted the bills and just visually estimated the change and came up with an amount that was only 13 cents off from what the drawer should have been.

We got some pretty neat Ulu knives in today. Two of them have oosik handles (remember oosik) and the handles have faces imbedded in one end, maybe made of ivory. OK, considering what an oosik is I think having a face in the end of it is a little bit weird.

Margie told me about an incident that happened at another one of our stores where she was on Friday. She was helping out there while she wasn’t busy. Most, if not all, of the sidewalks in the business district of town are boardwalk. You know just slats of wood to make for a more rustic feel. Well she told me that a fellow did not want to try to parallel park so instead he just drove forward up onto the sidewalk to pull back to the street and park next to the “curb.” The boards are not meant to take the weight of a car so he ended up breaking several of the boards. Not a very smart individual. Margie worked in that store on Friday and also worked some overtime on Saturday at the same store.

I had a customer buy some things and charge them. Like I always do I swiped his card and held it. After they sign one copy of the receipt for me then I hand them their card back with their copy of the receipt. Well, when I asked him to sign one copy he asked for his card back. I told him I always give it back with their copy of the receipt. Quite frankly he was an ass that I guess felt he should be treated differently. Until he signed the receipt completing the transaction I have every right to hold the card, since technically he hasn’t completed paying for my merchandise. Why do some people just have to be difficult asses?

After work on Saturday we went out to eat. This time we went to the Westmark hotel and ate in their Chilkoot room. Chilkoot is the name of the trail that the miners used during the gold rush of 1898. Margie had the pecan encrusted halibut and I had the salmon. This was also a pretty good meal. As usual and as everything is here it was a bit expensive. However, we have come to realize that since we do not have to pay for a camping spot and neither one of us now has the house expenses we used to, we can eat out and spend a little more money on ourselves to have more fun. Well Margie is still keeping the electric and gas on but that’s all of her expenses for her property. Since no one is living there those bills are at the minimum.

Also on Saturday I realized that not only do I give customers information, I also get information from them. One person asked me why Canada didn’t try to buy Alaska. I answered that they just weren’t interested and didn’t have the financial ability to do so. A customer in the store then told me the real reason was because Canada did not actually become a country until we had bought Alaska and therefore could not buy it. He also told me that Alaska was a big reason why Canada became a country the same year and shortly after we bought Alaska. They were concerned that the United Sates would buy up more land.

We have these small figures that appear to be made from mushrooms. They are all in the shape of an eagle. One customer thought they might be split open pine cones. Another customer believed they were burwood (like a growth on a tree).Then the one that I think is correct is the customer that told me they were made from “mushroom wood” and she has a collection of them. She indicated that she had one that was an eagle that was about two feet wide.

A man came in that said he was a tour director and he had a list of the ports that cruise ships stop at with things to see in each one. He said he was updating his list and asked me if the museum was free this year as he had it down as costing $2. I told him that I understood that they had tried charging admission at least one year but yes it was free this year. That list and his questions are enough, I’m sure to warrant a tax deduction for his trip as a tour director.

I noticed the pants that a woman was wearing had Xs on both back pockets. I so much wanted to ask her if they were treasure pants as I thought maybe X marked the spot as on a treasure map.

I rang up a customer and gave back their change. When I looked at the screen it showed that her change should be $1.01 and I was pretty sure I only gave her the penny. I asked her and she said that I did not give her a dollar bill even though she had not noticed my mistake. So, I gave her a dollar. Then I did another one of those quick drawer checks and came up only seven cents shy of what should be in it. I’m sure glad to see that I can do that so quickly if I need to.

On Sunday I ordered something for my grandson’s birthday and Margie and I went shopping to find him some stuff here. We also got ice cream at a store that I had heard had Huckleberry ice cream. That was another bit of information that I had actually gotten from a customer. Then I spent the evening packaging Logan’s stuff to mail for his birthday.



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