OTR with M and R travel blog

Beehive on awning

eggs from beehive

The bottom of the owners license plate



One of the floats

Dyea Dave and his Metropolitan


The President Roosevelt Float

A '57 Chevy

Margie pushing her big movable stairs

Ladies of the evening

a Ranger hat with 100 years on it

A Float

Birthday cake for 100 year old Park Service

A birds eye view

Dogsled dogs

More dogsled dogs

Dogsled dogs doing what dogsled dogs do

Week 13 7/4-7/10

Our neighbor woke up on Sunday to find a beehive attached to their awning. I put up pictures of the hive and the eggs from it

Monday, July 4th there was a parade through town. Now when I say through town I mean they started at 2nd street and went up Broadway to 7th street (five blocks). Then they turned around and came back the five blocks. As my manager said, this is to make it look like it’s a lot longer than it actually is. The first thing I saw was costumed people giving out programs for the day. The first one was a clown. So, of course I just happened to have my clown costume stuff in the truck and couldn’t resist going to get it and putting it on. It was actually only a multicolored wig, multicolored gloves, big glasses, and big shoes. When the manager saw me she said it was OK during the parade but asked me to take it off after the parade was over. That was Ok. I was worried about parking but didn’t think a lot about it until I got into town and saw all the side streets blocked off so no one went across Broadway. Luckily I was able to back around a barricade and park in an open area. There were cars parked on the side streets but they just didn’t want any traffic on them. Margie was glad to stay out at the warehouse and do inventory. She did come in to do a little shipping and work a little at SOS. At least she didn’t have to make several trips through town making deliveries like she usually does. I wish I would have remembered that I still had a patriotic tie with us. I’m sure I could have worn that.

I decided that I should tell a little about the owner of the company and how this all started. He was a school teacher in Missouri and then got a chance to go teach in Alaska in the late 60s. He was teaching at a boarding school for the Eskimo children. Part of his job was to fly to the villages during the summer and sort of give an orientation to the prospective students on what to expect when they came to the school. During these visits he would be asked to bring things that were not easily acquired in the remote villages. Many if not most times he would take things in trade. A lot of the things were Native craft items. Such as, ivory carvings, baskets, etc. he eventually started a trading outpost in Nome, Alaska. I believe it was in 1976 or so that he ran in the Iditarod Dog Sled race. I don’t recall how many days it took him but he came in last. At least he did run it and finished it. He told me that he and another man were both running last, when the other man told him that he intended to run again. He said that if he came in last he would never be able to get any sponsors. My boss was not intending to run in another Iditarod race so he said he let the other man finish ahead of him. Since the race isn’t over until the last man crosses the finish line the crowd was waiting and my boss ended up getting almost as much publicity as the winners of the race. There is a newspaper in the museum with his face on the front page that was taken at the end of the race along with an article. He also told me of seeing a walrus that had 11 tusks. They normally only have two. The more they have the rarer they are. He says he found a man who had shot the walrus and was in the middle of removing the tusks. My boss told the man that he had just ruined the value of the walrus. He had an 11 tusk walrus. Now he only had 11 individual tusks. I put a picture of a portion of the owner's license plate up. If you finish the Iditarod race you can get a special plate.

On Tuesday a family came through the store, a husband and wife with two small children. The little boy was drinking from a go cup that appeared to be coffee. I asked them if he was drinking coffee. I’m sure they thought I was going to give them shit for letting him drink coffee. So, I quickly told them that I let my son drink coffee when he was young just like my dad did me. They said that yes it was coffee and both of them had started drinking coffee when they were about two. They also told me that the boy had started when he was two and the little girl started when she was one. I told them that when I was young I drank coffee with my dad when he fixed me breakfast before they left for work. I told them that I used a lot of milk and about six teaspoons of sugar. I told them that I also let my son have coffee when we went to the volunteer fire department I belonged to when he was under five. A lot of members would meet there in the mornings and shoot the shit and drink coffee. So he felt like one of the guys, I would fill a cup about half full of water, about half full of coffee, and then add cream and sugar.

People still have a problem with ivory sales. We have to keep telling them that it is not elephant ivory, it is mammoth ivory and they have been extinct for 100s of 1000s of years. We also deal in walrus ivory. Walruses can still be hunted by someone who is at least ¼ native Alaskan. People just get these stupid ideas in their head and take exception with it. I try to explain that that is a way of life for native Alaskans and they have hunted walruses for generations to feed and clothe their family as well as make tools and other things. I’ve told people that making it illegal for them to hunt walruses or anything else would be like a law being passed making it illegal for them to do whatever it is they do to feed and clothe their family.

The owner helped a customer and when it was time to pay he pointed to me at the register and said take that over to my youngest son and he’ll take care of you.

On Wednesday my co-worker sold a wolf pelt while I was at lunch for $1150 and we ended up doing over $3000.

I finally rode my bike to work today because Margie was going to use the pick up to go to the grocery store after work. I made the mistake of telling her the barge was a day late and they were just unloading the trailer when I went by on my way to work. So, she didn’t want to go the same day they unloaded and she didn’t.

On Thursday I rode my bike to work again so Margie could go to the store. Before I left for work I saw on Facebook that someone would be selling sockeye salmon at the dock for $5 a pound at noon. I sent Margie a message to tell her, since we wanted to get some fresh off the boat while we were here. She ended up going with a co-worker and she got two for us. She said they were actually about six pound fish but they knocked off a pound for the guts and such. Together they cost $50 and they were fileted at the dock. So, later all Margie had to do was cut them into pieces and wrap them. She said she got about 15 good sized pieces when she was finished. However since she got the fish and cut them up guess what she didn’t do again. That’s right she didn’t go to the grocery store.

Margie found out that more than once the owner has told people that that girl at the warehouse sure is a hard worker. This explains why he asked Margie if she was coming back next year and was rather disappointed to find out she wasn’t. She was told that he has never said that about anyone. When she told me this I said yeah, but he called me his youngest son. That’s got to count for something.

On Friday I rode my bike to work again so Margie could go to the grocery store. Yeah I know, you’ve heard that before. Well guess what, this time she did. I worked by myself today and brought in a whopping $279. What a let down from the $3000 day. After work, Margie called me right when I got to my bike to let me know she was still in town and ask me if I wanted her to pick me up. I told her of course I did. So, she turned around and came to pick me up. She told me that the cantaloupes were now 58 cents and looked rotten.

On Saturday we went to town and did a little shopping. This time we ate at a place called The Bonanza Bar and Grill. I got fish and chips (halibut) and Margie got a grilled cheese sandwich. We both had a couple of drinks. I ordered the northern lights, which was very sweet and Margie ordered a more creamy drink that I can’t remember the name of. We tasted each other’s and ended up switching. We were impressed that the server actually noticed that we had. My fish and chips were OK but so far the Northern Lights Pizzeria was the best meal I’ve had here. What can I say about a grilled cheese sandwich? I guess it was OK. Margie really didn’t say. I ended up getting another drink called the bushwhacker, which is described as an adult milkshake. It was more my style. Margie’s drink hit her pretty hard, which they usually do. She’s kind of funny when she’s a bit tipsy.

On Sunday I moved my computer and a bunch of other stuff up to the clubhouse to work. I could spread out a lot more there. While I was up there my portable scanner started acting up and eventually it was only scanning a small portion of the things I was putting through. I’ve had it for a while and use it a lot when I do, since I save up things to scan. Our shredder also stopped working the other day. So, while I was working in the clubhouse I ordered a new scanner and shredder from Amazon.

While I was working another Workamper came in and she and another couple were talking about getting on line and she said she couldn’t usually. As I have said many times, I don’t know why more people do not use Verizon. I try to tell everyone, you get what you pay for. I rarely have any problem with phone or internet service and I see and hear so many other people with other providers that don’t have signal or internet. These are probably the same people who are constantly changing service providers to save a few cents.

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