Week 21- 8/29-9/4 Well, it's been a quiet week in Skagway
Sep 5, 2016
|On the way to the Outpost open house we met my co-worker that was going with us out at Dyea. He showed us where the Slide Cemetery was and we walked around it. I just realized why it might be called the Slide Cemetery. A lot of the people buried there were killed in a big avalanche/snow slide on the trail in 1898.
The Chilkoot Outpost Open House was nice yesterday evening. The Salmon was very good along with the baked potato and coleslaw. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t any s’mores around a campfire like was mentioned in the emailed flyer. We went on a bit of a tour of some of the cottages before dinner. We waited around after dinner and nothing was said or seemed to be going on with the s’mores so we finally left. Before dinner we listened to Alaskan Senator Dan Sullivan, who seemed like a pretty decent guy. He mentioned that 60% of the United States’ seafood is supplied by Alaska fishermen. He also described how important Alaska is strategically to the United States. He said that missiles fired toward the U.S. from the Asian or Russian portion of Europe will be shot down by our missiles fired from Military installations in Alaska. This caused me to check a world map online after we got home. I did realize that including the Aleutian Islands Alaska does indeed extend well past the traditionally thought of east coast of the United States. I also saw Hawaii and it’s strategic location halfway across the Pacific Ocean from the shore of the United Sates. Between these two locations the United States can control and defend a vast amount of the Pacific Ocean. However, this also brings me to wonder about our entry into World War II which occurred in the 40’s. Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, which propelled us into the war. That was almost 20 years before Hawaii became the 50th state. From having been in Alaska for the last several months I’m very aware that we purchased it from Russia in 1867 and it became the 49th state in 1959 which was 92 years later. This is the same year that Hawaii became a state. Now I must research how and when Hawaii became a possession like Alaska was. Did we buy it from another country like Alaska or did we just take it over. So much to learn, so little time.
"Well, it's been a quiet week in Skagway.” Anyone who has read or listened to “A Prairie Home Companion” will recognize that as the opening line to most of the stories told by Garrison Keillor about Lake Wobegone, a fictional town in Minnesota. I happen to be reading the book, “Leaving Home” by Mr. Keillor that includes many of his stories, so I thought I’d start out this week that way. I started this book long ago but decided to try to finish it so I could give it to my co-worker before he leaves, since he was raised in Minnesota and we were talking about Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion at work. My co-worker is leaving early so he can have some medical things checked out in Seattle before he goes on to Hillsboro, North Dakota and the sugar beet harvest. This is the same town Margie and I worked the sugar beet harvest at two years ago. Then he is going on to see his dad in Minnesota.
Someone asked why something was so expensive and I gave them the usual answer about the material and the detail, etc. What I wanted to tell them is it wasn’t mass produced in China and then ask them if they had that kind of talent how much would they think it was worth. It’s a little bit like athletes getting millions of dollars for their talent. Why are they so expensive? There isn’t even anything tangible associated with their talent.
I heard a mother or grandmother outside say that it had stopped raining. Then the little boy she was with kept asking why did it stop raining. Makes you wonder what else goes through the minds of kids that we don’t even think about.
Someone else came in today after I had closed the entry of the museum. I heard them say, “There are people back there, is it really closed.” Yes it is really closed. If I keep letting people in then I will never be able to close it.
I put an ad on a Skagway Facebook page for my co-worker to sell a small portable greenhouse he has in his truck.
Margie told me that the guys at the recycling center were using a different cardboard baler today, because the other container was removed. She was told that the company didn’t like the size of the cardboard they were putting out. This reminds me that this is where the fellow works that loaned us his truck, ATV, and gun. I forgot to mention that when we took those back he said we were welcome to use his camping equipment if we wanted go camping out on the Dyea Flats some time. He also offered to loan us several guns if we wanted to go shooting. He mentioned long guns pistols and even an AR 15 or AK 47, I don’t remember which.
There is a T-shirt company about two blocks away from my store and Margie told me that they had about everything half off. So, I went there after work and got some candy. I got some salmonberry flavored candy, some fireweed flavored candy, a bourbon flavored chocolate bar, wild huckleberry licorice, and a can of salmon spread.
I saw someone wearing a Yellowstone park jacket and it made me think about all the tourist place jackets I see people wearing and I got to wonder if they buy a new jacket for a souvenir everywhere they go. Then what do they do with them after a while. Surely they don’t keep them all.
I’ve never given the mats and things on the ground in front of businesses much thought until now. Lately I’ve seen several people take pictures of the one inside and outside the doors to my store.
The sign says closed for the day so they ask if there is a fee for the museum and I say “no, It’s closed for the day.”
A fellow was looking for a memory card for his camera and I started giving him directions. He is obviously not from around here and doesn’t know his way around. However, I start to give him directions to a place that might have the cards and he stops me and says no that’s the IGA and they don’t have them. That wasn’t where I was sending him, but since he is now an expert on Skagway I should have just said, well I don’t know anyplace then, sorry.
Interestingly enough, I have found out that the monarch was overthrown in Hawaii in 1893 by American sugar growers and in 1898 (coincidentally, the same year as the Gold Rush happened in Alaska) the U.S. formally annexed the islands as a U.S. territory.
I made a note to reiterate how much stuff we were told that has not happened. Gas has been expensive through Canada and her but always available. We were told to never pass up a gas station and keep extra fuel with us. We didn’t keep extra fuel and we never had trouble finding open stations. Groceries are also more expensive here but still available and some things and sometimes not all that expensive. As I have said eggs are real surprisingly inexpensive. I like to snack on the fake crab meat and it has been $2 a package the whole time we have been here. So, I keep a supply of that. I did get charged $2.50 at least once but I checked again the next time to be sure and corrected the cashier who corrected my bill. Since then it has always rang up $2. The other warning we got was to have plenty of bug spray, because there were a lot of huge mosquitoes. We have hardly been bothered by any bugs more than normal for anywhere. For the trip up we were also warned about the roads which also were not bad at all.
The owner went to our store next door for a while. When he came back he announced to me that he had told them to turn on the air conditioning. That’s nice, now if they would just install air conditioning in my store. It hasn’t been too bad to me but it did get a little warm a few days. It seems to be progressing to more darkness faster than it progressed to more daylight. However, we didn’t get here until late April so it may just seem like it.
We have a coffee cup in the store that depicts the northern lights. I’ve been wanting one. There has been one in a store room ever since the beginning of the season with a broken handle. Finally today when I took my daily receipts to the manager I went and got the cup. I told her that the cup needed someone to fix it and care for it and love it. She told me to take it. Mom would be so proud when I glued the handle together when I got home. So I got the cup for free and just had to glue the handle together. I like free.
I couldn’t park where I usually do this morning so I parked at the end of the alley that goes to the back of our store. When I left work I took some pictures of an old car that’s been back in that area for a long time by the looks of it. There are a lot of old cars sitting around town. It’s a shame no-one does anything with them. I guess they can’t just take them to a junk yard or sell them to anyone because of the isolation here.
I see a lot of people wearing the same jacket that has Alaska and Ketchikan on it. So, a lot of people are buying that same jacket when they get off the ships in Ketchikan. A fellow was telling me something that I had never thought of about the ivory restrictions. I had never thought about musical instruments like the ivory keys on a piano. He was saying how many of these laws did not address this and now people can’t sell their used piano legally. I know the owner has blamed the current president for a lot of this but I kind of thought it started before that. However, this guy said the same thing. He also said that they tried to get it done at the federal level but couldn’t and have now gotten several states to pass laws at that level against it. He said this after I mentioned that a fellow had told me that he was trying to sell an old gun at an auction house and was told that they had to sell it before the new law went into effect in Illinois where they were located. It obviously had ivory on it. The auction house told him they could get more money by putting it in their catalog, but there wasn’t time. So, he was going to end up getting less for it because of this new law and the fact that it doesn’t take preowned items into account. The fellow today also told me that the “frog” on the bow of violins and like instruments is made of ivory because it is the only thing known to give and not stretch the horsehair of the bow. I had a customer come to me across the store from the register to pay for something and I tell her to follow me to the register. Then I hear her from somewhere behind me ask where it is. I look back and she has gone a different way and is stuck behind other people. What did you not understand in, FOLLOW ME? You had to go your own way and get lost in the crowd. I had another very rude “lady” ask what her total was before I even started ringing up her purchase. Then she asks about wrapping it before we have even come close to finishing the transaction by her signing her credit card receipt. Then while I’m wrapping her rather fragile item she asks me for scotch tape. Then she sees the masking tape dispenser and reached past me in my way to get it herself. My god people are so rude and stupid. I would love to be the owner so I could tell these inconsiderate impolite people what I think of their manners or lack of them. He would let them have it. I’ve seen him do it and heard stories. I was rolling the awning in outside at the end of the day and a woman asked if I was closing and I said pretty soon. She asked if she could just run in for a minute. I told her that the museum portion of the store was already closed. She then said, “That’s no good.” So, in other words you were planning on going in and to the museum part and just for a “minute.” So, you are so important that you think I should wait around for another “15” minutes while you stroll through the museum at your leisure.
Margie got a ride into town and went shopping before I got off. Then she came back to my store so we could go out to eat. I decided we should go to the German restaurant called The Mermaid Garden down at the dock next to the Skagway Fish Company. I had the German Schnitzel which was a pork fritter with mashed potatoes and cabbage. Margie had chicken cordon blue with vegetables and potatoes also. It was all pretty good. I thought the best tasting thing on my plate was the cabbage. Then we went and got ice cream cones. The Kone Kompany was closed already but the Popcorn Emporium was still open and they have ice cream and it’s a little cheaper. For $6.50 you can get a waffle cone with 1 or 2 scoops (same price). One day my co-worker went there and was astounded by the fact that for the same price you could get one or two scoops. It wasn’t so much that, as it was the fact that he was actually asked if he wanted one or two scoops for the same price. Who would say hmm, one or two scoops for the same price, I think I’ll just take one, please! I think it was today or yesterday another one of our stores had candy bars on sale for $1.25 each. They were bigger than a Hershey bar and Margie bought me 12 or 13 of them. Yahoo.
Margie brought my coffee to me in my new cup. After I got up, I took a picture of it. After a while I decided to take a picture of the price tag to show how much I saved by getting the broken one. So, I turned it over to take a picture of the price tag on the bottom. Now don’t laugh, but I forgot it still had coffee in it. The coffee spilled on the table, the floor, my pants, my foot, and my shirt. It wasn’t just a little coffee. Normally something like that would really piss me off. This time it was just so stupid I couldn’t help but start laughing. It reminded me of asking someone holding a glass what time it is and he turns his wrist to see and pours his drink on himself. Of courses since no-one wears a watch anymore that is less likely to happen.
Margie went grocery shopping and when she got home a carton of eggs fell out of the truck. It was a carton of 18. Most of them survived the fall but there were a couple of fatalities and some injuries. So, she ended up fixing about 9 scrambled eggs to save for later.
We have a strange leak in the tub/shower. Water accumulates on the wall side of the tub and works its way from the spigot, by the hot water knob, the diverter knob, the cold water knob to a low spot and then down into the tub. I thought we would take a hike toady but I decided I should tackle that instead. It’s got to be a twofold problem. The spigot can’t be leaking when the water is off unless the washers in the faucets need replacing. First I checked through the access panel under the tub to make sure nothing was leaking under there and it wasn’t. So, I took off the spigot to try to figure out where the water is coming from. It appears that there might be an internal leak somewhere in the spigot. It’s plastic so its probably a crack but I don’t know how that happened. I do know that I will probably break it if I try to pry it a apart. Of course it’s an RV part and the RV is a 1993 so the hardware store didn’t have anything like it. I opted to put it back on and replace the washers. So, I went back and got the washers and replaced them, although, the old ones didn’t look bad. Of course, even with new washers the leak is still there. The water stays in the tub so we’re just going to leave the diverter toward the shower head for now and wait until we get back to the lower 48 just next month to see if we can get a new spigot and fix it better. I didn’t want to use silicone or caulk under the faucet base covers so I ended up getting 3 rubber drain stoppers for $1.50 apiece and cutting them to fit around the stem and just past the edge of the base to seal the area so water doesn’t go down under the tub. It worked and looks pretty good (I think). We have been talking about having salmon dinner with my co-worker and he is going to fix the salmon. He is the one that told Margie how to fix salmon. Today is the day, he fixed the salmon in the community center’s kitchen and Margie fixed the sides in our RV. We ate around 5. We got one of our extra chairs that stow under the couch so we had three chairs. My co-worker tied his dog outside and Margie actually thawed out four pieces so the dog could have one. Since we know that my coworker feeds her the same as he eats.
We had the scrambled eggs for breakfast this morning.
Margie and I went into town today bargain hunting since all of the stores are starting their end of season sales and marking most everything down by at least 50%. I got more candy, yes there is a pattern, and I got some more salmon spread with shrimp.
After we got back Margie watched a movie, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, while I worked on this week’s blog and lo and behold here it is.