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We drove to Anchorage on Wednesday to do a bit of shopping and squeeze in another pre-winter outing. There were a couple items I needed to buy for my studio and jewelry making which was a primary reason for the trip. Also, the nearest full-service health food store is there and some recipes I want to make require ingredients not found locally. Of course, we made a stop at Wal-Mart, ate dinner at Royal Fork (which at least gives me a chance of eating foods that are somewhat compliant), and drove back home. Itâ€™s just our regular 340 mile round-trip in a day.
On the drive up, we counted Trumpeter Swans. Two weeks ago we counted about a dozen and this week, 84. Last year at this time we counted over 120. There werenâ€™t very many babies this year, less than 2 dozen. One family, however, was very successful with 5 babies keeping the parents very occupied. Within a few days they will finish gorging themselves, group together and head south.
I was feeling under the weather when I woke on Wednesday morning, but did not let that keep me from the trip. I was really feeling puny by the time I drove into the driveway. We bought gas for $2.54/gallon in Anchorage (price war). My husband cleaned the windshield and headlights. About 40 miles south of Anchorage we made our bathroom and refreshment stop. Other than a couple â€œout housesâ€? this is the only bathroom for the next 120 miles. As we were leaving, we discovered a headlight was out. There was no place to pick up a new one, so we just came on home. As the traffic was very light, I was able to use the high beams for most of the distance. Then, as luck would have it, while about 50 feet from our driveway, a police officer turned on his lights! Fortunately, there was no problem! I love our small community.
As we were leaving Anchorage, I called the boys to tell them the buffalo stew cooking in the crock pot would be finished and for them to dish up. I didnâ€™t tell them to be sure and stir the ingredients first. When we came in, I went to dish some dinner up and all that was left were root vegetables and broth! Apparently, they ate buffalo cubes and greens for their dinner, as those were the top layers. At least it was very good for them.
Well, Iâ€™ve been languishing with the crud now for three days. The fever is almost gone. About six hours ago, I felt like I might live! There is hope for the future.
On Thursday, my husband and I will be flying to Fairbanks to attend the Alaska Federation of Natives conference. Weâ€™ll visit with many of his relatives from the interior villages and Arctic coast. This conference consists of Alaskan Indians, Eskimos, Aleut, Haida, and Tlingket peoplesâ€™ and corporations. The 12 regional corporations were developed during the Alaskan Native Land Claims Settlement Act and partly explain why there arenâ€™t reservations in Alaska. Anyway, they have a big business meeting once a year. There will be lots of good â€œnativeâ€? foods to enjoy, lots of people with whom to reacquaint ourselves, and a special activity. Iâ€™ll let you know the rest of the story after we get back early next week. Till thenâ€¦