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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

A Familiar Stopover

~Thursday, August 18, 2022~

Day 795 (Travel Day)

Day 59 of Alaska Trip

To start off……it’s my mom’s special day back in California. I so much wish we were there with you to celebrate YOU and to express, in person, all the special reasons why you mean so much to this family. We hope you have a lovely day and an even more amazing year!


Today, we leave the southern portion of Alaska and head more into the interior, staying just one night in Palmer, AK. We stayed here a few weeks ago and loved the town. Not having had full hookups since Valdez, we were overdue for that little luxury. We found an RV park in Palmer called Paradise Alaska which had great reviews with a beautiful location

to boot….a great combination for a reset. The only thing I wish we could have done there was get rid of the muddy, slushy, grimy film that covers Billie Jean and Hank at the moment. It’s driving me batty! I would be absolutely mortified to bring our truck in for servicing with it looking the way it does right now. But it’s like, why bother? We’ve got more rough, grimy roads to go until we get to the Lower 48. So for now, we’ll just endure.

Our first stop today was to return the jack stands to the equipment rental place in the town of Sterling. Having rented them on a Saturday with the rental place closed on Sunday, Jeff had explained our situation early on, that we would prefer to return them today rather than that following Monday since we were already delayed in getting to Homer. He had asked them if returning them today would be a problem, where the response was pretty vague. All the clerk said was “we’ll work it out, don’t worry about returning them later, we have plenty”. Well here we are, and it’s somehow become a problem. They asked Jeff for his credit card to ring up the extra 4 days we had them to which Jeff responded irritatingly to the owner, “Now wait a minute, Kevin told me it would be o.k. to return them today, never mentioning that I’d be charged for having them extra days.” Seeing that Jeff was unhappy with the situation, to diffuse the situation, the owner said, “Clearly there’s been some misunderstanding. We’re sorry about the confusion. There are no additional charges.” Whew! Thank you babe for giving the guy “the look”, saving us an extra $120. It works every time! They would have just been sitting on a shelf anyway, as there were 4 other sets sitting there unrented. Stop #2…..topping off the truck since it was our last opportunity to find diesel at $4.99/gallon at the Sterling Shell station. Always feels good to get a bargain!

As we continued on the Sterling Highway, we couldn’t help but notice the yellow moose crossing signs indicating an increase in the number of moose fatalities since we’d last passed through………up to 24 from 17 in 1 week. So sad. I wonder if most of these occur during nighttime driving which we try to avoid whenever possible for exactly this reason.

Passing our familiar turnoff of Hidden Lake (where our axle troubles began) was a bit strange. But there’s something comforting about passing through areas we recognize. Hidden Lake was “home” after all, for over a week. On our way to Palmer, we stopped in Anchorage to pick up a USB card reader for me at Best Buy. I had inadvertently deleted some photos from my camera that I needed to recover. It’s actually surprising that this hasn’t happened more often with the thousands of photos and videos I’ve taken. It’s amazing what’s possible with techno gadgets and software. Wish me luck that I’m able to retrieve them. What….a Best Buy and a Target right next to each other. Even if we didn’t need anything, I would have gone in. But we did need stuff and likely wouldn’t find anything like it until Fairbanks. Having the ability to take care of errands in bigger cities is convenient, but still takes some adjusting to after being in more remote areas…..more people, more traffic, more noise. It doesn’t take long to wish for peace and serenity again.

Later in the afternoon, we got a call from Joe at Meeks RV in California. He had good news and bad news about trying to order a new oven for the trailer. The good news was that he’d have no trouble getting one in time on our visit to California. The bad news…..the Suburban brand oven is an inch wider and Meeks does not retrofit the cabinetry in our rig to fit it. That leaves either Lance to do the work (they’re 2 months behind schedule) or leaving it to Jeff to figure out. I’m sure if Jeff does the work, it will involve the excuse to buy a few new tools….”always a fun thing”, he says. I’m sure Jeff will rise to the occasion and accept the challenge. Joe said he would research a little more and get back to us.

It had been a long day by the time we arrived in Palmer around 8:00 p.m…..a little late to take advantage of our full hookup site. It was so nice having the ambiance and heat from our fireplace and a luxury to take a shower longer than 3 minutes.

And last but certainly not least, I was able to have a nice conversation with my mom on her special day and boy did we hit a variety of topics. Nice to know that I made her day even though it was a late one.

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