Jun 30, 2013
It was Sunday and time to drive south back towards Anchorage. We slept in this morning and left Fairbanks at around 11:00 am. It took us about 1/2 hour to fill with water and find a dump to empty our tanks. We drove to Nenana to go to church, and arrived about 11:45 am. This is a small town 58 miles south of Fairbanks. We got there early so we could change into our church clothes. The church was in a small building on the main road into town. It looked like they only used half of the building. We walked up to the door at 5 minutes before noon and the doors were locked. We thought that maybe it was stake conference, so we got back into the motorhome and drove around town. We came back about 10 minutes later and we saw a couple of cars pulling up to the building. It looks like they were a little flexible on starting times.
The branch consists of one large extended family and a couple of others. One of the kids from the large family was getting married in Utah, so about 15 members of the branch were in Utah. Besides us, there were another couple that was visiting. So counting the visitors there were 17 of us there. Only 11 were ward members and it was mainly a large family with 5 young kids. The branch president was fishing, so his father conducted. They had an abbreviated schedule because so few were attending. We had sacrament and Sunday School combined. The Gospel Doctrine teacher is a cop and did not show up (they thought he may be working on the fires), so we had the youth lesson given by the branch president’s wife. She also played the piano. Hannah led the singing and Zac passed the Sacrament. We also provided the bread for the Sacrament because they had forgotten it. It was an interesting meeting. I think they were embarrassed because things were a little unorganized because 1/2 of the branch was missing. We left after Sacrament/Sunday School so we could get on the road.
We still had 300 miles to go so we drove straight through except for a few rest stops and to eat lunch and dinner. It was really windy for the first 150 miles and then it rained the last 150 miles.
We ended up camping in a Fred Meyers parking lot just outside of Anchorage. Camping at Fred Meyers is very popular and the stores have a large section dedicated for camping. The two times we stayed there it was pretty quiet and safe.
Jul 1, 2013
Today was our last day in Alaska. It rained most of the night and it was about 55 degrees for most of the day. We got up and everyone showered. We left Fred Meyers around 9:15 am. The first task was to fill the gas and propane at a station in Anchorage. Next we dropped off the motorhome and cleaned out our gear. That took about 45 minutes. We had driven about 1370 miles over 10 days.
The shuttle driver took us to the airport and we flew home without any problems. Alyssa, Hannah Thorne, Kiera and Andie came and picked us up. It was about 95 degrees at 8:00 pm and the rest of the night was hot.
This was a very fun trip. We we’re able to see things that I have wanted to see for many years. Using a motor home was very nice because we always had our gear with us and could make our lunch whenever we needed to. We also were able to stay somewhere different most every night. The only camping reservations we made were in Homer and the campground in Denali. The only disappointment was not seeing the summit of Mt Denali.