Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Getting Little Things Done As We Prep For Denali

The big things happening in our lives today were getting the upstairs ready for the workers to fix our ceiling and then to paint.  And so we are also getting ready to drive to Denali National Park while they do the first part of that chore.

So here's how I kept busy to those ends, but also smaller tasks.  I started by going to the repair shop for them to install my new battery for the camping part of the VW van.  Then to Best Buy to get a new CD player that we can plug into the tape deck in the van.  (It's a '97 van, so it has a tape deck.)  Then to the battery store to drop off the old battery.

When I got home I called my insurance to ask if they got my forms for my hears.  They haven't, even though when I talked to them before I sent the forms 17 days ago, they said I'd get my check in about ten days.  So I had to redo the forms.  Fortunately, we had copies of the forms.  But then we've been having a recurring problem with our printer.  It prints fine.  But when I try to make a copy it complains that the wrong sized paper (envelope size) is in the tray.  It's not, but it says that and won't copy.  I've pushed all the buttons in the little window.  I've changed the paper to envelope size and back, but nothing worked.  But when we moved everything downstairs I found the paper where I wrote down the number of the Costco concierge (a little pretentious title, don't you think?).  After trying this and that, she had me check my computer setting.  It was set right, for letter sized paper.  She had me change it to envelope size and try to print.  It didn't.  She had me reset it back to letter sized.  It didn't print.  But there was a new option that showed up in the little window on the printer - change paper size.  So I did, and then it printed.  Grrrrrr, it shouldn't be this hard (this has been a recurring problem - enough so I've ended up taking pictures of documents then printing the pictures.)  But then no one used to have printer, copier, fax machines in their homes that worked via wifi.  So I'm only complaining a little bit.

The contractor came by to see how our moving things was doing.  We'll be ok.  Then I still needed to fill out one more (four were done via the copies) form.  By then the mail had already been picked up, but I bike ride to the post office would get me some exercise time.  There wasn't even a line and I sent it registered so I could track it this time.  On the way home I stopped at the family medical practice to get my knees Xrayed.  When I saw the doctor last week, we agreed I should get a baseline image.  I notice them mostly when I go down stairs.  They don't hurt, but they are no longer unnoticed either.

Then I got home in time to get into Google Hangout, which is not Meet or something like that, to chat with my San Francisco grandkids.  And while we were chatting I suddenly realized my left hear wasn't behind my ear.  I looked downstairs in the garage where I'd taken off my bike helmet, but it wasn't on the floor.  And where I took off my hat and sunglasses, but it wasn't there either.  You do get one lost hear free, but it's a little early for that.

J got home and talked to the grandkids, then she went looking for the missing hear.  She brought it up.  It was caught in the strap of my bike helmet.  That was lucky.  I'm going to have to be much more careful with them.  I really forget they're on (or not on.)  Until someone talks too softly for me to hear.  Maybe I can find a way to tape my phone number on them.  Another good reason mohave the bigger ones.

So I still have to get camping stuff into the car and get all the little loose stuff cleared out.  The workers will move the bigger stuff into the kitchen.  We'll sleep downstairs when we get back until the painting is done.  Then I hope we will get rid of a lot of stuff rather than bring it back upstairs. But the printer works well downstairs, it may stay there.

And we've been watching the Denali road opening and weather for the last week.  The park busses start May 20.  But until that day you can drive as far as the road is cleared up to Teklanika Campground - 30 miles from the entrance.  It's a wonderful time to be there.  But until just last week the road was only open to mile 12.5.  And then it went back to mile 3.  12.5 again, and then mile 30.  The weather's been chilly - high's in the 30s(F) and lows down to 20˚F.  Here's what it says for right now:

"Heavy Snow Freezing Fog
Humidity 85%
Wind Speed Calm
Barometer 29.73 in
Dewpoint 27°F (-3°C)
Visibility 0.25 mi
Last update 1 May 5:56 pm AKDT"
But we learned a long time ago, that if you let weather get in your way in Alaska, you'll never do anything.  Looking at current road conditions right now:

"Denali Park Road closed at Headquarters
The Denali Park Road is closed to vehicle traffic at Mile 3. Pedestrian traffic (via ski, snowshoe, etc) is permitted, but stay back from any road plowing equipment you see. The Murie Center (our visitor center) is open daily, 9 am - 4:30 pm, at Mile 1.5."
Maybe I should take cross country skis.  In 2016 we were there in late April and it was beautiful.

Meanwhile it's sunny and 49˚F here and I can see green on the birch buds in the front yard.


  1. A lot of that stuff you had to do I heard called "administrivia". Good name.
    I'm sure we'll read about Denali at some point. :D

  2. I was thinking about a name for hearing aids and came up with "sounders" -- ?

    1. I'll take that into consideration. It's the same name as Seattle's soccer team.


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