Tag Archives: washington

The Original: “Blue Canoe”

The MV Chilkat at dock in Ketchikan, Alaska

In 1948, what would become the Alaska Marine Highway System, started out as a ferry service between Haines and Juneau with a surplus WWII landing craft, which was dubbed The Chilkoot. Demand quickly outpaced what the 14 vehicle Chilkoot could provide, so the territorial government commissioned the building of a dedicated ferry at the cost of $300,000.

The MV Chilkat came on line in 1957, as the first ferry in the new Alaska Marine Highway System. Painted blue and gold, the ferries soon took on the nickname Alaska’s “blue canoes”.

The Chilkat was “the Queen of the Fleet”, and traveled the Lynn Canal daily, between Haines, Skagway and Juneau. Later, it would ply the waters between Ketchikan and Annette Island. The Chilkat carried 59 passengers and 15 vehicles, and was a workhorse in Southeast Alaska until 1988.

The decommissioned Chilkat in Fanny Bay, British Columbia, circa 2012

The Chilkat became a scallop tender in 1988, when the State sold her.

The Chilkat breaking loose from her moorings; Photo credit: KTOO

High winds hit Anacortes, Washington on January 13, where the Chilkat was docked. She broke loose from her moorings in gusts of 50 knots, shifted awkwardly, and sank within minutes. Three boats broke free during the storm, but only the 99 foot former ferry sank.

Since the Chilkat had been taken out of service, she had no fuel or oil in her system. The owner of the boatyard says the Chilkat will be eventually be raised from the sea bed.


Happy July 4th

Cool George


1924 Washington Senators

Several reels of old nitrate film were found in the rafters of a detached garage near Worcester, Massachusetts, when the owner had passed away.
Nitrate film is highly flammable, and it creates it’s own oxygen when it burns. The film reels had been in the garage during the heat of summer and the cold of winter for decades, so it was doubtful that the film would be in good condition.

Surprisingly, the film turned out to be in excellent condition. The oldest was from 1919, and the newest from 1926. One of them was a Kinograms newsreel of game seven of the 1924 World Series.

The New York Giants had gone into the fall classic heavily favored over the Washington Senators, but Washington had forced a game 7. New York led 3-1 in the eighth inning, when Bucky Harris hit a routine ground ball, which took a hard bounce over the third baseman. Two runs scored, and the game was tied. In the ninth inning, 36 year old Walter “Big Train” Johnson, a future Hall of Famer, came in to pitch on only one day’s rest. He held the Giants scoreless for four innings. In the bottom of the twelve inning, Muddy Ruel hit a double, then Earl McNeely followed with another single that bounced over the third baseman. The Washington Senators had their first World Series title. In fact, the 1924 Series win is the only World Series title for a team from the Nation’s capital.

1960 was the last year for the Griffith owned Washington Senators in DC. The team would move to Minneapolis-St Paul and became the Minnesota Twins for the 1961 season.

This wonderful newsreel is the only known footage of the 1924 World Series, and it comes courtesy of The Library of Congress.


Tacoma, WA to Williams Lake, BC

20130514-112650.jpg

Tacoma, WA to Williams Lake, BC

It was a long day. 400 miles with a border crossing makes it a full day as well.

Traffic up I-5 wasn’t terrible, so my plan to travel past Seattle on a Sunday morning worked rather well. I did stop just before the portal to fill up the tank, buy a new map of BC and splurged on a new Milepost as well, then picked up a gallon of gear lube because the t-case is leaking again. The guys in the OReilly’s loved the truck and were still talking about the film, “The Gods Must Be Crazy” when I walked out the door.

Taking WA Hwy 539 across into Canada was also a breeze. I pulled right up to the booth, answered the usual questions… although “When was the last time you were in Canada?” was new. Then I was off and running.

British Columbia holds some beautiful country within its borders. I had forgotten how much one climbs when you approach the Al-Can from this far west. I had also forgotten what a beast the Fraser River is. Damn, that’s a lot of water flowing between its banks.

I saw 25-30 deer today and one harem of big horn sheep. I also saw two “Badger Crossing” signs, which is a first for me. I wouldn’t expect a badger to cross such a specific section of highway, but I guess they do. As much as I would have loved to see a badger, it’s probably for the best that I didn’t. I may not be able to resist the urge to run over Bucky.

Most of the provincial parks have their campsites closed until May 15. I had planned on camping at the Stampede campgrounds in williams lake, but after driving through the grounds, I simply could not do it. They were awful! I did see a father & son from Alaska who waved me down, but I could not be swayed to camp there. Gambling that I’d find something else, I drove north again. Maybe 30 miles further on, I saw a campground sign at a general store/gas station. Turning around, I went inside to inquire. After getting a short tour, the man looked over my rig and said it would be $10. So I’m camped down by the creek and I’m the only soul on the end of the grounds. Somewhere off at the other end are a couple of other Alaskans, but I haven’t seen or heard them.

It’s a kickass site, and well worth the extra miles to get here. Plus their gas price is lower than most.


See you on the other side

It’s time to enter the Wormhole. Hopefully, my good luck will hold out.


Frack it’s hot

A break from the normal broadcast.

95 degrees here near Yakima. With the rolling hills and crosswind, The Rover is running hot.

Hot. Hot. Hot.

Plus my feet are running hot, so I swung into a Subway to drink ice tea refills and upload blog posts while the Turner cools down enough to check the radiator.

Afterall, the Cascades are looming across my horizon. At least the summit is reporting 66 degs.

Who would have thought Washington would be the warmest state of this trek?

The truck had no trouble at all with Lolo Pass, but it was in the 70’s. That was one beautiful drive. I’m ready to turn around and go back.


What does a Politician’s Hot Air do to the environment?

Does anyone think before they spout these days?

A lawmaker in Washington State was responding to a local bike store owner who was upset about a proposal that some new bicycle purchases would be subject to a new tax.
In his response, Rep. Ed Orcutt claimed “the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider.” It seems that those damn bikers contribute to climate change with their heavy breathing.

Next on the agenda? A new fee on all Drive-In Theater patrons.