Wednesday, September 24, 2008

24 on the 24th

Happy birthday Ben! Twenty four years ago, I remember coming to see you in the hospital and holding you for the first time. You were long and red, and everyone was in a tizzy over you. I was sure that my charmed life as I knew it was going to go downhill from there. However, whenever I was away from home and especially during my time away at college, you were the one I always missed the most. I hope that wherever you are, you are having a good time and are taking care of yourself. I love you.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The longest railroad-highway tunnel in North America

The longest railroad-highway tunnel in North America leads to... Whittier? Yep, the tunnel connects the port city of Whittier on Prince William Sound to the Seward Highway and Southcentral Alaska. The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel or the Whittier Tunnel (as we call it) is 13,300' or 2.5 miles long. That is pretty darn impressive. I also understand, that one of its landmark accomplishments is that it is the first U.S. tunnel that is designed for -40° F. weather and 150 mph winds. Yep, we get some of those. Traffic shares the tunnel with the Alaska Railroad, and so we often wait an hour or less to enter. Just recently, as we were waiting to enter the tunnel to continue on our trip home, we marvelled about what it took to build this tunnel so long ago (the original tunnel was completed in 1943). It boggled our minds. Pioneers everywhere had to be tough, but Alaskan pioneers...well they must have been a rough bunch.
Happy boys, anticipating our entrance to the tunnel.
Maynard mountain and the tunnel looming ahead.

Going in...

and just about through.

The weather was quite fair at the Alaska State Fair

We are back home, and are just now recuperating from our travels. Eoghan was just at the right age to really take in and enjoy the fair grounds in Palmer. He had not been, since I wandered around with him in my belly seven years ago. As for Jonas, well, he had us sweating on a warm Alaskan day. We saw part of a livestock auction, Eoghan dug the rides with his cousin, we all enjoyed the food, and Jonas enjoyed the rainbows cast by a souvenir crystal.

Jonas thought the goose was great until it started honking.



and more rides.

Very tired boys, on our drive back to Anchorage from Palmer.