For the last 4 years Scott has participated in the Alaska State Trooper Adventure Relay (ASTAR) which travel across the state roughly 500+ miles in support of the charity Wish Upon A North Star. That charity gives wishes to very sick children here in the state of Alaska. http://wishuponthenorthstar.com
For the last two years our family has tagged along on the adventure. This year I didn’t think we were going to make the trip because of trailer issues. We couldn’t get our hands on one to borrow. Gratefully one day after we were suppose to leave the camper we were going to borrow originally became available again. A HUGE THANK YOU to Kristina Howard and Mr and Mrs Jernstrom! Within 3 hours we were on the road headed out on a 10 hour drive from Fairbanks to Seward.
We arrived in Seward at 3 am. We were to be up and ready by 9 am. So began the treacherous battle of sleep schedules. I threw in the towel and Kierran slept with Scott and I the first night and everyone but Scott and I were very perky at 7:30am. The members of FLEAT (Fairbanks Law Enforcement Adventure Team) were happy to see us which made the memory of the rough night not so bad.
When the first leg of the relay took off on their run we went to the Seward SeaLife Center. What a cool place to visit! http://www.alaskasealife.org
After the SeaLife Center we took off down the road for Scott’s first leg of the race. We dropped him off somewhere outside of Seward and he ran for some time. Then we picked him up and all drove up to Alyeska to park the camper. Scott caught a ride back down the Sterling Highway only to bike back to the Alyeska Resort. The kids and I made good use of our free time at a great local park.
There wasn’t much use putting the kids to bed at a good hour that night because all the other kids in our party were still up and running around and when Scott would finally roll in around 12 am there is no being quiet in a camper. So this was our first midnight bedtime. I let the older two wait for their dad and ride their bikes in with him to the end of that leg.
The next morning we had a little time to hang out while others hiked and biked. After lunch a quick sewer dump, gas fill up and water refill we were off to Mirror Lake. By this time my kids had adopted themselves into the Lindhag family. Barrett and Merrick were smitten with Caden and Kaylee and Kaylee was smitten with Kierran. Gratefully Jeremy and Dianna (mom and dad) weren’t bothered by my kids and actually found Merrick entertaining rather then burdensome. My two boarded the Lindhag RV outside Anchorage and drove around with them for a while. Before getting car sick Merrick pulled a famous Merrick stunt.
“My mom wouldn’t mind if you gave me a popsicle.” he says to Dianna
“Oh, would you like a popsicle?” she so kindly responds
“Why yes I would! Thank you for asking”
That turd! Before leaving my side I gave them both a talk about being polite and not asking for things because I packed them snacks in case they were hungry. He finds loop holes whatever the situation. Jeremy and Dianna found him hilarious and got rather concerned when he grew gravely quiet and rested his head on the table. I’m so grateful he didn’t get sick in their camper. Oh the smell! I had him ride with us the rest of the trip for fear he’d puke riding sideways or backwards in the camper. He was upset but enjoyed not having a sick belly.
Our next few stops were Mirror Lake, Byers Lake and a few stops in between. I can’t remember the names of the places we stopped but I CAN tell you what transpired at each stop. There was the dead fish event, the bike wipe out, kids all asleep pull off…
This is the dead fish event. The kids found a dead fish and the parents were able to talk the kids out of grabbing it. Well Merrick caught me in a moment of confusion and I said “Sure. Grab it.” He didn’t hesitate. He had fun and a few others were interested in the fish too. Have you ever yelled this at your child across a parking lot…
“Merrick, share the dead fish! If someone wants to hold the dead fish you let them!”
No? I have. I even caught him moving the mouth up and down making him talk. Pick you battles right?
We stopped at the most beautiful golf course to pick Scott up from a bike ride. The hills of thick green grass was amazing and the sky was so blue and the temp was nice and warm.
These were taken at the Susitna River. We camped out over night there with the Lindhag family. Most other caught up to us around midnight or 1am.
A random pull out I don’t remember the name of but I remember it as chalk pull out.
This is my FAVORITE part of the trip. For the FIRST time in Merrick’s life minus infancy he fell asleep in the truck and I was able to move him into the camper without waking THEN I was able to move him back into the truck after a few hours STILL ASLEEP! I took photos because I was amazed!
Matt Soden and Eric Hoffman
Scott and Eric Jewkes riding into Ester weight station
The boys running in to FPD parking lot to the finish line!
Nicole Lockwood and I made paper plate awards for the kids and handed them out. They were cute and I think the kids deserved some recognition after a grueling 4 days. We decided the kids group is call FIT (FLEAT In Training)
FLEAT donated $11,000 to Wish Upon A North Star this year. Isn’t that great!! After everyone ate we hosted a “Screw Cleaning Out The RV” party. Most everyone showed up and we all had a great time reliving the race, joking, teasing, celebrating a 40th birthday and learning to fold fitted sheets. It was such a great trip! I’m excited for next year.