Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hiking Adventures

Alright everybody, sorry it's taken so long to write, we've been really busy. Between work and the Fire Department, I've gotten a little behind on the blog. I got back from Juneau and learned that I passed all my tests for my EMT 2 certification. Now just to play the waiting game. The Fire Department has kept me pretty busy, between keeping up with inventory for the ambulances and my duties as Vice President of the Firefighters Association I do about 20 hours of work with the department not including emergency responses.
We have been blessed with a set of missionaries here in Skagway, and the branch has been busy feeding them. Callista and I have fed them twice already.

Yep! They're pretty great guys. Elder Dean is actually from Brigham City and went to Utah State for a semester. Elder Ames is from Indiana and he's almost done with his mission! They are both really great. We fed them the first time right after Elder Dean was transferred here. It's nice to have them over and just spend time with them. It reminds me of a long time ago when my family used to have the Elders over every week for dinner. They were really good examples and really taught me a lot. We keep in touch with most of them still. And..of course...mission stories lead to more mission stories. So, Tom and the rest of the guys have had the opportunity to share about their missions as well. It's been kinda fun. And they eat what we matter what it looks like. :)

Not too much else has happened. We're just living life and keeping busy. Work has been getting better. I've had some drama, but nothing too terrible. I've got the job down...mostly. I'm getting about 7 hours of overtime every week though. So...that's been nice for the paychecks. I love my co-workers! We actually had a dinner on Wells Fargo because one of my favorite people, Valerie, decided to leave. She had just had a baby and she really needed to spend more time at home. So, we all went out to dinner for a good-bye dinner. was a blast! I'd never been in that kind of environment before...where everyone but you is drinking. And I'd also never smelt beer's yeasty. If that's what it tastes like then I have no idea where the pull in drinking is. AND! After the work party, Tom and I went to dance night at the Red Onion with some of my coworkers. It was a blast! I loved it. We had to leave early because Tom had a rafting thing the next day with the fire department.

Yeah, I took an emergency raft handling course on the Taiya river, it was a little cold. We spent some time in the river learning to flip rafts, of course we had dry suits on. we learned to pull people out of the river and learned to raft where you really don't want to raft(to save victims). It was a really good class, I learned a lot, but my arms were pretty sore after that.

We've been going hiking more. Which...we haven't done in a few weeks cause we've been busy and I REALLY wanna go again. We've gone up to Lower Lake (which almost killed me with the asthma) and we've done Smugglers and some kinda point....*looks at Tom*

Yukatania point, I actually put a fire out there this morning. Somebody left a campfire burning and it was still smoldering this morning and had started to spread. A good way to start the day.

So, two weeks ago Callista and I took a trip to Whitehorse. Our friends Danny and Kenna came along. We ate lunch at subway, went grocery shopping, went to Walmart. We also went to see the new X-Men movie. And we went to get Sushi for dinner. Callista was not excited about that.

I must admit...I was NOT excited about the sushi. But guess what? After YEARS of absolute determined hatred for sushi....I fell in love. I crave it all the time now. It was DELICIOUS! I can't believe that I wasted my entire life refusing to eat something so yummy. First stop next time we get home? Sushi...and Wendy's. Maybe a few hours apart though. *wink*

Back to the Whitehorse thing though....everybody was like, "Oh, Whitehorse is so great! You'll love it! It's so much bigger than here!" So, what was Callista expecting? A city. Guess what I got? A town. It's smaller than Logan by A LOT! But they did have "real" grocery stores and we got to go and see that movie. I was so excited! I LOVED IT! But I love X-Men movies period. I have watched all of them since then because I got a really strange craving for them...similar to the sushi. :)
AND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ON THE WAY BACK I FINALLY GOT TO SEE SOME BEARS! UP CLOSE! I WAS SO DANG EXCITED! They were two little black bears, but they were so cute! Tom had to lock to car to keep me from getting out. The first one was just so tiny...I was positive that he wouldn't hurt me. He was just so cute! Next stop....GRIZZLY BEARS! I need to see one. Like legitimately. A lot of times. And then my trip will be over and I can go home a satisfied girl.

Callista and I went to a Summer Solstice party at Jewell Gardens last week(I know, a little early), It was a lot of fun. I played a few numbers with the Steamrollers(my Bluegrass Band) and we went and saw a demonstration at the glass blowing studio. It was a lot of fun, they made a beautiful vase, and one of their popular floppy bowls. It's always fun to go see.

It was AMAZING!!!!! I love it! I'd never seen anything like that before and it was totally awesome!

I've been working for Alaska Coach Tours a little less than I thought I would. So I'm going to start working for Broadway video again, just a few days a week. Broadway video is Skagway's Radio Shack/Maverick/Blockbuster Video/Tanning Salon, all rolled into one. It's a good job, definately good for a few extra bucks anyway.

Yeah. It'll be good to be getting some more money. And Tom'll like working there.

And...I got a calling! I was called to teach the 3-7 year olds in the primary. I love the primary and I love teaching, so it's a GREAT calling! But it is kind of a difficult calling too. Especially because of the age gaps between the kids. I'm sure that my lesson today wasn't very good either. Tom came into help me. So, he'll know better than me. But I had to prepare a talk and do my lesson today. Yep...I talked on Father's Day. I just talked about remembering our Heavenly Father....especially on Father's Day. I hope it was good. :)

I guess that's all for now.....anything else, sweetheart?

That's all, lets get this sucker published. Happy Father's Day!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

For an Update....

Dear Friends and Family!-
Tom is currently in Juneau for his EMT-2 test...WHICH HE PASSED! :) So, for a current update on what has been going on, feel free to look at my blog. It's :)
Love and miss you!-
Callista C.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Skagway!!!!! it took us longer than we thought to update this. But! We're in Skagway finally! And there is just so much to tell! It's been about 5 days since we blogged last. We'll just do a day at a time....

Oh, Thursday! Thursday was quite the adventure! We drove a lot and life was life until we stopped for gas. You see...Tom has this stuff he was putting in the gas tank to get better miles or something. He rolled down the back window to get the stuff, filled the tank, paid, and then we were on our merry way. Seemingly uneventful, right? Yes...we thought so, too. About 30 minutes later this very nice man signaled to us that our back window was open. I was so worried that we had been losing things all over the highway. We just lost one thing. One very expensive, essential thing. Tom's sleeping bag.

Well just think of it this way, somewhere between Calgary and Edmonton tonight there is a very warm, very happy homeless man snuggled up behind a curling rink.

haha. Oh, Thomas. :)

So Later that day in Grand Prarie we stopped at a Costco for gas. I went in to get a cash card because they don't take Visa there. Inside I learned a horrifying thing. The whole trip we were operating under the delusion that the U.S. dollar was worth more than the Canadian dollar. Not so. So everything was more expensive than it already was.

I flipped. I became the dreaded "Grumpasaurus Rex". I was already stressed about money and then Tom's sister told us that there was a 5 cent difference and my heart sunk. Every Canadian turned into somebody who wanted to rip me off and steal my money. Although....that isn't much different than how I feel in the U.S. so no surprise there.

We got to Fort Nelson and stayed there that night.

Our puppy, Luna, enjoying the trip. :)

Friday there was just a lot of driving. We did talk about a lot of different things, but nothing that all of you would really be interested in. *wink*
As soon as we got into the Yukon territory Tom turned into Tour Guide Tommy. I'm not sure if he even noticed he was doing it for awhile, but it was adorable. I was getting the famous Tommy Tour...for FREE!

Well, day one was pretty much a bust for animal spotting, but we had a little more luck on day two and three.
The Bison....
The Caribou
We finally crossed back into the U.S. and customs was a little bit better here. I was very glad to see Boyd Worley's wife waiting to greet us and not Officer Brown (phew... You'll here more about him some other time). Mrs. Worley even stamped Callista's passport with an official Skagway Alaska passport stamp.

Woot! :) Tom continued his tour all the way into Skagway. We pulled up to his house and then it was time to call the fam. As soon as I heard Grandpa's voice I started to cry. I didn't realize how hard it would be to be so far away. The weirdest part was that I was excited and heart-broken at the same time. Tom took me up to the "look out" so I could cry without too many people noticing (he's such a sweetheart) and for awhile it was really confusing for us both. I was alternating between laughing and crying. I would be laughing at something stupid that one of us had said one second and the next second I was sobbing. Then...Tom showed me the Disney Cruise ship! I guess it was the first time that it has ever been in Skagway. And the first time I'd ever seen a real honest-to-goodness cruise ship in my life. It was HUGE! Even from the mountain. Once I had calmed down enough we went down to get a closer look and to see some of his friends.

As we stood there watching the ship, it cast off and sounded it's loud horn, which blasted "When you wish upon a star" which echoed loudly through the valley as the big ship pulled away and sailed back down The Inside Passage.

Today we were tourists for the day, we walked around Skagway, and I showed Callista some of the sites, we wandered down to the depot and got some great pictures.
Callista on the caboose of the White Pass and Yukon Route Train.
(That's for you Grandpa...)
Rotary Number 1...The snow plow train. :)

After that we went to the Fire Hall so I could get my gear and get set in a locker. It took forever, we had to drive to a shipping container 6 blocks away. And we had to go back and forth like 6 times to find the right key. but we finally got it, and I put it in a locker marked Gusse W. (Who the heck is that any way?(Sorry Walker)).

It was really cool for me to see this little town from a tourists point of view. Especially with Tour Guide Tom to help me. We wandered through a few of the stores and looked at stuff. If I wasn't so worried about money, I would have spent everything I had left. The firefighter gear was an adventure for sure. Tom gave me a little tour of the fire station and then (after we ran all over the world to get his gear) one of the tourists came in. He was a firefighter from Arizona and he wanted to buy a shirt and learn more about the station. It was adorable to see how much they loved talking about it all. :) Later that night were driving somewhere and I saw a sign that said "Dyea". should is pronouned "Dye-ee". My curious little self popped up and said, "Can we got to Dyea?" And off we went!

Dyea is a ghost town left over from the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. Although the word "town" is a little more than it deserves. All that's left of a town of 20,000 in 1898, is a false store front and miles and miles of regrowth forest.

But that's not ALL! Because............we saw SEALS! Yep! Real, honest-to-goodness seals. Like 20 of them! I was so excited! They were playing around in the ocean and it was just so adorable. I'd never seen a seal before. We took some pictures and then drove around so that we were on the shore. We took some more pictures, I touched the ocean, played with nasty seaweed (I never liked sushi...and if I did- I wouldn't anymore), and we just had a good relaxing time.
Gorgeous Tom in front of the Ocean.
Callista and Sweetums in front of the Ocean.
After our nice drive we headed back to my house and watched 1776 the musical, I had never
seen it before and it was really very good.

He loved it because I made him. ;)

Not true...I did like it! Didn't I laugh? I thought it was funny.

haha. :)

Church day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was kind of nervous at first. I'd never been to a branch before and I wasn't really sure what to expect. We walked to church with all his roomies. Including Adrienne who isn't a member. Church starts at 10. The first thing I noticed was the size. The whole branch has about the same number of people as my primary class did back home. ( that's a tiny exaggeration. My class only had 5....) It had a down-home-family-loving feeling. It was fast and testimony meeting for them and every person that got up said something about how the branch was their family. You don't see that in Utah as often. People call their wards their "ward families" but I've never seen any of my wards be this connected to each other. Ever! Every person in the room knew and loved everybody else. It was really cool. We all had sacrament and Sunday school together and then we broke off into Relief Society and Priesthood. We all HAD to bear our testimonies about our mother's. It was pretty neat to see how all of us new girls were a) far away from home and missing our families and b) mostly all from Utah. :)

Church here is a little different, in the winter the branch is only 30 members, but in the summer it's 130 with all the kids from Utah and Idaho coming up here to work.
That afternoon Callista took a much needed nap, and I spent time reviewing my tour material. (Why does traditional Irish stew have only 239 beans? Because 1 more would be two farty!)

We wrapped up the day with some pasta (not much of a surprise there...) and then got everything ready for Monday. It was the first day for both of us at work. I was super nervous!

We'll blog again soon!!!!! :) Love and miss you all.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Well, everyone, we got in to Fort Nelson tonight. It's pretty late so we will try to post tomorrow once we get to Skagway.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Oh, Canada.... this Canada thing is not as great as I thought it would be. I's CANADA! That's supposed to be awesome, right? Not right. In fact, absolutely wrong. I'm SO glad this isn't the end of our trip our I would be catching the next flight home A.S.A.P.

It isn't so bad, we were stopped and questioned at the border. But I agree, I don't really like Canada so much. I mean these roads are absolutely confusing.

Not only were we stopped at the border (and by stopped I mean we were given a ticket and had to go inside and get questioned by the immigration people. Why? Because we are too awesome to come in to Canada so they wanted to make sure we wouldn't rub off on anybody)...which completely ruined my first Canadian experience...but there is absolutely NOTHING here! We've been driving for miles and the only thing to see are ducks and fields. Wow. I think I'm impressed already.

Well, we didn't get as far as i had hoped. But, we'll be staying in Calgary tonight (a good 12 hour drive) and we'll try to make it to Fort Nelson tomorrow night.

But! We're getting ahead of ourselves. We started out this morning at 8 (even though we woke up at 6...). The beginning wasn't too bad. I didn't get homesick right that was good. I was actually kind of excited and scared and feeling all sorts of adventurous. :) We ended up stopping in Idaho Falls for a potty break and a cord. And guess what we saw?! Okay, you'll never guess so here it is!
It's a fountain! But the coolest fountain EVER!

Can you find the kitty?
Pretty cool, eh?

Oh, Thomas!

Sorry, we're in Canada you "hoser". Today went great, we had fun listening to music and talking about our feelings.... no, not really. What do you think this is? Oprah?

Yes, dear. It's Oprah. And how does that make you feel? ;)
And you mean to say that we had fun listening to music and you had fun watching me dance around like a crazy person in the car. :)

Well, I guess that one too.

Anyway, after the fountain we got back on the road. We came into Montana around 12 and (without much excitement) got the the U.S. - Canadian border around 5:30. We didn't leave the border until 6:30. Tom knew I needed some relief after the border so we stopped in Lethbridge to get some Tim Horton's donuts. I only had one...but they were tasty! Then...just up, up, up into Canada we went until we got Calgary. And, now here we sit.

Yes, I got some Timbits (donut holes). I got addicted to them on my mission in Ohio, and now i can get my fix in the West... all I have to do is drive to Canada.


Friday, April 29, 2011


Alright, friends and family! We've started a blog to keep you updated on our lives and adventures in The Land of the Midnight Sun.


I will be working for Alaska Coach Tours again, for my fourth season. And I will be volunteering with the Skagway Volunteer Fire Department. I've been with them for four seasons as well. Callista has found a job as a teller for Wells Fargo in Skagway, and this will be her first season in Skagway, her first time to Alaska, and her first time out of the Country (we'll be driving through Canada to get there).

I am almost TOO excited to be in Canada. :) And to bring home a sled dog and a baby bear. (Don't tell Grandpa.) ;) The packing and preparation is driving me crazy, but I'm hoping it will be worth it once we get there. It will be fun to experience something outside of Utah. I'm going to get SUPER homesick, but I'll have my Tom to help me.

We will be leaving from Logan on Wednesday morning, May 4th, and be arriving on Saturday, May 7th. We'll take 3 days to get there, 37 hours and 2500 miles.

37 HOURS?! In the car?!

Don't worry I'm a professional, Honey. This will be my 6th time driving the Alaska Highway... Phew.

"Phew" is right. :)

We have been preparing for weeks now and we are almost ready to go. This is probably the most prepared I've ever been.

You're welcome.

Oh you.

Well we'll be updating this periodically with pictures, posts, and maybe a movie or two.
Tom and Callista