Thursday, July 19, 2018

more of Valdez Glacier

 fun on ice!  if that chunk of ice collapsed I'd be toast, thankfully it did not.
 cool but not too cold, the weather was lovely for cruising on a chunk of ice.  if it's too warm you start to worry about more ice falling.  melt happens.
 met my handyman who will help me get my kitchen together. it will take longer but he does good work it seems and i felt comfortable with him doing the job.  we will start by closing up the window.  he will try to do that before he goes moose hunting and before the cabinets arrive.  then we'll put in the pantry cabinets and i will start to do some demo.  hopefully before the year is over my kitchen is finished...we shall see.
 after that i spent some time trying to decide where to walk.  could have done a big walk again but in the end i headed to the dog park. it was hot out there...hot being relative i know, but hot in Alaska is super hot to us.  the dogs don't handle heat well really so it's best to have them near a water source.  they enjoyed the afternoon at the dog park. 
 pulled some of the pool hall decor out.  the lights were a bit tricky...really just one of the lights.  the screw was trashed so i was in my garage on top of a stool hoping i didn't fall over.
 the risks of living alone are that i would fall onto the floor of my garage and injure myself and not be found for days.  at least tomorrow i am supposed to show up to work so one hopes when i didn't they would do a wellness check as me not showing up to work is not usual.  so note to self, attempt to do crazy things that could injure me close to when i return to work so i will be noticed missing quicker.
 I'm sure I'd be further tormented by Ivy dropping tennis ball after tennis ball at me in my contorted position on the floor of the garage doing more damage as time went on. 
 love all the ice peeking through the rocks on the surface.  this is what all that rock above looks like.  constant reminders that you are on ice the entire time.  i really thought my xtra tuffs would be a poor choice to wear on a glacier but for this glacier it worked well.
 it's what they outfitted all the other folks with.  i was obviously unusual as i was already decked out in proper attire for the activity.  i just sat there while they got everyone into borrowed gear. they made a few comments to me as they went through each item of gear about not being used to having people who were already prepared.
 you live here long enough and get outside you have more than enough gear. 
 look at that amazing blue color coming through.
 so there are some new items for free on the front lawn.  some real treasures I'd say. not sure why i totally love giving stuff away like this.  it feels freeing though unloading stuff. i could sell it for a few bucks I'm sure but that just seems like a hassle and i tend to be uncomfortable with strangers coming over.  is that the introvert in me?  I'd rather just give the little stuff away.  i always figure I'd gotten the use out of it.  besides, people just love getting free stuff.  it's like a treasure hunt and i suspect the entire neighborhood knows that there is a steady stream of free stuff at my place.  no matter how much i get rid of there is still too much left here.  crap really does collect.
 liked that this handyman suggested the old window could go to a place that takes old but usable building items for reuse.  habitat for humanity could utilize it.  I'm down with that for sure.
 always try to build up your good karma bank.  you never know when it will come in handy.
 here i am backed into a glacial hole.  as long as you don't fall in, right?
 the Alaska blockbusters are going..the only blockbuster left i guess is in Bend, Oregon.  I'm really surprised they lasted so long.  what will they do with all that memorabilia they just got from the talk show?
 the iitoo is not having a good week.  walk backs and walk forwards.  he's either crazy or crazy like a fox.  i really suspect he's a narcissist and borderline and habitual liar...somewhere in that vein.  was speaking about Clapper and how when he had come in office Clapper had sent him a really nice letter but then he said, "they must have gotten to him"...that is right off of the paranoid train. who is the "they" that got to him? 
 he couldn't stand as a power in front of Put, he looked weak and therefore he made our nation look weak.  the GOP will have a lot to answer for as more truths emerge.  todays report was that he was given direct evidence 10 days before his inauguration that Put ordered the attack on our nation via cyber.  today also the administration walked back our cyber securities. 
 Clapper gave Obama credit for beginning the investigation into what Rus was up to with regards to the election meddling.  facts were still emerging.  much more has been uncovered in the time that has followed.  12 Rus last week indicted.  another Rus was picked up this week.  there are ties between Rus and the NRA it looks like.
 i have no idea where this all will wind up going but it really doesn't look good.  i fear in the end the truth of this administration will make the Hill conspiracy theories look like child's play. with all the fake narratives that the rus put out through facebook and twitter i have to wonder how many of those my one brother passed along during that time.  at the time i counted him posting 30-75 things each day...no way he didn't get sucked into the Rus posts at some point.
 that could happen to any of us.  it was just that this time it was directed at helping the iitoo win.  our nation needs to work together to put a stop to this sort of meddling.  first we have to agree that it happened.  the iitoo declined to impose sanctions that were unanimously put in place for Rus.  he hedged putting them in as long as he could it seems.  in this case it's a matter of what he hasn't done over what he has done. the fact that he was made aware of the evidence of Put's plot before he was even in office makes it seem even sillier that this whole time he's bashed the investigation into what happened with the election. 
 it's not just about collusion though I'd say the more he denies and the more he screams witch hunt..the more i begin to wonder if his force against this is because he knows he was not elected legit.  we may never know the whole truth of how much help Rus did give him, but perhaps he does and he lives in fear we will find out.
 deep inside the glacier. a few pics up you can see the entrance to this cavern we are in. 
 our group inside the ice cave.
 enjoyed a good read on the deck for a bit this evening.  of course, enjoying a read on the deck does not really come all that easy.  Ivy and Tusker join forces to make me toss the tennis ball every few sentences. 
 under this iitoo the national debt and the deficit have both grown.  much of the fan fare about his positive impact on the economy is either over blown or outright lies. our diplomacy abroad has taken a hit, the GOP has taken damage.  our nation is less safe and less respected...this from the Washington Post.
 the iitoo has also done a great deal of damage to science and the environment.  since the GOP sides against all rational science in their hatred of the idea of climate change, funding has been cut back on anything with climate change even alluded to.  i believe even the words climate change have been stricken from the vocabulary. they reversed bans on certain insecticides, which will quite possibly damage our already fragile bee population.  removal from the Paris Climate accords, which some don't care about, but it's vital to work with our allies (the ones we used to have anyway) to prevent long term damage from the climate changes that are occurring, whether natural or man made they are occurring.
 they have also put the threatened species rules in a tailspin as well as abandoning a 100 year old migratory bird protection bill. they have rolled back emission standards for cars...which will increase our pollution potential. cuts to clean energy programs which encourage citizens to use cleaner energy in their homes and businesses. loosened regs on toxic air pollution and also makes it easier for coal and other agencies to dump waste into our waters.  decreased size of two national monuments for mining i believe it is.  opened nearly all the coastlines to oil exploration.
 more damage to the environment...cancels a rule that protects whales from fishing nets. has allowed import of some ivory again. this administration also disbanded the science advisory, an 18 member team.  a few fact of changes made.  basically in the environment...if it has to do with science or global warming or has Obama's name on it, it goes.  Nat Geo has an ongoing list of what is happening.
 ending DACA is also a iitoo decision.  ending temporary status for Salvadorians, cruel removal of children from asylum seekers as a deterrent...most of these kids have not been reunited with their parents and many never will be.
 pools of water within the glacier.
 a deeper cave...some twist and turn as they spiral deeper into the glacier.
 was great to wander the glacier.  i took a nice little slide.  if the rocks slip under you there really is nothing stable to grab onto.  i slid a bit then had to regain my footing.

 i head back to work tomorrow for the start of my stretch. i finally made it to the grocery store to restock the new fridge.  I'm already living half in the kitchen.  that will just get worse over time i know.
 may i mention how dismal race relations have become under this administration.  lack of leadership and outright support for racism and a racist agenda have become acceptable by this administration. 
 another week off has passed by.  i did do a few good hikes, accomplished some stuff, was lazy some times.  that is the life.  summer is pretty relaxing over all
 strange to think this ice is moving beneath us...have to wonder how much of that big ice on the lake is coming from beneath the lakes surface.  is it calving below.

 the colors are so beautiful.  ice comes in so many forms.  it's always amazing to me in the winters the different ways you will see ice.
 this is at the mouth of a big deep channel.  we tossed a few rocks down to listen to how deep it was.  there was a cascade of water falling in as well.
 it went pretty far down.
 then we walked over to this big cave.  it was less stable so we didn't go inside. 
 she said a big section had calved off in the past week.
 our guide goes down to check it out.

 liked this one of her.  off to read and settle in for the night i guess.
thankful for A.  a brother who allows some political banter without turning it to hatred.  it is appreciated.  i just feel even if it's heated we all should be better at communicating our political differences rather than only interacting with people who think exactly like we do.  B. that i do not have to defend the iitoo or the likes of Roseann Barr.  that is a tough sell. haha.  C. chill days reading on the deck

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

so much i should be doing....

 but i was looking at a few pictures from today's walk....so here i am at the computer.  it's nice out but who can take so much sunlight. haha.
 these first are still from the drive to Valdez.  the weather deteriorated after i passed the Worthington Glacier so i just drove on over to Valdez.
 passing the Matanuska Glacier.  it's really huge so you are actually passing it for miles and miles.
 Mt Drum i believe. it looks very different depending on which direction you approach it from. 
 today, i was a bit beat after my nearly 8 mile walk with friends yesterday so i was closer to the usual 4 miles of walking.  took the dogs down to the beach at Kincaid.
 sun was out so i think they were happy to hit the mud.  we were delayed getting down onto the beach as a black bear had just been seen on the trail.  we literally just missed it.  everyone clumped together and went down the trail to the beach...lots of noise was made. 
 i headed down the beach, turned and then headed back...ran into some of the folks I'd walked down with and they said, they had just run into the same bear but this time it was on the beach.  went to the waters edge..like the puppies I'm guessing he was cooling off in the mud.
 the lupine were all over. so pretty.
 we had lots of snow so it's still melting.  the water was pouring off the mountains as seen above.  i hear and have seen pics of Reed Lakes in Hatchers Pass, still frozen.  seems nuts really, it's mid July...but the truth is it's really not all that unusual for a northern climate.  we just don't have it happen as often as it did in years past from all reports.
 anyway, today i took the dogs up off the beach to a little fresh water area so they could get a drink and get a soaking.  i could see the bear in the distance heading back to the main park and trails.
 so i cruised down the beach that way and checked out his tracks on the mud flats.
 these are the next morning in Valdez.  this is part of the pictures from my day trip to Valdez Glacier.  it was really relaxing and a lot of fun. got lucky and was joined by some super nice folks. the guide was perky and fun. 
 depending on the year you can get some pretty large and fun ice chunks out there to play around.  we stayed safe and enjoyed many photo ops.
 my kayak mate and i have exchanged some pictures.  i suspect she back in Europe by now.
 the ice was really pretty cool.  hard to tell in the photo's but it's almost like it's clumped together like little puzzle pieces.  later i went back and was taking some apart bit by bit.  strange.  ice comes in so many forms.  i would never have noticed until i wound up here in Alaska. 
 but then, i have learned a great deal i would never have known had i not come here. 
 these are our boats.  they were pretty comfy.  strange to be sitting up on top of a kayak.  new to me.
 like that so many coming up in age seem to get that life is best lived.  many of them seem to relish the adventures, find a way to make that happen in their lives. 
 i recall being young and seeing people who were seeming to wait until they retired to live their adventures.  sadly, many don't last too long after that happens or are just not healthy enough for the adventures they dreamt of. 
 I'm not sure that i consider myself really adventurous.  i walk every day and i try to get out and see stuff, but my adventures are pretty non-adventurous compared to so many i see posting themselves doing stuff i just would never have the guts to do.  i love their photo's...on all the peaks they have conquered or traveling to far reaches of the earth.  i have my adventures closer to home and I'm not one to feel the need to terrify myself at the peaks or jump out of planes. 
 still, i find great pleasure in the ever changing details i see around me.  i enjoy hitting many of the same trails over and over at different times of the year.
 yesterday i went with friends out close to Hidden lakes.  we had mixed bag of weather but as we walked back in the rain i really enjoyed it.  in Ketchikan we often were walking in the rain.  if you have decent rain gear it's really pretty sweet...especially if you aren't in a tent in it and can go home and warm up
 i was joined by a few friends yesterday and  we meandered the 8 miles we walked a bit, looking at all the beautiful wildflowers.  thanks Verna Pratt for helping me learn how to hunt down the various flowers. 
 the pups are sleeping.  i think Ivy was pretty beat and hot when we got back to the car today.  not much fresh water on the trail to/from the beach. 
 she actually lay down next to the car rather than jump in.  i took them to the Little Campbell Lake so they could swim and cool off.  they both got a good drink in as well.
 too hot to run errands. 
 the whale that was on the beach has been taken back to sea.  strange to see the beach totally cleared of it.  the tides come and go and so with it, the treasures. 
 we had pretty amazing weather this particular day.  you can see the glacier there in the distance.  I'm a wimpy adventurer'.  when they said we'd be landing our boats on the actual glacier and that the water at that point was over 300 feet depth...not much room for error i guess.  i got nervous.  thankfully, i worked through it.
 if you are never scared or nervous you are living your life too close to the line. 
 i recall the strangeness and confusion growing up in church.  there was this line, we needed to hold tight to the line(the iron rod was what we were told actually) to keep from straying and falling into a life of sin or something....yet we were encouraged to use our free agency to experience life.  i was always baffled how you could do both, use your free agency while holding tight to that line. in the end i let go...used my free agency and let it guide me.  holding on never really appealed to me.  sometimes in life, it's best to let go, let life take you where you wouldn't think to go.  get scared and then feel empowered because you didn't give up.
 for some i suspect they awaken scared and just getting out of bed and starting their day is terrifying enough. 
 it's all a balance.  ultimately, i think it is best to let go though.  being safe has it's comfort and merits but the real growth I've felt in my life came in the moments when i was dangling in the air without a rope.  when i had no idea how things would go, when i knew nobody...
 it is in those times that you discover the strength inside you.  when you find that you are capable. 
 in that freedom you tend to be more open to other people and ideas as well i think.  your brain is free'd up to explore all the routes that remain closed for some, because they choose to stay in a zone of comfort.
 it's not always easy...but it is rewarding.
 my little adventure.  this is small potatoes by some folks standards, but by others standards it's pretty exciting. 
 i just hope everyone finds a place in their lives to let go of the line that holds them safe, but ropes them in at the same time.  let go and fly...
 this is our guide.  she really did make the day even more fun.  some people can just shift the world with their happy demeanor.  they help you to let go of the line and have faith that it will be worth the ride. 
 free agency isn't meant to be tied down.
it's getting dark in the house...it's still light outside.  always an odd time of year when it's darker inside than outside.  every day is getting a little darker though.
 we paddled around the big ice bergs on the lake taking them all in and then headed out to the glaciers edge. 
 you can see the lip of ice below the moraine of rocks on top.  one misstep...well, it would be cold for sure.  I'm sure they would grab you up pretty fast.
 can't say that i have ever landed right on a glacier though.  generally we will pull up on a beach near by or the moraine. 
 after we got out of our boats and secured them we sat on the glacier and ate our lunches.
 then we went for a hike on the glacier.  I'm a hiker so i loved that part.
 you are never totally safe on a glacier as it is constantly moving, though slowly usually.  it could calve below us.  we felt pretty secure though and the guide was out there all the time and knew the more safe routes to take and the cool photo op locations.
 it does change.  fun to have her be able to tell us which ice caves had busted up recently.
 we are chilling eating lunch here.  more tomorrow or the next day...we shall see how tomorrow goes. 
grateful for A.  wildlife meetings that end well  B.  a warm beach day  C.  cooling off in a lake