Tuesday, April 14, 2009

trip to Hope, Alaska...

pics in hope, ak

so the past few weeks have been a bit heavy at work. i ended my stretch working on the less than 1 year old baby working the continuous dialysis machine again. i was in the room with a nurse who, though a nice person, can drive you a bit nuts. she is dramatic....i guess that is a nice way to say it. so being in a room for 12 hour stretches 2 nights in a row can be tough. i thought i did well, but felt that a third night would be pushing the limits of my ability to just be a nice person...i can be a bit outspoken for those of you who know me you know how true this is. for those who don't. i have a gift, luckily, of being able to tell it like it is without being offensive. my friend michelle says i can call someone an idiot to thier face in a manner that they almost thank me. since she can't even be totally nice without it being said she is being horrid she gets rather jealous of my gift. since it was good friday, work paid me some overtime so i didn't feel too badly saying no to an extra night saturday. the charge attempted to make me feel badly over this but i let her know that she shouldn't do this, it wasn't fair. i feel badly for this baby, but i don't have to work every night just because i have this skill....as it were. anyway, in the end i guess they shipped the baby south to a childrens hospital in seattle. the adult icu nurses were mostly refusing to come run the dialysis on a baby and i was off. it's something i think we are all willing to do emergently, but not something we should do long term...

my friend sandra had invited me to a little cabin she'd rented out in hope for sun-monday nights and it was a great break from the craziness of work of late. saturday i was a veg i must admit. i walked the dogs, but spent much of the day doing nothing at all. i played the computer game "bookworm" for several hours. i'm not one for computer games but sometimes your brain needs a break.

sunday, i walked the dogs on the mushy mushing trails of bicentennial park with a friend, jill and her pup. those trails will be no more soon as they are getting boggy with the spring melt. always good to wear out the dogs before a road trip. then i took the dogs and car into the wash. above is a picture of rio attacking the car wash jets coming around the car. it's always quite funny, what that must seem like to a blind dog. i packed and shopped and was ready when sandra arrived at the house at 6pm.

hope is a cute little town on the other side of turnigan arm. to get there you must go around the arm and take a side road (hope highway). it's a fun place in the summer and in the winter it's nearly a ghost town. many of the buildings are originals from the towns run as a mining community back in the late 1800's. there is a mixture of old and new which is quite charming. the little cabin is owned by the anchorage ski club. i guess they got it when someone passed and donated it to the club. it's a small a-frame without plumbing or electricity. it's fairly well stocked though. the wood stove heats the place up quickly and they have a kerosene stove and lamp for use. it cost just $35/night. it's in a little neighborhood of hope...we hardly saw a soul and you are tucked away in the woods.

since it was easter i brought along official easter bunnies. one must eat the bunnies ears first...it's a tradition! we also opened a bottle of wine i'd brought. i love the yellow tail brand from austrailia and we split this bottle. i rarely drink much alcohol, but it felt great to get a bit buzzed and just enjoy the day. the shiraz-grenache was really tasty. we just settled in and laughed for the evening.

the sun is staying out much later and the snow is still melting rapidly in the long days. i brought the guitar and played my friend sandra some of the tunes i've written over the years. i don't often entertain others with my guitar so i think she enjoyed her mini concert. the dogs love the adventure of a road trip. rio, above, enjoys the cabins warmth.

i never sleep well in a new place. takes me a bit to acclimate. both rio and sandra snore..she vehemently denies this and i have no proof, but my own ears. it was quite the cacophony of snores i must say. blossom eventually curled up at the foot of my bag and we both got some rest despite the noise around us. at one point i swear the floor boards were vibrating from rio's snores. it didn't keep sandra awake though as she wears ear plugs. lucky girl.

i awoke early in the morning excited to cook breakfast. breakfast was a bit of a failure however. my hash potatoes got too fried and the smell lingered in the room. we were unable to stomach those and instead took them out to the snow to cool off so we could clean the pan and throw them out. sandra made due with oatmeal and i scrambled some eggs and ate then without salt and pepper...i had forgotten it. oh well. such is camping. we had plenty of good snack foods to munch on.

we headed into the big city of hope and walked around the ghost town with the dogs. we saw a few moose in town and i think an owl. he flew out so fast over our heads i didn't get a good look. we then drove to porcupine campground and took a walk on the gull rock trail. it was really slushy so we maybe got a mile or so in and then turned around. we were hungry. i walked rio and sandra used the chuck it on blossom. i think she quite enjoyed entertaining blossom. she claims her arm is sore from throwing the tennis ball...i think she may be exaggerating slightly...hehe.

we returned to the cabin to clean up the burnt offerings and make sandwiches. those turned out just fine. clean up wasn't as bad as expected. the pictures at the top are in hope. many of the "shops" that exist are closed for the season so not much to see exept the buildings. it was a pretty day so i always love to see the blue skies on the water.

we decided to head out to seward. it's about 60 miles from hope to seward. it's a fun town though. i always love going there and have been tempted to move there from time to time. it's close enough to anchorage to easily drive there for supplies, but far enough away to feel more alaskan. i love that there are beaches you can walk on. anchorage "beaches" are actually mud flats and dangerous to wander onto. the drive can be very pretty to seward. there is still lots of snow so we saw people out snowmachines. in alaska snowmobiles are called snowmachines. i thought that was normal but apparently we are a bit unique. i'm not sure why that is. perhaps because they are less of pleasure craft here and truely more of workhorses than in other parts of the country. i'll post more pictures on a blog later...as for some reason i have no control over where the pictures will post when i add them on.
the drive over was quite pleasant. we did hit snowstorms in the pass and there was snow falling in seward when we got there. we went to lowell point..a favorite beach of mine. blossom knew immediately where she was and even went in the water, despite the snow fall. dogs are a bit nuts that way. the few stores that are open before the real cruise ship season starts closed soon after we got there. i did buy myself a new pj bottom...i found an old pair at the bottom of the sleeping bag. rank! the sleeping bag will be washed tonight and aired out for a month in hopes of making it smell less foul!
we went out to dinner in seward for some fish and chips and then drove back through more snow to hope. the wine sandra brought had turned bad i think so we ended up trashing that and i broke out the mikes hard berry's. those are another favorite. i got a bit looped on though, but not so much that i couldn't attempt to learn to play scrabble. amazingly, i've never played this game. we didn't have a dictionary and she questioned my words and strategy, but i think my words were real words. i lost both games but did fairly well for a novice. okay...que isn't in the dictionary,but brig is. i thought it was some sort of prison, but it's really a boat. goodly as well appears in my websters...so 2 out of 3 ain't all bad. we played rummie as well and i tied first game and won the second. haven't played that for a long time either. i slept much better that night and woke refreshed...though we both went back to sleep after reading for a bit.
when we woke for real we walked the dogs around town again and then off to girdwood for breakfast. it was again snowing as we drove, but anchorage is warm and melting. can't believe how much the bog has melted in just a few days.
that is my weekend...i know total excitement. more pictures later...



  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  2. always love comments and readers....thanks for visiting. please come anytime!!