Wednesday, March 31, 2010

a day in the life of betsy.....

my neice, shannon, was doing an all day hour to hour photo blog thing. she decribed it more intelligently, but anyway. i attempted to document my goings on hour to hour. i take alot of pictures anyway, but i guess i skip over the day to day stuff...which isn't all that exciting, but kinda more fun when you actually photograph it. so...
sometime around 8 am. above...blossom is generally my wake up call. i'm not sure if it's a stare down but here she is on the bed...waiting. often i do like today, i get up feed the dogs, let them outside and curl back into bed with the paper. i stayed up til 2-3 am watching my net flix movie "zelery" which i ended up really liking. it was a long movie and my plan was to just watch part. this am i also had a headache so i took some meds and back to bed.
sometime around 11am....the sunshine outside woke me and how could i not get out there.

around noon...breakfast is served. french toast with plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg.

1pm...i'm showered dressed and braided. i know my day is pretty dang exciting already!
between 1-2 pm i was out in the bog by my house with blossom and rio. pretty day and 3 moose sightings in the mile and 1/3 loop. they are chilling here waiting for the thaw to stop and stuff to grow.

above is one of the 3 moose...the others were behind even more trees and difficult to photograph without postholing myself.

blossom investigates this glove in the bog. mittens and dog booties are often found hanging like this in trees. helps the owners get them back.
at nearly 3p..i was at costco. we have 2 sets of tires in alaska and my summer tires were done for last summer. costco has a sale so this tire will be ordered and put on probably late april. i'll just have to ride on my studs til then. now i'm hoping for snow so my studs don't get worn down to nubbies.
after costco...between 3 and maybe 4:30 blossom and i headed to prospect heights to enjoy more outdoor time. just too pretty out there not to. rio was settled in at home with her peanut butter and television shows. i'm particular about what i'll let her watch.
blossom enjoys another day of snow and tennis ball chasing. she really does have the life!!

at 4pm i noticed these perfect lynx prints. if those aren't a big cat i don't know what is.
by 4:05 blossom was walking all over said perfect lynx prints.

by 4:30 we left the melting parking lot and headed home.
between 5-6 pm i ate my lunch (tuna fish sandwich), checked the emails, watched a bit of the news and then fed the dogs and cats.

by 5:30 or so the pets were very happy and full!!
by 6p i was pulling into the alaska club for some pool time.
got in my 35 laps (one mile) by 7p ish...spent some time in the jacuzzi and then headed out. i took the trash out for my friend karen who is doing much better....just using a crutch and looking more perky with that improvement.
by 8 pm...home to eat leftover manicotti, chill...and i really won't bore you with the dishes pictures and laundry ones. ( i didn't really take any of those!) anyway...that is my day. now i'm going to put in some brainless movie or read my book and try and get to bed before 3am.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

enjoying the last of the winter trails...

not much happening at this end. taking long walks to enjoy the last of the snow before it turns to total mush/slop/mess out there. it's getting a bit rough and i suspect by next week i'll be avoiding all trails and trading in my winter boots for my brand new xtra tuffs. gotta love cost co...they figure out what the people want and there it is. doubt they sell xtra tuffs in any other state but alaska. if you don't know what they are they are neoprene boots, the fishermen wear them. i bought my first pair in ketchikan. there it is fashionable to roll down the boots for regular wear. you were teased in ketchikan with your new had to break those so everyone knew you were a local. mine are currently duct taped...which is fine, but for real boat time it's best if they don't have holes in them. the holes showed up along the fold, but hey they lasted a long time and i'm a ketchikan girl when it comes to extratufs so i again rolled em down.
todays walk took me along rovers run to moose meadow to the connector trail to homestead trail to coyote trail to moose track and finally to old rondy trail and back to the trailhead. are you lost yet? i'd guess i did 5-7 miles, not sure. there is a landing strip in campbell airstrip trail area...big surprise with the name and all. we used to walk the strip more. they upgraded it and are less welcoming to foot traffic, though it looks like this year more folks were back out there than in the past few years. our main airport is right on the coast so it's pretty vulnerable if and when we have a big quake. really when...not if. this runway could be used in the event the main airport is shut down. i've only ever seen one plane land there. that was when kelly and i were walking it years ago. it was a plane with ski's on as it was winter.

the first three pictures are from the connector trail between moose meadow and homestead. as you can see it was beautiful out. first is some bird nest. too small for an eagles nest i'd guess. perhaps a hawk of some sort. above is the moss in the tree's. looks like hair up close. kinda cool looking.
i didn't see any moose on the trail today, which is kinda odd for how long i was out. i did see this bald eagle near the creek. i've seen them hang here before and half expected to see one today. so i took a few pics of him.
the dogs are beat. i skipped my swim today as i was a bit sore from yesterdays 33 laps and had a headache which was making me feel a bit nauseated.

i did manage to get outside several times to try and break up snow. there are big piles on either side of the driveway so i kept tossing it onto the driveway so it would melt and drain into the road. we've gotten into the mid 40's all week. the sun shines for longer and longer which is sweet!!
below is where coyote trail crosses the road over to campbell science center and changes to moose track.
my friend scott stopped by. hopefully, he and his wife will be able to join us on the roadie to deadhorse. haven't seen him for a bit so excited to catch up and hear they want to come.
i always love the signs on the trails and for aircraft, mushers have right of way. just seems so alaskan.
the next two were also taken on that connector trail.
went through an old photo album last night and put in several pictures of my family. i have then been posting them on facebook...seems the easiest way to give everyone who would want them access. so much easier than how it all used to'd have to make everyone copies. now i'm wondering if i should just bite the bullet and throw out all the old negatives. seems absurd that i still have all of them. i remember my grandpa always saved them all...eventually we just tossed them. i have so much crap and so need to have a serious purge session.
we had our final monday walk this week. just tanya and i. it was again lovely out, but since it'll get sloppy we thought we'd make it the last official walk of the season. we'll start it back up in the late fall. it's been totally successful for 2 years. we thought perhaps we'd try for some big hikes this summer. we'd just announce on facebook when and where to meet. maybe just a few times/month? who knows. we'll see. it would be nice to get in some long hikes with groups so that we can scare off the bears better. i'll have to take rio for short morning walks and then settle her in. she always seems to do poorly in the summers. probably just too many obstacles and it hurts more when she misses the trail. the snow pack is just a soft landing place for her. i think she overheats in our hot summers too. (i use the term hot loosely as hot here is rarely over 70 degrees) is the final monday walk picture. blossom always insists i get the toy out and then the toy is taken by one of the dogs and she just follows them around hoping they will bore of it and drop it for her. she just looks so pathetic and hopeful in this picture with boddhi.
enjoyed playing the guitar as i waited for pictures to load today. my fingers are a bit sore from the steel string guitar, but i do enjoy playing. haven't been as dedicated to my guitar and music writing since i left ketchikan, but i think it's time i turn off the tv more and get back to writing music and lyrics. i'm not great, but good enough. it's something i have enjoyed in the past and no doubt would enjoy more if i just did it. i think living in anchorage has been the cause of my lack guitar playing. there is just more to do and i've never found that place to play that encouraged me to write so i could perform. maybe i'll plan on taking the guitar to deadhorse and that may inspire me to write some related music.
in south dakota i played at a little cafe/coffee place and in ketchikan there was the monthly grind through the non-tourist months.
holy crap it's late again. may pop in my netflix movie and try and at least get a bit watched.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

more aialik and movie action....

took the pups to the dog park today. this dog just looked so silly and thus cute with these booties on. i should have taken video as the pool pup could barely walk in them, let alone run, though he tried. the boots kept slipping off as they were just too big. it's really icy there right now and the lake is begining to thaw so i doubt i'll get there again til after the lake is clear. it just gets too dangerous. blossom doesn't understand thin ice.
here are the dogs in the car after yesterdays 5 plus mile walk. blossom of course, did double as she chased her tennis ball the entire time. obviously, the more tired pup.

just a few more pictures of aialik bay before i stop posting them for a bit...above, mountains covered with snow reflected on water, what mountain, who knows. obviously near the bay or in the bay or just outside the bay. helpful, eh?

hole in the rock at low tide.

this picture was taken from the water taxi on the way out to aialik bay. below is the water taxi. most of these trips require you to all become part in a chain gang, loading and unloading stuff. the kayaks can be fairly cumbersome to get on/off the boat and generally take some manipulation to get in place and secure.

more pictures of sea lions taken while en route.
the kayaks are rafted up while we all chat, eat or plan the next move. quinton gives me a glimpse of his zen state out there on the water.

just another pretty face!!

everyone wants to see the glaciers calve. it's hard to do it justice on a photo. you really have to be there for the sounds of it all. just the noises a glacier makes through the course of a day as it moves forward. the calving below is rather small and created no wave really. we were out there once when the entire face about came off the glacier. the waves were seismic and very scarey. all that ice out there can potentiall flip over and take you with it. the one day the waves that came off the glacier were probably nearly 15 foot swells. i remember the kayak tipped up such that the glacier and mountains were no longer visible. you really have to be careful when paddling around glaciers and huge ice bergs, but it's worth it for the sheer beauty of it all!

attempting once again to upload a picture to the alaska magazine photo contest. it's not looking too good. not sure what the deal is. i really should take a class on computers and digital camera's so that i can be more productive.

saw a really good flick today. sandra and i went to the bear tooth theater. the movies are $3 as they know you will be buying food and beer. well i bought pizza and a root beer float. gotta love that homemade rootbeer. slurp. the movie was called, "northface". i think it was german, but not sure. it was about a race to climb a peak in the alps. it was at the time when nazi germany was going to host the olympics and they wanted to show off thier athleticism. the race was on. i believe it was a german team and a belgian team? anyway. the one pair would have done well no doubt except the second team decided to follow them and everyone paid the price. it was based on a true story. obviously, not totally as the men who were on the mountian, perished. it was very suspenseful and painful to watch. doomed. you just want to jump into the screen and intervene. of course, i had hope that the girl in the movie would do just that. she had grown up with the pair that would have succeeded no doubt, and tagged along and learned everything about climbing mountains from them. sadly, she was pretty useless in the end. just sat there and watched the last guy die.

rio was pretty sneaky today. while i took my shower this morning she snuck into the office and snacked on some leftover apple and cheese slices. later in the day i realized that she had also discovered a small tin of lip balm. have no idea how that huge mouth delicately opened the tin and then licked it clean. it was blackberry flavored. not something i'd eat, but i can't explain the dietary habits of a dog. one day it's lip balm the next it's rotten salmon or another dogs poop. go figure. funny that an entire industry has been created making "tasty" treats for canines. mine would be perfectly happy if you bagged up moose poop and served that up.

more aialik pics and whatever from the week...

thought i'd toss in a few more aialik pictures to entertain you all with. as we were taxi'd out to the bay we ran into these sea lions sunning themselves so i put a few of those pictures in. i have a few of these framed and on my wall downstairs.
obviously, i didn't take the one above. not sure who to give credit to for this one, but i thought it a cool picture of me setting up a group shot. my camera's have improved ....i think i still have a few of these little guys around, what should i do with them. i found one today with a roll of film still in there. i'll have to just snap off a few and see what's there.

my friend quinton is a rock climber and if you look at the "rock" in this picture you can see him climbing..we were eating lunch, he went off to tackle the mountain.

more sea lions....

and...another picture of me in a glacier.
glacier with sky.
was going to watch saturday night live as betty white was supposed to be on it, but i got sucked into watching "sleepless in seattle". gotta love a romance.

have done rovers run twice this week. today i added on my taking a side trail off of moose meadow trail that leads you out to homestead trail and then brings you back around to viewpoint trail. added a few miles to the walk. it was nearly 50 degrees out and the sky was blue and beautiful. couldn't bring myself to leave the park. the dogs are tired today, but no doubt tomorrow i'll do another long walk if it's pretty out. the trails are still packed down so not too bad out yet. soon we'll be postholing through everything or it will just become slush with deep puddles everywhere. enjoy it all while i can.
these three pictures below are from that side jaunt. not sure why i don't add this on more often and suspect i will from now on. well, next winter anyway. not sure what this trail does in the summer. could be a mosquito den. liked the silhouette of the sun behind the tree above and below branches were totally draped in that moss stuff. kinda cool.

got 33 laps in yesterday and 30 in today. yesterday half the pool was set aside for free swim and as i was doing laps i noticed this family of 5 hovering near the i came back up the pool i saw them all climbing into my lane...probably just figured they'd come in my lap as it seemed less crowded than the rest of the pool. luckily, the life gaurd was watching and she came over and booted them out of the lap and also booted a couple out of the lap next to me as they were just frolicking in it and not doing laps.
today's pool drama was that i have this one gross toenail that every few years thickens up and falls off. so it's just hanging on at this point. i had it wrapped in a bandaide and at about length 34 that dang thing started falling off. i had to keep stopping and scoothing it back down. first i attempted to just take it off and go without, but that residual toenail kept flapping as i swam and it was hurting. at about length 46 that thing just came off altogether in the deep end. i watched as it drifted to the bottom of the pool. i know it's all kinda gross, but better than poop in the pool. i'm not brave enough to dive to the bottom of the pool to retrieve a dang bandaide...i mean if it was a drowning kid or something...then i'd attempt it. so the last nearly 30 lengths were somewhat annoying and uncomfortable. i still made the 60 lengths though for a total 30 laps. life is exciting indeed!!

work wasn't bad for me this week. just worked a few days. should have picked up last night...was at the pool when they called and by the time i saw the message it was getting late. i often don't even look at my messages til i'm headed to bed. just how i am. since most of them are just spam calls or work not too much point rushing to the answering machine. there was some co-worker whinage the other night, which is tedious. i mean really, it's 12 hours, just get over it. people are way too sensitive sometimes.
well, it's late and i'm tired...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

aialik bay...kayaking...

since it's break up and mostly i'll just get pictures of moose i thought i'd toss in some pictures from a kayak trip to aialik bay a few years back with friends. it was a pretty big group and we had a grand time. the weather was pretty decent, we stayed in a cabin, took a water taxi out from seward...
me at lunch in the glacier.

great to sleep with the rumble on glacier activity around you. we ate lunch at the base of the glacier. probably receeded lots more by now.

the monday walks are winding down. only lena and i this week. it snowed lightly...a spring snow, nothing stuck. every day more snow melts...still loads to go. i was pretty lazy yesterday, skipped my swim and vegged out watching some bones episodes. did finish reading the book i was on, "the book thief". strange, but well written and kept me turning the pages. written from deaths perspective i guess.

speaking of death...the great news is the iditarod had no dog deaths this year. that is a rare...maybe never occuring thing. so hopefully, it becomes a trend and deaths become more and more rare. the last musher made it in sunday or saturday. anyway, it was record time for the red lantern. the red lantern award went to celeste davis...i think she is the one who also had a broken nose and two black eyes. rough trail, but she managed. must be one tough chick.
below is me,chilling for the camera. i still wear those pants though i believe they fit a wee bit tighter now. looking at that picture is somewhat depressing. i want my pre-forty body back. boo hoo.
most of us stayed in tents around the cabin...the cabin can sleep like 10, which is what we had, but we all chose to stay in tents. all except clint. he was our cook and he slept in the cabin. i've never eaten as good on a camp out as i did on that trip.

small ice berg. they are much larger under the water than they appear above the surface.

i always love getting pictures of scenery mixed with pretty coloured kayaks. i'm predicable that way.
today i met up with tanya and we did a loop at prospect heights. another pretty day. i think she's right and we've seen denali more days this year than usual. always great to see the big mountain. i find that it tends to disappear when i am in denali national park, but i can readily see it from anchorage. so skip the drive. i think the dogs had fun. i had to book to my annual gyn appointment.
in the end i really didn't need to rush. he was really far behind seeing patients. as i waited i put the exam table into a flat position and fell asleep. i think i got nearly a 1 hour nap in. the nurse checked on me a few times, but i was happy and sleeping. i appreciated the nap and they appreciated my patience. isn't it nice when everyone is nice?
since it's aialik bay, i'm guessing that is aialik glacier...i could be wrong though.

i jsut love the intertidal zones. that would have been one of my dream jobs, that veterinarian or photographer. anyway. i loved the colours of all the seaweed and stars. such sights to see when you are in a kayak and can venture so close to everything
lets see...bob, quinton,christine,tanya, sue, arden, stephanie,scott, clint, me. i think it's a group shot at lunch. i think this was right before bob and tanya flipped thier kayak. tanya is 7-8 months preggers on this trek. so the baby was babtized before she was born.
kayak flipping potential is one of the reasons i thought i should get in the pool...that and the weight gain. today i did make it to the pool and i did the 35 laps so one mile.
my buddy quinton and i shared a kayak and tent. he's a good buddy, but he moved to wyoming awhile back. poor me. he's supposed to come visit in april though so hopefully we can hang out,maybe go for a hike. will be strange to not have his dogs here though.

another picture of me and another shot of scenery. i'll maybe post more older pictures from fun trips through this dreaded break up season. off to watch, "flightplan" and get some more rest.