Tuesday, August 31, 2010

wiseman, marion campground and a few belugas

thought i'd toss in a few beluga's from last week. impossible to get decent photo's of them. i'lll just toss in a few here and there. the adults are the white colour. the juveniles are grey. must be a good sign that there were lots of grey beluga's out there. i watched them for quite some time and called tanya to let her know. i guess she also drove out to watch them for a bit. they've been hanging out there for a week or more.
they were all over so i couldn't just pick one to watch i just had to try to get pictures of all of them...thus failing to get any decent pics of any of them really.
a couple dives...
the drive goes in reverse. good to check it out in different times, different lights. we had skipped wiseman on the way up so we stopped in to check it out coming back. it's just north of marion campground where we stayed for the night. it's a nice little campground and we found three spots quite close together. little campfire for our last night all together. julie and maria cooked the meal they'd planned. a few mosquito's joined but not horrible. scott and jacqui took off the next morning before i ever saw the light of day. i think at 0600. it was just us girls after this night. above julie gets some love from blossom, who always gives it freely.
tanya, sue and maria enjoy the evening.
julie provided s'more supplies and got the marshmallows cooking.
can't say this night was as good as our tundra night, how could that night be topped.
the dogs got used to the routine and were wonderful about settling on thier blankets while we set up camp and did what we needed to do. rio did have a bit of a meltdown this night. i thought i could leave them in the tent for a minute and run to the latrine, but they were trying to get out and then rio grumbled and tanya and sue when they tried to stop her. she's never done anything besides grumble, but she's big and i'm sure it made them nervous. once i entered the tent she was out like a light. dogs sometimes are like toddlers. it was like she was overly tired and unable to control her emotions. that was her only bad moment of the trip and i just felt bad for her. poor dog. she really did great and we had no other meltdowns.
here are some pictures from wiseman. we got there in the evening. there is a bed and breakfast place there, we really didn't see any people, but we wandered around town a bit. the population is apparently 20. it's an old mining town that sits on the koyukuk river.
not sure what the orange stuff is on the log, but loved all the tiny log cabins. i'm no fan of trapping. find it to be a cruel form of "hunting". hopefully, these old traps are now just decorative and not in use, but i doubt it.
liked the sign. whitehorse, deadhorse and our horse...hehe.
there was lots of old machinery sitting about. would be nice to catch the place when the museums and such are open. i guess you can walk to the old cemetary, but i don't think anyone was game. we kinda all wanted to get set up in the campground.

this would be a rough place to winter over in.
there are occasionally strange old phone booths in odd places in alaska. not sure if this one is functional at all these days. i guess the post office isn't in use.
i'm watching "mostly martha". not the new american version, but an older german one. i love it. so much superior to the one made here a few years back. always a favorite of mine.
there is the old post office and another old cabin.
not sure what my look is here. not one of my better photo's. i think the dogs were wanting to explore.
there is the official wiseman signage.
the rest are just pictures taken from the drive south from atigun pass.
the mountain range wasn't quite as spectacular as it had been when we drove up. we enjoyed the drive and all the colours.
lighting is everything.
got the duct tape off the car today. we are getting back to normal. one day of work under my belt and i head back to work in a couple days. blossom and rio are always a hit at the honda service department. they love them there. sandra, karen and i went to a newer place to eat tonight called "junos". it seems pretty good. not at all crowded. probably gets a larger lunch crowd. good food, though i think i'd skip the desert we selected to share. it was a fried cheesecake. sounded scrumtious, but really was just kinda strange. anyway, when i said the pups and i had hung out waiting for the car, she was surprised i'd taken them. she was then laughing as i told her how disappointed they'd be there if i didn't. the girls always get treats and lots of attention there.
rio was limping a bit on her front leg so i let her stay home and took blossom to the bog for a shorter walk. i was debating going to the gym for another swim, but i was pretty knotted up in the wee hours and i'll go tomorrow which will give me my 3 for the week. should be sufficient. was good to take a break i think. kinda makes your body have to push itself after the stretch off.
gotta have a few pictures of the big trucks on the road.
keep thinking about that jesus camp movie and how these evalengelical christians believe god would have us just use up all the resourses on the earth since he's coming again and then they will just be given a whole new earth. it just amazes me. looking at all the details that were put into creating this amazing place called earth i'm baffled that one could think god was pleased to watch it get torn apart. if the earth was created purely for functionality why creat such intricate detail and design. why the deserts and the oceans and the tundra. why not just put one kind of lumber and oil that was accessible. why design millions of types of insects and wildflowers. it just doesn't add up. i think those people will be very disappointed one day when they meet god and god just isn't as happy with thier callous view of our earth as they seem to be. i believe god will be very disappointed in how those people cared for the land and creatures that he created, that he no doubt agonized over. if that is how it is. the jesus i read about in the scriptures will not be happy with these so called christians. religions have become nothing more than businesses. i just don't see the jesus whose sermons i read being interested in such grandious services and self serving attitudes. jesus lived simply, his messages were simple...i look at all the religions and i see that these seem the exact opposite of the message.

also thought today as i waited for the car about the possibility of bottling air for sale. i mean if you could come up with a simple way to filter the air we breath in an easy to wear apparatus, well, you could sell it. i mean if people buy water in bottles why not air. was thinking it would be perfect to direct it at all these crazy runners/bikers in the big, smoggy cities. it could work.
i'll stop ranting now and let you just enjoy the scenery as we did. i may have to have a bowl of ice cream before i turn in. i mean really, i skipped desert this evening as it just wasn't all that tasty.

the clouds lifted more and more as our day progressed up there. we had fun with the walkie talkies that day too. good to be connected to the other cars.

we left the fall colours behind, but they have started to show up more and more down here. it's also been noted that there is some termination dust on the tops of the mountains. winter will come soon i sense. will have to get ready. tire changeover, move the skies from the shed to the yakima....

now leaving the borough. will miss it and perhaps one day i'll return for another trip. perhaps that flightseeing trip or a rafting trip. already trying to look into next years journey. want to kayak out of gustavus with the humpback whales. better get started....

dalton highway...seven and kittens

thought i'd put in some cute kitten pictures so i dont' get too far behind on the current stuff. will try and post some of my seward trip pictures in the next few days as well. winding down on the dalton trip. i will continue to post those though to finish it out. yesterday after my swim i stopped by my friend karens to mee the new kittens. she just adopted this adorable brother/brother pair from the shelter. they are adorable. she is still having shoulder issues and wanted some help getting some picture of her new friends. of course, i jumped at the opportunity to play...err..i mean photograph kittens.
above is mufasa. while i was away he'd managed to get his head stuck in the loop of the plastic bag that was the current garbage bag by my sink. not the brightest move, but i have to chock it up to possible senility. he's very old and feeble. it would seem his brain isn't quite what it once was either.
so this is latte and mocha. mocha has the brown points and latte the silver. i took over a few toys and we spent some time entertaining and being entertained by this pair. so cute!!
kittens do not sit still for photo sessions so hopefully she got a few pictures she liked. i had fun anyway!
mocha above and below is karen with her two new kittens. she seems very pleased with her new companions. i know she's wanted a cat for sometime. happy she feels recovered enough to be up to care for the little guys. it's a good sign. laughter is truely the best medicine and what better to bring on laughter than kittens and puppies and such.
my group has adjusted quite well to being home again. i think rio is actually a bit more mellow. she will linger on the couch and not rush upstairs and downstairs as i move about. i think one night she didn't even bother to come up to bed and stayed instead on her couch.
these will just get us through the second run of atigun pass. the fall colours were really popping out in the area. the pass was foggy as i've said, but much improved with light and warmer temperatures. this sign is actually right before you enter the pass. i think it does pretty much go up and then down the nearly 4800 feet so pretty steep grades on both sides. there was a false pass as we called it going from south to north. we foolishing had thought we were done and thought, wow, that's it? then we turned a corner and saw the road on the edge going up and up and up into the clouds and fog.
we are getting more and more fall colours down anchorage way as well. funny to watch the fall colours coming on the further i went north and then fade off again as i got further south. so i guess i get 2 falls this year, since i love fall i'm cool with that. i can feel that crispness in the air of fall as well.

scott got a flat tire on atigun pass at some point. he had to stop once we were at a safe place, clean off the tire and change it. i guess he was flashing his lights at us to stop, but i didn't notice that, i did notice him pulling over so i turned around. he seemed to want us to continue on. maria and julie decided to stay back with him, we had the walkie talkie so tanya and i headed down and met them at the bottom...at the outhouse. gotta love our first real outhouse of the day!! it's the little things in life, eh? tanya and i drove very slowly and stopped to take these pictures along the way...poor scott. i think he didn't want a crowd, but i was torn leaving him there.
of course we stopped so often and he changed his tire quite quickly and so we almost all got to the outhouse at the same time.
the fog cleared a bit the further down we got which was nice. i'm not a fan of driving in the fog. oh, a notary came by today and i signed all the papers for the refinance. crazy. i always hate signing all that, i mean who knows what you've really signed at times. so much fine print and they just show you the highlights and then say sign here, sign here. i did discover that my drivers license is expired. you'd think i'd get some sort of notification of that. so add that to the to do list i guess. the car part came in so that is tomorrow. i still want to sign up for a massage. i need it, i'm all knots.
anyway, i was laughing with the notary about learning to drive. i learned to drive in los angeles and those super highways were my training grounds. when i moved to ketchikan i remember meeting other staff who had grown up there. one evening we were talking and the one girl mentioned her drivers training there in ketchikan. it just seemed so unbelievable that anyone could learn to drive on an island with really one road. i mean did she really even know how to drive at all? the notary was saying her husband grew up here and they argue about merging. he gets upset that people don't stop and let him in. just no idea what merge is. we both laughed. so even if i've just signed myself up to be a prostitute today at less than market value, we had fun doing it.

i didn't stop and take pictures again along atigun pass, but i must have taken a few cause here we are going down the other side. i must have been relaxing. it was for sure a better experience going this way than the other at night in ice fog. i still wouldn't want to drive it in a semi, especially in the winter. pretty hairy road...and i'm a very experienced driver. hehe.
here is a picture i believe this is coming down as well. they are re-doing the gaurdrails apparently as they were put in wrong. didn't notice any of this a few nights before as the fog was too thick. the grades are pretty steep.
you can barely see it but scott is busily changing his tire back there at the pull out coming down atigun pass. the mud on my street from me hosing my car is a good 2-3 inches thick so he had a bit of work to do cleaning the tire up enough to be able to change it.
jacqui holds the bucket and looks on as scott gets the spare out.

we got held up at the top of atigun pass for the construction. a few huge trucks had lined up behind us so i asked the nice flagger to send all the trucks down before us so that we wouldn't hinder thier progress. the entire trip we treated the haul road as thier road and we were just visitors to it. i mean those truckers are trying to work, we were on no real time schedule and i jsut didn't want to annoy them. partly cause i'm nice and partly because we realized quickly that if we were to get into a true bind it was those truckers who would be the ones who would have to help bail us out just by proximity. best not to annoy them as we could need them at some point in a dire emergency.
there is no signage or fanfare, but as we sat there waiting, we were sitting on the continenal divide. so below is my official continental divide photo. impressed, are we?
going up...we had just been in that valley but a minute before so up, up, up...the road...
am hopelessly behind on loading photo's to my photobucket account. may want to make calendars again, if only for myself. also watched a movie i haven't watched for sometime, "water". very sad. it's set in the time of ghandi in india and about a little 7 year old widow...yes, i said seven!! it still happens that women who have been married off and who's husband has died are banished from society as widows. they are seen as unclean. one hopes thier lot has improved in this day and age, but this isn't true in all parts of india.

have gotten my laps in these past 2 days. after a stretch off i can definitely feel it. did 70 lengths yesterday and 60 today. feels good. the place is all bright as they have turned all the light banks on. i guess i hadn't noticed that they weren't all on before, but it is much brighter. who knows.

spent the weekend at the dog park with the girls. it poured on saturday. sunday was more pleasant so we did a few laps there. heard the sandhill cranes as i came home last night so fun to hear them sticking around here.

as i am currently finishing off a bottle of water here i must reminisce a bit. i recall years ago they came out with this bottled water and we just all thought that was nuts. i mean who would buy bottles of water when you could just turn on your tap and drink whenever you wanted. of course, it caught on like crazy and now many people won't drink tap water. has a parent the other night wanting sterile water for her kid. it's gotten a bit out of hand. i try to avoid the bottles, but do use them on occasion. in truth they aren't really regulated so who knows,they could be worse for you than...horrors...tap water. i remember being at a family function in california and one niece was very upset as she was dying of thirst and all the bottles of water has been drank up by her other relatives. nevermind that there was a sink in both the kitchen area and the bathroom. it was just striking to me at the time, the realization that the bottle water bottle companies had so completely succeeded in selling water in bottles and convincing the public it was better for them.

you get to that age where you to remember when. it's funny. i always thought it must have been amazing for my grandpa and the changes he'd seen. when he was a kid there was no cars even. our changes have been more technological. i mean we got "pong" for christmas one year as our big family gift. that was the first atari game product. it was a simple ping pong game that could be hooked into your computer. very basic. the microwave came out when i was a kid too. we got one, but i could tell my mother was afraid we'd be harmed by the microwaves it must be emiting.
off to refill my water bottle with tap water...eegads!! not to worry, i'll get back to my poetry soon enough here as well.