Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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.

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