Sunday, February 13, 2011

ski from russian jack to weschester lagoon for a skate!!

had a wonderful day with friends today out on the trails of anchorage. we have an amazing trail system here in anchorage. you can go for miles, so today we did just over 5 miles of cross country skiing and that took us from russian jack park down to westchester lagoon. the lagoon is a community ice skating area. always popular and fun.
first we parked cars at westchester and then caravaned to russian jack. once there, we discovered that there was a big ski event. apparently there were 500 high school students doing racing there. we attempted to skirt around them and that wasn't appreciated. we were trying to ask how to get from where we were to around the race and to our goal. at first it was a bit of a cluster. i recognized the event volunteer as a doctor i work with and chat with often. i didn't say anything to him about recognizing him, but then he looked at me and said, "i know you". at that point he started to assist us getting past the situation and on to our ski. he's always been a huge cross country ski supporter in this community and we've talked about skiing several times. the trails are community trails so i'm happy that it all worked out. of course, working out meant we took back trails and then crossed through high school before taking bridge across northern lights. above is us on high school property.
then we removed ski's a second time and skirted race central. i had blossom to deal with so i had removed my ski's once already. the dog was really freaking them out. she's very good though. i kept her on leash til we were back on the main trail and away from racers.
here we are finally free to start on the real ski. sandra, valerie, joy, sheila and jennifer. joys friend ken was also along.
blossom is quite sleepy tonight, but had a grand time. she gets a bit stressed as she likes to keep everyone together. so she runs back and forth from the back of the pack to the front, checking in. the temperatures started out close to 0F but i think they were closer to 10 by the time we reached westchester. our little jaunt off skies, running with everything warmed me up and i know i was over dressed for our outing. hard to plan for that chill though.
this is one of the bridges we crossed to get from the goose lake area back to the main trails we wanted.
of course, we got a bit split up and blossom had to race back and make sure everyone was getting back together. after you cross there is a small hill down and then a turn to the left. jennifer waits below for our newest skier, sheila, whom i think hit the snow a few times on her downhill.
joy is always happy, not sure if her mom was just inspired to name her joy or is she just grew into her name, but she is so like her name. just has fun. gotta love that!
we stopped for pictures a few times along the way. i love that the people i do these things with are not the competitive sort. not that they can't be competitive in thier own ways, but they all know how to have fun and not take anything too seriously. perhaps that is part of nursing. after so many years being in this business maybe you just learn what it means to just chill and enjoy the life you have been given.
above is jennifer, val, sandra and sheila.
more group shots, seems like nobody came along we could ask for pictures so below is ken, joy, jennifer, val, me and sandra..and blossom. blossom never really sat facing forward for any of the photo's. not feeling like getting her picture taken today. i think she just wanted to keep running.
but this next one turned out cute. she really is a great dog. gets along with everyone. some dog at weschester did come after her. the lady later apologized profusely saying her dog was older now and just not the same and she was taking him home. when you take your dog out to public places it's your responsibilty to know thier temperment and training. there are lots of kids out there and the snap directed at blossom could just as easily been a child.
haven't done a good ski like this since last year. have done some shorter ski's but it was nice to get out and the day was just spectacular. we are lucky that way. the mountains in the distance. this place is just a dream to live in. i'm a bit sore from the days adventures, we'll see what tomorrow brings. i did even get to the gym tonight and got in 25 laps. my foot was cramping a bit and i think i just had that chill from being outside all day. felt great after the swim as i sat in the jacuzzi for a bit and then the steam room. love that steam room. if i was wealthy i'd have a steam room just for the post outdoor activity warmth. you really can get chilled to the bone. sweating just means that once you stop moving you get colder.
just some random pictures of everyone skiing. lots of tunnels towards the lagoon.
after this tunnel we had just a bit left before we got to the lagoon.
as you can see the place was crowded as usual. such a fun variety of folks out there. always a blast to watch the kids having fun. no fear. a few in our group hadn't ice skated for years. i think they had fun getting out there and testing it out. joy and ken also tried out my kicksled. i think they had fun with that.
above sandra helps joy with her first loop. she said after that she was on her own. she did great. there was a guy having fun out there who was in a wheelchair. i guess joy had been nervous about putting on her skates when sandra pointed out that if that guy was out there in a wheelchair certainly she could put her skates on and give it a whirl. there was also some little kid that really took a liking to blossom. she wanted to pull blossom around. blossom is quite accomadating, but i had to sever that one as the poor dog was beat. i think she was happy to be rescued.
had fun last night as well. took the girls for a nice walk in n. bivouac and then met up with sandra and lesley for dinner at Suite 100. i bought some steamer clams/muscles for appetizers and then got some great ribs. it was great to have delicious foods that i never would make for myself at home.( too complicated for this girl, and besides living alone can't just cook a few ribs or 5 steamer clams) we were there for several hours and as usual laughed and laughed and laughed. we always say we'll do this more often, but it is too long between nights out. felt great though.
today after the skate a few of us went to fire island bakery. i just got a croissant, which was good. was getting hungry. wanted hot chocolate, but they only had basic coffee and teas.
a few of sandra out there enjoying her skate.
the train passed by as we were out there. always fun for a few cool photo ops. loved the kids pushing the lawn chairs around.
joy looks very excited to be skating on her own.
i believe joy is a lousiana girl. like where i grew up, we don't have frozen lakes around and the only time we'd ice skated before was in rinks with nice boards to hang onto as you walked yourself around the rink. nothing to hang onto here. folks of people bring chairs like those kids or a hockey stick to add balance. so many tricks.
i think it had been awhile for ken as well. i haven't been on actual ice skates since i got the kick sled i think. just so much easier and i can stop and take pictures without fear of falling.
so all in all a great day outside with friends. one i may be paying for with some level of discomfort by the morning. i have unbaked cookies in the fridge which should ease my pain...if you hadn't figured what unbaked cookies were it's dough. i love the dough and dispite fears of getting ill from the raw eggs in the dough, it's rarely happened. i won't say never as i'm sure there have been some ill effects in the form of GI upset or symptoms. no hospitilizations though so it's cool and i shant stop eating the dough just yet.
blossom didn't look raring to go this morning.
walked in rovers run, the bog, the hood and n. bivouac on the other days this week. had the last of my computer classes. overall, i think i'll adapt. some stuff will just be a bother. work went well, kept busy, but it wasn't out of control. did take another trek down to the cat scan machine. so that is 3 roadtrips in the span of several weeks. we rarely do road trips as we call them at night. i hope this habit stops.
egypts "president" stepped down finally after weeks of protest and bloodshed. i'm sure i'm supposed to have more knowledge of what has been occuring there, but overall i must admit that i'm not as informed as i'd like to be when it comes to other nations. seems few of us are. i was looking at bbc web site as work last week, but of course, i'd pulled up some blip about some nation in africa trying to interpret a law that was on thier books as meaning to fart in public was illegal. as i looked up this little article a patients family member passed by and was all excited that someone actually would be looking at bbc africa. i had to admit the nature of the article and thus my curiosity. we both had a good laugh. i'm not as much of an intellectual as i must have looked to her, at least momentarily.
overall, i'm happy that the people seem to have gotten thier way, but sad that it had to come from these massive protests and all rather than having an election that they felt they could trust and was just. we have it very lucky that our system is fairly well managed when it comes to elections. takes years for a democracy to work. hopefully, this is heading them in the direction they hope to take. any power vacuum in the middle east is frightening at this stage of the game. egypt has been fairly stable comparatively and one wonders how this may impact those other nations in thier midst.
we got some fresh snow and i always love how it bunches up on the tree trunks.
blossom got her share of fresh snow as well.
i really had thought it was going to be more snow. still waiting for the good dumps so i can snowshoe out there. maybe not tomorrow though. may be too painful.
took this from below a fungi on the tree. thought it looked kinda cool.
blossom got quite a bit of frisbee time in this week.
still limps a bit from time to time. not sure what is up with that. she looks pretty good this evening, but we'll see how she feels by morning as well. she's just not as young as she was. i'm really hoping she has a nice long life though. she is just so much fun to be with. not too many dogs out there like her.
more snow....
rio has made it out for some nice walks as well. she seems to really love getting out there, though i know the temperatures of today don't thrill her too much. she found some candy i'd bought to send south. still haven't sent off a few gifts. i'm terrible at post office stuff, but now i'll have to re-shop. no ill effects seen yet. brat dog. love her though. she is also a great dog, though just in a different category than blossom.
she is the queen of sweet and that is hard to beat.
well, have come to the end of another note. i'm sleepy, sore and wanting to get just another finger full of chocolate chip cookie dough before i retire.

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