Tuesday, March 22, 2011

mish mash of hikes and rambles during iditarod...

all the dogs are back from the trail...the iditarod is over for another year. always fun to watch and follow. the trail and weather made for a great run for many, still i believe 15 scratched from the 60 something that started. besides the broken collar bone, another finished after breaking his metatarsal bones and another had his shoulder dislocate and shoved back in. not a run for the weak. the dogs did well. no dog deaths, no major incidences so that is always great.
the above picture is from portage lake. i only posted a few pictures today, but will hope to post the rest tomorrow. wanted to catch up on my regular walk pictures as i've been posting all iditarod for a bit. of course, i never stopped walking as those dogs kept running.
this is the river that comes off of portage lake. it may actually be called portage river, but that may be too obvious and i'm too dang lazy to look it up right now. i just thought the ice and snow looked cool.
these two were taken out on turnigan arm en route to portage.
have had a good week. the sun shone a great deal, which is always wonderful, but it's always nice and welcome to get a cloudy day in there. work was fine. the computer stuff had a few challenges for me at times. i muddled through. had my first admit. still not sure if i got the stuff done on the computer that is required, but not much i can do about that. also had a patient with 7 chest tubes a few nights. the in and out flow on the computer can be a bit cumbersome and bizarre. for some reason every patient in the hospital has a drip called octeotide on thier flow sheet, which isn't a drip we use very often. the 7 chest tubes seemed to show up as more like 10 or 12 chest tubes. will be forever grateful for our acc superuser, joan marie, for sorting that mess out. have only had 2 patients with that many chest tubes. it's a bit disconcerting to me initially. i know many icu nurses probably deal with that many chest tubes with regularity and i may seem like a wimp, but that is alot of tubes!! i lived in fear of tripping over one and pulling a few out or that the xray machine would drag a few with it. in the end it was all fine. shouldn't cross bridges before you get to them.
took the dogs to the dog park before we headed to portage that one day. not sure why i'm always amused by the little collections of lost and found that develope at various trailheads around town. i'm just entertained by them though.
looked like someone had created a path on the lake out there. kinda funny.
also tossed in a few pictures from last weeks dog walk monday. just me, tanya, andrea and maddie as it was spring break. more sun and spring/break up weather out there. into the 30's. so far the trail is still quite walkable. soon it will be a slushy mess. walked out n. bivouac several times these past weeks. did pack my bear spray in my pack the other day...it's getting to be that time and the bears will be wandering out of their dens soon no doubt. so far no sightings. usually the trails on turnigan arm that get all the sun, dry out fast and get the first bear activity.
maddie and tanya both had a touch of a cold bugs..as did nash i think. we did a shortened loop.
i watched all the clips of the mushers coming into nome. some are pretty cool. they had the big banquet post race up there. it usually starts before all the mushers are in. i suspect a few of them missed it. not everyone can hang out until all are done. the last musher came in on the 21st i believe. i watched a few of the awards, mostly fast forwarded through the dull stuff just to see who won and what they said. aliy zirkle got the humanitarian award. this goes to the musher who took the best care of their dogs. always highly coveted and a source of great pride to those who are given it. she was pretty emotional about it. several awards are just for getting to certain places first. herbst, the idaho musher, got two awards. first to the halfway point and most improved musher.
this is the sunset as i drove to work one night. allen moore got the award for sportsmanship. apparently another musher was in distress and asked for assistance. he stopped and made sure she got to the next checkpoint and safety. sounds like karen hendrickson had hypothermia. slurred speech and confusion. he just went into rescue mode.
not sure if you can tell, but i always love that blossoms shadow is as fluffy as she is.
swenson got the mushers choice award, which is as implied a musher that the other mushers all feel exemplifies the perfect musher in all aspects. his arm was now in a sling due to his broken collarbone. some people just have a strong constitution and the courage to go on.
these next pictures were taken from flat top and the powerline trail accessed by that trailhead. i don't often go to that trailhead as it's one of the most popular places in the area and can get crowded, besides the road up there can be a bit twisty and icy. i'm a big chicken. every day is so pretty and you just feel obligated to get out and take advantage of it all. that is anchorage in the foreground and sleeping lady in the background.
ellen halverson was the red lantern award winner. she was the last into nome and turned off the red lantern that remains lit til all the mushers are in. lance mackey, didn't win the race this year, but he did get the award for the fastest run from safety to nome.
liked the ski's stored at the trail, they probably took off on snowshoes or some other manner from that point. people in general are pretty respectful of leaving others ski's, bikes or gear alone. some people are way more adventurous than i am. looks like fun.
this trail is the powerline trail, aptly named. you can take it for many miles. i believe it eventually crosses over to the community of indian on the turnigan arm.
bike left on the trail. since it was a weekday it wasn't too crowded out there. the weekends are packed. did hear it mentioned again on the news. people who find the lot full often park on the streets and find thier cars either towed or ticketed as the street is marked as all firelane and closed to parking.
the japanese are still working thier way out of the mess left from the quake and tsunami. there is still risk of radiation issues, but seems many are working together to try and get thier communities back together. i'm often reminded in these times of the whole katrina disaster and all those people just sitting around that stadium waiting to be rescued. at the time and many times since i've wondered how they could all just sit there, doing nothing but waiting. i'm sure there were a few who attempted to correct the chaos, i just remember thinking it was odd that they just waiting and didn't take action. sounds like people in the communities of japan are taking action, as i had expected in the katrina distaster. some people are just more resourceful than others. maybe some have just come to rely on the world to fix all thier issues and have lost the ability to problem solve.
maybe we are just inadequately educating out youth on survival. when i lived in ketchikan i was impressed that the pre teens were put in a survival program. trained in some survival basics. they all got a coffee can to fill with items one may need to get them through if they were lost in the woods or something. they then had a weekend retreat where they put themselves to the test. not sure how it all worked. sadly, i suspect it will go away as parents spend so much time in protection mode and not enough time perhaps in teaching survival skills. many city kids haven't even every camped out, which i think teaches some of those skills. fire starting, water collection.
i feel like i'm becoming one of those old folks who looks on at the next generations with concern. there are too many that are pampered and who haven't learned those basic skills to find thier way out of the fabled paper bag. for me, that stadium in new orleans was a huge sign of our lack of resourcefulness. this doesn't bode well for us as a society if this becomes the norm. some may just have those skills inately in them. was good to see a few of the young mushers out on the trail. i just remember thinking what a great experience that would be for someone so young. how will that translate itself into their future lives?
snowed on thursay, but did get out and enjoy the day. the dogs love the fresh snow. still warmed up into the 30's by afternoon.
turned on my computer to see that we had dropped bombs in libya. i'm really not keen on dropping bombs in other nations. i realize that kadafi is a crap leader and that now he seems to be taking an even more violent path with a proclamation that he will never step down voluntarily. just seems so wrong to add another area of involvement. in the end, he'll go down, another will take over and the people there will be resentful of our continued involvement. just seems like helping and pissing people off go hand in hand.
did watch "harold and maude" the other night. some movies are just classics that you can enjoy for decades. i think this one is one of those. just entertaining, though also bizarre. i was cracking up on the one line in there. harold says something about hanging out with her he's acquiring some vices. maude says, "vice, virtue, it's best not to be too moral, you cheat yourself out of too much of life". didn't remember that line at all, but i cracked up. she just said it perfect. i think many people do cheat themselves out of too much of life by following too moral of an existence. sometimes you just gotta lighten up. there was a bug, one that maude stole and there were several suicide attempts, though just fake ones to try and get a rise out of harolds mom. didn't work.
blossom enjoyed her day in the fresh snow. i though for a second about snowshoeing, but it was heavy spring snow. very wet. i would have had ice bergs stuck to the bottom of my snowshoes. have done that before, not at all pleasant.
in between shifts i took the dogs up patterson. it's an easy walk between shifts. we got lucky the one day and the dogs in the neighborhood that my dogs like the most were out and about.
when you have dogs, you get to know your neighborhood in a different way. you meet people through the dogs. above is a deaf doodle, named eeyore. i haven't met his owners yet, but blossom fell in love with this dog the first time they met. he is rarely out in his yard, but blossom always stops at his fence and waits longingly by the gate. i let them play along the fence for some time. they had so much fun. the gate doesn't have a lock and i'm always tempted to just open it and let blossom in the yard to play. i keep hoping eeyores owners will be out there one day and they can play without a fence between them. cute dog.
this dog we see more frequently and have spoken often to the owners. this is keva. this dog is rio's favorite buddy on the walk. rio will rush the fence and jump about playing with keva even if keva isn't there. she takes a few minutes to realize that her friend isn't responding and therefore not actually there. no matter how often it happens it cracks me up everytime. it's sad and sweet at the same time.
these are just a few pictures of "break up". that is the alaskan season between winter and spring. above is patterson. we walk all the way up the street. it's a very popular neighborhood pathway.
this is my street. it was a sheet of ice last week so i'm happy for some meltage. anchorage will be a mess for weeks and weeks now.
believe these are back to powerline and flat top.
yes. i got back there a ways. didn't go to much further than this as i had rio and don't like to push her. she's doing so great with her joints, would hate to have to leave her home.
took these to show the powerline passage. looks like it would be a great walk in the summer to go to the saddle up there. will have to check it out.
this one just shows the saddle and powerline a bit closer in.
blossom enjoys her tennis ball...you can see denali out in the background. we see the big mountain often in the winter.
there was a parasailer guy out there the day i was out. he did a short ride. i actually ran into him packing up his stuff. seems like alot of work for a 15 minute flight. sounds like some days they travel miles and stay up for over an hour. we chatted abit. apparently there are many lynx sightings in the neighborhoods up there. i'm still waiting for my sighting, though i generally have a few dogs with me which no doubt prevents most possibilites.
this guy is on patterson. saw a moose on the road coming home from work the other day, then i saw another one up the road and that turned out to be a mother and calf. didn't get any decent pictures. probably a combination of trying to drive, take a picture and having worked the 12 hour night.
we had a fun monday walk today. lena came and brought her new alaskan malamute puppy. she's been off on vacation and we haven't seen her out on the trails as much these past months so great to see her out there and meet the new puppy. he has an inupiaq name, which i can't recall. he goes by "manny".
as we gathered at the trailhead, manny kept wanting to join but then got nervous and ran under her truck. lots of dogs probably made the poor pup a big anxious. in the end he walked back to that truck like he was one of the big dogs. i think the monday walk is definitly good for socializing puppies. blossom got a bit overly playful with the pup a few times. rio is the best dog with puppies and you could see manny coming and standing by rio when he got a bit overwhelmed on the trail with the other more frisky dogs.
blossom does the obligitory sniff on the new canine. she approved. he'll grow fast. it wasn't that long ago that boddhi was a puppy out there.
he's a very cute little puppy though. of course, i think all puppies look cute. kittens too are just adorable. chatted with my friend natalie in california for a bit today. was telling her that sapogi,my cat, is a bit lonely since mufasa passed away. am thinking i need to find a youngish female cat. preferably black and white, extra toes would be a bonus. i tend to make these outlandish and specific demands thinking surely i won't find a cat to fit these requiements...then i do. so...i'll keep you posted.
the trip is filled up. have been some back and forths and i never totally relax til people pay money. now i need to start figuring out hotels and such. all the planning is worth it and in the end the trips are great. i'm often stressed until i get on the plane. once you are in the air, there just isn't anything you can do about it all. relax and enjoy. it is what it is.
this came out a bit blurry, but it's lena, sandra's friend noni, andrea, tanya and sandra....a fun group. 5 dogs ...in this one everyone is still getting to know little manny.
here, i think manny is hanging back with rio after getting a bit nervous of the big and wild dogs.
tanya has to get some puppy love. it's been awhile since she's been able to pick up and hold her malamute, boddhi.
blossom did more humpage than usual. i think she's more rambunctious when i'm on my 4 day run. i just have wed/thurs and then another stretch off. i really should be doing some overtime and they did call and ask. they have sledds and it's the new machine. i should get in there and get myself trained up. maybe friday i will think of picking up a shift. we'll see how those other days go.
for now i'm getting sleepy. woke early for the walk and then took a nap after the walk. i think that revived me. usually, i just stay awake and then go to bed a bit earlier. sometimes you just have to listen to your body. if it's tired, then let the body sleep. nice to have that option.
the two malamutes...
manny again decides to stay close to rio.
lena seems to be pretty happy with the new addition to her family. i think her kids are pretty excited as well. kids and dogs are just a fun thing.

will post those fun portage pictures tomorrow. i'm sleepy so i will bid you farewell.


  1. Don't have much luck with these messages - guess I have to be a "member", but love all your photos and explanations.

  2. lynda, welcome, no membership required. had to screen comments after getting a bunch of spam from scantily clad women. always happy to read that my blogs are enjoyed!!