Friday, September 30, 2011

a few pictures from hike to hidden lake...

it's 5am and i'm awake so i'll load a few pictures. why am i awake at 5am. was put on call last night and i never sleep well when i'm on call. it's looking good that i won't be called in tonight. always fear i'll sleep through the phone call asking me to come in. yesterday was a wet and lazy day. reading a book that has my attention so all day i just wanted to read and sleep. the one time i tried to get outside and walk the dogs it started to pour on me. just encouraged me to curl back up with my book. love a rainy day and the laziness that it allows. happy to have a life where i can just chill and have a lazy day every so often.

was joined on this late fall hike to hidden lake this past week by amy and tanya. between us we had 4 dogs, ecco, blossom, boddhi and indy. they had a great time. alaska is wonderful in that it doesn't take too much effort to get to amazing places. i'd never been to hidden lake before. i think we just got to the first tarn and had we left earlier it looks like there is another lake further up the valley. to get there you go to the glen alps trailhead. best to go mid week....too crowded on the weekend with the flat toppers. hike the powerline trail back to this bridge, cross over and head up.

the dogs all seem to like to join in on the photo ops. tried to just get a picture with blossom and i, but the boys joined in. came out cute. the dogs all had a blast. lots of fresh water for them to drink. stupid me hadn't brought any water and very little snacks. never a good idea on any hikes in alaska. we met up at 12:30 and finished our hike at 5pm. not sure how many miles it is, will have to look for my next post. we guessed we walked 5-7 miles. the dogs, of course, must have done double that. i complained of the uphill, as i always do, but it's always worth a bit of uphill agony for the views at the top.

tanya's car battery died, again, so i gave her a ride home. on the way from her house i had to stop for this cute and large bear crossing dearmoun. blossom saw him from her front seat spot and barked like crazy. not a great habit for her to have gotten into, but now that she's seen a few bears she knows they are not dogs and feels they are worthy of a good barking at. this guy quickly scampered off into someones yard. bears are a part of alaskan life. people have been late to work because of a moose kill in thier front yard. can't really leave your house if there is a bear with a dead moose by your car. i laugh as part of the traffic reports in anchorage will include moose and bear activities. i grew up in los angeles so those traffic reports were of a totally different nature.

i think the tarn we hit was right over that first bump, where the shadow stops. you can go further up to that second bump and i believe another lake will be there. the lake is hidden until you are right on it.

there is fresh snow on the mountain tops where we were hiking and as we hit that first bump to the tarn it was actually snowing ever so slightly on us. the flakes were more like small hail, but white. the snow is continuing it's trek south and soon it will be all white everywhere for several months. did get out to the garden and got some done in prep for winter. the list is not nearly complete though. some just leave it all for the next spring. i like to get it straightened up so it's not a mess when the snow melts.

i think most gardeners will tell you to leave it til spring, depends on how lazy i'm feeling. blossom enjoyed her day out, rio was at home watching animal planet. this would have been too much for the old girl.

part way up there was this beautiful creek. you can see it coming all the way from that top lake. quite picturesque. amy stops for a photo op...the dogs, well they just stop between wrestling sessions.

my body is a bit sore between this weeks hikes and gardening. got some laps in and spent some time in the jacuzzi last night, which i think helps. on wednesday i met up with lena, amy and tanya and we did a walk out campbell airstrip. rio joined on that one. so i think we had 6 dogs.

blossom generally hikes back with us and the boys run off and wrestle. she is almost 6 years old so i think her wrestling days are behind her. every so often the boys gang up on her and i'd have to rescue the poor girl. she tries but they just overpower her.

this is the tarn up there at the first hump. the clouds are at the second hump where i suspect another, larger lake it. tanya was our leader on this one, but i think it had been several years since she'd done this. i'd do it again. you get up to the tundra with minimal effort. i love the lichen covered rocks up there. saw a lichen book i want to buy, it's pricey. i think i have some points i could use towards it. just have to figure out how to get them to cross over. i've done it before but can't recall how i did it. that would half the price.

looking back you get some lovely views of anchorage and fire island. briefly as we hiked in i caught a glimpse of denali peeking out. we hiked towards the clouds, but did get some blue skies.

the colours are mostly post prime, but still beautiful. will post the rest of these next week and i still have pictures from hanging valley to post....another favorite fall hike.

several pictures from the small falls on the creek before we headed up.

it was the only time i flipped to black and white....i also tried some longer exposures. always playing...never bother with a tripod though. way too lazy to haul it around and mess with it.

this next one is a bit over exposed, but i liked the colours in it.

for how late it is in the fall, it was fun to still see some flowers blooming way up there.

i hear the rain coming down. hopefully, i will wake at a reasonable time and get a few errands run. just figured out that my car is due for it's emissions check and registration...dang. they keep talking of phasing out emissions checks. it's a waste of money for most of todays cars. a bit of a scam. not nearly as many crap cars in anchorage i've noticed. perhaps living in the land of winter people are more likely to keep cars that are more dependable. i also want to get the dogs bathed. blossom has the stink on. my old favorite dog wash is taking self service again. they suddenly stopped which totally sucked. they used to have like 6 dog wash stations and they were always busy. seems like they'd just remodeled the place and then they just shut her down. they have moved and only have one dog wash station. hopefully, they will rebuild and add more. may have to check it out.

will read a bit more and hopefully sleep in. almost 6 am so chances of being called in diminish with every passing hour.

3 nights of work seems so much less daunting than 4. 12 hour shifts are great but they can also be tiring. love that i get away with 3 shifts/week. not sure i could adjust to regular work hours like everyone else does. i love all my days off.

powerline pass is a zone of moose love about this time of year. not sure we saw any males though i thought there was one that skated into the bush before i got my zoom on him. lots of females. in the next few weeks the valley will fill with bulls, cows and photographers hoping to get some great pictures of bulls in rut.

guess i shall return to bed, read "the gargoyle" and hope to sleep a few more hours. a lazy day is great, but hopefully, today is more productive. the to do list is too long for too many lazy days like yesterday.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

last of denali...

it's obvious that i take far too many pictures. i also have way too many opinions. oh well, i enjoy the pictures and the taking of them and the opinions, well they just are. love it or leave it. that has always been my motto. since i am over 40 and single, leave it seems to have been the way. better to be alone with ones opinions than controlled without one. i'm sure that is a point that could be argued. doubt that the only reason i am alone is due to my i have opted to not do hours of psychotherapy i will just have to live in constant wonder and awe that nobody has chosen to stay the course with me. either way...those reds above are spectacular!

i look huge, this is not a true image of me. photos do add pounds but camera's add bulk. it was drizzling a bit and so i was just keeping my camera out of the wetness. yes, that is a dog hat. living in a place with winter so many months we all have a large supply and variety of warm weather hats, gloves, coats, fleece, hoodies, name it. variety is the spice as it were. discussed this with friends on our hike today and they agree. our hat wardrobe is probably much larger and varied than the average female american. i love, love, love winter clothes though. is it because the bulk hides a few flaws?

my friend carla got to wear one of my more normal ski hats.

this is my favorite picture of carla from her week here. love the scarf!

me and the pups in talkeetna. we stopped to let the dogs pee while driving up from anchorage. while stopped blossom found herself an old, rotting salmon to chew/roll on. this same thing happened with other friends who drove with me to denali several years back. we stopped to let the dogs pee and rio found a rotting fish head and attempted to consume it. that smell is horrid and it's nearly impossible to get that out of a dogs coat once it's in there. a car gets awful stinky and stuffy with rotting salmon odors floating through. i had some biodegradable shampoo and i sacrificed my towel. it helped, but still...

love these old airstreams. i hear they are making a comeback.

through the window shot.

today i hiked with amy and tanya up to hidden lake. really hidden tarn, we think one more uphill and we'd hit a bigger lake. perhaps next year. we'd done enough uphill for one day and were all satisfied with the beauty we were able to enjoy. we did see a few moose starting to congregate up there. powerline pass is famous for moose rutting this time of year. we saw mostly females. hopefully, tomorrow i can start posting pictures from a few of my favorite fall hikes, todays, hidden lake and the hanging valley hike we did a bit back. fun pictures. really have other things i should be doing...winter is coming though and one can't waste any time in this short fall. must get out and enjoy it.

carla and i stayed at this hostel. pricey compared to hostels in other places, but we had this tiny bunk room to ourselves, dogs welcome. it was warm and cozy.

the showers/bathrooms are in a seperate building. i got a giggle out of this faucet. hot vs old. one must wonder sometimes.

another child molester caught. this guy would date women with young daughters and had the audacity to ask them to drug thier daughters so he could have sex with them. this brings me to wonder how many women allowed this. i remember meeting a guy online, going on one coffee date and then him asking me to go to a remote cabin for the weekend. i have no desire to have the headline read, stupid woman murdered on internet date. it did occur to me that he asks because there are women who say yes. is it the same with this guy? these articles are one of the reasons i so rarely date. seems like the good guys are married and sticking with thier mates. the leftovers in my age bracket are often drunks, drug addicts, losers or child molesters. not really wanting to get myself mixed up with any of these sorts. i'm not keen on alot of baggage either. ex-wives, step kids. it can all get rather complicated. i think if i was a single mom, especially with daughters, there is no way i'd even attempt a date. wouldn't want to put my kid at risk.

carla and i wandered some of the trails near the visitor center at denali before we headed off for our walk. needed to wear out the pups.

always love train tressels.

reading a strange book, recommended by a nurse friend. have no idea why she chose me to select this book for. it's quite unusual and i'm getting sucked into it. it's odd though. it's called "the gargoyle". it's on my kindle. overall i like the kindle. i do miss being able to cheat and page ahead or easily page back to re-read what i may have forgotten. also with the kindle it doesn't show up as pages...just a percentage of the book read. i hear the nook does do pages. i'm too cheap to change at this time, but may end up with a nook down the road. saw a book on i'd love. it's costly though. sounds like a really good resource book on lichens and such.

we saw loads of lichens today and it would be fun to be able to learn more and identify them.

more reds and greens.

had carla snap this one. this is what happens when a moose is spotted on the side of the road in denali.

so pretty out there. soon will be all covered with snow. no snowmachines allowed out there and i think it's still patrolled in winter by sled dog team.

we were up by hidden lake and there were some snow flakes coming down. not really flakes, like tiny hail, but more snowy.

it is that time of year. soon we will be a winter wonderland. i still have bulbs to plant. of course, how many will actually make it to flower is always unknown. moose like bulbs and will dig them up if they can get to them. hopefully, i can post those two hikes photo's here in the next week. want to get to potters and see the swans there as well. love swans.

Monday, September 26, 2011

first monday walk of season, more fall shots and a virus...

still sneaking in pictures from my fall drive north. these swans were on the talkeetna spur road. they always look pretty in the fall colours and i really should stop by potters marsh as they are no doubt congregating there about now. the moose will also start chilling up glen alps way for their games.

when i got on my computer this morning, it flashed and then suddenly i had no more norton antivirus. not sure what happened. at first i called what i believe was some number in india, but that was taking too long fortunately and i hung up so that i could head out for my monday walk.

several winters ago i began the monday walks. each monday whoever wants to meets up and we head out for a loop at north bivouac. the people and dogs vary as does the weather. it's great though as it's just a nice social outing that gets people out and active through the winter months. we start up sometime in fall so this was the day i selected and put on the fliers i posted at work. today we had 8 dogs and 7 humans...well 10 dogs and 8 humans if you count my friend nelly, who got confused and showed up 2 hours late. we meet at kaladi's about 2:30, walk is at 12:30. i think she just saw the second part. bummer. hopefully, she'll try again.

this is the river in talkeetna and some of the local decorations. i always love thier cool decorated moose all over town.

these guys were at a coffee shop.

the flowers are dying all over. mine are still hanging in there in my little deck pots. didn't have the heart today to dump them. was outside for a short time pulling grass from a side bed. all the beds really need to be cleared out. woke to frost outside today so i guess it must have dropped down a bit last night.

the women of saudi arabia have finally been given the right to vote...well not until 2015 and they still must be accompanied by a male in order to vote. women aren't allowed to drive. i am excited for them for this small step forward in feminism. can't imagine living in such a repressed place. though, oddly, i read recently that most european nations do not have any laws that relate to sexual harrassment in the workplace. those women have no place to turn and this sort behavious is generally accepted in the workforce.

i do enjoy the freedoms given to the women of this nation though i often shake my head at how many women, especially young girls, see themselves only as sex objects. too often women and young women demean themselves in thier quest to be popular with the male of the species. know your worth.

the only moose we saw in denali national park. she does look nice with the foliage though.

another news item that caught my eye today. two men held in iran for the past few years were released. our country paid iran 1 million bucks to get them back. this seems quite ludicrous to me. too often people from our country do stupid things and then they just look to the nation to save them. these guys were charged, ridiculous as it was too, with espionage. they sounded like they went hiking and got a bit too close to the iranian border and got picked up. i'm just not sure we should be paying iran 1 million dollars "bail" money. i may sound mean to feel that perhaps they should have just done thier illegal time in iran, they were being held humanly as far as that part of the world is concerned. does this set a precedence that now americans will be nabbed with the expectation that our government will come to the rescue with "bail" funds? it's nice that in thier press conference they have to add that they are opposed to us/iran relations. perhaps they should then pay back the united states government the 1 million. i just see that money now being added to irans nuclear weapons program...thanks again us governement. if you are hiking near north korea or iran...take a gps, know where the hell you are or better yet stay several hundred miles from the border!

people seem to believe that the laws in the united states go with them when they cross borders. they are shocked when they do not get those same freedoms in other nations and then they insist as us citizens this should be honored. if there is a rape or murder in another nation they believe they should get the same police involvement that they would have if that rape or murder occured in the states.

little pica above or whatever we are calling these cute little critters these days.

these are back on the savage creek. i think i never posted any of these as they were from the camera body that had the zoom on it. i didn't take too many pictures with the zoom

those are our favorte denail trees.

this is back on the denali highway, our walk out mcclaren, that is what the sign says.

the glacier is the mccleran glacier.

we had some beautiful views that day.

weather was perfect today. we all enjoyed the fresh fall air.

this is the squirrel that seems tohave decided to homestead my shed. brat. he's very adept at getting to the birdseed. there have been less birds about this week i've noticed. there is a fluffy grey cat that has been on the prowl. i sent blossom after it as soon as we got home. found some wings in the backyard. really like my cats, but i like that they stay inside and no birds are injured.

few more pictures from denali...

got my alaska magazine yesterday. had been thinking i'd heard about a mushroom that is prized. morel. there just happened to be an article in the magazine this month about them. they can fetch upwards of $9/pound. they tend to spring up in areas that have been damaged by fire the year before. well the article says people can make up to $50/pound. must be on a good year or a bad year for growth i'm guessing. not too many forest fires this past summer so i'm guessing that means a poor harvest next summer.

crews get together and plan thier summer mushroom hunts months before the season starts. guessing it can get a bit competitive. professional morel mushroom pickers..who knew? must be good, though i admit to not being one to eat the shroom. i just like to photograph them.

onto pictures from the monday walk.

there were a few tiffs as we waited to get started. it was a nice size group. loads of malamutes. people in alaska like big dogs. have never seen so many large breed dogs as i have since moving here. we had 4 malamutes today. 3 from the same breeder out in palmer or wasilla i think, one from the lower 48.

amy shares water with the thirsty pooches.

so many leaves dropping down on us.

blossom is the non-dominant dog in the pack...except when it comes to her blind dog sibling, rio. she always humps poor rio when she is surrounded by dominant dogs. so another photo of blossom for the humping hall of shame. she doesn't seem to concerned about it though. so embarrassing! poor rio catalina!

rio is a trooper, tough walk for her, loads of roots out there hidden under leaves. she's snoring tonight. we had 2 mastiffs today in addition to the 4 malemutes. one lab and one labradoodle.

i think everyone had a great time. i had baked cookies and brought those with the leftover cookie dough for all to enjoy. it turns out it was andrea's birthday. she loves cookie dough!

several of us went to kaladi's after for cookies and cocoa.

val, linda and amy.

was also joined by tanya, andrea and's a great way to get to know people and build new friendships. the dogs love it too!

these last ones are from my walk in kincaid sunday i believe. just another pleasant fall hike

i think i take some of the exact same pictures year after year.

these trees are so cool though. exhausted from my computer issues. those things can be draining and i really don't know if i've actually solved anything or not. may have to cart the whole thing in to be looked at. is nice to have the green/secure light flashing on here tonight. don't want to get too confident, but it's super nice to have worked through this on my own...don't want to fancy myself a computer genious yet though as tomorrow it could all repeat and the entire computer could crash...perish the thought.

vegged out as the computer ran through it's paces. watched a show about a family that got disoriented driving a mountain road in oregon and got trapped out there for like 10 days i think. the husband took off after like 8 days in hopes of saving them, but he ended up dying from exposure. the wife and two kids did survive, though it sounds like it was pretty close call there. another few days and they wouldn't have made it. the cold, lack of food, takes it's toll. would be easy to be driving late, take a wrong turn. just sad that they weren't saved in time to save the dad. i do remember hearing about that family being missing, it was around thanksgiving.

and so to the end of yet another long winded post. hehe....good night.