Saturday, June 23, 2012

more don sheldon cabin photo's...

me near the edge...up there one is always near an edge of some sort. still beautiful. how can you not be amazed in a place like this.
i awoke at some point in the middle of the night on the second night. this is as dark as it got out there. loved the pink skies. i think it was some time between 1-2am.
one of the rock/avalanche falls. hard to catch them on the camera. you could hear the fall, but with it echoing it could take a minute to locate the actual fall.
the photo's are a bit scrambled, this is shelly making dinner on night two. bbq steaks, excellent!! we ate well out there. we didn't come near to eating all we brought, but you have to be prepared in case you stay out late. of course, there was quite a bit of food out there. we would have lived off of oatmeal and top ramen.
we had sunshine for hours each day. we were totally lucky weather wise. the clouds rolled in each night for a bit and the first night we also got a breeze. i can imagine how powerful the wind can get here. could make for an interesting night out there in storms. it also occurred to me that an earthquake could be rough out there. happily we never experienced either. i'd rather just see those things via a web cam. none are located there at this time. was thinking today about the guy who was up there to work on the roof in one of the entries in the journal. being on top of the roof out there...sounds pretty terrifiying to me.
mr sock monkey chills and listens to me playing guitar. he's an easy audience. can't expect any applause but he also doesn't throw tomatoes. besides, he is always smiling.
the walk to the "outhouse". never really figured out where the designated "pee spot" was supposed to be. we figured anywhere on that end of the rock. the cmc can went into a bucket in the outhouse and they had a toilet seat over that. i'll just say that as a female i generally just do all my business simultaneously. really not used to having to split up the job as it were. didn't want to pee in the poop can. could be a bit stressful at times. gotta work on those kegels.
probably alot of similar photo's. circle, shoot, circle, shoot.
we had a 360 degree view in the cabin. pretty awesome.
shelly is an impressive artist. i'm always in awe of people who are creative in these ways. i can write a bit, i can take pictures but beyond that i really have few skills. mr sock monkey looks on.
gail and mack take a short walk on our rock.
day 2, most of the tents are down below us. the stuff closer to the rock is the stuff we left down below.
leftovers from past ice/snow/rock slides.
posing with gail for a photo. we had fun despite my little issues. you have to laugh at yourself in these situations. best to just tell people what is up. i'm not one who likes to ask for help but sometimes we all do need a little. tough to lose control and feel like i'm not putting in my fair share of the work load.
a little post dinner domino's on night one. night two we played some nertz. i think they had both played a similar game but with a different name. they kicked my butt. i won once. we didn't keep score.
back to day one. pictures are backwards.
today was a recovery day. woke with a headache. lack of sleep, dehydration no doubt. it was another warm, sunny day here in anchorage so i rested on the deck, read and eventually got motivated to mow the lawn and take the dogs to university lake.
tourists on the glacier below.
more of the amazing views.
on to planning the next thing. my neice is coming and we'll head up to byers lake cabin next weekend. as i unpack from this trip i put stuff we'll need for that in another pile. it's amazing how similar and how different each trip is. you have a general list of what you need and then amend it. also need to do more house cleaning before guests arrive.
the cabin up there is pretty tight. gail and shelly work on dinner for night one. gail and mack packed up fajita's. shelly had also brought in some halibut. nummy! love halibut.
walking around ice barefoot. it was pretty hot up there most of the day. when the sun drops below the massive mountains it does get a bit chillier. we all got some sun. of course, it's not the sort of suntan i got in my youth while running around in a swimsuit on the beach. my face and neck and arms are the only tan parts of my body. of course, i also have the raccoon eyes which remain white. with so much snow and ice it was tough to go without the sunglasses.
gail pours out the wine. the place even had some old plastic wine glasses. as you can see around the cabin, lots of stuff in there.
mr sock monkey out working on his tan.
ladder to climb on the roof. may have been some great photo ops up there, but i was fine skipping that possibility.
denali is 10 miles from the cabin. relatively close. it took us a few to sort out which direction it was and try to orient ourselves with the maps that we found in the cabin. mooses tooth was prominent and almost always in veiw. denali came and went at it's pleasure, which is how the big mountain works. sheldon built the cabin over time. mostly using a cesna 180 to haul stuff up there. he would even tie 16 foot long pieces of lumber to the outside of his super cub.
played the guitar a few times out there. not too bad acoustics and the ampitheater is inspirational to say the least. meant to work on some poetry, but the time passed pretty quickly in our time on the rock.
according to sheldon, glacier landings are always tricky. they are not without risk. he used to carry birch boughs behind his seat and drop them on the area he thought to land for depth perception. he brought friends and family up to his little cabin up there. he was the second person outfitted with the retractable skies for landing in soft snow. he learned what he could from a scientist who he flew around as he mapped out the mountains around denali. at first the guy offered him $200 per glacial landing, which was a good sum of cash in those days. sheldon was trying to get his flight business up and running so it was a good way to make money. after he did like 8 glacier landings in one day the professor had to request a decrease in the price, no university is that wealthy.
love a place with history and i know i will enjoy reading this book even more after having been up there in the cabin. knowing he sat up there as we did with friends, drinking wine and taking in the scenery.
have to wonder what the place was like when he built it, was the strip of land wider, have rock slides altered it? the book doesn't seem to go in depth about the cabin itself, but focuses on sheldon's flying adventures, rescues and general life as a pilot. he's saved quite a few lives in his days and seemed fearless in what he and his plane were willing to attempt. it was a different time with fewer rules but still people like sheldon will always exist, probably just breaking or ignoring conventional rules and taking chances and pushing the envelopes.
lots of cool snow falls/formations all around us.
our refrigerator section. no bears to worry about. we were told to be wary of the raven population as they had a history of raiding anything they could find. we only saw one raven fly past. we saw several of what i believe were grey crowned rosy finches. not much green stuff growing up there, but a few small plants and flowers were growing. those birds flew a long ways.
lots of these pretty little flowers.
we'd stay outside and enjoy the sunshine til it got too hot and then head back into the cabin to cool off a bit in the shade.
the planes and tourists were our entertainment. there was a runway on either side of the rock outcrop.
we kept the door open until the sun dropped behind the mountains and it got a few degrees chillier. nice to have the cabin. down below they slipped into their tents early that first night as the wind blew.
no shortage of views no matter where you were in the cabin.

below is the plan A trail before you hit the part that loops up and over the rock.
this from the other side. it's probably a gentler slope and i think when the snow is more packed and less slushy a pretty easy route up.

our plane is gone, just another K2 plane out there as we make our way up the glacier.
gail started out without the snowshoes, but opted to put them on eventually. tough hauling stuff and getting your grip up there after a bit.
me hauling a sled up.
our pilot prepares to leave us out there on the glacier.

excited to get to bed and read more of the book about sheldon. what an interesting life some people live.
it's a trip worth taking out there. i guess i'd say go a bit earlier in the season, maybe late may, early june.

not as much to say today. will head off to read, just enjoy the pictures.


  1. I loved all the pictures. Thank you for the adventure. Don Shelton, the name is so familiar to me, did he do something with the Serum run to None? I just cannot place where I know the name from. Hope your adventure in the Great Outdoors continues to be fantastic.

  2. don sheldon is known for his flying in high altitudes and landing on glaciers in remote places, he's also known for several daring rescues. no connection to the nome serum run.