Wednesday, July 4, 2012

the rest of byers lake....and Happy Fourth of July!!

claire and emily are off to homer for thier adventures there, i start back to work tonight so i will just see them friday morning before they head out. was great to get a chance to see claire. do miss spending time with her. we hung out alot when she was a teenager and i still lived in california. many memories of teaching her to drive and rollarblading at the beaches of california.
took care of her and her sisters, kate, kelly and kacey quite alot when they were young. spent less time with the other nieces and nephews as either they had moved away or i eventually did as well. is nice to be around family and i do understand when people move back to thier home states to be near family.
i do love alaska and all that it brings to my life. that in no way means that i don't yearn to have family around at times. at some point we all must choose to live the life that is meant for us. luckily, there are things like facebook, blogs, texting..and all sorts of means to keep in touch with family and feel close despite the miles that exist.
lots of wild iris on our walk around the lake that day. we took the side trail to that pretty waterfall above that claire is pictured in. the next few are the flowers that greeted me when i returned home monday.
so pretty!!
bleeding hearts above and himalayan poppies below.
still find myself killing or releasing an occasional mosquito that has survived the trip from byers and i am for sure still scratching the many mosquito bites acquired out there. the interior is always worse for mosquito's and it gets even worse further north. the caribou spend a good part of thier lives trying to escape the hoards of mosquito's and still lose over 5 pounds in blood in the summer. i think they can have like 500-1000 mosquito's feeding on them at any given time. i'm guessing they love when fall comes as well.
alicia joined us sunday night. she wandered around the lake a bit before backtracking and seeing the note that claire and emily left telling her where to go to find the cabin. they were quite sympathetic as they had made the same wrong turn. happily we never had to send out any search parties for anyone over the weekend. at some point kate and karen left to drive back to anchorage and claire, emily and i headed to bed. alicia enjoyed the scenery, reading, dancing and blowing bubbles. gotta love a girl that always has a supply of bubbles on her!!
katie gets decked out for thier trek through the mosquito's back to the car. blossom above is distressed that part of the party has left her. she gets rather upset when part of her pack goes another way.
we set up the auto time and got a few group shots. trying to be goofy and have fun! you get three shots so it usually gets more silly by shot 3.
i think this was before i explained the 3 shot option so i was the only one being goofy. kinda funny though.
the sad remains of a reecees s'more lose. alicia brought out the reecees.
no views of denali on night two sadly, but we still enjoyed the campfire and company.
alicia was qutie focused on her s'more cooking activities!
karen with camera in hand, waiting for the big mountain to make it's appearance. denali almost showed up but was a fickle mountain this night.
katie looks relaxed and happy. a bit less mosquito's by the fire, but they were actually a wee bit worse on night two than they had been the previous night.
happy fourth of july by the way. i have no plans. shelly is having a block party but i am not sure what block that occurs on. will eventually get moving and walk the dogs and then try to rest up for my next 3 days work. slowly working on packing as well. bought a new thermarest at rei yesterday. it will be a bit thicker. i'll take my other one for added comfort and in case someone has a thermarest issue. that would suck to sleep on the boards for a week without one.
we had a gathering at midnight sun brewery last night for the upcoming trip. i'm going easy on the food, i'm sure others will be more imaginative. we figured with sandra not coming though we could afford to take a cooler weight wise....and some box of wines as well. we'll get that in dillingham.
alicia relaxes with rio after her bug filled walk around the lake.
dinner was awesome!!
rio and blossom even got a nice steak to share.
after our walk karen, claire and emily rented kayaks for a bit. i was happy to chill with my book and didn't want to impose on katie with rio again so i stayed back. looks like they all had a great time out there. at least it was a bug free hour or two.
they came over to say hello. hopefully, the girls get out on some kayaks today as well.
the dogs took the opportunity to swim/wade.
blossom was initially a bit concerned and went out to greet them in thier boats, eventually she decided they were okay out there.
such a good dog!
water is so clear!
rio enjoyed the sunshine despite being tormented at times by the bugs.
i really should get myself motivated and go for a walk. it was raining this morning and i am totally due for a lazy day so i have been happy to blog, chat with friends on the phone and get nothing accomplished.
i was happy that no porcupines were sighted on this loop this year. last year it was about here that blossom chased one. i really don't want to be dequilling her.
i kept her on a leash around the campground area. more traffic out there.
we just stopped briefly at the old homesteader cabin.
pretty run down. you'd think it was built back in the early 1900's but it was more like the 1950's i think.
we all crossed the rickety suspension bridge. i'm not always a fan of these and after we'd crossed emily noticed the duct tape on it.
it was more stable than some i've encountered though so not bad.
blossom was pretty nervous about it. can't imagine trying to get rio across it. happy i have not attempted this.
group shot on the hike around the lake.
here blossom cautiously makes her way across.
rio would not have been a fan of all the roots either.

some more shots at the waterfall. karen wanted to get on the rock claire got on, but i think we both weren't sure we were spry enough for that.
pretty waterfall! we could hardly hear it until we were right on it. it's a mere 0.3 miles out of the way so well worth the extra steps.

the loop around the lake is 5 miles so with the added 0.6 to/from waterfall we covered nearly 6 miles. the day before i did 4 miles just getting stuff out to the cabin. monday it was only 2 miles.
the mosquito nets were well used on the loop. karen must be extremely tolerant and never wore a hood. i have little patience with the bugs so i'm willing to do whatever it takes to keep them at a distance. the nets came off and on depending on how hot you got and how many bugs were out there.
when the clouds aren't there you get some dramatic views of denali. no such luck that day though.
still beautiful.
claire and i on the loop.
emily and claire.
just a nice group of people out there. i'm all about nice and kind and easy going. no drama. everyone was out there to enjoy and everyone had a wonderful attitude despite the large mosquito counts.
it really makes a difference in this life who you choose to hang out with. i've been blessed to have met and known so many wonderful people. i can only hope that i can be as kind and generous in return. i know i have a long way to go on my quest in this life, but i think it helps you be a better person when you choose truely good people to spend your time with.
more iris
looking back at the first bridge you cross at the outlet. a more stable bridge.

views from the bridge, either direction.
claire and emily on the bridge...karen is in the back getting loon shots. that loon stayed close and followed us quite a ways around the loop. very unusual but a great photo op. she got some great pictures. can't wait to see what she sees through her lens out on round island. such a great opportunity to relax and play with the camera. she just took a class so perhaps i can hit her up for some tips and pointers.

the flowers are fabulous all around the state right now.
even started to see some fireweed. a sure sign that it's summer, but also that fall and winter are not that far away.
the loon.
wild roses.
self portrait. never got any shots that really highlighted the numbers of mosquito's. you go into protective mode when the hoards arrive and camera just doesn't cross your mind til after you have relief.

okay, i really should get moving. it's noon and i'm hungry.

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