Wednesday, March 27, 2013

didn't quite get to seward...but...

 enjoyed my drive anyway.  i stopped by the wildlife conservation center.  a place i've never been before.  i was always worried the dogs would be shunned, but because it was winter i decided to take a chance.  happy i did.  not many folks out there today.  a few hardy tourists and me and the dogs.  blossom enjoyed barking at the bears and lynx.
 first i woke up and coughed my brains out.  throat quite sore at this time.  walked the dogs in the bog and loaded them up.  we took a slow drive down the turnigan arm, took side drives down to girdwood and out to portage. i really should have stopped a few times for the dogs.  this is what happens when you don't have a plan.
more of the ice falls above.
 general scenery along the turnigan arm.  the tide was going out as i drove out and was in when i returned, or was coming in i guess.  not sure.
 nobody wants to socialize with me in this snotty, coughing state anyway so a drive seemed a good way to spend the day.
 not sure what the weather will do here soon.  if i was thinking ahead i may have snowshoe'd or cross country skied out on portage with the dogs or stopped at potters for a romp on the way back.  by then i was just ready to get home and i think the dogs were as well.
 just one shot of the ski hills at alyeska.  looked to be not too crowded on this beautiful day....poor working folks.
 this is portage lake. way back there is portage glacier.  a few people were skiing when i was there. not much parking in the winter.
 first tunnel.  you pass through this one and then you pay to enter the big tunnel, 2 miles long, that takes you through a mountain to whittier.  there are 5-6 little safe houses along the way in the tunnel in case of a rock fall or avalanche or something.  not sure what is in those safe houses?  i still laugh every time i think of these tourists on a cruise with me out in prince william sound.  the one lady was talking about the tunnel, the buses has passed through.  she was telling these people that those safe houses all had elevators that would take you to the top of the mountain.
let me assure you they do not have any elevators.  i had to laugh as i wondered what the hell she thought she would do once the elevator doors opened and she was on the top of one of these mountains, many of which have glaciers still on them.  ridiculous and hysterical all at the same time.
 imagine the expense involved in building an elevator several miles straight up?  the tunnel itself was enough of a feat.  below is the portage river that comes off the lake that comes off the glacier.  the glacier has receeded a great deal in the years i've been in alaska.
 i will post more fun bear pictures on another day.  took too many pictures to post them all today.
 i cruised through the drive through park twice.  the first time two bears scampered off into the brush after a short time and they were fairly far off.  the second time this guy was right at the fence line as the gentleman was there with roadkill moose for dinner.
 since they just woke up the bears aren't totally active yet.  the crows and bald eagles were hovering nearby for leftovers.  the ravens were all hanging back on a tree.  the guy with the meat mentioned they would wait for him to leave before they made their move for the meat.  sure enough as his truck began to back up, the ravens came out.  very funny.  was able to chat with this guy for a bit.  very nice.  the bear was very close and dang that guy looked huge being just a few feet from me. he said he weighs about 900 pounds.
 the sun had the cool halo around it.  love when that happens.
 the bear was pretty chill, thankfully.  blossom was barking at him.  luckily the worker just thought it was funny.  here is the guy right next to the fence by the bear.  there is a few strings of electric fence one is turned off and buried, but this big bear had dug it up and playing with it.  i've no doubt this bear could easily make mincemeat of this wire system, but there is a steady supply of food so i suppose he isn't complaining.
 they have a pretty decent amount of room to roam in.  i guess there is a little lake in the enclosure in the summer.  i'll have to check back.  maybe when my nephews are up here.
 sounds like they have a new bear enclosure almost ready for these guys.  never saw the wolves which i think were housed near here.
 these are caribou.  they also have musk ox and a lot of wood bison.  the wood bison are waiting for release into the wild north of here someplace.  there's been some red tape and much discussion about their release so in the meantime they've been chilling here at the conservation center.
 a few more shots of the halo.  i stopped along the drive home.
 it was almost gone by the time i got back to anchorage. the  clouds were coming in as well.
 probably be another early night tonight.  take drugs and stop the coughing.  should pop down and use the inhalers before i forget too.
 of course, every time i go downstairs i drink more water...a silly thing as coughing with a full bladder is problematic.  the cough is coming on with a vengence. generally i find that patients and their families aren't too keen on me caring for them when my cough gets out of control like this.  i will have to see how i'm faring may be wise to stay home another night or two.  i do hate calling out sick, but this cough is getting bad and it's exhausting.
 these do all get a bit mixed up as i used 3 different camera's while i was out and about.  i had the zoom on, which those i'll post on another least most of them.  i also used the wide angle.  the bear shots above were with the wide angle.  i was too close for the zoom to be of use.  generally, i'd rather not be so close to a  bear for the zoom to be rendered useless.  not sure how long i would have stayed there had the guy with the meat not been there.
 coming out of the short tunnel.
 blossom checks out the bison.
 dogs are lovely as they don't seem to mind my constant hacking.  less yellow crap today though, so that has to be good...sorry.  it's part of my day...spoke to the guy at the park and a few of the other visitors, also spoke to my friend natalie.  none of that conversation included my health.  not sure why i feel the need to give the update on the blog.  gotta tell someone. if i burst a blood vessel in my brain and am unrecoverable tonight at least the cause will be clear on the blog note.  currently i have a tickle that is keeping me coughing.  just popped down for a throat lozenge...hope that helps.
 thought this post was cool.
 these are with my little powershot.  not too many with that little camera today.
 the lynx enclosure is connected to the gift shop.  they just expanded out the log cabin.  kinda cool as it gives the cats lots of stuff to climb on.  the meat guy was talking about cats and dogs and that the lynx get more active when there is a dog about. of course, blossom for sure got more active seeing these rather large, "kittycats".  don't think she'd ever seen kitty cats this big  and she was impressed.  always my goal for blossom to not meet any bears or large kitty cats on the trails  she does bark at such creatures and that barking could annoy a large animal.  i'd rather not annoy large beasts!!
 blossom can for sure run faster than me and i would be left with the angry beast.  not good.
 these are from the zoom lens. this is the same ice falls as above.  i always think of that poor woman who was nearly killed last spring around here in that random large ice fall.  the odds are against that being a real concern...still does keep one from lingering too long in one area.  she wasn't stopped at all though.  so random, so freaky.
 just a few of chunks of ice in the water of turnigan arm.

 a few musk ox at the refuge.  there were at least a half dozen there.  they are such cool animals.
 this is an older train tunnel that leads up to the new shared car/train tunnel.  the first time i drove to whittier i balked at entering this tunnel.  it's wide enough for a train and you take turns with the trains.  just seems freaky to drive into a tunnel that has train tracks coming out of it.  something you are generally taught not to do.
 more of the musk oxen.
 coughed up a chunk...maybe things will settle finally.  that wipes me out!!  i remember a renter attached to our house when i was younger told me they had debated calling 911 i sounded to horrible through the heater vent.  kept them up all night i guess.  when i was 16 i got sick with bronchitis. it seemed to last forever...long enough my mom actually took me to a doctor.  we didn't often go to doctors.
 i had that bronchitis off/on for years. it never totally went away.  it just got worse and got better.  6 months after i moved to south dakota after i was 30 a unit clerk at work noted that i had totally stopped coughing for the first time.  since them i get a bad bout of bronchitis once or twice a year. post flu shot it's seems to be less often...when it hits though.  it's still pretty bad.
 several bear shots.  love when bears sit like this.  so adorable.
 he got up and came out to play with the female for a bit.  got some fun pictures of them romping about.

 not sure she was as enthused with play time as he was...but she must be used to it by now.  there is a 3rd bear in there as well.
 wood bison.
 coastal brown bear...that is what these guys are i guess.
 wood bison.
 there are several bald eagles hanging in the area looking for a free meal.
 and then there is this guy. had to laugh as his enclosure seemed more escape proof than the bears.

 he is quite handsome.
 a few of one of the lynx that i thought turned out quite nicely.  i have always loved the big cats...and the cute little ones i have here too  cats are just cool.  i love those little tufts of hair on his ears.

time for me to wind down.  let the make me stop coughing narcotics take me away for a few hours.  i need  a break from coughing from time to time.  at least the tickle is gone.  will try to post more from todays trek to the alaska wildlife conservation center in the next few days.  good night..


  1. Hope you are sleeping well still and recovering from the crap. I would have gone out and played with you. Might not have driven in the same car, mind you.

  2. Feel better soon! This works for one of my kids when she has the non stop coughing, vicks vapor rub to the bottom of her feet and cover with socks, usually stops the cough for her. I would always get sick when I changed jobs in nursing. My theory is you jump into a new set of germs.Love the bear pictures,you are brave. The fence didn't look to sturdy to me for a 900 lb bear. For the kitties,crumple up aluminum foil into a ball.My cat had a blast with that. Take care,thanks agian for all the awesome pictures. Mary in ma