Tuesday, June 4, 2013

holgate continues...

 hope you aren't tired of holgate photo's.  it seems like it's the big trip for the year, but i still have a few more trips to take this summer. smaller, less difficult to plan trips this year so i guess a few more.  next year we'll hopefully paddle misty fjords in southeast alaska.  then i'll just do some cabins and road trips, would like to spend more time in valdez and homer so that may be a good plan for next summer.  so much to see and do in alaska.  i still haven't been anywhere near wrangell-st elias which is a must see as well.
 liked this big ice chunk.  it was probably off aialik glacier and had been out there for a bit.  it was pretty far from that glacier.  always pretty.  slipped my little camera out in the rain for a few of these.  the battery died on the way back to the cabin.  the cold will sap your batteries up here so it's always good to carry a spare.
 the night of the rain there was no campfire.  we huddled in the cabin and warmed up.  maddie had brought a game most of us had never played so we kept her entertained and in the end all had fun playing "apples to apples".  eventually, all 6 of us played.  nothing like silliness to take your mind off the rain outside.  george was a bit of a snorer i guess.  i took benedryl every night as i hit the sleeping bag and that was all she wrote until the morning.  the paddling makes you tired anyway i think.
 we probably averaged 6-12 miles/day so not too much really.  always great to have a cabin to chill in on the colder days and it's also nice to not have to pack the kayaks each morning and move to another camp.  the cabin was a luxury.  we are all getting a bit older so nobody complained about having a bit of luxury.
 another fun day hiking here.  was cloudy this morning but again the sun has returned.  met up with speedy and tanya for a potter to mchugh run.  speedy asked if rio was joining.  she always feels better if rio is there when she has her little one.  rio is the pokey one then.  i must say miss sydney did great today.  she walked almost the whole way and other than a few trips over some roots that caused her some distress she was a happy and fun little hiker!
 lots of bear scat out there and one kinda close moose sighting at the begining of the walk.  the dogs were sniffing something and i heard some noises in the brush, but i don't think any of us humans saw the moose until we were right on it.  we probably walked about 4 miles.  not as much of a butt workout as spencer loop, thankfully!  always pretty to hike along the turnigan arm.
 a few sea stars at low tide.  sea stars, star fish...depends on my mood i guess.  maybe i do say sea star more now.  do alaskans say sea star? have i picked that up?  i know up here snow machines are snow machines not snowmobiles....and the big mountain is denali not mt mckinley.
 rio was her usual trooper self.  it's rougher for her out there in the summer i think.  she's been snoring all afternoon.  all those exposed roots wipe her out.
 blossom hung with me in the front yard as i worked a bit more on my driveway planter.  got the bulk of the flowers in, but i still have more to do on that planter.  i'm still thinking it would be good to get some professional in to get the lawn back in shape.  i'm a bit of a failed gardener i fear.  i'm sure the female dogs don't help my progress much.
 maddie joined me tidepooling.  we saw this chiton and the little snails below.

 the next day started out cloudy..we were planning on crossing over the holgate bay and then heading out and to the right.  the log book entries had mentioned a lovely beach down that way.  as we started to cross the long crossing we ran into these pretty good swells.  we figured those would get worse when we got out to the more open water so we chose to just cross and head back in towards the glacier.
 you can't see the swells at all in these photo's.  tanya and her boat kept coming and going.  i'd just see the top of her head at times.
 george opted to stick close to the cabin.  we all feared a repeat of 10 years ago where clint stayed back and was nude sunbathing as the forest service folks arrived.  haha!  george had stripped down when we came back later that afternoon, but not completely.
 no forest service sightings this trip, great as the cabin was in my name and not scotts this time.  they thought he was our guide that time and came looking for him.  we'd pitched our tents in the wrong place.
 was looking at small kitchen remodel ideas.  i'm getting pretty ready to hack up the place.  it's all so old and dated and the use of space is so inefficient.  surely there is a way to make better use of that space.  hard to know how to even begin the process.
 our first day the ice was totally thick on this side.  it moves around with the tides and varies with how active the calving is and how fast the berg bits melt off.
 lots of pretty waterfalls.  all the creeks are pretty high right now.  potter trail was pretty muddy in parts, which made blossom quite happy.
 it was along here that we had a nice bear sighting as well.
 we stopped for lunch as the sun was begining to really make it's entrance.
 bob had picked up this lovely ice berg and set it up in a rock stand.
 of course, i had to get a photo of myself with the ice.
 we all found our spots in the sun and enjoyed lunch.  scott and i stayed close to the kayaks as the tide was coming in pretty fast and it's easy to have kayaks float off during a lunch if you aren't paying attention to the water levels.
 not that this has ever happened to any of us...haha!!
 my usual boat shots.
 tossed in with a paddle shot every so often.
 tanya and i are racked up due to swells that came after a tour boat went passed.
 the swells didn't see too bad as we got closer to the glacier, but i did notices waves crashing on the beaches on our side of the bay. (where our cabin was).  we hit some pretty good swells again on that side.  don't like those huge swells really, but do prefer them over whitecaps and rough waters in that way.  i wasn't nervous about flipping over in the large, but gentle swells.
 maddie took a nap for a bit.  all that sun.  rain one day and being near hypothermic and sunshine the next day and feeling the effects of too much sunshine.
 more water reflections.
 home again.
 i reached into the maddie bag of fun again and pulled out the nail polish.  maddie had fun painting tanya and my feet and my hands.
 she got imaginative with her colours.  i thought i selected some fine colours.
 tanya and maddie take a stroll on the beach.
 our new neighbors for the night joined us for that last night campfire and dinner.  we weren't sure if they would make it over, but i think they were happy they did.  we all had a great time out there.  they were from california and i'm not sure they have done much camping in alaska.  scott helped them with where to set up the tents.  maddie and i gave them bear instructions and loaned them a bear spray for the night to have in their tents and we also have them a few kayak instructions...like what the rudder was and where the paddles were to control it.
 on their side, they were fun and entertaining and maddie was thrilled to have younger, more cool people to chill with for one night.
 there was one brave girl with 6 male friends.  she was super nice and took to maddie right away.  they were both painting nails at the campfire of some of the boys.
 i think they had just brought cup of soup for dinner so i think our tortilla wraps were a hit.  we had plenty of leftovers to feed them all and it made our gear lighter to haul back.
 they helped us shake up the ice cream ball, i got one of the lids off, thanks quinton, but i still have cream glue on the other end.
 their names do escape me a bit, they are originally from india.  her name was really pretty, shanalee, something like that.
 they helped bob and i celebrate our birthdays..no better place to celebrate than out in the beauty of alaska.
 the campfire...it's always more fun with a crowd!
 ice cream, s'mores, cake...sugar overload!!
 maddie happy!!

 we saw 4 of them out paddling the next day...right about the time tanya spotted the killer whale out there.  totally cool. we were greeting them and talking about their paddle that morning when we saw the whale so cool for them too as they got to see it.  they probably would have missed it otherwise.
 the next afternoon, they all came to the beach to help us load up the boat.  the captain was a bit confused at first wondering if he had 7 more pick ups than he thought.
 more nail/toe painting.
 bob snuck sparklers in, so he handed those out!

does make for cool photo's.  well, i'm sleepy again and ready for bed.  lots of flowers out there starting to bloom.  turnigan always gets the first ones around here.  lupine are blooming too.  love the lupine.  we saw some out at holgate too.  probably tomorrow's pictures...we shall see.  good night.

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