Friday, June 28, 2013

last of day one, nome!

 i'm in between shifts.  it's cloudy out for first time in forever it seems.  we have long ago surpassed the record for number of days over 70 degrees in a row.  the same seemed to be true up north.  reports from locals of temperatures over 100 degrees in some places.  kids jumping in lakes, ocean, rivers to cool off.
above is the local church in the city square.  most of my pictures of it would load in here sideways but this one worked.  taken with the wide angle about midnight i think.
 as i said i got a bit obsessed that first day with all these old buildings so i'm sure repeats abound.  i could have taken hundreds more so i totally controlled myself
 i think the musk ox and mosquito shots that  come later have been my most popular on facebook.
 was worried rio would leave me a big surprise when i got home this morning...nope...yippee!!  she is for sure looking to be on the mend.  vet bill adds to the vacation costs, but better safe than sorry when it comes to pets and kids, right.  lets you know too, that she was in the right hands.
 flying is stressful to me, me being away is stressful for the pets.  it always takes them 24-48 hours to resettle after i go out of town.  for me, i get back to work and that is it for vacay.  back to the real world.
 flying back i was getting myself a bit anxious.  i think it was because i hadn't really mentally prepared myself for that extra hop to kotzebue.  i had in my head until that morning that it was just this little hop from nome back to anchorage, and then i had to figure in an extra leg.  it's only a 35 minute flight from nome to kotzebue though.
i felt myself getting more and more anxious.  finally i realized in my head that having some sort of mid flight anxiety attack wasn't going to make any difference as to the safety or non safety of said flight. i got the ipad out, hooked up the headphones and returned to anchorage i song at a time. anxiety is silly,but it's hard to convince your brain of that some days.
 i got anxious to a few days into the trip driving to teller.  not sure if it was a height thing on those roads heading there with some steep drop offs or if it was more related to being out in the middle of nowhere.  it was almost like being at sea with no land sightings.  you look in every direction and all you see is barren land as far as you can see.  it's almost disorienting.  on the return trip i found that my anxiety was centered around the miles in the 40's and 50's so maybe more of the height thing that the open space thing.  i drove back 10 miles at a time in my head.  probably being alone means you have nobody to distract you when your brain starts to freak itself out.
 my flights and drives were really quite routine as far as safety goes.  there wasn't ever anything to fear.  we had some turbulence here and there, nothing unusual though.  did occur to me on that drive to teller that the maintenence of the car may not be up to date and that there quite possibly wasn't even a spare tire.  there was a mental debate as to whether i should stop and check this fact out.  in the end i decided that unless i had an actual flat tire it wasn't going to benefit me to discover that i had no spare tire.  there was one by the way.
 not sure exactly why the houses are often build up on stilts in these parts.  i've heard a few things.  coastal so flooding is always possible and also the land up there is permafrost.  that means that down a few feet it really never thaws.  if you build a house right on the permafrost you will heat up that area, thawing the permafrost and then the house settles.
 much isn't said about this permafrost and global warming issues and what it will mean when more and more of the permafrost actually thaws in the summers.  this summer i'm guessing it is thawing down a bit further.  i was impressed at how dry the tundra was.  usually it is moist and boggy.  also very lumpy so there isn't really a simple walk even though as you look at this photo's it looks like a big lawn out there easy to traverse.
 outhouse open and facing the road.
 old things remain where they are when they have outlived their usefulness.  new things or new old things are brought in.
 there is talk of building a road from the fairbanks area to nome.  would be spendy and i'm not sure it will ever happen.  could be like that train to nowhere.  it may get started and then be given up long before it's built.  the dalton highway got built because of the oil.  so unless gold strikes become big enough for another major gold rush in nome i doubt it will happen.  i may be wrong though.  i'm a fan of a road trip though.  i'd drive it if it were there.
 those icu rooms look so big when they are empty, but they quickly shrink when all the icu stuff gets added to the room.  moved a long term patient to a larger room last night....great idea nelly!!  i was for sure doing some bad yoga moves attempting to do my work in that tiny room.
 woke up with a headache from sore muscles.  my patient slept great after the move and her daughter was able to sleep in the room with her so i'm sure that helped.  more and more families are sleeping in.  mostly i'm cool with that. i like when they are people who actual help with cares rather than just act like they are running the show.  this family was great though.
 a few more from the safety roadhouse or iditarod checkpoint.  i'm sure it seems more of a dramatic place when it's hopping during the iditarod.  it all looks so much grander on tv.
 i was the only person there this day.
 may want to return to nome for the winter iditarod festivities, but i'm good for a bit.  may be more fun to hit rainy pass or some other check point along the way.
 you have the history of the diptheria vaccine run but you also have the history of this sled dog race in this town.  the dog race has been run since the 1970's.  the vaccine run occured around 1925. amazing how much has changed in the world in less than 100 years.
 for sure things change slower out here, but still all the modern stuff seeps in as well.
 along these beaches you can see remnants of life in the early 1900's but also remnants of life a few thousand years ago.
 several of my brothers are basketball obsessed as are the people in the villages of alaska.  loved this random hoop out in the middle of nowhere.  big gatherings occur centered around basketball.  gotta love that kids are so simple in their entertainment needs.  there are the usual computer games, but i did see loads of people out enjoying the sunshine.  biking, walking, swimming in the ocean.  love seeing that in a remote community.
 kids seem to be left to entertain themselves more.  everyone knows everyone, just like the old days.  everyone is keeping an eye on what is going on with the kids.  it gives them more freedom to be, it can also give them more freedom to get in trouble i guess, but i do tend to feel badly for many city kids whose lives are so directed and protected.  they are rarely without any sort of adult supervision.  needs to be a happy medium i suppose, but it is nice to see kids being kids and following their curiosity.
 driftwood....seems you will never run out of wood despite the lack of live trees.
 i had great skies that first day.  expansive and beautiful. i love clouds.  would have been a bit bummed if it had just been totally blue skies without cloud cover.
 drove this road a lot, never as far as that first day, but it had the best beach access so it seemed no matter where i went during the day hours i ended up back on this road at night to find a remote beach to walk.

 a last shot of the train to nowhere.
 that first night i enjoyed watching the last remnants of the sea ice crashing onto shore.
 by the time i left i didn't see any more ice out there.  some had just moved on i suppose, but it was melting fast.
 there was still quite a bit of snow tucked here and there along the road systems.
 waves crashing on sea ice...who wouldn't love that!
 you could walk forever on these beaches.  it was so relaxing.  any stress i may have in my life just washed off of me with every step i took in the sand.

guess i shall head off for a second nap.  blogged, ate and feeling lazy.  poor blossom. she's gonna get screwed out of walk today.  just university lake yesterday and a neighborhood walk the day before.  will have to pack in a few big hikes again before the next little adventure to lost lake.  will have to see if shell can watch rio for that.  she may not want to after what rio put her through this time.  no way i'm taking rio backpacking though.

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