Tuesday, March 18, 2014

a few from portage lake/glacier

 will toss in more iditarod photo's over the next few weeks i suspect. for tonight i'll give you a break on dogs...
we got lucky with an amazing day out on the lake.  it's a 2-3 mile walk or ski or whatever you decide out to the glacier. it wasn't that many years ago that the glacier could be seen from the visitors center, but it has really receded back and now you need a boat in the summers to get back to see it.  or get lucky and pick a good day in winter...and hope a big earthquake doesn't come along.
 saw a clip on the news of Hugh Neff.  he still seems a bit miffed that he was left out there.  the Iditarod folks still say his locator button was turned off.  that he'd turned it off, not called for help.  like i said, with hypothermia anything is possible.  when i think about it 10 hours can feel like forever but that is a pretty short time in rescue times for alaska.
 he waited and hoped to not die he said.  this is what i was talking about a post or so ago...with this new option of an SOS button does it make people who shouldn't do this race, go for it?  does it make people stop and wait instead of continuing to attempt to get themselves extricated from a situation.  does it make people more bold thinking they can just dial for help? does it permanently change the race and the spirit of the race.
 clearly Jeff King didn't push his button outside of Safety, he doesn't seem like the sort to sit and wait for help to come to him.  he was just trying to wait out the worst of the storm, but it wasn't relenting.  he went for help to protect his team.  he's no good to them dead.
 when we turned the corner after walking out the ice this day, man...what a spectacular view we were gifted with.
 these mountains of ice are always on the move, slowly but it is unnerving to hear them grumble, especially when you are on ice with deep, deep water beneath you.
 no harm came to us and the views were worth it. i have started out to this place another time, but as i walked i heard some major cracking and myself and a family that was walking near me, quickly turned around and headed to solid ground.  it's always a risk and i'm wimpy enough to not trust the lake to not crack open and swallow me whole.
 there was clearly going to be just me for the Monday walk today so i decided to go somewhere else.  i'd been out north bivouac yesterday after i woke up so today i headed to the coastal refuge.
 it wasn't a day like this one, no blue skies really.
 it was cloudy out there today.  it was a bit slushy too so i didn't go out too far.  saw 3 moose going out and 2 coming back in.  wasn't sure where the other moose was.  hmm.  never did find her.  it was a female and 2 calves.
 this pile of ice is the remnants of a calving that must have happened that morning.  a friend had gone out there the day before and so i compared my pictures of the face of the glacier with hers. she had mentioned that another friend of hers had been there the morning of the day sandra and i went and he'd been a ways back when the ice must have vibrated from the calving. freaky!!
 a guy wandered over to this area the day we were out there and he could see open water...enough for me for the day.  it was just stunning though. i'm happy to have the experience and i'd do it again on a good day when i'd heard good reports from others who have just gone before...it's never totally safe though and that must be remembered.
 much of what many of us do in this state isn't safe and it's pretty commonly known that help may or may not be able to get to you.
 i remember a friend in Ketchikan took a pretty long fall while hiking Deer Mountain.  i think she broke bones in her face, hands and pelvis.  the weather wasn't good.  crews were trying to hike to her and her sister, who was with her.  they ended up having to just spend the night out there and it was sometime the next morning that help was able to get through.  i never heard her complain about how long it took. she was just grateful that they got help and i think as they were loading her into the helicopter she spotted some mountain goats or something and was able to enjoy that sight despite the pain that she must have been in.
 you'd think our cell phones would be our panic button, but there are parks within the Anchorage city limits where i can't get service.  little black holes.  i've hit a few of them in Kincaid park before.
 it was a relaxing day today though.  me and the girls out there on the trail.
 later i joined amy and crew for dinner at Gallo's.  always a pleasure!!
 you can see how far back the glacier goes...it's amazing.
 great to be able to see such sights.  i have a great life...!!
 i'm forever grateful that i ended up in Alaska.  it's the most beautiful place!  had time to chat with a patient and he'd been to over 50 different countries...i asked where the most beautiful places were and he said Alaska and New Zealand, which he said was actually similar to here.
 i'm also very grateful for these sweet dogs, i'm sure my life would be a lonely one without them as companions.  so great to come home to and having them gets me out there walking.
 my cats are also great little companions.  Sapogi is the snuggler.
 i hear Rio snoring in the other room.  she was really loud earlier.  that dog can sure snore!!
 was on Jeff Kings facebook page, he had a few more gopro videos from this years run on there. great to watch...hope he posts more!!
 Sandra and i stopped by the conservation center.  all the brown bears are awake, the black bears are still sleeping.  this area was closed when i went with T and Maddie the next week.
 all this coughing makes my tongue tired. sometimes i just take a few minutes and totally let my tongue relax. i know i'm weird.  it deserves a rest though...!!
 ending with a Baldie. he was at the conservation center, but only as a visitor.  he can come and go as he pleases.  they like to hang out around bear feeding time and see what they can scavenge.
car in for oil change tomorrow...too early for me, but i'll get up and take dogs and hopefully get them walked while i wait. easiest way to go. good night.

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