Wednesday, April 30, 2014

i am competent again

 more from my drive to Denali National park and back...saw this pair of moose across the street from where the dogs and I stay at a Hostel there.  thought these were just sweet pictures.
 never get bored of the big mountain.  you kind of circle around it doing this trek.  so this is from inside the park.  a different view.
 lots of bikers out that day i was there.
 saw this ptarmigan crossing the get to the other side of course.  i feared it would be my only animal sighting in the park.
 every year i go it's different. some times i see groups of caribou or a few moose
 this year i saw a bear.  thankfully it was from a safe distance, good for me post fall bear encounter.  not sure i'll ever trust sleeping in my car again after waking to a grizzly trying to get in.  i do try and remind myself that it was fall and bears get hungry and that particular bear was acclimated to humans and to cars having food inside.  the odds of a repeat on that particular bear scare are small.  still not a pleasant way to die.
 i've been pretty happy with myself for getting out and doing my usual walking and such.  this year i have been carrying both bear spray and a small air horn.  on occasion i debate getting a gun and getting trained for that one time when a bear is rushing me.  not sure i'd be quick enough to draw a gun,get the safety off and fire in the right direction.  it may just waste precious time.  overall, as scary as bears can seem, they tend to just want to avoid human contact...unless they are acclimated as the bear that tried to get in my car or desperate, which was probably also the case.  anyway...the point of that rambling was that i knew there was a bear down on the rivers edge and instead of turning back immediately i opted to just face my anxiety over the situation and continue on cautiously.  a sign of healing..or stupidity i guess.
 met up with Lena for a walk today...still safer in numbers.  also still no black bear sighting in the tree which she has had her den for several years now.  they suspect she may have some new baby cubs in the hollow of the tree with her.  i've been seeing the photographers lying in wait right below the tree.  she's tolerated this in the past, but with fresh cubs they would probably be wise to stand back a bit.  i wouldn't make that suggestion though..i find that people generally know when they shouldn't be doing a thing and could care less if that means they are putting themselves at risk or others at risk or just plain breaking some law...those things just don't apply to them.  it's the age of entitlement.
 we just did a semi muddy loop out in North Bivouac.  i had the hospital competency fair to attend so i had limited time for the walk.  was happy to have Lena along.
 of course, as we were talking i realized there had been a meeting of friends of Mcneil and after the more entertaining part of the meeting, a speaker, they'd had a more business type meeting.  not sure what day it was, i think it probably did land on my procedure day...but those are the sort of things i really should be looking for and making an effort to attend.
 face time with people who are running other non-profits could be good contacts for help getting this walrus group going.
 above is looking out from the teklanika rest area.  if you make the picture above bigger you will see the bear off in the distance closer to the bridge.  i usually walk with the dogs down to at least that bridge, of course, the bear being down there kinda changed my plans.  we got pretty close though.
 i stool above this bear for a bit just watching him go about his business and rummage for roots to eat.
 always just cool to watch wildlife in the wild.

 so i was quite happy with my grizzly bear sighting.
 heard again from the director of fish and game.  i do like that he actually responds to my emails.  i was asking about camera surveillance on the island to protect walrus and possible help catch poachers.  doesn't sound like that will be part of the plan at this time.  does seem like everyone is directing me to the palmer hayflats group.
 still some leftover fall colours out there.
 always love the dried up seed pods

 and of course, signs of new life
 so competency fair was about 5 hours long for me today.  about half of that in the adult icu fair part and the rest in the house wide fair.  the ACC one had extra training in things like opening up a sternal incision to do internal chest massage and manage a patient who is post open heart surgery who code, also the usual ventricular drain/monitoring for brain injuries and tips on how to prone ventilated's what i do.
 got paid for the time there and got some chat time in with people.  i have been here many years and so i know quite a few folks from all over.  so fun to see all the various folks and catch up a wee bit. not too much chatting time today. i was about getting it done.
 the sun is setting later and later.  i think tomorrow sunset is at 10:01 or something.  i don't get as many sunrise/sunset pictures.  it just means going back out there later at night.  i have ordered a bike rack and do hope to get out on the bike a bit. i've been terrible this stretch off about the gym and swimming...transition time in my activities...always the walking of course.
 here are just more pictures of the moose and her calf from last year. she'll stick with mom this summer and get booted out in the fall perhaps.
 if they survive.
 they really are cute
 i loved those pictures of the other pair i posted last night going up that snowbank.  it is really amazing how much power they have. someone posted a video of a mama black bear and her cub somewhere far south of here, but they were basically rock climbing.  it was pretty treacherous but they made it.  looked pretty sketchy, especially for the baby.  it was filmed from below, some people were kayaking in the river below.  pretty cool.
 if you are out in nature enough you are bound to see some cool stuff.  won't see it for sure sitting in your house.
 more raking in the yard this evening.  i was out at 9 pm raking.  it's what you do.
 most of my lawn area is free of snow.  still ice below some leaves and the ground is starting to thaw out.
 today on our walk we'd take a step and then the ground would buckle under us.  signs of thawing.
 poor Rio had a time of it between the icy/snowy bits and the roots and mud.  i showed up to the competency fair all covered in mud...that would be me i guess.  always a mess, never fashionable.  i will happily admit that i prefer my hiking boots to high heels.
 my friend val may come and stay here and watch my critters while i'm in Ketchikan.  i think it would actually be relaxing for her in a way.  that would be a huge relief to me to know that they will be taken care of.  she'll check dates and times.  having a household full of animals can make vacations a wee bit more stressful.
 beautiful drive back from Denali the other day and it's nice cause it's staying light later and later, which makes little road trips easier.
 my new work glasses are apparently ready to be picked up so i'll have to try and stop by and get those.  i could try wearing them for a bit during this stretch of work.  overall my eyes are still really good. i have my driving glasses as night driving can tire out my eyes.  occasionally reading glasses and now i'll try these.  the monitors in the rooms can be just a wee bit blurry and i'm trying progressives in hopes i can transition from the monitor screens to the computer screens better with those.  who knows.
 i am tired though.  this doing nothing is exhausting...okay i actually did do a few things today.
 a few parting sunset shots from the drive home.
thankful for...1.  having access to many beautiful places 2.  so many fine co-workers, past and present.  3.  continued good health...not everyone is so blessed.  good night

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

start of day trip to Denali National Park

 this was close to 11pm as i was headed home.  pretty sunset in the rear view mirror. it's still amazing to me the difference in light that you can see clearly just by looking north or south.  it stayed light north much, much longer.
 the dogs are still adjusting to the early light i think and have been waking me closer to 7 am for their breakfast.  i'm trying to stretch them out to 8, which is the normal, so this early morning thing doesn't become a habit.  we got off by close to 10:30 am though so i was home again just after midnight. too sleepy to attempt to look at the pictures i'd taken.  these are mostly just with the little powershot.
the sign above is from the south viewpoint.  it's a bit weathered, but i like that they call the mountain Denali instead of Mckinley.  Denali is the local name for it and the native name for it.  McKinley was just some politician from Ohio that never even set foot in my state...why we name shit after politicians is a source of annoyance to me, but whatever.
 i suppose it's not the most fun day for the dogs, except they are generally just happy to be with me.  we stopped several times coming and going and let them have breaks and short walks.
 we stop at the rest area in Denali that is the last they let cars drive this time of year and i take the dogs for a nice walk there.  this year it got cut short as there had been a grizzly that hopped up on the road we were walking on. not for me but for a couple and their two dogs. the bear simply turned around and headed back down to the bank of the river.  i got some nice views of him from above on the road now that he was at a safe distance.  will hopefully post those tomorrow.  he was the only mammal i saw in the park this trip.  you never know.  enjoyed seeing the bear though and really enjoyed just watching him dig up roots to munch on.
 saw a total of 5 moose on the way up/back.  no scary experiences with them but a few photo's, some you'll see in todays.
 our national park signage is perhaps a bit dated, but there it is.  i'm sure one day budget cuts will take a hit on the big park and it will get sold off and built up.  always amazes me the things we do spent billions of dollars on and yet our parks just aren't seen as valuable.
 was reading a few articles today about the walrus hauling out way up north in mass numbers due to shrinking sea ice...omg...the comments were nuts.  of course, those commenting folks out there can be nuts.  i'm sure some of them are out of work or this is their only source of power...inflicting their opinions on the world.  apparently there is no global warming, it's just a liberal plot.  (and the world really is flat by the way).
 the viewing deck at Teklanika rest's never this empty and soon filled up again, even in the off season.  of course this day it filled up once people found they could just spy the bear down the way from here.  from here he was just a spot out there, but if i had little kids i'd no doubt be fine with that view of a bear.
 this is the closed road sign.
 at the very bottom is the bear in the above photo.  i took other shots with my zoom but i just wanted to give you an idea of where he was, i'm above him.
 on the way out i stopped several times, once at the Talkeetna cut off for a few thing's i'd forgotten and because the store there has a flush toilet....i know where all the decent toilets are.  i'm not afraid to go in the woods, but i'm not ashamed to say i prefer modern flush toilets over outhouses.
 anyway, a guy was in line behind be and looked at me, then said, "you have one of those familiar faces".  not really sure how to interpret that, but i do get a lot of people thinking they know me or that i'm someone they know.  i told him it may be because i'm  a nurse. i just come in contact with a lot of people and 12 hours is long enough to not totally remember someone but to not really forget them either i think.
 of course, it could be too that in a previous life i was totally popular and famous...perhaps why i'm so reclusive now.
 i know my neighbors describe me as "the single woman who keeps to herself".  i found this out when i co-worker moved in a few doors down...before we figured out we were now neighbors.  i'm pleasant and do talk to anyone who talks to me, but i guess i'm not over borrowing sugar all the time.  today i did get a chance to catch up with one neighbor...turns out over the winter he'd gotten diagnosed with cancer, had a few major surgeries, coded...yikes. all at the other hospital in town.  so i'm not antisocial, i actually can be quite chatty in the right situation.  i'm not good with crowds and i'm not good at small talk.
 ended up chatting quite a bit with the guy who said i looked familiar.  i didn't notice the lady had checked all my stuff and was waiting to pay.  of course we all laughed then as she said she's always being told to not make people wait in line, but the people in line are the ones always talking.  i'm sure that changes a bit when the tourists get here, they are more citified and more in a hurry.
 we used to be at the Ketchikan airport waiting as we could clearly see the weather would be crap and the plane wasn't going anywhere.  the locals all chilled, chatted and were calm whereas the out of towners were freaking out about the Alaska you just have to learn to go with the flow.  shit happens when it happens, weather will be a factor at times.
 chatted with an old high school buddy the morning before i took off, always fun to catch up with old friends.  i think facebook is bringing several of the old high school era friends back together.  it is fun to see what happened to people without having to fly south and attend some reunion.
 was laughing to myself about how popular therapists are and how many people go to them.  really what i think it that now in order to actually find people to really listen to you, you have to pay them.  at least i think that is frequently the case.  clicking like or sending a text is not the same as having a conversation and feeling like you were heard.  so you either need to write a blog and put it out there and think that perhaps you are heard or you pay a therapist.  if you are really lucky you have a few friends or family members who do have listening skills.
 have i ever been bullied.  no, i don't think the taunting was as cruel in my day or to as many kids.  not sure.  i do remember one day wearing an outfit that i was extremely excited about. i'd finally convinced my mom to buy this pink jean and jacket set. it was not easy to get new clothes in our big family so for me it was a big deal.  of course, as soon as i got to school the upper class kids tore me up making fun of me in the pink outfit.  being a bit shy by nature i crumbled under their taunts and never wore that outfit again.
 watched that documentary "bully" recently.  kids are really mean and it doesn't seem like the school has much they can or will do.
 have had a few women who have seemed to act like they were better then me simply because they have bore children.  popping a baby out though does not make you a stellar parent. i have seen shining examples of poor parenthood. God clearly does not select who gets babies...the good parents and the bad ones all can deliver babies.
 that thinking led me to ponder, are there women who are famous simply for the act of delivering a baby and i can only think of one, Mary.  the mother of Jesus is famous for being the mother of Jesus.  mostly famous people, have mothers but they are rarely mentioned or have any longevity of being famous or well known for that.  can you think of any examples of women famous simply for who they delivered?  just curious.
 had a dream the other day and i was at a high school reunion as a matter of fact. i attended because they all came to Alaska.  in the dream one kid was nice and had always been.  not sure if he was ever the victim of bullying, but he was certainly one of the smarter kids, which can sometimes make a kid different and lead to bullying i guess.  anyway, everyone else seemed the same as they were and after i woke up, i friended him as i then ran across him responding on someone's page.
 as you can see it was a pretty day out there.
 today was beautiful, i liked it cause there were loads of clouds, big puffy ones. love those.
 out the back window of the element
 today i just did a loop around little campbell lake in Kincaid.  saw lots of moose today.
 those pictures will come later.  here blossom was sitting on the back seat watching the scenery go cute
 this is a memorial, still lots of snow around it, i'll have to return one of these days after the melt and check it out. looks simple and nice.
 today i turned a corner and there was a moose.  it started down the hill right towards me so i backed in to the brush and behind a tree to give it room.  i thought it would follow the trail past me but instead went off trail right past me.  i watched the moose go into the trees and disappear, then i came out from where i was and looked to head back up the hill...but another moose had appeared. it looked more nervous so i moved further off trail and again, behind a tree. it passed as well but then i laughed wondering how many moose would pop up in that spot...
 the rest of these are the beginning of the pictures i took with the zoom
 this VW bus always sits there in Willow i think or Houston...anyway, it's out front of the Gorilla fireworks store.  just cool so that day i stopped for a closer look.
 nice paint job.
 i'm sure it's seen quite a bit of action in it's day and if it could talk it would have quite a few stories to tell.
 Denali...sometimes i just take the shot in both colour and black and white...can't decide which i like better so i posted both.
 i can generally see a few faces in the mountain when she is out.  i guess in summer the big mountain isn't out as much as in the winter.  we do see it a lot.  couldn't see it today from the trail i was on...there is a spot where i can if it's out.
 blossom could use a bath...she is finding every puddle she can and saturating her coat in it.
 these are at the south viewpoint.
 these two were on the side of the road headed towards the road.  i pulled over to check them out and spooked them. i felt bad about it but then several large semi's went past and i decided that perhaps i had saved their lives by keeping them off the main road for another day.  it was impressive to watch them have to work their way up that little hill. that is a lot of animal and those legs were stretching and working...feel the burn baby!!
 i saw another pair on the way home at some cabins across the street from the hostel i've stayed at.
 look at the little one dig in to get up there.  wow!!
 haven't gotten too much done.  another happy, lazy day.
 not too much going with the WARIS sites yet.  never too much news to report on Walrus, hopefully, we can change that and put walrus back into the conversation.  or get them there at all.
 beautiful scenery was a long drive but worth it.

 liked all the tiny pine cones that collect in bunches on these trees.

it's 1 am so i should crash.  competency fair tomorrow.  so excited.  thankful for...1.  a safe drive to/from Denali 2.  safe and fun moose and bear awesome to see animals out where they are free.  3.  tasty turkey noodle soup