Monday, June 23, 2014

back from Homer and still in Ketchikan....

 amazing drive down to Homer and relaxation at Tutka Bay.  went with friends to enjoy solstice. these photo's are in Ketchikan though.  above is the docks.  they get 3-6 big ships in/day, the community evolves around them.  this began when i lived there after the pulp mill closed but has really increased.  the atmosphere has changed downtown for sure.  much more organized...totally set up for all things tourist.
 these are more from Minerva Mountain hike with friends.  all with the rebel.
 i had the dog/cat care organized but i could have filled in the gaps a bit.  in the end the dogs are all fine.  i think Rio had a bit of a rough weekend. thankfully my neighbors came through.  rio had a gap in coverage after her breakfast friday morning until my friend Cathy got in from Homer in the afternoon.  she must have gotten freaked out.  she'd left that many hours, but not without Blossom  i guess.  the neighbor came over and let her out and checked on her as they could hear her whining and crying over here.
 they came through again today.  when i spoke to Cathy today she'd left Anchorage for Homer and said she'd left Rio in the back yard as it was so nice out.  i've never done that with Rio so i had no idea how that   
 would go.  no idea what just happened there..oh well.  anyway...i texted Lena and asked if she would come earlier with Blossom.  i feared Rio would freak out in the back yard.  she did and it seemed all was fine.
 my neighbors stopped by soon after i returned home to let me know they had found Rio laying down in the front driveway today. must have happened before Lena got here.  thankfully, she stayed by the house once she figured out i wasn't out front.  thankfully too my neighbors got her back in the back yard and barricaded the gate.  i suspect she scratched at back gate and the latch just opened.  poor Rio...what an ordeal for her.  she is fine, everyone is is good to know she'd stay close rather than wander far.  all is well that ends well.  i will just have to plan better next time and make sure i leave better instructions.
 the trip was relaxing.  i  was super tired on friday.  we got dropped off by water taxi out at Tutka Bay yurt #2 and we soon went out on the water.  it was a bit choppy so we really didn't paddle too far.  back on the beach i settled into the open port on the kayak and the sun was just shining down.  i found myself becoming totally relaxed and soon i was asleep.
 that evening i sent Bob and Tanya off for a paddle and stayed with Maddie.  i like to paddle, but i was quite happy to just enjoy the sunshine and sights from the shore that afternoon. i still felt tired though and now i wonder if i didn't have a little touch of a bug.  i feel fine now though.
 i'd brought maddie a "bag of fun" so we did a few of the activities in there.
 that night the sunset for solstice was absolutely beautiful..i'm always a wee bit sad at summer solstice as this means that soon every day will be a bit shorter than the last.  winter solstice is always more the one i am excited for.  we'd gone to bed in the yurt but i could see the sunset looking grander and grander as i lay in my sleeping bag. i just had to get out there.
 these are from the front of our Inn in Ketchikan
 i wasn't out there in Tutka for more than a few minutes when i returned to get Tanya and more camera stuff.  she got out of bed and joined me.  that site has great views.  it was again relaxing and peaceful.  we live in a great place!
 our first night we all crashed at Cathy's place.  she lives up on a hill in Homer.  her views are spectacular. the sun was out, blue skies and from her big windows at her place we could see a different volcano in each window. Mt Augustine, Mt Iliamna and Mt Redoubt.  amazing.  Iliamna was even smoking a bit while we were there.
 in addition sandhill cranes chill in her front yard every day.
 she cooked us a grand dinner and fabulous breakfast.  she also took us all to a beach we'd never been too. locals always know the great places!!  so we went on the hike/walk down to the beach.  while we were away i guess a grizzly bear cruised through her back yard.
 our clear skies in Tutka soon clouded over...while we were sleeping apparently.  the best place to be in the rain is out on the water some times anyway.  so we headed off to paddle. the water was flat and calm.  we cruised into the lagoon and then let the tide wash us back out.
 a pair of loons popped up super close to my kayak. they are usually very shy so strange to have them so near.  not sure i got much for pictures as due to the rain my nice camera was stowed.  haven't seen any of them yet...still in laundry mode.  hopefully, i'll get through some pics tonight.
 liked these steps at the Inn.  very scenic...or added to my photo i guess.
 those boats are huge!!
 Rio is snoring away happily behind me.  dogs forget shit fast.  she's just happy i'm home.  silly dog.
 my friends nephew thought it was Cathy who was snoring so loudly.  Cathy was sure it wasn't her, suggested the dog, but he was sure it was her.  i think the next night he did figure out that it was indeed the large mastiff that was doing the snoring.  she really can be very loud.
 stopped by my friends place in Ketchikan.  she and her husband had built it since i'd been gone from Ketchikan so i was excited to see the progress. it's on a great site...the lagoon above comes and goes with the tides.
 she said she's become a birder of sorts . great views at her place too.
 the rest of these were taken on a quick trip to Totem Bight in Ketchikan.  always a cool place, now packed with tourists, but i snuck in for a self tour between actual tours.
 didn't have time really to take the time for photography.  just have always loved the colours and designs of the native art in Southeast Alaska.  it's very cool.
 i still need to unpack.  no plans for a few then next weekend i will focus on getting WARIS stuff going more.
 winters are more relaxing and summers are a bit just want to do and see as much as possible.
 it was nice to just have this weekend to relax.  there is always the clean up after though.
 after a wet morning paddle we decided to take a hike.  there is a trail behind the yurt that goes to a lake above and eventually a waterfall.  we saw a few waterfalls but not sure if the ones we saw were the waterfall they spoke of or if we were supposed to have gone further.
 we were out walking for quite a few hours it seems and my gut was not happy...bug?  anyway...we were least Bob and I were.  Tanya was ready for another paddle in dryer conditions.  she took off and we all settled in the yurt to nap...i think i am the only one who actually slept though.
 how days go out there with no some point i looked at my watch and realized that it was almost 9pm..we still hadn't eaten or made a campfire.  so we did all that and it was even later.  i was the first to crash that night. rained off and on i think through the night, but i think we all slept great.  rain does that.
 our water taxi was scheduled for 10 am and he was pretty much right on time.  loaded up and headed back.  then the unloading and getting gear and boats back on the cars for the ride home
 we stopped at Finns for pizza lunch, i shopped around a bit on the spit as did Bob and Tanya and Maddie.  i think they stayed a bit longer and enjoyed some sunshine on the spit, flew kites.
 eventually we headed north as Cathy headed south.  Cathy saw me passing by her at Cooper Landing, i didn't see her though.
 i stopped a few times to stretch my legs, the last time i stopped was at the wildlife conservation center.  quick loop, jump in/out of car.  always fun.
 it rained pretty solid off and on during my drive today...probably sped up my trip as there was less photo ops.  saw 3 moose on the way back.  one running across road in front of me, one on side of road and one near road standing in pond.  wouldn't have minded a picture of that..lots of place to stop.  i  have enough pictures to keep busy for a bit though.
 the building behind is a tribal house of sorts.  really cool looking building.

 the first night in the yurt there was apparently a very loud no see em.  my ear pinna got nailed and it's been swollen and itchy ever since.  dang bugs.
 good sized rafts of sea otters coming and going to Tutka.  sea otters are so cute.  didn't see any whales.

 lots more unpacking to do before my night is done and i'd love to look through some pictures and post a few to facebook.
 bits of the cool totems anyway.
 and one woodpecker.
happy to be home...thankful for 1.  super neighbors who watch out for me and my dogs.  2.  safe trip to enjoy the beauty of Alaska and good friends to travel with .  3. that Rio was smart and stayed close to home after she got out. could have gone other ways...which i can't think about.  good night.

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