Tuesday, August 26, 2014

More from South Fork in Eagle River on a Rainy Day!!

 Blossom is quite focused on the task we are trying to accomplish...that task, snacking.  surprise, right?  she is just as adorable wet as she is dry. i know i'm smitten by my puppy!!  always will be.
 Q spotted what looked like a few male moose out there across from where we were walking.  when i pulled the pictures up on the computer though, it's more clear.  if you click on the picture and make it larger you will see a large male, a younger male and then a female laying down to the right.  good spotting Q.
 we also got yelled at by one of the locals, seen below.  these guys tend to be rather intolerant to visitors.
 they are quite cute though.
 the sun came out more and more as we headed  back to the cars.  my body feels like it's done a longer walk but overall not bad.  just feel old right when i stand up.  not enough long walks this summer.
 No doubt too much time spent on this computer and on phone calls and all that.
 love this bright green in the creek...green is my favorite so when a place is green to the max i couldn't be happier!!
 often i feel with all this WARIS stuff i start down a  path that looks promising and then slam...there is the brick wall. will require tenacity but hopefully we can find a path that doesn't slam back at us and we can prevail and find funding.  finances have been leaner and the sanctuary survived so we just have to be positive that the rabbit can be pulled out of the hat as it were.
 long lunch with new friends from Fish and Game. great to be able to speak freely and interact with them without the delay of email.  not that we came up with a bunch of answers but we did brainstorm a bit and i think meeting may help us work as a team more.  trust is easier when you can look each other in the eye.  i know as a newbie doing this there are a lot of people watching to see what i do, what i'm capable of, if i'll stick it out....i'm sure that list goes on.  so hopefully, they can feel  better about me now that they have met me.  i gave them a pamphlet, will see what if any advice they have on that.  they did suggest we put at least one picture with actual people so that people who see the pamphlet can see themselves there one day. i think that sounds like a good idea.
 met with Q again this afternoon after my lunch for a walk with both dogs out at University Lake.  he hadn't been there for ages so i think he enjoyed just chilling.  he was in town today with his Mom...so i got to see her for a second as well.
 i do miss having Q around for walking with.  i have been blessed with some of the best hiking buddies...i am always bummed whenever any of them leave me.  i do meet new walkers though...have gotten to know some really awesome folks through walking!!  Q was never here for the Monday walk crew.
 We will be doing the Monday walks again. i suspect that again, i won't really post it...who knows, maybe i will.  could branch out and see who shows up...? new blood is always good and if there are enough people there could be short loop/long loop groups.  oh wait, that sounds too much like work...i have enough work with WARIS.
 had a super fun message session tonight.  when i was in my 20's i went to Los Angeles Pierce College.  took several of those pre-req classes and eventually took the animal health tech program and graduated with that.  took a lot of marine biology courses as the professor, Dr Wells, was a great professor and there was a group of us that all got along and we'd all sign up for whatever course he was teaching . many of those were these weekend or afternoon classes in the field.
 that is what gave me a pretty good base in marine biology that i have carried with me all these years.  i had contacted him once before several years back but now we are friends on facebook and tonight we were talking about WARIS and the possibility of creating some sort of intern/staff positions out there.
 would love to be able to split the staffing with some college age kids that could learn out there and get college credits combined with a core fish and game staff.  the hope in doing this would be that perhaps we could get grants or scholarships to help with the transport and finances of having the students out there and that would leave us with less money to have to depend on fish and game for.  ideally, it would be great if we could get sealife center to maybe kick in as well since they are all about education and science...could it be run through them???  not sure.
 as an advocate trying to get funding, i really have to try and think outside the box and follow different paths to see where they lead.  more often than not i have really just wasted time and energy on a chase that leads me to that brick wall, but even a sly fox misses several meals before it gets its actual dinner.
 anyway, super fun to be able to message with him and let him know how much i have always appreciated him as a professor.  he will mull it over i think and at least see about getting me some more contacts.
 this is blossom resting on the very uncomfortable rocks as we snacked.  she didn't want to move away for fear she'd miss a morsel...there were flatter, more comfortable rocks nearby.
 Q doing some rock hopping.  my rock hop was much slower...i was being an over protective knee owner.  it was a bit less awkward headed back as i got smart and put my big camera away as well.
 tomorrow i have a few calls for WARIS and then i may just load up the car for a marathon drive north to Denali to see if the colours are out.  i have work thursday, but i am feeling the need to get out on the road.
 that may change tomorrow morning of course, haha.  my call is to DO who was staff out there.  she is super busy working on preventing a dam up closer to Talkeetna where she lives.  i also want to try and reach  A who runs the nature center. would love to do the coffee thing with her and use her as a bit of a mentor.
 the boys liked the idea of a gathering in the fall.  one of them could lecture and i bet we could get TJ to do a presentation as well about round island.  there may be someplace at the university we could use or check on the zoo?  not sure.  we need to start planning our "coming out party".
 we had to stop and enjoy the sun here..it had just rained and would rain again
 today clouded up a bit.  it was sunny at first.  we sat outside.  i had met the one guy once on round island.
 loved this water below
 got the dogs to petsmart to stock up on the animal products. i always like to keep ahead just in case the big quake comes.  guess they had a good sized one in Napa.  of course, the news often shows the same 3 damaged places over and over and the rest of the town may be just fine.
 since we had dryness a bit today i put gas in the mower and took another run at the lawn.  it's still a bit thick but it looks much less embarrassing.
 need to rake up some of the trimming clumps.  will have to wait for a dryer day...and i'm not sure we have many coming up in the forecast.
 not everything has turned colors but i enjoyed the stuff that had.  always so bright
 scattered rain as you can see.
 above is a lot of rain...only had the powershot out for this bit.
 such a beautiful valley.
 My professor has never made it to Alaska.  i think he prefers his beaches in the sunnier places, south of the border.

 they've done some work on the first portion of the trail in the past few years..after this, especially with all the rain, it got pretty muddy.
 cute article about a newer long term care facility in Kotzebue.  they do try to serve some of the foods that the elder natives are used to eating.  it said they have been unable to serve things like walrus due to risk of trichinosis or seal oil as it's fermented.  they said families can bring these in to residents and that they have a pot luck with native foods once a month.
 posted a picture of walrus on the facebook public page...one comment was num, num.  i'm not totally used to the idea of walrus on the diet, but i don't want to condemn it...hunting is hunting and meat is meat.  it's what you get used to and as long as any and all hunting is done keeping in mind how much is actually needed and using what you take rather than letting it go to waste then i can be okay with that.  a western diet has not been good for many natives.  people in different parts of the world dine on all sorts of things that were available to them.
 one journalist that had been held was released the other day and then today the news was that an American female had been taken by ISIS.  i fear for the treatment that poor woman will receive at the hands of those brutal and inhumane captors.
 a bright green fern grows here.
 hanging valley, nearly done with the trail and starting to feel the miles.
 sun ahead...
perhaps i shall turn in earlier than my normal in hopes i can make a run of it tomorrow.  can't believe it's Wednesday almost and i'm almost headed back to work.  
grateful for today...1.  a good meeting and hope of a future...i have no idea what that future is, but i know i will keep trying.  2.  friends, friends, friends!! love you all!!  loved this from Readers Digest, "take care of your friends because there will come a time when you're not much fun to be with and there is no reason to like you except out of long standing habit" haha.  love it. they also said, " your friends are fond of you but there are limits, sadness is tedious".  true dat!!  3.  feeling at peace and happy.  good night.

Q is in town!!!

 Got to spend the day with a dear friend!!  He moved to the lower 48 too long ago but comes to visit on the rare occasion!!  My lucky day.
 Grabbed Miss Blossom and headed out to meet him for a rambling walk in less than perfect weather, but as is always the case in Alaska, beautiful!!
 In Q's honor I am attempting to use capital letters appropriately...as he said it bugs him that I never do.  Thankfully, he still comes and reads my blog despite my issues with capital letters.
 We met up at 11:30 and weren't back to the trailhead until nearly 6pm.  Lots of stopping to chat and enjoy the views.  We got some glimpses of blue skies.  They did seem more common on the last bit of our walk.
 Little peeks at the fall colours coming through...may I just say this proper capital letter thing is tough...old habits.
 I didn't bring a proper lunch, but did have snacks.  We worked on those briefly as we sat on the rocks in the rock field leading to the larger lakes.  As my knee is improving and I had no desire to set it back any I wasn't too keen on loads of rock hopping.  I also get nervous that Blossom will slip and break a leg way out there.
 The rain really started to come down once we were settled and eating our snacks.  That shortened our snack break a bit.
 Do believe I should guzzle some water before I head to bed.  Not sure I should let Blossom drink any as once again my office was flooded with urine this morning.  I slept in because of my lack of sleep due to a certain feline last night.
 Was up writing a note for the Qayassiq Walrus Commission and at 0100 I went downstairs and thought Blossom wanted outside for a minute.  I opened the door and Blossom didn't want out, but Miss Breezy Chatterbug darted between my legs and out the door.  My cats are supposed to be indoor only cats but she has been doing this darting out thing of late...so annoying!!
 Super annoying at 0100 when it is raining outside.  As I tried to get ready and go to bed I kept checking on the cat to see if she would come inside.  I preferred not to leave her out there in the rain.  At 3 am, I had to give up.  I needed sleep.
 When I went down this morning she was clawing at the insulation strips that seal the door up in inclement weather...less so now.  So another little home repair to add to my list.  Thank you Miss Breezy Chatterbug!! She seemed less than happy to be saturated and spent the rest of the day, no doubt, cleaning and fluffing her fur back up. No further attempts were made to escape today.
 Rio got the shaft today...so sorry Rio.  She really doesn't like the rain though so I doubt she was really too upset about chilling on the couch today.
 Got our bumper stickers ordered.  Hope those turn out well.  Speedy got the letter I wrote ready to print out.  Figure I'll mail that off with several pamphlets...hopefully it is something they can read out for their commission and hand out the pamphlets.  Not sure what else would be beneficial to include in the package.  Have a few phone calls to make this week so perhaps those will lead me to some more answers.
 The more I do, the more there is to do.
 Despite the rain it was some beautiful scenery out there.  The clouds would break and streaks of light would shine through.
 After walking all those miles we had both built up an appetite.  We stopped by my place for a quick freshen up and then headed off to Bears Tooth.  In this town...any tooth will do.  Always packed and always great food.
 So awesome to be able to spend the day with my good friend Q!!  Thanks for the day...it was fabulous!!
 Portraits with the dog.  She was her usual sweet dog self. The trails weren't overly crowded, rain and weekday, but we weren't the only ones out there.
 I still have a few WARIS things to do before I settle in for the night.
 Came home and took a few ibuprofen's and had a nice soak in the tub.  It's been quite some time since I did a nice tub soak.  Lovely!!
 These are the rocks....very cool and lichen covered.  Always love that.  I'm not as adept at boulder hopping as I once was. Q took a few tumbles in the rocks and may have a bruise or two. Nothing major.  We both discussed a need to re-dedicate ourselves to yoga for improved flexibility and balance.
 The little bridge over the creek.  You can walk on across the rock field or like we did , settle on a rock for a bit.
 I am quite happy with our hike for the day.  We did see a few bull moose in the distance and some little dudes squeaking at us.
 No bears or signs of bears noted.
 My friend backpacked out further one time years ago and saw a wolverine.  I have never seen one on my many miles of hiking/walking.  perhaps one day I'll get lucky.  They are quite elusive.
 Nice to be writing about stuff closer to when it happens.
 Was able to keep the camera out for sections of the walk today.  The rain would fall pretty steady when it did.  As long as I'm prepared for the weather it's not really a bother.  I actually enjoy rain.  It can be tough to get motivated initially, but once you are out there, it's fine.  Of course, it's nicer when you have someplace to come warm up in.  I could feel my feet were getting chilled on the drive home.
 The chill stopped as soon as I got home and got my wet socks off.
 A nice warm meal and the chill was fogotten.
 love this one of us...:-)
 These are with the powershot.  I could get that out more in the rain.  Was surprised that the battery lasted the entire time. Cold and damp weather is usually pretty good at killing a battery.
 Blossom quite enjoyed herself and is super tired tonight.  She's just not as young as she used to be...neither and I.
 Was actually quite happy with how well my knee did today.  No spasms.  I did wear the brace and I'm guessing that helped.
 Fall colours.
 Blue or purple pine cones...you decide.
 I thought my bear scare was bad last fall, did I mention a woman and her mother were camping at the family fish camp out of Kaktovik and a polar bear (nanuq) came pawing around their big canvas tent looking for fish.  They managed to scare the bear off somehow.  Obviously they kept their wits about them.  They also had a rifle on them.  To polar bears we are just another food option.  The concern is that encounters like these will increase as the sea ice melts and bears begin to spend more of their time on land.
 My muscles are barking. It's been too long since I've done a good hike like that.  It's a good barking.
 Blossom is sleeping peacefully and so is Rio...she gets exhausted just being a dog.  Not sure how dogs can sleep so many hours a day like she can.  Then again there are days I'd love to languish in bed without a care.  Those days just don't happen very often, unless one is sick.
 I prefer to be healthy than ill and stuck in bed.
 Mushroom action, not as many as on some trails, but a bit higher elevation so probably further along in the season.
 Always love catching the various stages of colour changes.  Up here you could return daily and see some dramatic changes.
 Briefly debated hitting the hanging valley trail, but it's been awhile since i went straight out the valley past the big rock
 Seemed it would be a bit less taxing on the knee, of course, I think i forgot to take into account the bouldering at the end.
 At the bridge.  There have been days when i had less time and so just have gone to the bridge and back.
 It's been awhile for that trek though, it's a bit of a drive up to this trailhead so generally if you go you want to make a day of it.
 Thinking I will retire soon for the night and get up early for prep for lunch tomorrow.  Not sure what will be discussed but it's good to put faces to the voices and  notes I think.  Good for them to see me as well.  That meet up with KT I recall something funny...which I often forget.  My email address has the word guns in it.  This confuses folks. It's a family nickname.  "Guns".  It's a name I have been called my whole life so I don't even flinch at it.  If people don't know that I think they wonder if I am here with a house full of guns and ammo.  I think it started out as "B B Guns" and evolved into "Guns".  I also get called "Snugs" which is guns backwards I'm told.  There are several versions to my nickname and I respond equally well to all.  When i was a teenager, my brothers took to calling me "Jugs" which I quickly and strongly objected to.  At this point I believe I fully accepted all other versions of my nickname if this one were to cease to be.
 I believe that was the end of "Jugs".
 I shall hobble over to my bed and relax.  Hopefully I will wake well rested, with all my pets in the house and no urine in my office. Really don't think that is too much to ask for
Thankful for: A visit with a friend...Love my friends!!  Beautiful rainy weather with blue sky breaks.  Slow progress in WARIS..no funding yet..looks like KT hit the brick wall, which is DVL.  It ain't over til it's over and I can be rather tenacious when I want to be.  How many times did I not capitalize properly?  Good Night!!