Monday, August 25, 2014

braving the rain at crow creek mine...

 looked like it could get pretty ugly out there. i got fairly lucky though and the rain didn't really start coming down until i was headed back to Anchorage.
 haven't taken the time to wander around this place before.  lots of weddings happen there and today was no exception. i was still free to wander with the pups and snap photos.  a bit tougher as i had more than the usual number of people to avoid in my photo's.
 was asked at one point if i was officiating the wedding.  apparently the person who was had two dogs that would be along to do the service.  in Alaska each person can perform one wedding ceremony.  choose wisely.  i have never been asked.  i'd probably be too nervous and screw it up.  clearly my social skills are in need of a major overhaul.
 before i went there i stopped at the bird creek trailhead and took the dogs on a walk there.  it's pretty brushy out there and i was a wee bit scared that a big old bear would pop out.  none did though.  we had a pleasant walk.
 had debated heading north but the fair is on and the traffic can be crazy.  rather wait for a weekday for that action.
 meeting my friend Q for a walk tomorrow.  hope it's not too wet out there for us and also hope that my knee doesn't give me too much grief.  it's odd, it's more like major muscle spasms.  for a while it's fine and then the spasms kick in.  still gotta sign up for that massage.
 the fireweed is done or almost done all over the place.  that is a sure sign of the end of summer.
 not much WARIS stuff this weekend.  did get a note from HA from the BBNA so now i have homework to get done.  not an invite to come to their fall meeting but if i get them information about our group she will present it to the others there.  i felt stressed from the minute i read her email...the pressure is on.  hopefully, i can get a page together for her along with sending some pamphlets and such for her to share at this meeting and make a good impression.
 also plan on getting those bumper stickers ordered.  not sure how long that takes to get those back. hopefully not too long.  really want to get ready and try and plan some sort of gathering to help us come out and be more public.  all of this has been building up to that. still often feel inadequate and ill prepared, but i do try and remember that i can't do any harm really by what i'm doing and that for 39 years nobody has stepped up to do this and it really needed to be done.  many people agree with that.
 will try and write the director of the Eagle River Nature Center.  she was nice and said she would meet with me.  mostly i want someone to help mentor and support me, someone who has been through this process before.  working with all the various entities to help out a place.
 always love all cabins and they have this place done nicely with flowers.  you can go gold panning, but i didn't do that today.  managing both dogs and my cameras with all those people was enough for one afternoon.
 sometimes you find you need a break from people.  they drain you and take more than they give.  i think i was probably just more tolerant before i was busier with all this WARIS stuff, but i am the one who needs a little support and i'm finding that support lacking. that is the cause of the frustration this weekend.
 always good for me to go walking, it clears my head. i've generally been good at managing stress in my life through walking/writing and photography.
 sometimes a break is good too. looking forward to a day walking with my old friend.  laughter is the best.
 i have no desire to be mean, but i also need to be careful that i don't get trampled on either.
 loved this old truck and the one at the top too.  so cool!!
 they just done a great job mixing the plants and flowers with all the old stuff.
 small dogs will have their times at one of the local dog parks.  i think that is fair.  i'm sure i'd be worried if i had a small dog out there with all the ill trained bigger dogs out there.  of course, my 120 pound mastiff has been attacked mostly by small dogs.  they seem to feel the need to leap at her face and try to nip her.  thankfully, she is so sweet.  the owners are often freaking out and will tell their small dogs "that dog could eat you".  not that the small dog understands that, and Rio has never shown any inclination of eating small dogs.
 all the best to speedy and her family tomorrow.  her husband is having knee surgery.  hope that goes well for them...hollar if you need anything speedy!!
 of course, i had to take some black and whites out there.
 a bear in Katmai got accidentally  snared in a trap.  the park service was able to get to her and tranqualized her and get the snare off.  it's not legal, they suspect a winter trap got left out. fines and jail times are possible if they could ever catch the person who left them out there.  i would hope they would fine them enough to cover the costs of trapping and tranquilizing the bear.
 early research is showing it's possible to watch polar bears via satellite.  this was first used with emperor penguins.  helicopter counts were costing upwards of 160K, while the satellite counts were closer to 25K.  a huge savings and also non-invasive.  doubt this would work on walrus but i'm always trying to see what is being done with other difficult to monitor never know.  the counts were dark on light for the penguins and then with the bears it was white on dark land in the summer on an island that was ice free.
 thought we were safe from election stuff now that the primaries are over, but the next round has already annoying and so much money spent.
 got a bag of old clothes ready to donate.  there is much more to go through.  the house needs a flushing of old crap.  there are a few piles that have been lingering.  that rule of if you never use it you won't miss it rings true. i never want to become a hoarder house.  that show always terrifies me.  it's good to watch on occasion as it does help inspire you to trash the extra crap that is laying about.
 was reading an article about taking out of town guests out remote camping.  it's a little extra stress taking people out to what to them will be an incredibly remote experience.  when my siblings go to a cabin in the lower 48 there is generally plumbing and electricity.   i made sure when my brother came that i repeated often the limitations of a forest service cabin.
 for my fellow Alaskans a forest service cabin is a luxury with a source of warmth and an outhouse and more than a tent for a shelter.  i know that it's the complete opposite for my siblings however.  in the end all the worry faded away and they enjoyed their cabin experience.  i think the kids were the most excited.  they didn't have an option of electric gadgets and they adjusted very quickly to making their own merriment.
 i know it won't be too long before every place will have access to the internet and phone service, but for now i really do enjoy those times when i can lose all connection to everyone and just enjoy the beauty of the land and the sounds of nature.
 serial killer and baker Robert Hansen has died in prison.  he was known to keep his victims for days then fly them out to remote Alaskan locations and free them only to turn around and hunt the poor women down and kill them. we will never know how many victims he actually had.  at least 17.
 thankfully, he didn't get transferred to our hospital and instead died at Alaska Regional Hospital.  the poor nurses who had to take care of that monster.  "frozen ground" was a movie made about his murdering spree and his capture, it came out a few years back.
 poachers have killed an estimated 100,000 elephants in Africa between 2010-2012..that is horrible. the birth rate has zero chance of keeping up with this decimation.
 a few botulism cases in Western Alaska this summer.  the natives like to eat fermented fish heads...sounds horrible to me, but they love it..occasionally something goes wrong and a few will become ill and/or die from this.  the traditional way of fermenting these fish was to do so in grasses and such but now many do this process in glass or plastic containers which increases the risk of botulism growth.
 i always like to find these Alaska unique tales to tell in the blog.  not many people in the lower 48 must worry about death by botulism from eating stink heads.
 there have been some increases in northern light sightings again now that the sun is going down much earlier.  the day light hours are falling fast.
 only about 35% of the voters came out for the primaries. the vote to repeal the oil giveaway bill failed, but though they had limited funds compared to the vote no side backed by the big oil companies ( they spent a great deal of money to keep this in place...sadly, that is probably a sign that it should have been repealed) the vote yes to repeal did bring on a good challenge.
 it is funny that all the smear campaign stuff that the politicians used against each other in the primaries is now  being used against the person they ran against and now they are trying to back it up to show support to their same party person.
 should get off here and do some homework for WARIS.  want to be prepared for my lunch meeting on Tuesday and also need to get working on my paper for BBNA (Bristol Bay Native Association).
 must make a good impression in both cases.
 took a stroll down to the rivers edge.  this was a pleasant surprise for Blossom. i wouldn't let her go into the faster running section but she did get to lay down and get a good soak in.
 this river can get super fast in some places, deep gorge.  people have died trying to run it.
 some light on the devils club along the walk
 crow creek mine operation began in the late 1800's..1897 ish.  a group of 8 partners were known as the "crow creek boys".  they mined it, it was taken over in the 1920's-1930's by a miner who had been hired to supervise the operations and then eventually a family, the Toohey's came along in 1969 and have worked to preserve the property.
 the word is that there is no doubt still much gold left out there in the creek.  the largest single nugget of gold found was the size of a chicken egg
 it was fun to explore the area.  many of the buildings date back to 1898
 lots of cool stuff around. i'm sure i could return again another time and enjoy it all over again...probably would be cool a bit later when all the fall colors arrive.
 might be worth a trip back.  guess i better find myself a snack and crash. gotta get some sleep and get myself moving tomorrow.  where is my rain gear..hmmm...better have a look around.
thankful for's for today.  1.  good friends who visit and save some time for me.  :-)  2.  that people have the foresight to save and protect places like this.  3.  that no bears jumped out at me on the trail today. always a bonus.

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