Sunday, January 11, 2015

left sunshine for rain...

 sometimes it goes like that.  you choose the wrong direction and end up in the rain.  ended up out at Portage for a walk with both dogs out to Byron Glacier.
 enjoyed a nice sunset on the way home as i re-heated from a walk in the misty rain. not that i mind rain terribly.  lived in Ketchikan for 6 years so i got plenty used to getting rained on.  they average 12 feet of rain /year.
 finally got a run at the grocery store and bills and the trash is out...otherwise i guess i really didn't do much else today.
 that is ok though. i always enjoy a sunday drive.  the walk went well too.  probably could have skipped the rock hopping near the glacier, but live and learn.  it was nice to walk on ground and not ice for a change though.
 strange though as Portage Valley is usually a place that gets dumped on with snow in the winters.  a few years ago when we were getting record snowfalls, it looked like nothing when i drove to Portage. snow is only on the mountain tops.  i had to watch out for dead fish when we stopped at the little lake south of Portage Lake, which is basically without ice except what has calved off the glacier there.
 there will be no walks back to view the glacier across the lake this year.
 word is that Regional Hospital is going to make 2 stand alone ER's, one in South Anchorage and one in Eagle River.  guess it would be a step up from an urgent care  but not sure they can provide that complete of care...they will still have to transfer anyone who needs to be admitted and i doubt they will be transferring all of those patients to their own hospital.  not sure they would be large enough.  time will tell how that all plays out.
 thinking i wore Miss Rio out today.  not sure she enjoys the Sunday drives as much as i do, but it seems better to have her along than leave her home for hours.  Miss Breezy Chatterbug is attempting to sleep but i think the snoring is keeping her awake.
 once pot sales start up in Alaska will we be able to make up tax revenue that may be lost to dropping oil prices...doubtful, haha.  it's coming though.  legal pot everywhere.  will they be able to make a pot test like the alcohol test where you exhale and get a number...?  so many things will need to be ironed out before the law goes into effect.  a few years back i suggested at work that we have a pot vending machine in the ICU waiting area....would keep our pesky families calmer and perhaps easier to deal with.  of course, i was just kidding at the time, but  perhaps i should invest in pot vending machines now...strike while the iron is hot...haha!
 these were near Girdwood.  liked the light below.
 these are out at this first lake that i frequently stop at so Blossom and Rio can stretch, wade/swim.
 the edges were ice free.
 Blossom wasted no time getting herself in there.
 the ice edge...thought it looked cool.
 Rio headed for the water as well.

 we don't have much snow, but i don't think there have been much reports of bears out wandering around causing trouble.  i opted to just carry my bear spray today anyway. there were actually several other people walking in the rain like i was today out there in Portage.
 this is actually ice reflected on ice below...the glacier on the mountain above was pretty clear on the lake reflection.
 guess Anchorage averages about 20 murders/year, 2014 saw only 14.  a few are still unsolved.  i remember after the Rodney King riots in L.A.  there was a report that no murders happened for a few days but that the average murder rate in L.A.  county was 8/day.  i'm fine living some place with a lower murder rate.  more often than not up here anyway love and alcohol seem to be factors.  well love that has turned to hate i guess.  the two seem fairly tightly related.
 we've warmed back up to 20's-30's here in Anchorage, obviously warmer in Portage Valley.  people are still able to ice skate even if it's been a lousy year from local cross country skiing.  also fat tired bikes have been bought at crazy numbers.  you have to have a different sized bike frame to fit those fat tires so they are winter bikes only...winter bikes that seem to cost >$2500.00.  ouch!
 this Alaskan won't be buying a winter bike anytime soon.
 always love these stumps. not sure of the story of these stumps...why they all are here and cut off.
 may pop in a movie for tonight...which one though? comedy, serious, cry inducing flick?  gotta change it up every so often.  still waiting for more of season 4 Gilmore Girls to arrive.
 Barrows housing authority has been working a few years to create super insulated homes that end up being 6 star energy rated as opposed to the usual max 5 star rating.  they say it could save 85% of heating costs which would be huge up there.  these places often get their final oil delivery in the fall before getting blocked in by ice and seas.  that means that despite the rest of the lower 48 enjoying low gas prices right now, Barrow and other villages are still paying prices from the fall.  it's pretty spendy anyway. when i was in Nome a few summers back it was over $6/gal to fill my rental cars tank.
 Anchorage is sitting at about $2.60-$2.70/gal right now. nowhere near the below $2/gal i hear reported in the lower 48 in some areas.
 could be another bad fire year this summer if this lack of snow and warm weather keeps up.  hope not.  keep hoping the weather turns around and we start getting some major dumpings of snow.  it could happen.  doubtful we can make up for what hasn't fallen.  one has to wonder if there will be enough snow for the Iditarod or if they will actually start it from Fairbanks this year after last years mess.
 see all those rocks...Blossom made it to the snow much quicker than i can see her tiny brown spot on the snow above.  most years this trail will still be covered in snow in some places in June.  crazy to see it so dry.
 the snow cave appears to have collapsed.  i didn't stray too far on the wet rocks for fear of twisting my knee before it's fully healed.
 glacier above.  amazing how far back that glacier has receeded since i first saw it years ago.  it's more of a moraine hike than a glacier hike now.
 below is Portage Lake...generally a frozen lake by now...or mostly frozen anyway.
 the river coming off the lake is ice free basically as well.
 and i head back to Anchorage.
 China is doing it again.  Tiger farms so they can kill them to make tiger wine and tiger rugs.  the great cats are kept in deplorable conditions, tiny cages on concrete.  this is making the wealthy in China demand more tiger products and they still prefer wild caught tigers so poaching is increasing across Asia. the estimates are that there are 5,000-6,000 tigers in captivity in China on nearly 200 farms while tiger populations in the wild are currently less than 4000.  China seems to do nothing to improve habitat and instead just breeds animals in captivity that have no chance of ever being released to the wild.
 they do the same with Panda Bears.  they breed them in captivity but do nothing to prevent destruction of their natural habitats.
 lovely sunset as i drove home.
 a few last shots from the zoom lens.
 that is how distant the Byron glacier is...need a zoom to see it at all anymore.
 some confused plants think it's spring already
 sunset colors on the water
 another busy Monday ahead for me tomorrow.  Monday walk and later, PT at 4:30 followed by another massage at 6:30.  late night for my massage therapist i guess.
 i shall leave you with the sunset...
thankful for: the kind people that you generally run across in life, on the trails at the stores, people usually smile and engage in pleasant exchanges, it's nice.  hope for round island, at least in the short term.  my trusty Element

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