Thursday, June 25, 2015

back to Valdez trek...

 i have enjoyed my week off exploring and enjoying and in between a bit of stay-cation days as they call them.  today the yard guy came and went nuts with the weed wacker.  i really need to buy a new and improved version of one of these.  the one i have obviously doesn't cut it.  after i went nuts with the trimmers. lots of extra branches on the trees.  so i did some work. the vinegar worked great on the top part of the brick walkway so i'll buy more vinegar and salt and go crazy with some of the beds.  it's a bit late to plant this year but i can do a better job at prepping for next year.  he did plant one plant for me, some berries a neighbor had given me.
 always a pretty drive.  the wild fires weren't as nuts as they are now.  there are over 200 fires burning...i think that is actually a pretty low number.  mostly started by lightning strikes.  mostly fairly controlled burns or i guess most just aren't near structures.
 this is the little lake that i tend to stop at and break the dogs.  today was relaxing in the morning i just sat out in the sunshine and wrote a few letters.  a few friends have lost family members these past few weeks.  when you are in your 20's and 30's life is weddings and babies for the most part. now it seems parents/family are passing.  for some a note on facebook doesn't seem fitting...and it's even odder to me that people announce a death in the family and then people click "like".
 Matanuska River.  walks were not long again.  Rio joined, we did get well over 10,000 steps in.  headed to Cuddy Park after an errand with Blossom.  sadly there was a fair of some sort going on and there were lots of baby geese so i didn't let the girl off leash.  she obviously needs a bit of attention.  been digging holes in the yard as i did yard work today.
 and this is the Matanuska Glacier.  these are all taken with my little powershot so i'll get through these fairly quickly.  most of the shots on the Valdez trip were with the wide angle and most of the shots from Denali were with the macro so those will take longer to go through
 back to work tomorrow.  get the dogs back into their routine.
 apparently 15 stellar sea lions were found near Cordova dead.  it is looking like those were poached animals.  i do hope they catch those responsible for this.  nothing was taken from the animals killed so a total waste anyway and these are endangered and protected animals. i'm guessing big fines and jail time if they do find the culprit.
 not sure of the mountains in this wrangle-st elias range.
 guess there was a decent sized quake outside of willow today.  i must have been in the bog walking the pups...never felt it.  it was a 5.7-6.2...depending on the source.
 in other "i hate people news"( IHPN) some jerk from Oregon who was in Unalaska accelerated the truck he was driving through a group of feeding bald eagles.  no trees there so they are often at ground level.  he killed at least 2 of the birds and injured a few more.  idiot!!  another one that was caught but needs to be heavily fined.
 there was also a video going through social media apparently of a few Canadians who were out boating and ran across a moose that was swimming in the lake.  one of those idiots decided to jump out of boat and on to the moose's back for a ride. always happy to hear there are other idiots in other countries.  it gets so easy to think we have the vast percentage of idiots in our country so refreshing that idiocy is an international issue.
 a Russian Orthodox church in Kodiak was vandalized a few weeks back as well..destroying some historic artifacts.  the place was built in 1796.  that young male was also caught...the trend is for those caught to turn out to be young males.  please teach your male children to not be idiots..thank you!!
 into Valdez after a long drive.
 Blossom was tired from the day and was waiting for the tent to go up so she could go to bed...she climbed in immediately...she is so cute.  :-)
 Rio promptly fell asleep on my arm.  it took til she was snoring before i could move my arm and try to get comfortable myself.
 happily sleeping pups.  love this big car camping tent.  so comfy with all of us in there.  plenty of room.  as i came out in the morning and saw others crawling out of tiny tents...well i'm sure they felt it was over kill.  easy to set up and you can stand up in it.
 after our Denali class, TO and i went to take showers while SH went to locate a decent camp site and set up a tent.  she must have been tired and getting flustered so she just headed back over to the showers fearing she was leaving us sitting there for a long time.  so we drove over to the camp site while she showered and tried to figure out how to set up her tent.  she'd stuck a pole in a strange place and that totally through us off.  was it supposed to be there, the picture didn't show it there.
 later we went for a night drive through the park after eating to see if we could spy any animals.  we got to laughing so hard about  how she had left that tent and how perplexed we had been trying to figure out how to set it up.   she had to use her inhaler she was laughing so hard and i had tears from laughing. we got both tents set up when she and TO's family joined us.
 short walk on the shoup trail. too much brush and Rio was getting tired so we turned back fairly early.
 cruised around the harbor.  lots of older boats out of the water and some beautifully decorated trash cans.
 was enjoying making use of the beautiful scenery around Valdez with the boats.

 so not the best hiking in town but we did stop again at Thompson Pass.  wide and open so not too difficult for Rio.  she still tires pretty easily. her days of long hikes seem to be a thing of the past.  she is eating well and seems happy.
 liked how this tree roots were wrapped around this rock.
 i always like to find boats with the city name.
 the spill containment area for equipment...just an effort to prevent another horrible spill of oil.  one can only hope.
 these were on the way out of town. cool swan nest  so cute!!  more with the zoom in previous post.  big nests though.
 selfie with me and the columbine/falls.
 drove in and checked out a campground just outside of town.  nice but the sites were small and it was very brushy...i don't think i would have slept well all night.  i'm leaning towards RV campgrounds of late

 one of the quickly receding Worthington Glacier.
 another pipeline shot.
 stopped to feed the pups and liked the views reflected in my windows.

 pretty puffy clouds and blue skies that seemed to go on forever.
 lots of fireweed blooming.  everyone loves fireweed but it's also a fortelling of winters coming. summer just goes fast.  once the bloom hits the top of the fireweed winter is 6-8 weeks away..that is the local tale anyway. doubt any hard science has been done on this.  haha.
 a few more this point i mostly just went into cruise mode in order to get home at a reasonable time.

 back at the lake only Blossom got out of the car to stretch.
 Rio was i just left the door open for her and watched her closely.
 healthy trees outside of Palmer
 burnt trees outside of Willow on our way north to Denali.
 pretty sad looking.
 lots of hot spots seen from the road.
 ready to crash. all that yardwork..even watching it being done is tiring!!
grateful for: A.  being able to get someone else to do the yard least get me started back in the right direction. B.  for having a yard, i forget all that goes into maintaining it but i do appreciate it being there and fairly large for a zll.  C. sleeping.  night

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