with over 20 years in this amazing place. it's never dull. i hope to enjoy years of exploration here.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
fish camp and baleen palm trees..
most places have some unique art..in many rural Alaskan places the art can be found on buildings and trash cans. it does brighten up the place a bit.
we drove what roads we could in our rental car. otherwise i suppose we could have rented 4 wheelers but wandering and possibly getting lost out there seems like a hazardous idea.
often things arrive in Barrow but do not leave. here is a soda machine graveyard of sorts.
this old boat is this guys home. noticed a variety of dog houses facing different directions so the dog has options for getting out of what ever wind is out there. i'm sure there is plenty. we heard from our driving hosts that this guy is out here year round. the worst of storms...and there he is. pretty dog. on the one side he has lovely views, but still seems sad to spend your entire life on that one little chain.
we did not see loose dogs though. the wildlife do have rabies and so i suspect loose dogs do not get too many opportunities to prove they do not have rabies.
hides were often seen laying about in yards. wolf? not sure. we saw really zero live animals aside from birds out there.
one of our driving hosts has property on cake eater road. she loves that she will one day live on cake eater road. she has piling in for her potential home, but has never built beyond that.
the college in Barrow's sign. i think it's a community 2 year college, not sure what all they offer. my guess is that class sizes are small.
the area they have the college used to be military, quonset huts. this one was the old theater. they have no theater now.
whale bones laying about.
raining today. went out walking with Blossom. Homestead, across fire break area to moose meadow and then a return. for sure signs of fall colors and mushrooms coming through. we enjoyed our 3.5 mile walk in the rain. then i had to hit the grocery store...out of everything. never really restocked it seems when i returned. tacos tonight. always a favorite.
3 nights of work behind me. these are out at the fish camp. pretty close to town so i'm not sure many stay out there all that much, but it is a chance to go "camping" i guess. our driving hosts have a place out there of their mothers. we were told that the outhouse had been stolen and had never been found. they always look around and see if they can find this item.
not sure where one hides an outhouse in Barrow? or why one would steal an outhouse?
this is one of those seal skin boats i've mentioned several times no doubt. this one still had the seal skin attached so it was cool to be able to get an idea of how they do that. i guess they will often pull the boats into that work room at the museum to work on getting the skins on them. that would be fun to watch.
basketball is loved in many Alaskan bush communities. so always fun to see the hoops set up all over. sports are rough out there i'm sure. i suspect many rules are improvised to accommadate the various team members available.
today has kind of gotten away from me. happy i walked the dog. the week was not my best dog walking week. yesterday i woke in time but i got very busy doing chores, the day before i got to bed late and woke up way later than usual. always feel guilty if i skip the walk but i must say the dogs are older and chill. we did chill in the back yard both days and i through the frisbee for Blossom and she got to lay in her puddle pool. makes me ponder the puppy thing...Blossom is for sure the house princess though and i suspect that would be cruel. would hate to break her spirit.
always love scenes of life in the bush. it's just so different than life in Anchorage and life in Anchorage can still be pretty different than life in the lower 48.
each community has it's own quirks and feel about it. people still kind of look at you strange...you went to Barrow? happy i got the chance to check out Barrow.
another basketball hoop.
my week was spent at the adult icu, the peds icu and then the pcu. kept busy. of course, i'm not in peds all that often and i really felt like i had gotten brainless.was getting myself all confused switching mcq to mg. i've always been more of an adult nurse and sometimes the peds will switch to mcq when adults always do mg. it's just tough to make your brain switch sometimes...the doses seem so tiny....the doc was looking at me like i'm an idiot...but i'd always rather double check stuff and look like an idiot that screw up.
later, she was still in an irritable mood ( not uncommon for this particular doc) i asked for a bolus and i almost said, "do you want that bolus in micrograms?" but she often lacks a sense of humor. even later she had switched to her calmer mood and i was able to slip that joke in and recall another time i had opted to not tell a joke, that i thought was hysterical, because i really didn't want to see her head explode. timing is everything with jokes. that other time was years ago. some kid had a bolt in his or her brain. we'd bathed and changed the linen without event and then soon after we finished that dang thing just slipped right out of the brain. i had to call at like 3 am...i almost said,"don't worry we slipped it right back in" which nobody would ever do!!! her head would have for sure exploded though.
driftwood swingsets. nothing too fancy out at camp...
i ordered a home free standing ice machine. a friend has one. those little ice trays are a pain, my freezer doesn't have an ice machine and no ice in the door. i'm pretty excited. i really need a bigger kitchen. hopefully one day.
bought this cheap and seemingly easy to put together cat toy today as well. so far i'm not impressed and there were many swear words. that is how i can tell my stress level in putting things together. i also was getting my bike onto the bike rack i bought so i can exercise. now i have to blow up the tires a bit more and figure out if i have it on there right.
this is really just a thin split of land that leads out to Point Barrow. on the one side is the Chukchi Sea and on the other side of the point is the Beauford Sea. at the point the two seas of the Arctic Ocean meet up. must be distinct as our guide did tell us it can get fairly treacherous in that area.
in general the area is not deep ocean. many miles before it drops off, which is why it's such rich feeding grounds. Russia is attempting to lay claim to pretty much all of the Arctic for oil exploration. as the ice retreats back more and more ship traffic and oil exploration will no doubt cause grief for the wildlife up there who have lived in relative peace for thousands of years.
seal skin boat on a sled.
in the background you can see the fall colors filling the tundra...and this was late July, early August.
the right whales seem to be most in danger of being lost from what i've read. i believe they were called "right" whales because they were the right whales to kill. lawsuits and demonstrations are happening in an attempt to prevent oil drilling up on the North Slope. a major concern with the drilling besides increased traffic and noise that would impact the wildlife is the incredibly high risk of an oil spill. cleaning an oil spill in the frozen north would be nearly impossible. it would be devastating beyond anything we have ever witnessed to the land and wildlife populations.
sadly, only minimal preparations or equipment are available and ready for an event. humans often put the cart before the horse or mule or whatever that saying is. we move forward and just hope that the bad stuff that can happen won't happen. oil spills do happen...think Prince William Sound, think Gulf.
these palm trees are obviously not real palm trees...there are no trees of any kind in the northern regions...these are created from drift wood and baleen.
i feel the same about the nuclear power plants...they just have never figured out what to do with the waste nor do they have any sort of fail safe solutions for these nuclear disasters that seems to happen from time to time. ie: Chernobyl or Japans earthquake disaster.
another home made swing set...with a milk crate swing seat
interestingly decorated roof. bones, little houses and tonka trucks.
a few more of the baleen palm trees. of course, we had to get our photo ops here. many times over actually.
we got some bad spice in Anchorage apparently. guess the EMS guys have been running around like crazy helping with spice overdoses. must be some bad stuff out there.
another day is coming to an end and my to do list seems to be never ending. sleep and walk..those things i seem to always check off the list. i do make my way to work as scheduled as well.
the walrus cam is off air. boo hoo. i am for sure going through walrus withdrawal. it will be back next year. i'm not sure if that means the Annenberg Foundation has promised to foot the entire budget or if other entities will also kick in. i'd rather have stable budgets from a variety of government sources. federal fish and wildlife services as the walrus are a federally managed species and the state of Alaska fish and game should also pay part of the bill. too remote to take risks with budgets. if anyone hopes to visit (for pleasure or for research) , they need to know in advance that staff will be there and for transportation to this remote island. would love it if Charlie of explore.org and the Annenberg Family would visit the island himself. i suspect once he actually experienced it live...he'd be hooked.
ideas float around in my head all the time. a book that could recount the experiences of the past rangers who have been out there would be fascinating and would be great if sales of that could go to the budget. could i pull that off? i did post the POTUS number and a script for people, also posted the fish and game email addresses in hopes they'd get a few emails at least regarding Round Island. if i hadn't worked the last 3 nights i'd stay up later and work on a commentary piece. may write some notes in bed as i drift off. then i can hope i can read some of it tomorrow. will just order the stickers i think on Monday. these things are always more than you think in your head they should be. stickers are good at getting word out. people put them on their mugs at work and what not...gets the conversations started.
totally messed up a co-workers name last night. i'm always terrible at memorizing names. hell i've never been very good at memorizing anything. when you start to get older you start to worry that it's early dementia or something...you have to remind yourself you have never been good at these things...i, in no way or form, have any sort of photographic memory. i forget way more than i remember and always have. embarrassing when it's a co-workers name...one that you have worked with a fair amount. we do always have fun working together.
we are still getting a fair number of cruise ship patients. nobody wants to take their lasix when they are on vacation. it is a super common issue. who wants to hassle the peeing on vacation. it does tend to bit ya in the arse though. there is a reason these folks are taking lasix...
i thought this fish camp looked pretty nice, especially compared to others out there. neat, well made.
more of the fall tundra and homemade swing
i shall turn in and see what adventures await me tomorrow.
thankful for: A. being willing to look stupid and ask stuff rather than try and fudge my way through with negative consequences. B. walks in the rain. easy to forget how pleasant they are until you are out on the trail. C. mushrooms..they are coming back for their short season..as are the berries.
have lived in alaska since 1995, lived in ketchikan for 6 years and here in anchorage since 2001. it's a wonderful place and i enjoy getting out nearly daily for a walk/hike/stroll or ramble. enjoy the pics