Thursday, August 6, 2015

flightseeing and sightseeing....Barrow, AK

 nice day today meeting up with some old friends.  hopefully, some other old friends can meet up.  two friends from Ketchikan days are both in town..would be great if they could see each other.  these are with my smaller camera, i didn't take too many pics with it and most of the ones i took were from the travel to/from Barrow...both times.  these first ones are from Barrow trip one.  we flew past the arctic ocean and all that lovely ice out there.  i was looking for signs of walrus. we were a wee bit high up to really get that view and still the main ice pack was 30-40 miles off shore from the reports i hear.  it's moving all the time and can apparently move pretty quickly.
 leaving Prudhoe Bay
 back in the heat here.  it was actually not too bad out there for walking earlier today.  ran a few errands, did some work in the yard.  trying to repair some of the deck stuff that Blossom destroyed.  don't want the pets going under the deck.  hopefully, this holds for a bit.
 Fish and Game has still not given any funding back to Round Island and is still just waiting for groups outside to donate to them.  put some email contacts on the facebook and pages. will work tonight on my letter to the POUS as he will be coming to Alaska end of this month.  doubtful he will actually see or read my letter but it's always worth a try, right?  don't want to go down without trying.  it's not over.
 we have a larger audience to fight the fight and i hope to utilize the added walrus friends to try and protect Round Island.
 so walked with KR, whom i haven't walked with for ages it seems.  one of those friends though that no matter how long has passed it feels like not a day has passed.  met another one of those friends for lunch today, SJ.  always great to catch up.
 this picture below was the sad pictures i took to distract myself as we headed back towards Fairbanks...
 leaving the Barrow sunshine behind...never to be seen again.  it was mostly cloudy, misty and breezy for our actual on the ground visit to Barrow. we lost the best day we had to the mechanical issue at Alaska Air.  such a bummer.
 did like how the light was hitting all the boggy bits.
 miles and miles of nothing out there. that is how it is to fly in Alaska.

 and there is the Chena River.  we have arrived in Fairbanks.
 got my hair cut yesterday. too many layers i think and too short of layers..oddly i prefer how i cut it the first time.  oh well. it will grow and then i will just put it how i liked it again.
 i think this is take off the next day.  i switched over to my other camera right after we left.  there was lots of room on that flight and i had my entire row to myself.  love that!!

 we met our plane friends and they gave us a tour...thanks Kathleen!! she drove us all over that night.  it was well after midnight and, of course, totally light out, when we returned to the hotel that night.  she took us everywhere and snapped some fun photo's of us at the various tourist spots.
 these could be the next day though actually.  Val and i woke to sunshine, i rented a car and we booked to enjoy the light.  these are baleen palm trees that are out at fish camp.  a must stop tourist attraction.  haha
 i'm still going through pics from the bigger camera.  so far there are some fun ones in there.  i used the new lens pretty much the entire time and it worked great.
 these are self timer shots of the 4 of us after we picked them up and got them settled in at the hotel.
 eventually, they were wiped from travel and we headed back to the hotel to start over the next day. we never did stay up all night to watch the sun or the sunset....too cloudy.
 Libby, Michelle, Val and myself.
 moose head on a roof.
 bones scattered about.
 one of a few places to eat in Barrow.  not bad.  surprised they had nice crisp lettuce leaves.
 these are some dead eiders. the hunt to stock up on food for the winter seems to be on.  we saw this sight at several homes with various dead animals.
 we didn't see all that much live wildlife...but the dead wildlife was plentiful.
 we all loved this little home
 these are baleen still on the bone i think.  interesting to see it all stacked up as it would be in the whale.  does give you a better idea of how baleen works in a whale.
 still a strange site.  you are not in Kansas anymore, right?  as i said before it's a very different culture in this small northern community.  it wasn't all that many years ago that these folks relatives were nomadic.
 it was great to see kids outside, playing and all. many communities that i've been to that just isn't the case.  people were quite friendly as well, which was nice.
 quite a few dogs, but they were pretty much all on leash or tied to chains.  there is a fairly bad issue with rabies in many of these smaller, remote communities. loose dogs are probably at risk for being shot.  they supposedly have a small shelter, never saw that.  many of the dogs looked similar and i suspect they had similar bloodlines.  liked this puppy peeking out at me through the door.
 old homes, probably left over military quonset huts.
 search and rescue crew and below the Alaska Airlines terminal.  liked the big metal rings around the door to protect you from the winds.
 our resident smokers...ick.  i really don't do well with smoking and will probably be a bit more of a bitch on the next trip i plan and ban smoking. even though they were careful to smoke outside...the smoke attaches itself to people and their hair and clothes and it's still hard to breath i find.  our other friend noted that my coughing increased over the weekend and it's continued.  i have reactive airway disease from growing up in the smog of LA.  we did shame them a bit with the many decorated trashcans...many smokers in town.
 these are from the return trip, #2.
 Denali with the sun setting behind.
 my pictures were pretty crappy but you get the idea.
 it's 1 am and i'm still sweating in here.  it is hot up here!!
 with all this meat the kind folks of Barrow eat i was wondering how the folks in the past got enough nutrients. still not entirely sure. i know they found berries and ate those.  the guide mentioned that they have been known to mix the caribou gut contents with other stuff and eat that...ick.
 normal schedule this month, back to work tomorrow night.  will have to try and get a few road trips in before summer disappears.
 beautiful sunset from the plane that night.  it was behind us.  Barrow will start to lose day light fairly quickly i'm guessing.  it would be so odd to be in such darkness for so long.
 guess someone got mauled by a brown bear yesterday or the day before.  they were shipped to Anchorage, alive .    fairly stable by report.  not sure what the situation was. i do recall reading the person was running.  bears do enjoy running humans. often i see folks running with ear buds in which seems a pretty bad idea. in this place, you really need to make noise and be aware of your surroundings.
 the colors deepened.
 and now i shall write a rough draft and turn in for the night.  will add pictures as i find time.  meanwhile write to the fish and game folks and let them know you want Round Island funded...and not just by want the state to kick in and support it as well.  commissioner Sam Cotten at and Director Bruce Dale at
grateful for: A.  friends that last years and conversations that can restart where they left off last.  B.  breezes on hot days  C. mushrooms...i saw some out there today.

1 comment:

  1. Betsy you need to publish a book! Totally amazing!
    Thanks again for letting me be a part of your stories and for being a friend!