Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Back from Byers Cabin

 i'm so far behind...but these are all in Denali National Park.  wait til you see the pics from this weekend!!
 was worried that i would be going alone to the cabin at Byers in Denali State Park..but in the end it was a lovely weekend with great friends.
 TO and family opted to join for a drive across the Denali Highway. we all left Sunday and headed to Paxson. it was looking rainy in Anchorage but as we headed toward Palmer i could see some blue skies ahead.  we also passed a beautiful family of swans walking right by the side of the road.  no way to stop and snap a photo and feared any attempt may drive the swan family into traffic.
 no fair traffic so perhaps the threat of bad weather was on our side.  the weather got better and better the further we drove.
 the plan was to meet up at Tangle Lakes Campground for the night and drive across the Denali Highway the next day.  we had beautiful color coming up the Glenn Highway. i stopped lots.  happily we made it to Tangle Lakes at a reasonable time.  TO and crew got there much earlier so they were settled in and off for a walk.  i opted to just sleep in the car.
 temps had to have been in the 30's that night and my sleep was a bit fitful as i kept getting cold.  silly me thought i could just get away with sleeping in my the wee hours i went ahead and put the liner in the sleeping bag and finally got some sleep....that is after braving the cold for a bathroom break. i never need to get up in the middle of the night to pee unless i am out annoying.  the skies were clear but i never noted any northern lights that night.  i was ready....
 these shots are from my rapid run/walk in Denali National Park Savage Creek Trail.  always a nice stretch.
 amazingly i got my steps in this weekend despite all the driving.  stopped and took walks.  today...i don't think i will  be so dilligent.  Blossom seems tired as well.
 we got up and did a walk before we started out drive.  i left before TO and family as clearly i stop more often.  we figured they'd catch up. they almost did.  they were like a mile back from me when i hit Cantwell and stopped for gas.  they passed me then and headed for Byers.
 the colors on the Denali Highway this weekend were at peak for sure.  Amazing!!  there were some storm clouds and then some areas of blue skies.  it came and went.  tried to cruise a bit so that we wouldn't get to Byers too late.  not wanting to walk that little 1/2 mile trail to the cabin in the dark.
 only 2 trips in as i returned with TO and family(who were headed back to Anchorage after leaving us behind).  there was no wood at the cabin and it was looking like rain.  cabin #2  has the best views of Denali (the big mountain that recently got it's name back).  as we walked to the front of the cabin the first trip in we saw the top of the mountain peeking out from the clouds.
 and that was the last we saw of that mountain.  haha.  the rain came.  TO and i managed a short walk to the bridge to cap off the day before settling into the cabin for the night.  she took the loft.  the door wouldn't stay shut from the outside without putting a small piece of wood through the hinge...makes you feel pretty confident that a bear would not enter...haha.
 as we settled in i decided i'd put the wagon in front of the door on the inside to slow a potential bears entrance...all that work to then notice that the lock on the inside of the door worked fine.  not that a bolted door would totally prevent a bear entrance...but it did feel more secure suddenly.
 at some point i saw lights flashing...the cabin is in the woods where one wouldn't expect to see any lights.  we finally figured it must be a car in the parking lot and the lights just carried that 1/2 mile distance.  when it's pitch black out i guess. after a bit we heard bear bells and talking.  the folks from cabin #3 beyond ours must have arrived.
 my concerns quickly resolved as i figured if someone was coming out there to attack us...surely they would not be wearing bear bells.
 night two of not sleeping well though as i got a bit of a migraine...probably from 2 days of driving a car.  knots.
 bridge is the turnaround point on the Savage Creek Trail
the rain fell all night, sometimes super hard, sometimes less hard....but it kept coming down.  TO and i donned rain gear in the morning and headed out to take the walk around the lake.  it's just over 5 miles.  TO had only been to the cabin in the winters. i've only been in non-winter time.  i think she enjoyed seeing stuff she had no idea was there.
 it was a bit bushy and we saw loads of spawned out salmon in the lake...suddenly..i felt the need to call out.  i experimented with various calls.  we never actually saw any bear tracks or scat though so i suspect we were fine.  bears do enjoy their salmon though. TO kept stopping as there were still some tasty blueberries to be had on the trail route.
 as we started to come around the other side of the lake we ran into a group of tourists on a walk with a guide.  they had heard me making lots of noise and they were missing a hiker.  i can't recall his name..hmm.  we assured them we'd not run into anyone on our loop thus far. we did run into happily all was well.  we were wondering what these poor tourists were getting charged to take this walk.
 we returned to the cabin wet and hungry. i started a fire ( 1 match, yes i rock) and we warmed up by  the fire.  those cabins are toasty with a fire in the wood stove.  there is no running water or electricity.  cabin means different things to different folks.
 our friend SH arrived.  there is no cell phone coverage so we weren't sure who would turn it was great that she braved the rain and joined us for the night.  that rain never did stop so we kept the fire going, poured the wine and just enjoyed chatting and laughing into the night.
 last night i slept pretty dang well, thanks to the assistance of pharmacuticals.  we woke early..thank you Miss Blossom and headed out pretty fast.  still raining and SH had to work later that day
 we packed up so fast we forgot to fill in the log book.  those cabins all have books that guests tend to write in as a journal.  had to share that we saw an entry from our current Mayor...was it him or did someone create an entry for him.  it was from earlier this month.  in the comments, he said it had rained for them and that he was missing hearing the latest antics from Donald Trump. haha.  we may never know.  pretty funny though.  some of the entries are pretty funny, some draw pictures.  poems...must be entertaining reading for the BLM folks.
 i'll be having a roommate for a few weeks.  a work friend needed a place to crash between apartments so i said i was chill with that.
 today has been unpacking and laundry.
 Rio did not join on the trip.  thank you VM for staying here.  hope you are feeling better.  Rio and i had a bit of a meltdown before i left and she was still super anxious that i would leave her again when i got back.  took a few hours of love and attention but she has finally settled in again to her routine and i hear snoring.  she is a great dog..a bit silly about this separation stuff. she was 2 when i adopted her and she's 11 would think she would have caught on by now.
 always hate leaving her behind but i must say it was so much easier without the lovely neurotic dog on the road.  she has such short hair too that she was trembling and chilly a few weeks back in Fairbanks..can't imagine how she would have done in the cold temps at Tangle Lakes. at her age its really best for her to not be stressed joining on these trips but she is also stressed being left behind.  it's a no win situation for sure.
 gotta get my calendar for WARIS completed and then plan my Thanksgiving trip to California.  that dang to do list is ever growing and never ending.
 my life is pretty sweet though.  i don't feel like i've done all that much this summer but really....i'm way behind on the pictures so clearly i've done quite a bit.
 back to work for my run tomorrow night.  more news to catch up on.  have been off the grid as it were for the past 3 days.  amazing how much you miss.
 it was great to get us girls together for a night. we were last really together in Denali National Park at our flower course.
 we were talking a bit about being teenagers and trying to help young girls go through all that awkwardness.  it's tough being a teen.  i was super shy and awkward...and chunky.  my mother made sure and let me know i was chunky...she was really just afraid i'd really get obese as she had gained quite a bit of weight ( but she had also had 7 kids in 10 years which can take a toll on a body). in most things in life.  i suspect my mother meant well, but it did not help my self esteem during those rough and awkward years.
 all the positive you can bring to a young girls life can be erased quickly by a few less than positive comments.  we tend to believe all the negative that is directed at us and not believe the positive i find anyway. when people give me compliments i am still apt to listen to the little mean voice in my head that says they are just being nice and they don't really mean it.  but give me a negative comment and i will find myself believing it to the core...why is that?  why are we so hard on ourselves.
 girls can be tough on girls too though.  i'm sure there were some less than kind statements made to me as a teen that impacted me.  i recall i went to a local store and the clerk looked at me and just said,"wow you've put on weight".  really put a dent on my ability to enjoy the slurpee and candy bar i was purchasing.
 negative comments about my weight got me so self conscious that i felt i shouldn't put on shorts or swimsuits....this of course made me hide and not exercise as much when i had previously been a pretty active kid.  in the end, when you look back at yourself you realize you really weren't  a "fat" kid.  i'd put on a bit of weight, as many adolescents do, but it wasn't as bad as my head convinced me it was.
 not sure how to protect young kids from themselves and from comments that will be made to them by rude and insensitive people.
 as for how to deal with dating...can't say as i have much advice there either.  i've always felt like i was out of my league in the whole dating game.  so often in life stuff just looks so easy for others when it just feels strange to me.  it comes down to self esteem.  either you have it or you don't.  if you don't, it's just always something you will have to battle some with. how do you teach yourself that a compliment given has truth in it....that the person giving you the compliment actually believes the things they are saying.  how do you stop yourself from taking the criticism and tearing yourself down rather than accept that not everyone will like you and you won't like everyone and just move forward.  how do you convince yourself you are worthy of love?  how do you weed through all the frogs to find a prince?
 of course, i was going through a lot of soul searching regarding religion in my teens and twenties.  i convinced myself that i was looking for some sort of soulmate but looking back i was in no position or place to be open to that.  so i dated a lot and had many boyfriends and in truth i know i broke some hearts.  i just needed to figure out some stuff before i settled down.  some women are wild and can't be tamed easily.  i needed to be wild, i needed to be free.  i was always chase me and i'll run and they chased and i ran.  they crowded, i'd bolt.  i didn't need them, i wanted them, they needed to be needed i think . it's tough for strong willed and independent women to find a mate sometimes.  
 wasn't allowed to date until i was 16...not that anyone was waiting for that day to ask me.  i was a pretty slow starter in the dating world.  my twenties and thirties i kept pretty active though.  nobody worked out though.  like i said...i'm not sure i was as open to the idea as i thought i was at the time.  i have never fit into the usual life i guess i will continue to run wild, until i find someone just as wild to run with.  ( that was from a sex and the city episode).  this imaginary mate would have to be patient and take the time to get to know me.  he'd have to give me freedom and be honest and i'd have to trust him and feel safe.
 i'm not spending too much of my time waiting for that at this point of life.  the odds get lower and lower as you get older and you do get set in your ways. i never believed that when i was young, but it's true.  life is good, you have to be pretty great to tempt me away from this good life i have.
 it's after 10 pm and i'm tired.  driving does does laundry.  haha.
 not many flowers left out there.
grateful for:  A.  safe travels again.  always a bonus B.  no bear attack/sightings C.  that Rio is settling down.  poor sweet dog...

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