Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Round Island and Kennicott

 day turned sunny in Anchorage eventually.  spent the better part of the day outside.  yard work in the morning.  part of yard work is picking up dog poop and then mowing..of course, letting the pups play in the hose is also part of yard work.  haha.  above are some cormorants.  love that the iridescence of their feathers shows up so clearly.
 sounds like it's been windy on the island so probably some egg loss with that.  birds off nests which could be enough to kill the occupants of the eggs if the ravens and fox don't get them.
 was meeting a friends new puppy, Ginger, so wanted to wear the pups out a little first. so we again hit the dog park.  my friend texted right after that walk so we headed over to meet her and the wee one.  her baby is a bit of a tank.  so cute.  the pups all got along great Ivy only jumped on my friend once and didn't jump on anyone but me at the dog park today.  they are sleeping as I write. happy worn out dogs.
 i returned home to more yard work.  got nice how could i not be outside.  besides...i had broke down and taken one of my last remaining narcotic pills from my knee surgery a few years back.  it is the only thing that makes my back pain free.
 these are heading over to the bird overlook.
 gull...lots of those.  they have fancier names but i am not a birder.  i only know general bird names.
 the trail up
 the bear that killed that teenager over the weekend has been killed.  i guess there were quite a few black bears roaming around on those trails by Bird Ridge.  fish and game actually killed a total of 4 bears. always sad, but the reality is we do not have a shortage of bears, the meat will no doubt be harvested and given to shelters. there were many comments, of course, (so many trolls on line that apparently know everything and are right about everything) anger over the loss of bear life.  why kill all 4 bears.  hard to tell on that terrain if one bear is the actual bear that was the one that attacked.  that bear was shot in the face but had run away.  can't always see those details and the terrain there is steep and brush covered.
 maybe it took a few bears before they got to the actual bear that had taken the life.  or perhaps, they thought they should go ahead and thin the bear numbers in the area after the attack and since the trails were clear of humans. yes, bears were here before us....but the reality is too many bears and too many humans in one place leads to too many negative encounters.  best to avoid more bear deaths over the summer. if you don't you will get vigilante bear killers out there and often people who decide to take care of issues do so poorly.  i will defer to fish and game.  again, remember there is no shortage of bears black or brown in the state of AK.
 another fox sighting on the island.
 not sure why this guy was panting...it was hot out there.  it was hot in Kennicott.  I'm not complaining or anything but i admit i do not tolerate heat well.  amazing how you adapt after living here and heat is relative.  it was probably in the 60's both days.  for some reason 60 up here feels extreme.  my fingers were sausages after my Kennicott hike.  this of course, left me freaking out that perhaps i have a valve issue or cardiomyopathy.  amazing how one can come to all sorts of conclusions when one works in medicine.  i always go to the worst scenario.  of course, it could be that i was eating the food at the lodge and maybe they just put in more salt than i am used to consuming.  food was good but not really stuff i take the time to cook up for myself.
 much talk of this poor guy Otto Warmbier.  not sure exactly why he chose to go to N.K in the first place.  would not be on my list of places i want to vacation.  it's a risk.  people do tend to forget that they are not really protected as US citizens in other nations nor do they have the same rights.  he got caught attempting to steal a poster and sentenced to 15 years hard labor.  iitoo and the guys family were quick to blame Obama, of course.  so old the Blame Obama game.  the only reason he was returned now was because he was in a coma and NK didn't want him to die there no doubt.
 iitoo had 5 months and he didn't get a release.  there is only so much our nation can do for people who chose to go to NK.  we will see how quickly iitoo gets the other 3 out.  i would be happy if he was able to rescue them though.  none of this is as easy as he likes to pretend it is.  he lies and his followers believe him.  didn't he say he'd finish off the terrorists I in like 30 days..they are still there, doing what they do. the family does not wish to have their son examined further to determine how he came to be in a coma.  obviously, NK was less than forthcoming in the facts.  nations that so easily kill off their own citizens are probably best to be avoided.
 the screw your health care bill is supposed to be available for viewing for a few hours tomorrow.  from all guesses it will make the bill that got through the congress look kind.  typical GOP help the wealthy and screw the needy mentality.  Ossoff lost, it was close but still the Dems need to figure out how to win. damage is being done to our Democracy.  i know many think that is over stating the truth, but we have a man in the oval office who is corrupt, selfish and hell bent on making as much personal profit for himself and others like him as he can.  the checks and balances that people kept telling me would keep iitoo in check and balance...seem to be failing.
 the GOP seems to remain in lock step with whatever craziness comes out.   at least with HRC we would have had checks and balances in place.  now we have a rogue administration it seems.
 yawn...
 the investigations continue.  thankfully, he has disrespected and ridiculed everyone who is in charge of the investigations which seems like a silly thing to do.  they are no doubt hell bent to prove him incompetent and corrupt.  he can only hide for so long.  still hoping the final check and balances will hold when it comes to the courts and the media.  they had prevented any camera's or microphones in the press briefings for 8 days before finally allowing them in again.  this is not normal. none of it is normal.  any attempt to normalize this is just an alteration of the facts.  if HRC or Obama had done any of this their wrath would be falling down.
 it took years though for all the truth to be unraveled in the watergate stuff and presumably this may be much deeper and possibly involves another nation, a nation that is not known for it's fabulous relationship with our nation.
 RUs did more cyber warfare during the 2016 election that we, the people, previously knew.  several news agencies reporting.  over 20 and less than 40 states had cyber intruders. attempts were made to alter or delete voter data.  during election day there were some places that had resorted to paper due to glitches...was Rus involved in these glitches? were they more successful in their impact than we knew previously.  this would have slowed down getting voters checked in.  it may have impeded some from voting.  there is even some evidence that these glitches happened more in more Dem leaning areas in some states.
 current iitoo still doesn't even want to acknowledge that Rus was involved. pretty fishy since every other government agency seems to acknowledge this as fact.  it would probably help if our Potus was desirous to get the answers to this...why isn't he?  hmm.
 love when their back flippers are all fanned out.
 everyone in DC seems to be getting personal lawyers.   many are losing their jobs in government but lawyers will have a boon because of this POTUS.  haha.
 a Denali climber survived after 15 hours wedged into a crevasse.  i think they said his body temperature was like 79 when they pulled him out.  he had reached the summit and fell on the way back down.  he is from Slovakia. should be all better for the most part and heading home.
 was reading this novel, but it's been annoying. some books about medical stuff turn out to be just to filled with crap that i can't finish them.  this is one of those.  i get the idea of it.  a nurse, who is black, ends up with a patient/family who are skin heads.  they request she not have anything to do with the babies care.  then an emergency arises and she doesn't render aid initially because she's been told to not touch the baby.  within days it seems her license is revoked and she is in prison.  no nurse i know would watch a baby die no matter how heinous the parents are.  it just doesn't happen.  anyway....just too many things that were clearly not back checked by the author.  i will move on to another novel i believe.
 still waiting for the base for my little library. he is supposed to be working on it now though so hopefully soon.  excited to get it painted and out there.  may have to have a little library opening party.  not sure how one does that but a welcome for the neighbors.
 then they can ask questions as well i think. may just chill out there on the new bench with some treats and beverages i guess.  good to meet more neighbors anyway i guess.
 cute guy at first beach.  sat with him for a bit.
 guess there are several out on first beach right now.  the camera hasn't switched over from main beach.  looked to be several walrus last i looked at the end of the island.
 cormorant in flight
 puffin in flight.
 little butterfly.
 i think a big butterfly hit my windshield...that or a small bird on that drive. it was a lot of blood for a regular insect.
 gotta get that windshield fixed.  it's so banged up. waiting for it to just fall apart one day.  also need to get on the kitchen remodel stuff.  crap is falling apart.  time to just gut and redo.
 the rest are from the Kennicott trek.
 liked this of the ash hearts on the glacier.  seemed a good spot for the pups
 tried to load this next to another picture i took several years before. above is the Worthington Glacier as i saw it Monday.  it seemed like it had receded a great deal. 5 pics below is how the glacier looked back in 2003. it really has receded a lot!! crazy.
 the main mine building from the top.
 me attempting a selfie with the ash hearts .
 beautiful scenery along the trail
 below is 2003 shot of the glacier.
 the USS Fitzgerald is a destroyer that ended up in a bad crash with a container ship from Japan.  how this happened is still unknown. 7 men did die. they were found dead in areas that had taken on water.  very sad.  no idea how this accident could have happened.  these ships generally know where every other ship is around them.
 a couple paddled from Homer to Seward and there the met friends who joined them.  they all then mountain biked and pack rafted back to Homer.  love how many adventurous folks there are up here.  it's great to be surrounded by these souls.  people who embrace life and who live without much fear.  it's pretty amazing.
 as if my windshield wasn't damaged enough a huge rock made this big ding in the windshield.  i was sure the entire glass would collapse.  it survived though.
 thought this pic below turned out pretty nice.  the building on the left is the old hospital i guess. in the tour the guy said all the buildings were red except 3.  the hospital, the single women's bunk house and the owners house or managers. whoever was in charge.
 embarrassing moment on the trail.  ran into some woman from another country.  she didn't want to hike alone so i said I'd join her...i had to make a pit stop.  when i returned she was gone.  now i wonder...did she see me have to leave the outhouse with my pants down to locate some leaves as there was no toilet paper in there and i hadn't noticed.  how embarrassing is that?  we have all had embarrassing bathroom moments.  especially those of us in AK who hike and adventure.
 can't recall the details of a story our guide told us.  she and her now husband bonded over the entire trip they took...if you can survive kayaking from Washington State to Skagway together you can survive anything I'd guess.  we were all laughing though.  on a trip like that you get to know each other intimately.  I'm not sure i impressed this international visitor though.  apparently, i was more scary than a possible bear encounter.  walk fast and make a lot of noise i guess
 thought this was funny at Worthington Glacier...check out all these matching RV rentals.  well i better go look at more pictures from the trip.  below is on the side of the road headed towards Valdez. back to work tomorrow.
grateful for:  A.  old friends that no matter how much time passes remain the same  B.  independence  C.  pain free moments.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

sea lions at Round Island

 loved the ones of them jumping off the rocks. the sea lions are much faster moving.  kind of fun to watch the difference between the two animals.
 a baby walrus, just 120 pounds, climbed onto a gold dredging boat in Nome.  little guy was still there in the morning.  no mother in sight so the guys who own/work the boat called in for rescue.  the little guy was shipped to the SeaLife Center and will be raised there.  not out of the woods yet of course, the walrus need a great deal of time and attention.  i messaged them to ask if they need volunteers...that would be so fun!
 not many walrus on the island today.
 rain in Anchorage.  it was a great excuse for me to sleep in and be lazy.  did finally get the dogs out to the dog park.  we must have walked past this one moose.  i turned around and there he was munching away on trees.  so we did not return that way.  the pups were headed towards the moose looking for their tennis ball when i saw the moose so i called to them and they quickly grabbed the left tennis ball and came right to me...just like good dogs!!
 i have a few pretty good bites on me.  my bites only really swell up like this when it's biting flies...plenty of those in Kennicott. so I'm scratching...I'm not supposed to be.
 the tiny wasp nest on my front porch was pretty trashed from the bleach i sprayed it with.  i did notice some wasps in there again trying to rebuild.  we will have to see how determined they are. i sprayed it again.  the water/bleach does seem to really degrade the composition of the nest.  they can build elsewhere.  my sister mentioned i should spray raid on them.
 i have no raid.  we really don't have much use for raid up here.  the bugs we deal with are mostly just mosquito's and biting flies.  we have dragonflies and some spiders yes, but really raid is just not something that one keeps on hand. it made me smile to realize that nope, i got no raid.  I'm not a big fan of bugs...i know they have their purpose and I'm happy for their existence for this reason..i just would rather not have my life cross with theirs all that often.  summers is plenty.
 fun rock formation on the other side of the island.
 the rain today also prevented me from needing to mow the lawn. haha.  i see that the pups have started digging a few holes.  with Blossom I'd read that you put their poop in the hole and that discourages them from digging in the same spot.  then i guess it's like the wasp...a matter of who is more stubborn.  the pups can dig new holes but soon there will be poop buried all over i guess.  we shall see. Ivy Rose is not a usual dog.  hehe.
 she seems to be attempting to wrestle with me like she does with Tusker.  I'm trying to persuade her that this is not a good idea.  she is so sweet, the last thing i ever want to do is break her spirit. i have thought that many times over these months.  so far i think i have managed to deal with her exuberance without breaking her little heart.
 have thought a few times about dogs like her. super sweet but with some higher energy needs.  often they end up in the shelters or worse, beaten down to submission.  love her and her silly personality.  thankful to have the calmer Tusker as a balance too though.
 he can be a rascal too sometimes though. he appears quite angelic but he's just less obvious about it when he misbehaves.  he cracks me up.  he knows that Ivy has the energy and wants to make everyone happy.  he lets her do the work then just steals whatever toy she has.  she really just hands him whatever toy she has that he wants.  now he lets her do the swimming to get the toy and mostly waits on the shore to snag it from her...she doesn't seem the least bit upset over this and runs back just as happy as if she herself were carrying the toy to me.
 at home, she picks a toy she likes and he steals it, she just goes and selects another toy...he steals that.  she again moves on to another toy.  she is really tolerant. in general she is the more obedient dog. she wants to make you happy.  she has her jumping times, but whatever you ask of her she will do...Tusker, well, he can be a little more distracted.
 the toe is missing for this bar in the Yukon.  a human toe is preserved in salt i think and placed in drinks at this bar. the person must touch the toe to their lips to get credit.  someone stole the toe though. funny as there was a family that joined us Sunday night...the night after the heist.  the father had done the toe drink when they were in the Yukon...i think it was him. don't think they were there the night before though. so i think he's safe. there is a fine for stealing/swallowing the toe.  they have lost a few.  a few have been willed to the bar or donated after a toe amputation.  it's pretty gross really...would i do it?  hmm. may have to find out one day.
 liked these jumping sea lions shots...he totally landed on his swimming buddy though.

 what else are your buddies for i guess.
 didn't miss any new good news in the realm of politics. just the same stuff. the GOP supporting our new dictator in his role.  secret back door meetings with just a handful of mostly white males to determine the fate of the health care system for all.  why would you want input from anyone else for that.  of course, then they will expect the rest of the GOP to fall in line and vote it in with minimal to no discussion...i think they will have like 10 hours to look at it all.  they don't even trust their own senators to not leak the hell they are creating.  they will no doubt fall in line.  this one is all on the GOP though.  it may be they are like alcoholics or drug addicts and they feel the need to take our nation to rock bottom before we can begin to pick up the pieces and recover.
 those who are wealthy will be thrilled though, RUs will be thrilled.  the poor, the elderly, the women, the children, the middle class be dammed.
 i make calls, write emails but sadly, this group that are in power have little regard for the people they are supposed to serve. most Republicans seem to be minimally concerned as well.  a POTUS that doesn't allow cameras or recording devices into press briefings.  so many things are concerning at many levels to me, but to them...it seems if it gets their agenda through and/or screws the liberals then who cares.  it's amazing what is tolerated by these guys that would never have been tolerated if they were Dems.
 by most accounts this man running our nation is a not stable.  hoping the many investigations bring the truth to light.  not that the truth will ever be believed by his supporters.  many of whom seem to care less about truth and still cling to the untruths they were told the entire campaign and continue to be told.
 more jumping.
 splash. of course, the walrus would make a bigger splash.  less graceful though.
 i still have tomorrow off.  chilling with the pups is always a good day.  they seem pretty happy to chill with me as well.
 making some noise...
 it is a noisy area...totally different noises than over with the walrus.
 the sea lions are equally annoyed with each other at times though, but seem to make up quickly and enjoy chilling together for the most part.
 more cool rocks.
 it is tough to get motivated when the rain is coming down.  maybe why i do love rainy days sometimes.  it's a great excuse to be unmotivated.
 i am mostly unpacked again....as much as one unpacks in summer.  you always want to be ready for the next trip so it seems you never really fully unpack.
 each trip is so different and requires just a little different bag to carry stuff or gear.  i look at all the outdoor gear i have and what to get rid of.  you need this for this kind of trip and this for another kind of trip. i used my duffel bag with wheels on this one because of the foot bridge. it worked out perfect.  haven't needed that one for a bit.
 back is still sore.  didn't bother with ibuprofen.  that stuff does squat for my back pain and really all it's gonna do is shred my stomach lining.  not worth it.  stretching, trying not to sit too long.  walking is good.  laying down is good.  sitting...bad.  being summer though i doubt I'm giving it any time to heal.
 pretty flowers and peaceful days on the island in great weather.
 i totally got lucky in Kennicott weather wise as well.
 Tusker is busily de-stuffing a toy.  he's my de-stuffer. they also like to destroy old tennis balls. i have a lot of tennis balls.  i just toss as they destroy.  he's not a rapid destroyer like some dogs.  i think Huey was my worst de-stuffer.  had to get to that squeaker!!
 reds coming in.
 just cool how rocks form.  i don't know all that much about rocks and stuff.  i know volcano's, earthquakes impact them and sedimentary rock formation.  these look volcanic.
 in Kennicott a lot of evidence of rocks being moved by the glaciers.  when you see big boulders sitting around i think they are called incidentals.  there may be another word though.  they are randomly left behind as a glacier recedes.
 i did look at the pics i took of Worthington Glacier when i was there in 2003.  it has receded dramatically.  impressive and sad.  more sad that people refuse to see the bigger picture of what is happening on our planet.  it will happen whether they choose to believe it or not. many insisted the world was flat and refused to believe otherwise no matter what evidence was given to them. we all chose what we wish to believe.  facts be dammed i guess.
 the earth cares little about our choices or our facts.  species die off, humans are not immune to this.  we can be pretty arrogant though.  believing we have some power over this earth when the reality is the earth has every power over us. the cosmos has power over the earth.  one bad hit with an asteroid...forget about it.
 liked how these rocks ended up all stacked up.  somethings do end up appearing randomly orderly...which seems to contradictory.
 walrus skull. interesting always how the front of the face is so big and flat.
 a few bald eagles out there this time.
 these last are from my iphone pics of Kennicott...just to mix it up. my hard had did not fit well and the buildings have been shored up but i can't say that they appeared all that safe in the grand picture...still an interesting tour. just hope there isn't a rock slide or earthquake at that moment.  life is fleeting though, right.
 the tour takes you to the top of the big structure and then walks you down the many floors.  i think 14.  they build as they went and as they needed so it is pretty randomly built.  the biggest building you see in the pictures is where they broke down the rocks they dug up to release the copper. it was a multi step process.
 earlier that day i had gone for the walk to the Root Glacier.  easy to walk out on it.  i just took my winter cleats.  others did the official tour and were given ice crampons.  they went a bit further out on the glacier than i went on my own.  i was good with that.  i did pull out the ashes of the dogs ( and Butch in spirit).  figured I'd leave some on the glacier and let them take the journey with the glacier.  should be quite the adventure.  they will become the small particles that get left behind as the glacier recedes...the moraine.  that will eventually be the base of plant and animal life in the valley that gets left behind.
 lots of very thin/steep stairs through the tour getting down the multiple floors.
 this photo was up in the hotel.  poor horse. on snow shoes made just for him.  I'm sure it was rough times for those horses. lots of hard work.  kind of a funny picture though.
 sunset.  not really that impressive sunsets from there that i saw.  still pretty. mostly what i loved in the mornings and evenings were the shadowing on the moraine.  that was really beautiful.  that was the view from the hotel.  well worth the visit....highly recommend it to anyone else.
 another of the ash hearts.  the couple i ate with that night noticed my necklace of Blossom.  they were dog lovers as well.  they had recently lost their jack Russell's...like mine one went one year the next the year after.  they were already scheduled to get 2 more jack Russell's. one an older retired breeder and the other will be much younger.  maybe a pup. not sure. they are excited.  i showed them my ash hearts on the glacier.  figured they would appreciate it.  others would probably just think I'm odd.  i am odd. i can live with that i guess.  i have so far.
thankful for: A.  lazy rainy days.  B.   comfortable beds that make my back feel better by morning C.  my father.  i kind of skipped over fathers day i guess.  he was there for us.  he sacrificed all for us.  he was honest and taught us to be decent humans.  to be honest and hardworking.  he may not have said he loved us but he showed he loved us...in truth that is much more important.