with over 20 years in this amazing place. it's never dull. i hope to enjoy years of exploration here.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
back from Round Island....for the last time I suspect
it is not an easy journey...exhausted from the experience getting to/from the island. once on the island time stops and you just have peace. it really does fill the soul.
as you can see i had great weather while i was on the island. originally i had planned tentatively to be on the island Sunday thru Friday. always time for more or less on either end. this time it was less.
as it was just me and i've been before i was happy with calm sea travels and sunshine even if it was just 2 nights and three days. they were stunning.
i really shouldn't complain but it was almost too hot. haha. i know, i know!! but you only have your tent and the cook tent to get out of the heat just like when it was cold and raining that is all you have to get out of the rain. no shade there. walked tons the second day especially. day one and two i was determined to see as much as i could
Alicia is off the island. we only saw each other briefly, but she had great weather as well so i'm happy she had a good trip.
view from the poo poo palace.
great sunsets both nights. not much sleep. so much light and so much to see and hear.
i did start up towards the big view overlooking the dragons spine...but it is totally steep and i have gotten worse at heights the older i get. out there alone it does seem like more risk than i should take. the pitch prevents those who are not capable of getting into too much trouble. help is hours away if you are lucky, days away if you are not. so apologies for chickening out on the big hike up and over. i had the weather for it but not the stomach. really wanted to get those shots one of these treks. the first time we were not allowed to attempt it. we had weather and i had youth on my side then. the second trip the weather was wet and windy so it would be more treacherous. this time age and fear got me.
plenty of walking. took a few to get my island legs back. for sure much tougher this time. there are trails with pretty good drop offs and the trails are all about 8-10 inches in width in most places. i had smartly brought a trekking pole which was helpful.
my pilot with Island Air texting while flying and heading to mountains. so an adventurous flight between Dillingham and Togiak. in the back of my plane was a drunk woman who at this point was screaming, "are we gonna crash" over and over...or similar. he didn't start texting until he got near the mountains and the flight got more bouncy. very bouncy returning to Dillingham as well, but that pilot was with Grant Air and was more focused on the job of flying.
my boat trips were both uneventful except that it was delayed at one end and i got picked up early on the other end. there is only one boat that takes people out there so you have to follow his schedule. weather and tides are also a huge factor in getting out to the island. nothing about getting out there is easy.
above and below are in Togiak at the B&B i stayed at two nights. at least there was a great view.
the fog rolled through Monday. it was mesmorizing. i was trapped though waiting for word from the boat captain about whether we'd be going or not. he'd sounded pretty sure that we would. said he'd pick me up around 3-4...but i got no word...took a few more hours to hear that no, we weren't going so that was a long and frustrating day. this was made more annoying because AT&T doesn't work in Dillingham or Togiak so i had no means of communicating. i finally even bought a small short term use phone that i then was unable to make work. another frustration of the day.
back on the island. i set up camp and enjoyed the day.
i think the temps were in the 60's!! dunked my head in the creek to cool off. kept dousing my hair band in it as well.
above was waiting for a flight out of Togiak on Thursday. we ran out of ocean as the tide was going out when we returned to Togiak so the boat was left in the 3 foot water to await the return of the tide and my gear and myself were loaded into the little zodiak and dragged out towards dry land. i felt a bit embarrassed having him drag me like a princess so i got out and started to hoof it myself on the mud. my boots kept getting sucked into the mud and i began to topple over repeatedly. Paul came back to help, i took off my boots and walked in the foot deep mud barefoot. i hosed off myself at a relatives house of his and then was dropped off at the airstrip to wait by the airstrip for the plane which was on the way from Dillingham. so i traveled coated in a layer of mud back to Anchorage. i think i did get bonus points for not being a baby about it all. i just laughed.
here again is the flight into Togiak with the texting pilot and the coming mountain range. scary!!
the cannery across the bay from Togiak i think. below was in Togiak as well. big rainbow Sunday night i think it was.
this is boat cove as we hauled gear up. the rangers traded out as well. Ryan and Margaret were super nice and carried my big bags for me...thanks guys!!
my tent down there. i'm up at cook tent i think
amazing clouds...so beautiful out there.
flight back from Dillingham. not one thing went according to plan on this trip...all the plans i made last week i had to alter and ad lib. crazy. i think that is Augustine, a volcano in the distance.
back on island...my i phone pics always load all jumbled. guess that fits this trip though.
not tons of walrus on the island but enough to keep me happy. best i guess was yesterday morning i just took my chair and hung out at flat rock. the tide was coming in and the walrus were jostling for positions. so lots of action. lots of chiming as walrus played near the rock. the day before i'd spent time sitting on my chair by my tent reading and watching the walrus parade by. swimming. that second night i guess a pair of walrus hauled out on the rocks right below my tent. got a good view of them right before i loaded for the return trip to Togiak.
also had one last fox sighting as i waited on the boat for the Russian guy who had done a day trip. a day trip meant an hour or so on the island. that guy booked so see what he could in that short time. yikes.
above is me waiting in Togiak Monday to find out if i was going or not. actually a pretty frustrating day for sure. really would have liked being able to call someone, even just to kill time. we really are pretty dependent on our phones these days. Esther, who runs the place, took me out for a 4 wheeler ride which at least killed some time.
cook tent is supplied. my perishables didn't have a chance in the heat. chocolate had it a bit rough too. as i prepped to leave i just laid out all my food, told Ryan to take anything he wanted (less for me to carry back and they will be there for a bit now before they get a break).
my back was sore from work before i even left...now it's really sore. did lots of stretches. hope they didn't catch that on the cameras...haha. my knee is also swollen. i think i'll ice it again before i crash for the night.
another shot of me waiting at the house in Togiak. below is the half stair case in boat cove to get up to camp area.
took all the sunset shots from inside the tent...far too tired and lazy to get out. they lasted forever so i'd just lay in the bag and read and then peek out. one night as i closed the bug fly a fox popped up from under the platform. he was too quick for me to get a picture but it was a treat. several quick fox sightings like that.
Togiak from the air
just a few walrus on flat rock as we arrived in boat cove.
me at a viewpoint. thanks MT for the cool walrus leggings. i took those off pretty fast as it was hot.
the little sticks are the boundaries. the grass goes beyond the rocks so they don't want you taking a tumble onto the beach below.
lots of sunsets....as i said they last for hours it seems. woke in the wee hours and saw a beautiful sunrise but i needed sleep and i just rolled over. haha
another random Togiak shot.
bags packed and waiting...waiting, waiting.....
arrival in boat cove.
from my tent platform as i set up camp.
will head to bed soon. just started looking through the many photos. below is the other half of the sunset shot. more to follow...but that is the start
thankful for: A. beautiful weather, sunshine B. safe flights C easy sea crossings.
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