25 June, 2007

You Really Never Forget

So it seems you really *do* never forget how to ride a bicycle. It's been almost 20 years (scary!) since I rode on a regular basis. The last time I actually rode a bike (before tonight) was years & years ago. M came up to visit and we borrowed bikes to ride the coastal trail. I was a little wobbly on my first turn about the parking lot while I was testing models, but gained confidence with each pass. I tested three models and picked this one. It'll be one my skills can grow into - so we'll be buds for years to come!! =)

23 June, 2007


I've finally gotten around to planting some of the flowers for this season. Way later than normal - I usually have everything purchased sometime in May and planted by the first weekend in June. May was exceptionally busy (trip to SLC, camping) - and too cold anyway. I'll probably plant more tomorrow, but don't know if I'll have it all done this weekend. We'll see.

First 'Tunias

The Rest

18 June, 2007

Midnight Sun

This picture was taken on the 9th of June at 11:14pm - wahoo!!

The flip-side is that after Solstice, days start getting shorter. That time of year always gets here way too quickly for me!! Crazy, but the "official" start of summer is also the beginning of our shorter days and the herald of fall.

16 June, 2007


We went for a nice drive yesterday - it was a beautiful day! - and to do some caching. Couldn't have asked for better weather! We found some caches, took in the beautiful afternoon, saw the bore tide, and had dinner at The Double Musky - one of the few 5-star restaurants in Alaska. All in all, a wonderful evening! (Side note: There's more info about bore tides - a relatively rare phenomenon - at http://alaska.org/bore-tides.jsp - and you can watch people trying to surf the bore tide (also a good depiction of the phenomenon) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nas9n7iFcfI)

Beluga Point

Cool Tree

Pretty Flora

Wee Stream

More Cool Flora

Greg - Sittin' in a Tree

Across the Inlet

A View from the Top

That last picture is the view I would have seen, if I'd finished the trek to one of the caches. Unfortunately, I succumbed to a panic attack. I'm fairly certain I'd have been able to complete the trek - if only I had asked for help. Instead, I let my pride prevail and by the time I was ready to ask for help, it was too late.

So it seems I'm not afraid of heights - just of falling, and uncontrolled descents. Since my balance isn't the greatest, I'm also not very sure-footed. In one part of the trail, we had to cross loose scree. The slope was pretty steep, and the loose rock ended at a drop off high above a busy highway. My imagination took over and I pictured a flailing slide over the side with nothing to grab, that ended with me smashed on the pavement.

I waited until I was behind, gathering my courage, when I should have asked Greg to come back and help me. I slowly made my way across - pausing to hyperventilate, remind myself that I had to do this again to get back, and force my mind to focus on something other than all the ways I could slide off the edge of the cliff. (It probably wasn't real cliff, but since I couldn't see the rest of the slope and I could see & hear cars, that's what it became to me.) By the time Greg came back to help me, I'd made it across - only to find that there was plenty more of that before we got to solid ground. And I just couldn't do it. So he helped me back across the way I'd come, to solid ground, where I calmed a bit and made my way back to the car.

Kudos to Todd & Kelly for making the climb and taking the picture - wahoo!! =) It's a great view and I think I can do it - I just can't do it alone. And I can't wait to ask for help until I'm so panicked that I can't breath right or think coherently. They already signed my name to the log - but I think I'm going to wait to log the cache until I've been to the top and seen the view for myself. I'll post my picture then, too. =)

The Journey Home
(Sleeping Lady is the far mountain in the back)

Followin' the Tracks

14 June, 2007

Memorial Weekend Campout - Part II

This has been a long time coming... I figured I'd better get on the ball, since I've already got ideas for new posts. =)

Side note from Part I: The memorial we stopped at is just after Byers Lake and it's called the Alaska Veterans Memorial. The memorial reads: "We dedicate this quiet place to the remembrance of the veterans of Alaska who have served their country at home and throughout the world. We honor their heroism and dedication." Hear, hear!!

Campout 2007 #1: Part 2 - Chatanika & Fairbanks

We were lucky to find two adjacent sites next to a river. The other sites around us were separated by trees, so it was like we had our own private space. And across the river was what looked like a moose - if the light was right and you had smoke in your eyes. =)

Looking up-river from our site

The "moose" across the river

We had lots of fun. Some went caching, some stuck around the campfire. One of the days, we all loaded up together. We started *that* day with a shower and breakfast, courtesy of Chatanika Lodge. Smelling much nicer, we headed into Fairbanks for a riverboat tour and a nice dinner. Another lovely afternoon where we caught lots of rays. We all enjoyed the boat ride - interesting information about Fairbanks, dog mushing, and Alaskan native life.

Paddle-wheel boat ride

The rest of the time we spent primarily at camp. Heather requested a coconut, which we cracked open, cleaned out, and refurbished as the camp mascot - Dr. Blah. It seems that coconut shells burn very well - our last fire was full off odd things like the mascot and Greg's shoes. Mmmmmm. Another interesting combination: red licorice on a ham & turkey sandwich (with dijon mustard - *not* yellow). I've been told it's very tasty, particularly the mustard & licorice combination. I'm still not brave enough to try it...

Our mascot - Dr. Blah

Ham, turkey, & licorice (with dijon)

Our last evening was filled with more caching (of course!), disc golf, killing Dr. Blah, and packing up some of the odds & ends so we could get an early start - the drive home taking around 7 hours or so. Good thing we packed early - we woke the next morning to rain and temps around 50. Brrrrrrrr!! It didn't take long to dismantle one tent and pack the rest of the gear. It was the last ride for the Green's tent - so we left it standing in the rain. Maybe it'll be a nice summer getaway for some other lucky family... The ride home was interrupted by a stop in Glitter Gulch (just outside Denali national park - according to the MilePost, it's Denali Park Commercial Area) so we could dine at Bub's Subs. Greg & I have eaten there before - when Mom & M came up and we went river rafting. Highly recommended!! And now Greg, Brian, & Todd have matching t-shirts. Awwww. =)

Packing in the rain

So ends the saga of the first camping trip for 2007. We've already got more planned - the next one is over 4th of July, back to Squirrel Creek. Wahoo!!