Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Keeping This Blog
What I've come to realize is that it might be nice to have a place to post other folk's pictures or talk about things not related to Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. To keep this blog required that I edited it a bit - not much, just a bit - by removing a few photos and changing a bit of the content. I started that process today but am not finished; it is important to me to preserve everything associated with KC and Lydia as they are still in my heart, even if I am not in theirs. I hope they are safe and happy and loved.
The Anchorage Daily News carried an article today that Exxon is asking the Supreme Court to hear the punative award case, you can read about this here. It's great this case is finally coming to a close in the next 12 months and we can either let it go or pay the damages. Over 20 percent of the original claimants have passed away since the oil spill in 1989 - I'm still alive however and promise to invest my share of the damages in something smart, like a 22 foot C-Dory with a 90 hp Honda 4 Stroke, 8 hp Honda trolling motor, swim step, diesel stove/heat for the cabin, power trim tabs, and a wash down pump and hose as options - not that I've given it any thought . . . . .
Monday, June 18, 2007
Arrival in Anchorage
Critters Along The Way
I was surprised by all the bears I saw along the way - maybe 25 or 30 bears in all. Although I have driven the Alcan 9 times now, I don't think I have ever driven it this early in the year and that might be why there were so many bears along side the road eating greens. It was cool that I saw both black and brown bear cubs - the mama bears seemed to be so intent on filling their bellies they were amazingly tolerant of me taking pictures. As always, the best bear photos are mental ones, bears that didn't wait for me to get stopped and get my camera out before running into the woods. I only had one close call with wildlife being unexpectedly in the road, and it was deer and not really all that close - a great trip for wildlife overall.
Day three I made some good mileage despite the snow on the road here and there at the higher elevations and you can see the ice was just barely breaking up in some spots. The weather was perfect for riding and I found a decent place to camp for the night. There were lots of bear in the area (and lots of mosquitos) so I lit a fire to keep the critters at bay, large and small. Had a great nights sleep and awoke to sunny skies!
Day two was probably the best day of the trip even though I had yet more rain, severely testing my supply of dry clothes. I got a late start because of the waterlogged bike but was soon riding though Banff and Jasper Provincial Parks, amazing scenery no matter what the conditions. I only managed about 500 miles due to the late start but found a perfect campsite for the night, built a bonfire, and dried out all my gear. The woods were so soaked from the weeks of rain it took me three attempts - using gas from my bike - to get a fire started. What a glorious evening I spent! The next morning dawned clear and sunny, perfect riding weather.
The first day of riding was wet, windy and cold. I had a goal of 600 miles for the day in order to make Anchorage in 5 days but after getting started late from Bren's and pounding rains (even some snow in northern Idaho), 550 miles was all I could manage. It was about 10:30 at night and dark when I picked this little side road to drive down for my campsite. The little road ended at the control shack by the railroad tracks so that's where I set up my tent. I quickly got set up and stripped off my wet clothes (raingear only does so much, and my rain pants were shredded from the headwind and burning on my exhaust over the years and not much protection). I fell into an exhausted sleep and woke to the sound of silence - the rain had stopped!! I poked my head out of the tent and was greeted by the scene in the top picture - the river had flooded during the night and almost completely covered the little road to a depth of 2 plus feet! I had to push my bike out through the flood to the main road in water almost up to the seat and then dry it all off before it would start on the other side - a pretty exciting start to my adventure. There was an osprey nest right by where I camped which I didn't see the night before - that was a major clue there was water very near by and I would have picked a different spot. I found out later that lower British Columbia was experiencing severe flooding all over - not just at my campsite - and that many areas were applying for provincial disaster assistance. The top picture is the osprey nest - there was a mated pair that were fishing and feeding baby chicks in the nest.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
What A Great Time!!
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Last Day of Work
To all my friends at work - Lou, Duane, Lisa, Kamal, John, Charley, Nick, Pat, Gerry, Clyde, Scott, Pete, Anthony, Pam, Brandi, Paul, Josh, Sam, Vearn, Randy, Joe and Sue - thanks for your friendship, your patience, and your hard work. I had a great time getting to know you all and hope you stay in touch; best of luck in the future and I hope to see you all again!
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Just 10 Days
Hey, looks like Blogger has all the kinks worked out of the new Beta version, and photos are uploading better than ever! I haven't posted in a very long time for a number of reasons - there were technical problems with Blogger for awhile, I was conflicted on whether I should start a fresh blog given some of the content of the this one, and I was experiencing a whole range of experiences and emotions last fall and this winter that I didn't feel needed to be re-examined here. I have had some wonderful times here in Maine - lots of time with the best big brother in the world, I saw a bald eagle fly over my childhood home (how I wish my Mom could have seen that), my job has been a fun challenge that I look forward to most of the time. I got all the slides scanned and lots of work done on the house but wish I had got more done. I got to spend all too little time with Dad before he headed to Arizona for the winter. I'm heading west to Trevor's graduation, his wedding, my niece's graduation, and then on to Alaska, again on a motorcycle, in about 10 days. I have decided to start a new blog, but not while I'm on the road. Because when I stop traveling this summer, I'll be finally in a home of my own, and that certainly deserves a fresh start.
The service I used to post audio files from my cell phone while on the road last summer is no longer in business so I need to find another way to do that since it worked fantastic. A lot of my posts from that period were truncated when Blogger switched to the new Beta version - that's a bummer since it is not really realistic to rewrite any of those posts as they captured a time and a moment that is gone.
When my new blog is up and running, when I am finally home, I'll supply the address to those that want it. Cheers everyone, I need to get back to work on the house.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Testing . . . Testing
Friday, January 05, 2007
Happy New Year
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Happy Belated Halloween!
These are pictures of Aubrey Elizabeth on Halloween night in the onesie her Aunt Brenda sent. In the middle picture you can definitely tell that the whole parent thing has aged Trevor quite a bit - must be going to classes during the day and watching Aubrey nights while Megan is working - he looks pretty bad for 21 years old! Aubrey is looking enormous compared to when I saw her in September! I remember being a bit apprehensive about meeting Aubrey for the first time since I had not been around any babies since . . . well, since her Dad was a baby! I lay on the floor in Trevor apartment and really got a good look at her and I was hooked from then on! I still can't believe I'm a grandfather though - I'm still a kid myself!
Trevor and Megan, you are fantastic parents and Aubrey is going to have a great life! I'm proud of you both, now and always.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Still (Too) Safe In Maine
The move . . . . I am not living where I thought I would be, and I am still not at peace with that decision. I feel there is more for me to help with in Idaho but I also feel there are some very big things to be accomplished here in Maine, some of which are not clear. I have had to make a sometimes painful transition from a fearless adventurer who can do anything to a son and baby brother who needs protecting and pretty much screws up everything. And yet, my abilities dreams and passions are like banked coals, protected from a (probably imaginary) storm of criticism and doubt by a thick layer of insulating ash. In the quiet of the early mornings I scrape back the ash and make sure things are still hot underneath and I am terrified of the day I discover my fire is out.
The divorce . . . . very painful for me but necessary. There really isn't anything else to say. I think of the girls daily and wish things were different. I hope their Mom is happy and has found someone she likes more and can truly love with all her heart. KC and Lydia, I love you always and am here as a Dad if you ever want me. My cell number and email are the same. I hope to see you at Trevor's wedding.
The new job . . . . I took the most challenging one of the offers and it requires all of my abilities when I am there. I am learning quickly and the pay and benefits package is decent for the area. I work nights right now (the irony!) and have been very protective of my time and schedule so I can have as normal a life as possible. I have many small pleasures . . . time with my Dad and brother, an extended riding season (I'm riding to work tonight, November 10th!), time to read and reflect. I watched, dismayed, as some dreams dissolved before my eyes and I've carefully built new ones to take their place.
I am for now, (too) safe. After 13 weeks of vacation, I began work on Halloween night. I had nothing to do with my first paycheck but place it in savings, I stay in a spare bedroom that is almost as big as the first floor of my log cabin in Alaska, I know nothing of deprivation. I belong here though - I pulled in to a rest area a couple days ago and it no longer felt like home, the wanderer has settled. I know why I am here, to learn humility. I have mastered a lot of other tough lessons in life, and I'll apply myself to learning this newest challenge on the road to the apex. I certainly have some help learning this one . . . .
So, I'm back posting! Cheers everyone, I'll get the pictures posted from the Idaho to Maine portion of the trip soon. It's interesting, I tried posting yesterday and the post was lost due to problems with the Blogger site . . . today's post is nothing like yesterdays, so strange . . . .
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Fryberg Fair With Dad and Bro
Monday, September 18, 2006
Safe In Maine
We went through the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum and browsed some of the shops - the falls itself was spectacular and I'll be posting photos soon of all my travels since I left Idaho heading east. On the way across the border into New York my brother appeared to have some kind of difficulty while passing through customs but I waited patiently while he got it sorted out and we quickly got through the city and on to some fantastic riding on secondary roads across upstate New York.
We didn't want to miss any of the scenery on Route 3 so we stopped in the tiny village of Cranberry Lake for the night not long after sunset, logging 300 miles for the day. The room was more of a camp than motel room but it was just perfect after the day's riding and the owner was pretty funny - she somehow thinks Brad Pitt looks like Fozzie Bear from Sesame Street. Again, we may or may not have played cribbage depending on who you talk to . . . . There was a small diner just a few steps away from the room and we had a nice homecooked breakfast with the local game warden and his cronies sitting one table over - the ambiance of the place was like a movie set.
We had a nice warmup ride the first 30 miles with the roads empty and the pavement perfect, twisting through a balsalm fir forest and just enough chill in the air to feel wonderfully alive. With my trusted riding partner finally by my side we had one of the best days riding of my life, just a hint of fall in the air and the leaves starting to turn, Route 3 connecting with Route 2 after just a brief stretch of interstate, one quaint little town after another connected by winding two lane begging to be gobbled up. We pulled into my brother's driveway just as the sun was setting on a perfect day - thanks Bro for meeting me in Niagra Falls and riding that last 700 miles with me, it was awesome all the way around!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Upstate New York and Home To Maine
Friday, September 15, 2006
Niagra Falls With Bro
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Marquette, MI to Arrival In Naigra Falls
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Today I am joining the kids and their friends at the local Pizza Hut to devastate the buffet, then I'm heading east. It's been a wonderful visit and Aubrey is indeed perfect! I made reservations at the Niagra KOA for my brother and I and look forward to seeing him soon!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Valley City, North Dakota
The grand daughter is beautiful! Aubrey has gained a couple pounds in the last month and I'm estatic I got here to see her. What a cutie - and what great parents. Good job Trevor and Megan!