Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Alright.  IT has been a while since I posted last.  i spent most of July wishing i was not in Alaska.  It rained for an entire month- everyday!!!!  I was even on the phone with the airlines looking into changing my flight to mid august.  but then i took a deep breath and the sun came out finally.  but i am coming home earlier than planned.  i leave in just a few days.  I fly to St. Paul Sept. 1st.  I AM planning on running the TC Marathon on Oct. 5th.  So come and watch me run and wish me a happy birthday as well.  ia m goign to need all the cheering i can get from friendly faces.  There was only one day i trained in temps over 70 degrees so the MN weather is going to be a challenge.  I hope to do as much running as i can when i get to MN to get use to the higher temps.  i hope the reace day is not as warm as it has been in the past.

So since my last post July 7th- I went on a couple more backpacking trips.  one i just got back from this monday.  This past trip was with my sister and we spent 3 nights in Denali National Park backpacking.  We planned on just kiding far enough off the road to be out of view from the  park road.  it was about 59 miles into the park.  We then just wanted to relax for a couple days, day hiking, reading, napping nad playing skip-bo.  we ended up having a very traumatice experience on the second day.  an easy day hike turned into a very very scary climb and hear helicopter rescue.  We found ourselves in a spot where we couldn't go back the way we came and we coudln't keep going down the river we were following.  instead of staying where we were and waiting for my mom to call the park to tell them we didnt' make it home which would have been the smartest and safest thing to do.  instead we decided to try to climb up a 700 ft elevation change ina quarter mil.  it was the most terrifiing experience of my life.  we literally clawed our way up this crumbly almost veritcal cliff side.  we were crawling using our hands, knees, feet, arms and every muscle we had.  i made it to a safe spot and was waiting for Riana to follow.  she was about 20 feet below me but i coudln't see her.  i heard a really big rock slide.  about 5 min. later i hear her yell my name only it didn't sounds 20 ft below me it sounded really far below me so i thought she had fallen in that rock slide.  i started to scream her name over and over and she didn't answer back.  at that moment i thought she had fallen and was probably dead or really close to it as it would have been a miracle to survive a fall from what we were climbing.  I got up the rest of the mountain and made my way down the other side in about 20 min.  i then was headed for the road which was about a mile along a really rocky river bed.  i had made it to the ri ver bed and had taken off running.  then i heard riana yelling again.  i coudn't hear what she was saying and didn't know if she was hurt or not. we were yelling bakc and fort for a little bit and i was really torn between trying to figure out if she was hurt or just go and getting help.  Then i happened to look up at the top of the mountain and i saw her.  i was really confused.  After she made it to the bottom we were both really happy to see each other.  She did not fall after all.  when she was 20 ft below me she couldn't climb the same way i had so she ahd to go around this rocky thing and so when she was yelling my name it was sounding far away .  and then she could hear me yelling her name and yelling for help but i coudln't hear her because of the wind.  she thought that i had fallen because i was screaming help over and over.  so luckily neither of us fell and we made it to the bottom again.  we were very very lucky.  we should not have made  t up that steep climb.  we were pretty much in shock the rest of the night and had nightmares all night and so we got up as early as we could and walked to the road and waited for the first but.  the bust ride was about 3 1/2 hours to get out of the park.  it wasn't until  we got to fairbanks that i started to feel better.  i have still been having nightmares.  i have also never been so sore in my life.  i have been more sore the last couple days than i have ever been from running.

well that wasn't a very cheery post but it's all that's been on my mind lately.  the trip before that, i went backpacking with my friend Jessica again and it went really well.  I didn't feel like taking pictures from that trip so jessica has them all.  

Good Bye Alaska

This is use bridesmaids and Riana the bride waiting for the wedding to start.  We are waiting in a 1974 VW Bus.  This the bus Riana got to Alaska originally.  

This is my Sister Riana, Brother Regan and me at the top of Angel Rocks.  

This is the bear Riana and I saw from the bus driving into Denali National Park.  It was just walking down the road.  IT didn't even look at the bus.  

This is from this past backpacking trip,  before the scary stuff.  

Monday, July 7, 2008

So on the 4th of July a bunch of my family and friends went to Denali National Park.  On the 4th we all went white water rafting.  That was so much fun.  We had amazing weather.  I don't have pictures of that yet but i will soon.  This first picture is from the next day when Riana, Sean, Nolita (riana's friend from MN), Shirley and Jessica and I took an 11 hour bus trip into the park.  The park is a little different than most parks.  there is only 1 road and only the park busses can go into the park.  They have a really cool system though.  so if you want to go hiking or backpacking you buy a bus ticket and you can take any green bus that might pass you.  so we were constantly picking up and dropping off hikers and backpackers.  you can drive in only if you have a special permit to get to one of several camp grounds in the park.  But you are only allowed to drive in once and out once so you can just drive around the park.  There main mission for the park is to keep the park untouched by humans.  The park is like 6 million acres big.  it is amazingly beautiful.  we had a really exceptional trip.  Denali, the mountain behind me is usually covered by clouds and it's rare to have it as clear as it is.  maybe 5-10 days a summer you can see it this well.  It was so cool.  

Our bus trip was 86 miles into the park up to Wonder Lake.  The water was surprisingly warm considering where it was and i would have definatley jumped in if i'd had my suit.  Along the way we found a really cool place to go backpacking.  we are going to do that sometime this summer soon.  I am excited about that.  Although 11 hours seemed way too long it was really cool to be able to see the mountain and we saw 3 bears and cubs and moose , a fox, some caribou and some cool birds.  riana said that the wildlife we saw was lame compared to past trips she's taken but it was still cool.  i wish i'd had binoculars though.  that would have been smart.  Definately go to Denali National Park if you have a chance in your life to do that.  Make sure you plans some hikes and such.  We could have gotten off our bus along the way and hiked and hung out for a while and then we could have just jumped onto another bus but we were all really tired from all the stuff we had been doing over the past 2 weeks.  

Sunday, July 6, 2008


So it has been awhile since my last post.  It has been a whirlwind of activities these past 2 weeks.  On June 28th was my sister Riana's wedding.  I didn't take very many pictures with all dressed up because i left that to the photographer and all the other people that were there and not in the wedding.  I don't have any of me in my dress yet.  The ceremony was very beautiful and personal.  Riana and Sean's really good friend Matthew married them.  In Alaska any Alaskan resident can obtain a one day license to marry someone.   Tessa and I played a violin and flute duet during the  ceremony.  She did a great job.  It was really cute.  It was not the nicest weather but it worked out.  It rained all the night before and up until about 20 min. before pictures.  Then it stopped and didn't rain again all the rest of the day or night.  That was nice.  After the ceremony the reception was held at this B&B.  It was so cool.  IT was a huge 5 story log home with a spiral staircase going all the way to the top with an observation deck at the very top with a balcony all the way around.  it was really cool.  We had the entire thing to ourselves.  It was a lot of fun.  The first picture is when Sean saw Riana for the first time in her dress that day.  The other 2 are from the rehearsal dinner the night before.  We had really good food at this place called Two Rivers Lodge.  It was excellent food and we had a great time visiting with everyone.  My grandpa and Uncle Larry were there and Perrin and Tessa and Sunny and Jo.  

Friday, June 20, 2008

OK SO this is us before we began our hike.  Jessica is on the left, shirley is in the middle and I am on the RIght.  We look happy and ready to go.  

This is Shirley and I at the top of a big Hill.  I don't think they were really hills.  It felt like mountains everytime we had to climb up one.  You can see behind us are many many more "hills" and that is what we saw in all directions.  It was pretty cool.

This is a picture taken in the morning.  WE were on the side of one of these hills and the ridge top is behind me.  This big cloud was coming up over the ridge and flowing down the side.  So you can see the bottom of the cloud coming over.  On the other side it was clear and blue.  IT was so cool.  Jessica and Shirley were still sleeping and missed this.  I think i'm standing in front of our tent.

This is part of the plane crash wreckage.  It was a pretty big plane.  This is one wing that is connected to the body of the plane.  the other wing is in lots of pieces scattered about.  you can see a lot of debris in front of the plane. The entire hill was covered in small pieces of metal and plane parts and wireing and such.  it was pretty amazing.  

Thursday, June 19, 2008

So this is my cabin that i moved into on June 1st.  I will be staying here for the remainder of my stay in Alaska.  I had to go into the woods to take the picture from this angle.  I think they positioned the cabin wrong when they built it.  It is pretty cozy.  I like it.  I am not there very much of the day though.  I usually go and take showers at the University so i leave to do that and just plan on being gone most of the day doing stuff.  There is my scooter of course in the front.  I was just able to park there because there is a big mug whole but half of it dried up so i can pull in better.  Puma likes it there too i think.  He learned how to climb a latter because that is how i get up to my loft where my bed is.  He doesn't go down the latter yet.  Well a couple times he tried but fell most of the way down.  

Well that's there is to say about my cabin!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Water Skiing in Alaska? Am I crazy?

So yesterday I went water skiing in the Chena River.  This was pretty crazy.  I have never been water skiing in a river before so that was a little creepy.  The water was 40 or 50 degrees not sure but either way it was ice cold.  I got out on the shore and then walked in.  If you have ever gone in really cold water or had to take a cold shower you know what i mean.  As i was getting all the water in the water it was so cold i could hardly breath.  In a about a min or less my entire body went numb and i could no longer even feel that the water was cold.  So at that point I was thinking , mmm this isn't so bad.   I hadn't skied for a long time and the boat didn't have a lot of power so i took a 2nd try to get up and then it was really cold again because i was all wet and it was of course windy.  Luckily the sun was out and it helped.  The first person to go skiing skied for almost 30 min.  it was cloudy and raining the entire time he skied.  

So i skied past this restaurant along the river called Pike's Landing and waved to all the tourist who took pictures of the crazy person water skiing.  Then about 30 secs later i let go.  So i can say i went skiing in a freeing cold river on a crappy day.  

Someone took a picture but haven't gotten it yet.  will try and post it when i do.