We had a marvelous spring. It really made up for last spring, which is known as the spring that never came. We had winter, then all of a sudden we had a bit of summer. But last spring was just an extension of winter. This year it warmed right up. The days got longer and the sunlight oh so welcome after the long dark of winter. Green up happened in about 3 days which is always a wonder to see. Now we begin summer in earnest. Summers are always so busy. By the end of summer I am looking forward to winter; to snuggling down with in my warm, little cabin with my kids, cooking, talking, reading, planning, dreaming. But summers are for doing. So here we go.
We started off early spring with the annual World Ice Art Championship.
Mike and a peacock.
The road into Denali National Park is 90 miles long. Personal vehicles are not allowed except for one week a year by lottery. You can drive in to mile 15 during the summer and mile 30 in the shoulder seasons after they clear the roads and before tourist season starts. Lori and I drove in to mile 30 on the last day before the closure, May 18. We met with a snow storm.
Wolf and caribou tracks in the snow.
Ptarmigan are white in the winter and mottled brown in the winter. These are in the process of changing into their summer feathers.
I love this outcropping and have taken pictures of it several times.
A mew gull.
I would take a picture, then walk a few steps closer, then take another picture, trying to get as close as possible. I was tickled pink when he opened his beak right as I was about to take another one.
Caribou and more caribou!
Snowy Lori taking pictures of the caribou lol.
Ah Alaska, how I love thee!
We also saw a bear but he was so far in the distance even my telephoto lens wasn’t able to pick him up well.
When I first started to do henna, my pregnant friend Sandy allowed me to do henna on her pregnant belly. Hers was the very first belly I did. That was over 7 years ago. Now she also allowed me the honor of doing her head. This was certainly a learning experience. So many new angles and not many places to anchor my hand. She was tickled with it but I think I need much more practice hennaing heads to be any good at all on them.
So much easier to do hands.
Did I tell you we got a new puppy? Her name is Maari named after a Pyrenees Goddess. She is part great pyrenees, part black lab and golden retriever. I’ll post some better pictures of her soon. She is 15 weeks now and is huge!
We also got a new to us canoe. It’s a 17′ Grumen. I want to learn canoeing well enough for a trip from Eagle to Circle on the Yukon River. I really want to be ready to do this trip next summer but we will see how comfortable I am by the end of this summer.
Got a new 15 gallon barrel to haul water and use my small pump to pump it up into the house with. Unfortunately, I had Olivia hold the hose in the barrel while I ran up to do something else and she pulled the hose out of the water and burned the pump out. ARG! Live and learn. Now I am going to teach myself how to fix the pump. My neighbor said something about bearings and seals so I’ll look into that. But it will probably be set aside for a winter project. I have found that I can learn just about anything on Youtube.
Olivia graduated from 6th grade. I’m a proud mamma.
She also finally had a growth spurt. Look how tall she is. My son was taller then me by the time he turned 11. She is 12 and not quite as tall as I am. Of course, he is over 6′ now and just 15.
Now that roller derby is over for the summer, we thought soccer would be a good thing to keep her going. Yes, I am now officially a soccer mom. What a strange place this is in my life.
My friend Sue came out of the bush for a few days to take care of some business in town. Of course we had to stop in at the infamous Howling Dog Saloon for a bit of music by my friend Mike Stackhouse and a few libations.
We have so many exciting plans in the making that I was sad to see her go. I wish we had more time to sit and scheme but of course, a trip to town means a LOT of stuff had to get done in a short amount of time. She is one person who really gets me. ie She didn’t blink an eye when I told her that I planned to do my Eagle to Circle Yukon River trip even though I have only been in a canoe twice in my life. She understands if you want to do something, you can only accomplish that by getting out there and DOING it. Because that is the way she lives her life as well.
Today I start packing for our great Fowl Adventure 2014. For those of you who have been reading for a while, you know that this is my annual pilgrimage to Chickenstock Music Festival in the tiny hamlet of Chicken, Alaska. We leave from there and go visit our friends outside of Eagle, Alaska who live in the Yukon River, Bush Alaska Expeditions. It will just be Olivia and I as my son does not enjoy that type of thing. Luckily enough that works out well for him to stay home and take care of the animals. Handy huh.
See you when I get back. Thanks for reading.