Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's a bird, it's a plane ... nope, it's a heli!

This was my assignment: get paid to fly in a helicopter. Take pictures. Take video. And ... well, sit back and enjoy the ride!

The cockpit ...

Flying south down Gastineau Channel

Taku Glacier

The bird on Taku Glacier

Glacier river: these guys form as the glacier moves. The Taku Glacier is advancing bit by bit every year.


More of the glacier...
Juneau ice fields...
A few peaks just off the ice fields:

The view looking southwest:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

First snow!

Once the fog bank lifted from the channel, the day unfolded with a few very exciting surprises.

First: the skies were bright blue, the air crisp and leaves drifted across the roads.

Second: the town was a little sleepier than normal. We only had a few ships at the docks today. For Juneauites, this is something to look forward to. Prices drop, air and sea traffic silences and – most importantly – downtown is now navigable. Instead of a sea of tourists lining the streets, it is now possible to move through downtown without the fear (or urge) of striking these trinket-yielding cruisers.

Third: and perhaps most importantly – the tops of the mountains were covered in a brand new layer of SNOW! Bright white, beautiful and early! David was so excited he called me while also trying to navigate the ATM. (I think it was a bit much for him to take in the drive-up, phone, conversation and curb his enthusiasm).
And while I wish I could say I had pictures to share with you – I don’t. So sorry.
However, I have a feeling the snow won’t be leaving anytime soon. I’ll see what I can drum up for my next post.
In the meantime, here are a few shots from my brother’s recent graduation (which has nothing to do with snow - obviously) from the University of Oregon. Congrats Brady!!!

Dad and Grandma June Bug (this lady can down a whole serving of flaming hot chicken wings and then chug a beer - love her!)

Momma and Brady

Brady and his lady Nikki

Go Ducks!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Drama ... almost ...

Word on the web is that 50% of voters (which is a measly 5 votes) want to hear about my "latest drama." Superb. And while it really is limited to traffic on Egan Drive (our 1 of 2 highways), I'm happy to report there has been a little excitement lately.
So David and I were driving home around 8 p.m. Saturday night from a nice time with his Dad at Fernando's (a downtown Mexican restaurant - that I LOVE). We had stopped at his buddy's house for a quick visit and were cruising down Egan drive chatting away. All of the sudden we saw break lights and I slammed on the brakes – so I wouldn’t slam into the quickly halting car in front of me.

There was a wreck three cars ahead of us. A Toyota truck was laying upside down blocking both lanes of traffic. People were hopping out of their cars and running to help. I don’t know what came over me, but I climbed out too. I ran down the shoulder toward the wreck to see five men turning the truck back on all three wheels (one was laying 25 feet down the highway). I arrived to find one man inside, oil all over the road and the truck still running. I turned it off. The man inside was unconscious, drooling and spitting up foam. Another woman and I supported his neck she leaning into the open driver-side door and I sat on the empty passenger-side seat. The man was sweating, twitching, barely breathing and still unconscious. It was crazy. Finally, the police and fire responders arrived. I walked back to the car. And David drove the suby home.

My first phone call was to the newspaper – of course – and I gave them the scoop. In the end, the guy was taken to the hospital. That’s all we know. And, that’s my latest drama…

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Random selections

Well, this weekend has been largely uneventful. So I decided to add a few pictures from my latest outings. Mendenhall Glacier, Salmon Creek trail and some others are intermixed into the selection. Enjoy...

This is Mendenhall Glacier from the East Glacier trail. Most tourists venture here - the trail is pretty easy, short and uneventful. But often people enjoy the random bear sighting that becomes more frequent during the fall months.
David smiling as we reach one of the most popular vistas.
Again...the glacier. I know it might seem like I'm obsessed with this place, but in person it seems to just dwarf everything it surrounds. And, everyday this place looks different - but still beautiful.
The trail...
One of summer's many blooms...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Visit from "Down South"

Last week my brother and Dad ventured northward to visit me in Juneau. We experienced some great hikes to the glacier, we ventured northward to prime fishing grounds and up to the Salmon Creek damn for a little history lesson. Here are a few highlights from the trip.

Brady and my Dad check out Mendenhall Galcier - up close and personal ...

Ummm ... ya ... you need crampons for that type of thing.

King salmon. Out of season. Still feeding. Weird. But ... a happy papa!

Sunday hike to the oldest dam (1914) in Juneau. First unreinforced concrete dam in the U.S. - (information provided by the engineering side of the family). This lake supplies part of Juneau with drinking water. Historically, it supplied the entire city with both water and power. Is that scary? ... yes, I think so ... think about all the animales that poop in it ... eh?

Brady being paraonoid. Ya ... it was pretty steep ...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Savoring the Sun

In a place that gets more than 10 feet of rain annually, days filled with sunshine are to be savored ... especially with fall just around the corner. So with David away at Hoot n' Holler, Bali and I seized the day and got as close as we could to the warm rays.

The view of Juneau from atop Mt. Roberts:

The last of the fireweed. In a few weeks these will all go to seed.

The view looking southward: