May 28, 2008

chena half-dome

Well, we set out on our first hike of the season, the 30-mile Chena Dome trail which touts amazing views of lots of mountains (including the Alaska Range).  We had a relatively clear day when we started out, and some nice lighting.
However, we didn't make the whole loop.  
mistake #1 - beginning our hike at 4:30 pm.  mistake #2 - Mike's LaSportiva boots that still cause blisters after a year.   both of which led to mistake #3 - camping at mile 5 where there's no water and melting snow which used up all of our fuel on the first night.
here's me watching the sun 'set' instead of watching the snow not melt into water as the fuel can goes empty.
running out of fuel made our decision to turn back on account of Mike's blisters even easier.  So we stashed some stuff at our campsite the next morning and set out for a day hike toward Chena Dome.   we ran into some hikers later in the day who saw our stash and wondered "who took us".  
Chena Dome is the flat-topped one in the background, tiny Mike in the foreground:  

The steep 900-foot climb at Mile 8 or so is a good workout.
We stopped for a while at the site of a 1950s military airplane crash.  It's a big wreck, but it's amazing how bright and intact some of the parts still are.
The propellor is about 100 feet from the main body of the plane.

May 20, 2008

deep in the heart of texas

Quit my job at the Borough (yay!), went to Texas for a week visit with family.  Mid-may the weather wasn't TOO hot yet, actually a little rainy and cool.  First stop, the famous Gruene Hall - built in 1878 - for Mother's Day:
met my brother Mikey, Ashley and her family and my two cute nephews Reid and Vance there:
Back in Houston, took a tour of the Houston zoo with my Dad and little sister Julia.  Zoos always bum me out (especially the big cats and grizzly bears and koalas and monkeys and elephants...), but I guess it does educate people about the need for habitat conservation.  ??
baby elephant!meerkat!
my mom loves having her picture taken:
the oldest (Matisse) and newest (no name) of my mom's and Richard's FOUR dogs:
I never had a dog growing up, and my mom was never a "dog person", so the obsession with Anatolian Shepherds (3 of the 4) is a little unexpected, but they sure do love them.  The new Pomeranian was rescued by my mom outside a funeral home where she suspects someone just left the dog.