Long Island

Perks to having pilot friends?  Seeing random islands from your childhood.

A few months ago my parents mentioned to one of my pilot friends that I was born on a little island not far from here.  Long Island, to be exact. (Alaska that is, not New York!)

Some 25 odd years ago, we left that little island and moved to Ketchikan for what I am told was going to be a “short stay.”  Yet here we are.  I don’t have many memories of the place -seeings how we left when I was around two, but a few days ago I got a text from my friend with these gems attached:

I’m told that’s where we flew into hundreds of times.  The place of my childhood.  Where my life began.  If you look closely you might even see the beach where we fished…just kidding.  I recognize none of it -but it was still pretty cool, you know – seeing that it does exist and all!

Alaska, Photography, Yo'shi

Fall Photography and Yoshi

Two of the things on my “To do list” this season are to walk Yoshi more and pick up my camera more often.  The two kind of go hand in hand, and have worked together rather nicely.  That combined with the unseasonably nice weather the past few weeks and I don’t have any excuse!

As a result, Yoshi and I have gone on quite a few different walks and hikes trying to soak up the last of the sun before it goes to bed for the winter.

Ward Lake:



A few days ago I decided to be brave and try out a new trail:


It was a beautiful trail that snaked through the woods -even Yoshi was calm and collect, something she usually isn’t on our walks.  That is, until we popped out at the end.  I was under the impression this trail looped around, but apparently it doesn’t.  We popped out in the College parking lot and had to walk down through two schools to get back to the car. It was lunch time.  There were a lot of people and cars and noises.  Yoshi thought she might die.


She was very relieved to make it back to the car.

A few other sites from our outings:



…and of course, back by popular demand, some more shots of the star herself.




She cracks me up!





Alaska, Photography

Only in Alaska

So yesterday afternoon I was feeling a bit cooped up, it was raining and I hadn’t been outside for a walk for a few days.  I can’t remember the last time I picked up my camera (post summer blues) so I decided that I would take the dog for a walk on the beach.

It was raining, which meant I could let her off the leash and not have to worry about anyone else being there to scare her.  So off we went.

This is what I originally had planned on photographing. Maybe spending a few minutes perfecting a shot like this.


The rain, the birds, the low tide -I had some ideas I was planning to perfect…but then something caught my eye.


Now that in and of itself isn’t that unusual.  There are people out surfing on occasion, but this person didn’t appear to be surfing…in fact, I couldn’t be sure what they were doing.


I watched a few more minutes…


…and then this happened…


I couldn’t be sure if I was seeing things, but from what I could tell this person was doing handstands…on a surfboard…in the ocean…in the rain.



I am still not sure what, exactly, was going on -but it was sure impressive, especially considering I slipped about four times this weekend.  On solid ground.



Ketchikan is what they call, a transitional town. People come and people go. Unless you are a hardcore nut such as myself -you stick around for three, maybe five years max -then you pack up and leave. Many people are stationed here for the Coast Guard -they do their three – five years then pack and move somewhere like Hawaii. The nuttier ones among the bunch do eventually come back because there is a saying that goes something like “Ketchikan will never let you go. You come once, you will be back.”

But the truth is -you make friends, and then they leave. Within five years.

I’ve been thinking about this lately. Everything seems to be leaving, or coming to an end here. The summer. The season. Softball. House sitting jobs. Even my journal, ironically, got filled up today -meaning that I must start a new one…and as silly as it sounds, that is always a bittersweet time for me. Most of my friends have packed up and left for school, jobs, or homes across the sea. It seems sometimes that I am the only one who has yet to pack up and do something grand.

Of course then there is the fact that last year was such an amazing year for travel -and this year I’ve barely left town.

But I am trying to see the other side of things. The side that isn’t just everything is leaving, everything is ending -but instead -there is plenty of opportunity for new and exciting things. The starting of something new. A new season, a new journal, a new month. A fresh start.

The leaves are being ripped from the trees, the sun is setting earlier and as much as I wish to leave my window open at night -I am being awaken in the middle of the night, forcing it shut. Summer is leaving. Fall is well on its way. September is coming.

Before long the last of the tour boats will pull away -our town will hole up until next year. The population dwindle down to the remaining nuts who call this place home and we will begin carving out a new routine. One that is much slower. Of course it will be ok. It always is.

It is just the transitions that are hard. Regardless of when they come. Or who they involve.


Good-bye, Summer! Until we meet again.

Alaska, Summer - 2016

Under the Sea

We got out underwater camera film back the other day.  I laughed…because these pictures.  They are anything but the amazing underwater pictures I was expecting.

You know the type -the ones that look amazing and completely capture the awesomeness that is under the waves.  I’ve seen them all -I know what I was looking for -and then what I got?  Well, they just made me laugh.  But also because they sort of make me happy.  The time spent snorkeling (while challenging!!!) was awesome.

I am probably dating myself but if you remember using disposable cameras (and waiting for the film to get developed) you will have a general idea on what we were up to.  But you also have to remember that we had big rubber gloves on, so navigating the camera wasn’t exactly what one would call…easy.  There were a lot of shots of the glove!

I kinda want to go back, you know?

This guy was a really cool shade of purple when you looked at him under the water -almost like a neon, glow in the dark color.  Of course the picture just shows a little purple blob.  It was a sea urchin, for those wondering.

13615226_1161818690506533_8770453448368351017_nPatrick Star!


An attempt at a thumbs up



Under the sea!  See?


While the hardly counts as “Under the sea photography” -I think I am going to work on brushing up on my “on land” photography before I attempt anything….well, professional.  So this will have to do for now.