Alaska, Animals

Stranded

This last week has seen me traveling 20 miles (one way) each day. Our road is 30 miles long -which pretty much means I have been traveling from one end of the island to the other, at least twice a day. Between working on one side of the island and living on the other -plus various house/dog sitting jobs everywhere in between -I have been putting in a lot of miles.

Sunday, I was in the middle of making my rounds (getting dogs, dropping dogs, getting other dogs) and the gas light blinked on. It indicated I had about 20 miles left before I would be stranded on the side of the road -and not wanting to walk somewhere in the middle of the night, I pulled into the gas station that happened to be right there.
Now I must stop here to say -normally, when I get gas -I leave everything in the car. I am super paranoid about blowing things up, so don’t use my cell phone or carry anything extra. I even will admit to tapping the car every so often to avoid electrical currents or whatever they are that could cause the entire gas station and myself go up in flames.

But this day. I was getting numerous texts about house sitting jobs, and since I am equally paranoid about texting and driving (read: $10,000 fines and jail time), I grabbed my phone when I jumped out of the car. Started the gas, then walked a good distance away to finish up my texting. I got a few gallons of gas (just to make it to where the cheaper gas is), took my card and went to open the door: But it wouldn’t open.

Because the dog had apparently gotten tired of hanging out with me, locked the door then went to sleep.

See? Sound asleep!

It took a few minutes for everything to stack up and for it to hit me: I was locked out of the car. All the windows were up. The dogs were going to be of no assistance -BUT! I had my phone.

The smugness! It’s like he’s saying “Yep, I know what I did!”

I laughed, then called mom.

Who didn’t answer.

I tried another fifty some odd times -to no avail. Just a few hours prior I had turned her cell phone off for her (so it wouldn’t ring in church), we don’t have a phone at home and she wasn’t at the shop. I called a few more times -just for good measure.

I text a few people in town to see if they were in the area. No one answered.

I started to panic.

I emailed Amanda -if for nothing more, to have someone to laugh with me. Because really, what else do you do in a situation like that? I had help -she was just a billion miles away in the UK, so, you know, a lot of good that was going to do me.

But then I remembered: My good friends lived right up the road. Surely they would have a hanger I could borrow! I didn’t know what, exactly, I would do with said hanger -but I figured I would cross that bridge when I got there.
Thankfully they answered my frantic texts and showed up about 15 minutes later with a hanger and a hammer. Because we all know a good hammer works in situations like those too.

Apparently just a few days prior they had locked their keys in a car as well. Having had just went through the same thing a few days ago, they had all the needed tools to do a proper ‘break in.’ It took all of about 5 minutes and I was on my way.

…and now? I don’t dare leave the keys (or my phone) in the car when I get out!

But it leaves me wondering: How many people take their keys with them when they pump gas? It honestly is something I have never considered doing before this weekend.

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Alaska, Friends

This Alaska

This Alaska place.

I have had a real strong love/hate relationship with it the past year or so. I love Alaska. I love Ketchikan. I love the rain and the beautiful sunny days and the busy summers and quiet winters. I do. But standing by as friends come and go never gets easy. Being stuck on an Island, a million and one miles away from the people you want to hang out with is a challenge in and of itself. You may only be a few thousand miles away -but it doesn’t matter. You are separated by oceans and lands and miles.

Making new friends has never been a strong suite of mine…so being stuck on an island while your friends move in and out of your life is, well, challenging.

I haven’t done much traveling this year, so being ‘stuck’ on the island has taken its toll.

Yes, I love Alaska. But sometimes…

When it takes you 30 minutes to make a 5 minute drive. When you have to stop and go a million times. When tourist literally jump out in front of your car and give you a brief heart attack. When you just want to go into a shop and not see a billion and one faces -many of who you know and many of who you don’t. When you just want a moment of peace -yet there is none to be found…

And then you go for a hike. Into the vast wilderness. The great unknown. The peaceful calmness of the mountains, the silence. The cool wind and the beautiful scenery. The friends.

When you stand in the mountains of Alaska…you feel so small. You realize just how big this world is and just how small you are. You realize just how small your town is, and the problems in it. You realize there is so much beauty -even in the smallness. You are reminded.

This place? This Alaska?

Is quite simply amazing.

Taking in a deep breath of fresh mountain air is sometimes the remedy that can make everything better again.

Alaska

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!

Animals

Round Two!

It’s official.  I might be just a little bit crazy.  Back in October I found myself watching a total of six dogs at once.  It wasn’t until after the fact did I realize just HOW crazy I might have been.  But somehow -I have found myself in the same position once again, only this time -the dogs are all big dogs.

It seems a little less chaotic this time, however.  Perhaps because they all live in the same general area, or perhaps because mom is back in town and can lend a hand.  Either way -we are back to having six dogs.

Round Two!

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Introducing:

Kilo:

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Kilo is a purebred lab.  She is one of the best dogs I have ever watched, and am terrified I will break her!  She listens SO well!  Her puppy dog eyes are because she is trying to tell me she doesn’t like plain dog food and needs more treats.

Winston:

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Mr. Winston is an good old boy.  We used to watch him -many, many years ago.  Probably 10 years ago.  He is old, but still good.  He got himself stuck in the bushes this afternoon, took me about ten minutes to coax him out!

Bob:

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This is Bob.  Bob has been here before.  He is surrounded by female dogs -and enjoying every minute of it.  Don’t let his sad look fool you!  Every time I see him, I see Scrat:

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He is a good boy too.  He is easy going and gets along with every dog.

Harper:

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Miss Harper has been featured here before.  She is still hanging with us.  These sad eyes are brought to you by the word “sit.”  She loves to run, jump, play and do anything BUT sit.  Don’t worry -she was back to smiles and kisses after the picture.

Belle:

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Belle is a husky.  She has one brown, one blue eye.  She is a beauty.  A nut.  A wild girl who loves to play in the snow…I guess being a husky it runs in her blood.  She was more than happy to smile for the camera -perhaps because I was holding a treat?

and back by popular demand, Yoshi!:

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The ringleader of it all.  Her look says it all.  I have been super happy -she has done VERY well with all these dogs in her house.  The only casualty has actually been to her -I let Yoshi into Harper’s area and Yoshi came in with a bit too much gusto.  Harper bit her ear.  But she is healing nicely.  She is going to be one lonely nut when all these pups leave!

Photography, Travel

The Grand Canyon

A few weeks ago, we were in Arizona.

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Mom and I had one day together, a car, and nowhere to be…so we punched “The Grand Canyon” into the GPS and took off for a mini road trip.

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After driving for about three hours we passed a sign that said something about the Grand Canyon, but the GPS said we were still a bit away.  We kept driving.

…and driving…

…and driving.

We came across this gem, and assumed we were close.

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But then the main road turned into a dirt road and we started going down…not up.  Finally, the GPS announced that “You have reached your destination!  You are now at the Grand Canyon.”

Except that it wasn’t the Grand Canyon.  In fact we were pretty much the opposite of the Grand Canyon.  We were at the base of some ugly looking rock hills, with a dirt trail snaking around them.  “Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL!” mom gasped.  I was less than impressed.  I chucked the GPS in the back seat and took off back up the dirt road.

“Are you sure we are going the right way?” Mom asked.

“You are heading the wrong direction.” The GPS piped up from the back seat as if answering mom.

“I think that was the Grand Canyon.” Mom said again

“Turn around, you are leaving your destination.” GPS continued.

It took some maneuvering but finally, after a few wrong turns -we found ourselves at the Grand Canyon.  The real, Grand Canyon.  The Grand Canyon West.

It was much prettier there.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t brought my good camera -all pictures are camera phone pictures which I suppose is better than nothing.

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When mom tries to use the phone to take a picture it goes something like this.

Mom: Smile!

Me: Cheese!

*Silence*

Me: Mom? You taking the picture?

Mom: ….

Me: Mom?

Mom: SMILE!

Me: MOM TAKE THE….

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