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.

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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

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs!

I don’t have anything against any breed of dog, or at least, I didn’t until about two years ago.  The pit bull breed has always gotten a bad rap -and I have always done my best to stay away from choosing sides.  But two years ago I dog sat two pit bulls and vowed never to do it again.  It was the worst two weeks of my life.  The money I made was not worth it.  I am all about following through with my jobs, but this was one job I actually threatened to leave.  I’m not entirely sure what was wrong with them -I just knew I would never watch a pit bull again.

Fast forward a few years.  A few weeks ago I got a phone call from someone asking if I would watch their dog.  I said yes then asked the breed.  A bull dog, she told me.  A sweet bull dog.

It wasn’t until she showed up to drop her off did I realize this was no bull dog.  This was a pit bull.  I couldn’t exactly back out, so I bit my tongue and braced myself for a hard month and ½.  It hasn’t been as difficult as the last time -but it still has been a challenge and one that has made me agree more than ever that I will never watch a pit bull again.  Nothing against them -just that they are not smart.  They have no brains.  I don’t mean it to sound mean -it’s just how they are.  They destroy everything in their path and don’t think about anything else.

I figured however, that since I am going to be watching this bull dog, er, pit bull -for over a month that I would buckle down and try to do some training.  While it hasn’t gone well -it has gone ok.  Which is more than I could have hoped for.  I make her sit before getting her leash on or off.  I make her wait before going in the door and I make her wait before eating her food.  We are still working on “Be quiet.”  I’m not sure that will ever happen.  It might not sound like a lot -but believe me.  It is a lot.

She is a sweet girl.

As a bonus -Yoshi, who doesn’t get along with ANYONE has taken a liking to her.  They enjoy playing in the snow and chasing each other around.

Introducing, Harper, the ‘bull dog.’

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It was all fun and games until Harper stole Yoshi’s snowball.

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:

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

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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.

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

A few other sites from our outings:

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

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She cracks me up!

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Ha!

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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.

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

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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.

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I watched a few more minutes…

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…and then this happened…

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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.

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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.