Saturday, August 18, 2012

until next summer . . .


School has officially begun and the days of summer are a pleasant memory.  Although the temps are still off the charts on the high end, the rain has fallen hard today . . . and the thunder is now rolling off in the distance as the storm moves away.

During the last week of July, I was able to spend a few days at the beach with a re-connected dear friend.  We spent our days doing nothing but lounging on the beach, appreciating the waves, picking up seashells, slurping all the shrimp and snow crab legs we desired, and laughing at  dolphin antics.  More than that, we caught up on kids, and grandkids, and life . . . friendship is such a treasure.



                 heron on the pier (gulf shores)














                                       fishing gear





                 gulls in mobile bay



on the lookout


“summer breeze makes me feel fine” . . . 



Wednesday, August 1, 2012



Our visit to Alaska passed quickly, and before we knew it we were on the plane back to the summer inferno we call The South.  I hope you enjoyed sharing a little bit of our journey.  Since I took way too many pictures, I will leave you with just a few more of my favorites taken during the week. 



















thanks for stopping by . . .


Sunday, July 29, 2012

alaska–day 7


Our visit was winding down; and we only had one more day in Alaska.  Brother’s ankle was still quite tender and swollen so we decided to take a bike ride on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.  The path is paved and winds through the woods above and along the coast of Cook Inlet.  We were about one and a half miles into the ride when I moved over to allow another biker to pass.  Somehow I went off the trail and found myself airborne, followed by a hard thud to the ground.  Immediately I knew something had cracked in my chest-underarm area (rib or ribs, later confirmed by x-rays).  After catching my breath and dusting off, we kept cycling down the trail; but after a few more miles, I asked that we cut the ride short and head back to the car.  On the way, we encountered another momma moose and her baby at the trail’s edge (she was really close, but we didn’t get any good shots because we wanted to make sure we stayed out of her way). 

[Four weeks have passed since this little adventure and my body is recovering nicely although at a slower pace than I would like.  Still have tenderness and a little pain in the area, but all is well.]











                      the only picture I took on this adventure, before the ride














                  looking out over cook inlet        (photo by Russ Almond)













                      driftwood in the marshy area  (photo by Russ Almond)



        pink clover     (photo by Russ Almond)


a few favorites on the way . . .


Sunday, July 22, 2012

alaska–day 6


Day 6 found Sonja and my brother itching for a more strenuous challenging hike, so their destination was Rabbit Lake.  While they went to explore the area, Stacy and I, along with the kiddos, went to downtown Anchorage.  During the summer months, vendors and artists man booths every weekend offering colorful T-shirts, various artistic creations, and all kinds of tasty treats. After browsing around for a while (and digging into a greasy-sugary funnel cake), we headed back to the house.  When bro and Sonja returned, we found that Russ had found a little trouble on the trail.  Seems like Leo (wonder dog) wasn’t ready to come home yet, so Russ had to go after him, getting a nasty ankle sprain in the process.   He put in the ibuprofen, put on the ice, and was out of commission for the rest of the evening.  What an adventure . . .








         funnin’ around downtown




IMG_3459     roar!





trail to rabbit lake

(photo by Russ Almond)








100_6554                                                      rabbit lake (frozen)  (photo by Russ Almond)






rollin’ leo

(photo by Russ Almond)





100_6572  self-portrait

                                                                                                                        (photo by Russ Almond)



                                              rabbit lake      (photo by Russ Almond)


more excitement on the way . . .


Thursday, July 19, 2012

alaska–more of day 5


Later in the day we made our way from Seward to Exit Glacier.  Although the day was winding down according to the clock,  the sun was still shining as we approached.  From the highway we viewed the glacier and the runoff below; then we drove to the trailhead going up to the glacier itself.  Sonja and bro took the short hike-run up the trail and captured some up close views while I rested in the car with my good friend, Kindle.






       sonja and russ



IMG_3417  sonja and g


IMG_3416                                                                             exit glacier, highway view


                 trail to exit glacier  (photo by Russ Almond)





P6290135                    sonja at exit glacier (photo by Russ Almond)


P6290142                                                       one more view (photo by Russ Almond)


still more to come . . .


Monday, July 16, 2012

alaska–day 5


After a cozy night in the remote cabin at Dolly Varden Lake, we loaded up the boats, paddled to the car, and headed to Seward.  Summer months find this area buzzing with tourists . . . taking photographs, fishing, boating, shopping, eating, and cruising.  

We fit right in . . .



                                                                                showing off the halibut



             fish-cleaning stations



                                                                                                                    water taxi












                    big boat, little boat


IMG_3368                                      black  beach

















         downtown reflection


the journey continues . . .


Saturday, July 14, 2012



Everywhere we went during our weeklong visit in Alaska, we were on the lookout . . . for moose, bears, Dall sheep, fish, eagles and all kinds of other birds.  We had successful sightings of all but the bears . . . deep sigh of relief.  Although the animals were just doing what they do, we were always surprised when we encountered them in their natural habitat.  As long as we didn’t get too close, they were quite cooperative about letting us take their pictures.


IMG_3148                                  two young bulls


P6280033        eagle at low tide       (photo by Russ Almond)


100_6579                                    non-bear sighting         (photo by Russ Almond)


IMG_3216                                                                         gulls at the river








young dall sheep







moose mom with twins





IMG_3002         our favorite wild animal, leo


more fun on the way . . .


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

alaska–more of day 4


After the salmon and the gulls and the fly-fishing, we made our way to the remote cabin located on Dolly Varden Lake.  After driving 14 miles down a gravel road, we arrived at the lake, loaded up our gear in the canoe and the kayak, and started paddling.  About a mile of zig-zag canoeing (out of practice?) brought us to the cabin where we were greeted by the buzzing mosquito welcoming committee.  No fear . . .  we donned our fashionable mosquito-netting headgear and went about our business. 

We unloaded the boats and immediately headed down to the lake to soak our weary aching legs in the cold water (see day 2).  Bro kept the cabin nice and cozy with a wood-stove fire, filtered some water from the lake, and cooked up some dehydrated meals for dinner.  What a pro!


100_6528                   paddle to the cabin   (photo by Russ Almond)














IMG_3253      almond nuts


100_6511                           aaahhh . . .                                             (photo by Russ Almond)


IMG_3267                               sunrise through the trees


        100_6513  our outside facilities



              back to civilization  (photo by Russ Almond)


wildlife ahead . . .