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 . . .






Monday, July 9, 2012

alaska–day 4


Our destination for later on during this rainy day was a remote cabin on a small lake; but first we detoured to take a trail leading to the Kenai River-Lower Russian Lake.  We hiked up a graveled path to a viewing platform situated above the river where we watched salmon leap and struggle-swim their way upstream.  Seagulls stood sentry duty, looking for the opportunity to snack.  We then navigated a narrow-slippery-muddy-rocky trail down to the riverside where fisherpersons and bears competed for the turning-pink fish.

Thankfully, we encountered only the “persons” part of that equation . . .


IMG_3203  warning



   mr. pinkfeet waiting for a bite


IMG_3222 salmon heading upriver


IMG_3220  salmon leap



trail to and along the river (pictures above and below)












IMG_3237             fly-fishing


IMG_3238  riverside instructions and warnings


IMG_3230    kenai  / russian river


movin’ on . . .


Sunday, July 8, 2012



Today I take a break from the action and share with you some of the vibrant blooms of Alaska, including a few wild ones.  By the way, I think I saw more dandelions (in every stage of development) than I have witnessed anywhere else.  Due to extended daylight hours and because of the abundance of rain, plants and trees of all kinds flourish during the summer months in the Anchorage area.

IMG_2991        pansies


IMG_2992     pansies


IMG_2998         pink hydrangea


IMG_3004         poppy















               blue bells


IMG_3292         wild rose


IMG_3409 columbine


IMG_3059       dandelion puff


IMG_3155    fireweed


variety is beautiful . . .