Exit Glacier & wildlife!!!

3 06 2009

Leaving the campground, Jim and I saw a bald eagle land on the piling in the water. So we pulled over, and I got about 15 feet away from this gorgeous creature!!!

the bald eagle in Seward

the bald eagle in Seward

the eagle, again...

the eagle, again...

and on the way to the Exit Glacier, two new Venezuelan friends ran up to Sandie, saying they had seen some moose on the path. 3 of them! So Sandie, the two new Venezuelan friends and I ran ahead on the path, moose-hunting. We didn’t find the three that our friends had seen, but saw this guy!!!!

a moose!!

a moose!!

The Exit Glacier was fantastic to see. Amazing. It actually looks bluer in the photos than it did in reality. Funny.

Kjell drinking glacier water

Kjell drinking glacier water

the glacier

the glacier

the clan, minus Sandie, who took the picture

the clan, minus Sandie, who took the picture

family picture at the "toe" of the glacier, Kajsa asleep in the backpack

family picture at the "toe" of the glacier, Kajsa asleep in the backpack

Cathy fell down in the glacier

Cathy fell down in the glacier

Kjell and Cathy trying to move the glacier

Kjell and Cathy trying to move the glacier





more cruise pictures

3 06 2009
spray from a whale spout

spray from a whale spout

the waves on the bottom: from the boat; the spray/waves on the top: a dall porpoise!

the waves on the bottom: from the boat; the spray/waves on the top: a dall porpoise!

a sailboat, that made us think of Phil Keillor...

a sailboat, that made us think of Phil Keillor...

a sea otter. Our ship captain slowed the boat down, turned around, drove around the sea otter, who basically ignored us, except to glance at the tourists with cameras...

a sea otter. Our ship captain slowed the boat down, turned around, drove around the sea otter, who basically ignored us, except to glance at the tourists with cameras...





Wildlife Cruise

3 06 2009

The Wildlife “cruise” was not a waste. Of time or money. Which is always good, as one never knows with this kind of thing–at least so I’ve heard. We didn’t see everything we had been told we might see, but saw more than expected, too. Thanks to the Lawrence clan, Jim and I got to go on the boat without Kajsa. I would love for Kajsa to have seen the wildlife.. but the parents with small children on the boat didn’t seem to be enjoying it nearly as much.

in front of a glacier... a bit hard to see in the picture, but it is there.

in front of a glacier... a bit hard to see in the picture, but it is there.

a sea lion colony

a sea lion colony

the funky bird frenzy.... the ship captain and park ranger and intern had never seen this before. Common Murre birds going crazy, making lots of noise. They think it could be because of a Coast Guard chopper on top, doing some research by the bird nests

the funky bird frenzy.... the ship captain and park ranger and intern had never seen this before. Common Murre birds going crazy, making lots of noise. They think it could be because of a Coast Guard chopper on top, doing some research by the bird nests

a whale! a whale! a whale tail!!! We ended up seeing probably 10-13 whales... just the backs and tails and sprays... but sooooo cool!!!

a whale! a whale! a whale tail!!! We ended up seeing probably 10-13 whales... just the backs and tails and sprays... but sooooo cool!!!





Camp pies and a rummage sale…

1 06 2009

I’ve heard about the camp pies. Sandie has bragged about the camp pies. They sounded like they might be good, but honestly, it’s one of those things that you have to experience, I think.

a pie iron in the fire

a pie iron in the fire

So don’t worry, friends of mine who live close by… I will buy one of these cast iron pie irons, and make these for you at some point. (Except I won’t try the spam and velveeta camp pie that some brave souls ate yesterday, here in the Lawrence back yard.)

On Thursday evening, Sandie made camp pies for us.

"oozie goodness"

"oozie goodness"

Cheap bread, buttered on the outside of each slice, and cherry pie filling in the middle, squashed into a pie iron, cooked over a campfire. On Friday, Sandie experimented with cheddar cheese to make grilled cheese sandwiches. Also fantastic. In fact, Sandie’s term for these is now “oozie goodness”. For those of you who don’t like the sound of cherry pie filling, insert any filling you want. Camp pies simply rock.

One of the great things about camping is fun people you meet. We had some fun neighbors: the 2 Danes and San Francisco friend; and the couple from Montana…. one of the not-so-great-things about camping is your proximity to loud people you meet. I’m all for having fun while camping, but honestly people…  GO TO BED! or at least be quieter for those of us who are already struggling to sleep because it’s freezing… Needless to say, Thursday night was a rough night of sporadic sleep.

Friday morning’s breakfast was instant oatmeal, bacon, and camp coffee.

the tent Jim, Kajsa, and I slept in

the tent Jim, Kajsa, and I slept in

Yum. Camping with the Lawrences is fun, because they have fun camp gear. It’s also fun, because the Lawrences are fun. But that goes without saying. The camp gear part is wild. It’s not like they have a mini-REI in their house full of camp gear, but I’ve honestly never been camping with such cool gear.

a little wildlife exiting the tent

a little wildlife exiting the tent

And Dave says this is nothing, compared to friends of his. I love it. I should also mention that I have not been camping a ton.. some, but not a ton.

After breakfast, we were all pretty excited to walk up to the Methodist church in Seward, and go to the rummage sale.

the rummage sale gang

the rummage sale gang

The campground bathroom house had a flyer on the wall, advertising the sale. Since most of us froze Thursday night as well as stayed awake thanks to loud neighbors, we decided to rummage for more clothing and blankets. Fun. Who’d of thunk… we go to Alaksa, and to a great rummage sale. Loads of fun. The photo I’m trying to insert in this paragraph should show the funny photo of the gang, loaded up with rummage gear. Jim found a mattress pad, a foam pad (both for putting under our sleeping bags), and a sheet, I think. Sandie got more blankets, I got some awesome pants that are warmer than anything else I have here. Etc.

By the time we returned to the campground, Jim and I had to get ready for our 5-hour “cruise” to see wildlife out on the sea. So we packed up our backpack, bundled up in our rummage-sale gear, Dave packed us a lunch (because we’re too cheap to pay for the salmon/prime rib buffet on the boat), and we all took the long walk along the sidewalk down to the small boat harbor. Entropy was the center of attention, of course… loads of tourists taking loads of photos of him. He tolerated it.





Camping in Seward

1 06 2009

on Thursday afternoon, we loaded up two carloads of camping gear, kids, Little E., and adults, some snacks, etc. and drove to Seward, down south. I will admit to some apprehension about camping. It had been ages, since I’d camped. But I’m all for adventure, and thougth this might be fun. As it turns out, it was. Not only fun, but beautiful!! We drove to Seward, along a coastal highway for a bit, then on a highway surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks. Really, it’s gorgeous. It helps, of course, that we saw another moose and 5 bald eagles on the way to Seward. But the photos of the distant moose and distant bald eagles are hardly worth posting. Still, we saw them.

What did not help the trip much was the camera lens catastrophe. Kajsa was on my shoulders, and I was about to hand off my camera to get her down, when she fell. Fortunately I held onto her leg, and she slid most of the way down my back, fell a short distance, then after crying a bit, did her normal routine of blaming whatever “made” her fall, or what “broke” her fall.. in this case, the ground. Pointing to it, crying, shaking her head and her finger at the ground. Unfortunately, in the process of Kajsa slipping down my back, and my fear of her falling harder, I dropped the camera. With the zoom lens on it. The zoom still works–but only at that outermost zoom length. Which is good, I guess. If you’re going to break your zoom lens, I suppose it’s best that it breaks at the greatest length possible. The bad part is, it’s stuck there.. and can’t move. So, it involves a lot of switching of lenses, when I’m wanting to capture a distant shot, then a closer shot.. oh well. As I have said numerous times, “I dropped my daughter, and I dropped my camera. I saved my daughter, not the camera.”

Here are some pictures…

dead trees, dead since the 1964 earthquake.. the trees are dead because the ground sank and saltwater entered these parts.

dead trees, dead since the 1964 earthquake.. the trees are dead because the ground sank and saltwater entered these parts.

Hooligan fishing on the way to Seward (20 Mile Creek)

somebody Hooligan fishing in 20 Mile River, on the way to Seward

a stone's throw (a good throw) from our tents... in Seward, on Resurrection Bay

a stone's throw (a good throw) from our tents... in Seward, on Resurrection Bay

Kjell, Sunny and Broder, in Seward

Kjell, Sunny and Broder, in Seward

the campsite, with tired campers

the campsite, enjoying the campfire

2 Seagulls and a Sea Otter. The otter hung out in the water by our campsite for ages, it seemed.

2 Seagulls and a Sea Otter. The otter hung out in the water by our campsite for ages, it seemed.





besides the moose…

28 05 2009

there’s not much else to say. No, just kidding. The moose pretty much trumps anything else. But given that, it’s incredibly fun to be with the

Broder, Kajsa and Sunny at Earthquake Park

Broder, Kajsa and Sunny at Earthquake Park

Lawrence clan, to see Entropy, and to be in Anchorage.

We arrived Monday night. Tuesday morning, before Dave arrived home from Prudhoe Bay (work) and Sandie came home from work, the kids and Jim and I walked (with Entropy, of course)

Sunny, spinning and spinning and spinning

Sunny, spinning and spinning and spinning

to a park nearby, where the kids enjoyed spinning on some funky playground equipment.

On our way to the airport to pick up

Jim, spinning and spinning and spinning...

Jim, spinning and spinning and spinning...

Dave, we stopped at Earthquake Park, where all sorts of displays tell the story of the 1964 Good Friday earthquake. Lots of mosquitoes. Lots of fun for Kajsa, holding hands with Sunny and Broder.

After picking Dave up at the airport, we all went to Moose’s Tooth for dinner. INcredible pizza. Moose’s Tooth is my third favorite pizza in the world. That’s right, the world. of course my other two are also in the US. (1: Giordanno’s, Chicago… 2: a place in New York City). But still.. out of all the pizza I have eaten, Moose’s Tooth pizza is my third favorite.

Little E, while Jim is driving

Little E, while Jim is driving

Can’t hurt that the restaurant has “Moose” in its name. But also, the pizza rocks.

The other night we were headed out to see some Falls, but it looked like rain that direction, so Sandie said we could go on our moose hunt instead. (See the “I saw a MOOSE” post.)

Kajsa, spinning...

Kajsa, spinning...

We drove around. Or, I should say, Sandie drove around, while Jim, Sunny and I peeled our eyes open, searching the highways, byways and woods for moose.

Sandie and Entropy, at Chugach State Park

Sandie and Entropy, at Chugach State Park

Kajsa was basically in her I’m-so-tired-I-can’t-fall-asleep funk.

Sunny and Kjell, at Moose's Tooth

Sunny and Kjell, at Moose's Tooth

But eventually settled down. We ended up at Chugach State Park, where we hiked part of FlatTop Mountain. Only part, because there were too many dogs off-leash, and Entropy was with us–ON leash, let me add.

Sandie's, Entropy's, Sunny's, and Cathy's feet in the snow... at Chugach

Sandie's, Entropy's, Sunny's, and Cathy's feet in the snow... at Chugach

So it was a bit frustrating that other dogs kept running up to Little E. That, and the girls were freezing cold. Sunny only had a sleeveless shirt on. And Kajsa was in the backpack, but we didn’t realize how cold she was getting.

a cold Kajsa, and Jim

a cold Kajsa, and Jim

Of course, there was snow. But not a ton of snow. So we wrapped up Kajsa in Jim’s long-sleeved shirt. Anyhow, gorgeous walk. Besides the cold.

I’m liking Alaska.





i saw a MOOSE!!!!!!

27 05 2009

two, actually! a mother and her calf. Sooooo cute. not such great pictures. but still, we saw two moose!!!!

First of all, Jim, Kajsa and I are in Alaska! Anchorage, to be exact, visiting the Lawrence’s. Second, I’ve been on this “moose hunt” for several years. It’s become a family joke, that Cathy is constantly on the lookout for moose. And, just to be clear, my definition of “moose-hunt” involves driving around rural areas (someone else usually driving), camera in hand, windows down, shoes on–usually… ready to jump out of the car and photograph. the moose.

moose poop

moose poop

the elusive moose that seems to know when I’m in town, and hides.

So I told Sandie L., that if I did not see a moose here in Alaska, I would be bummed. Really bummed. Especially considering that they seem to have moose wandering all over the area.

after mama moose noticed me

after mama moose noticed me

And I figured the moose would hide, once they knew I was here. Last night, Sandie was a good friend, and drove us around, for a moose hunt. I said I was giving up on the moose. 24 hours in Alaska, and no moose-sighting yet. Sandie even called some friends in various areas of Anchorage, to put the alert out. Moose-sightings? call Sandie, so her crazy visitors can go see it….

so this morning,

the moose walking away... check out the cute calf

the moose walking away... check out the cute calf

Sandie heard about a moose and her calf bedded in someone’s backyard. Sandie made the call. We received the call. We got in the car (Jim, Cathy, Sunny and Kajsa), drove up to the moose-sighting home… but missed her by a few minutes. We hung out, walked back into the woods a bit.. but no luck. Nice people, and I’m grateful they allowed these strangers to wander their backyard. But no luck. Lots of moose poop. As pictured. So we got back in the car, and drove around a bit more… and then, we saw them! the moose and her calf…

so cute!

so cute!

I put my zoom lens on the camera, jumped out of the car–barefoot–quietly snuck down someone’s driveway, and took some photos. I was so incredibly happy. Elated. Thrilled. Ecstatic. I can’t believe we finally saw a moose. I have heard that in real life, the are actually ugly. I disagree. I think they are beautfiul.