The first 28 miles

Rode 28 miles on my bike last week, between Monday, May 28th and Saturday, June 2nd.

My bike was held together somewhat with duct tape for the last eight miles.

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Denali Day 5, Wednesday July 5, A day of rest, a shower, a bear on the road and a ranger talk (no pics yet)

 

I decided yesterday after my big adventure hiking on the park road that I was going to take today easy. I slept until 10 again, had a nice breakfast of coconut yogurt with banana, some coffee, some yoga and decided I was going to take a shower since it was nice and warm and I needed a shower!

So I got out my camper shower that hooks into my propane and water system and enjoyed a lovely warm shower. The PTA baths with warm water have been a nice addition to help with staying cleanish while camping, but being able to take an actual warm shower and wash my hair makes me understand why folks like their huge RVs with the built-in showers. If I lived in an RV full time I could see myself needing that, but for now, that’s a luxury I don’t need especially since my pop up shower tent and propane shower works so well now!

After stowing all that needed to be stowed I packed up my bag and got on a bus heading for Eielson at 12:25. The driver seemed nice, if not a bit more uptight about the rules than some of the others. He wanted bear spray under the bus and reminded us every time we got back on the bus about the requirement to wear seat belts, something new that all the other drivers mentioned at least once but not too frequently this year. The bus was somber when I got on and I had to sit in the very back since the driver was reserving the front seat for his stuff and trash (but when he picked up another ranger the ranger was allowed to sit there).

Our ride out to Eielson seemed quieter than other days. We saw one bear REALLY FAR away and some caribou that was far too, but we also saw a golden eagle sitting in PRETTY ROCKS. We did see a single bear just before we go over Stony Hill heading towards Fish Creek and Eielson and he was close enough to get a few good shots.

The day was sunny and dusty, as compared to the other overcast days and though I intended to rest I got off the bus at Eielson and started walking towards Fish Creek again, but I had only made it around a couple curves when the dust started bothering me, as did my feet so I turned around and was back in time to get on Ryan’s bus again.

Our ride back was excellent. There was a bear on the road and we passed right by it so I got some amazing close shots. WOHOO!
We also encountered a caribou on the road that blocked our path for about 10 minutes so we followed it and got some good butt shots for him.  And there was another caribou just off the road and I’m pretty sure I got some good shots of him too.

As is normal we picked up hikers along the road and picked up a large group at the Tek river just before going up the big hill. We had a full bus so I decided to get out at the overlook and walk back to camp. WHY? I have no idea except I figured getting out at the Tek campground from the very back of the full bus would be harder. I am so tired now, but it’s a good tired.

 

I was back by 6:30 today so I had time to make it to a ranger talk. Ranger Bill gave the talk and it was entertaining for the most part. I did hear that a group here in the campground saw a LYNX last night so I’m still hopeful I’ll find one to photograph. I’m also thinking bike ride of Sable Pass tomorrow if the weather cooperates.

I had a lighter dinner of a big salad of tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado with some ramen. Dessert was beer, melatonin, and ibuprofen.

As mentioned before I’m going to need to break up posting my photos since there are so many.  Blog post for now and I’ll add photos as I get to them.

 

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Denali, Day 4, Tuesday, July 4 – Independence is off-trail in the park (no pics yet)

Another day sleeping in until 10am and I had no plans on doing anything taxing or physical since I was pretty tired and sore from my hike yesterday. I got up, had coffee and my sun salutations, made some fried potatoes for breakfast and decided to try to hop on that 11:25 Eielson bus again.

However the first bus that showed up was a Wonder Lake bus and the driver was super friendly so I got on and pondered the option of another trip out to Wonder Lake. I sat in the back of the bus just in front of a couple from the UP of Michigan. They told me they had not seen anything other than squirrels yet and as I had done the two days prior I mentioned that was common and to not give up yet. I had a whole seat to myself and they seemed to enjoy having the windows down, something that seems uncommon for many buses so often times the buses are too hot for me. This seemed like it might be a really good fit and once again I contemplated a trip all the way to Wonder Lake even though the skies looked quite grey towards the interior of the park. As our trip progressed we saw the typical animals, sheep that were not much more than white dots on a rock, lots of caribous really high on a ridge, but the real treat was the sow with her two cubs. She was closer to the road and more in the open that the days prior and so I got a lot more shots with all three visible. By the time we got to Eielson, the clouds look really terrible for Wonder Lake, but it was pretty nice at Eielson so I decided to jump off the bus and try to catch a bus back to see the bears some more.

What happened next is totally unexplainable to me, but in a good way. I went on stand-by and there was a lot of people waiting, including some unruly and rude kids that were jumping all over the plants and the area they weren’t supposed to.  Not their fault, I blame the parents who were not teaching their kids to behave and respect the rules of the park. After missing the first bus that left the dispatcher said they could get me and everyone else on the next bus in about 25 minutes, but instead of standing around I decided to enjoy the day, told the dispatcher to take my name off the list and started walking the park road heading back to the entrance! I made it all the way to the plains areas where the large caribou nursery herd was last year. I’m not sure how far it is, perhaps two or three miles, but the experience was amazing. So quiet and peaceful.  I know how easy it is to be silent enjoy the scenery and that will become problematic for me in a day or so as you will find out if you read on…..

Back to the present, the first bus I flagged down was driven by a less than pleasant driver, Evan. I got to sit in the front seat right behind the driver so I thought I got lucky, especially since we saw the sow and Cubs again and they gave an even better opportunity to get more photos, but the driver didn’t offer much for the bus patrons and snapped at me when I grabbed the bar going around a corner.  I think it’s a bar that is there to patrons to hold onto. Maybe he was having a bad day but I needed to get away from his grumpy attitude so I disembarked from his bus at Toklat and there was a caribou right on the river that gave me a great opportunity for photos. My next driver was a sweet older man who had some fun stories and so the ride back was quite pleasant. More white dots on a rock and we did get to see some caribou right after Toklat too. A good day overall.

 

Dinner was five-minute couscous with black beans and some Punjab Eggplant mixed in. It was easily enough for two, possibly even three so I saved half and will have a nice meal tomorrow that is ready-made. My snacks were bagel and avocado, three mandarin oranges and some packaroons.

As mentioned before I’m going to need to break up posting my photos since there are so many.  Blog post for now and I’ll add photos as I get to them.

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Denali day 3, July 3 – Hiking up Alpine Trail (no pics yet)

It rained a lot last night and when I went to pack up my bed I noticed there was WATER on one of the support boards under my bed! Momentary freak out thinking the roof or window was leaking then after pulling it all apart I realized the propane compartment must not be sealed well on the outside wall since all the after was pooled there. Something else for me to fix, but not too bad, at least I don’t think so.

I got to sleep in late today; it was almost 10am before I decided I wanted to get up. I had coffee and breakfast and was on a bus heading or Eielson by 11:25 with no exact plan for what wanted to do since it looked gray, cloudy and potentially raining which can make the animals come out and make me not want to hike so much. Today’s bus ride had a big group, this time a group of 15 students making a documentary about “Into the Wild.” They hadn’t seen any wildlife as of Tek where I got picked up if I recall and seemed concerned they wouldn’t. There was also another big group of 11 people that had got on the bus at Tek when I did and they had a couple young/pre-teen kids, but they were all quite polite and it was a nice contrast to the huge group from the day before that has been so noisy and wild.

We ended up seeing a couple of bears on the way into the park, as well as some caribou that were really far up on a ridge. The day seemed cool and clear of rain so I decided to tackle my TO DO HIKE, the Alpine Trail that is behind the Eielson Visitor Center.  After leaving all my food in a food locker, an oversight which I would later regret, and only packing in my water and camera I started at about 2:30 and was finally back to the visitor center by about 5:30. Gorgeous views the entire way up and even better at the top. It was well worth it! At the top I encountered a lady who offered me some of a breakfast bar that they handed out to her at the Backcountry Lodge she was staying at and I gladly took her up on it since the climb had drained almost all the energy I had; In hindsight I really  need to work on my stamina before I try it again.  I am considering the trail that goes down to the river, maybe in a couple days after I rest a bit.

I managed to hop on the 6pm bus heading back to the entrance and the big group that was staying in Tek was on it. On our way back we saw more bears, at least six on the way back although only two of them were close enough to get good photos. Also saw a few other wildlife; besides the bears, the caribou buck we saw was a really great sighting. I got back to camp and had “Mac and not cheese” with some fresh tomato cut up.  Again I used the water heater to get some water for a PTA bath and to wash dishes just as more rain rolled in. I’ve taken my ibuprofen and melatonin and will be heading to sleepy town very soon now.

I guess I forgot to write down all my other snacks, though I’m quite sure I had more fruit and a bagel with smashed avocado.  That is better than PB&J I think!

I’m thinking I’m going to need to break up posting my photos since there are so many.  Blog post for now and I’ll add photos as I get to them.

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Stay the fuck home when you are contagiously sick!

Fuck. I knew my workplace was a hot zone of disease. Everyone is coughing, sneezing and/or making other disgusting noises out of their faces.

I was initially home sick for a long four-day weekend, spent another weekend at home recuperating and am home during the week once again because I was exposed to two more very obviously sick people who should have been home.  I’m so tired of people and their lack of common courtesy or respect for their fellow co-workers.

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Aurora Pie Party, Jan 13, 2017

Last night I went to a local gathering hosted in Two Rivers by Mariska with my friend Susan. It was also my first time out to chase the lights out in months. And chasing might be an exaggeration since we got to go into a warm building to take refuge in while we waited for the lights to dance; it almost seemed like cheating. But the lights came out, the stars were amazing and it was a good reminder of why I enjoy photographing the lights.

Forgot how exhausted I feel the day after. I always like seeing the light dance. Thinking I really need to move out of downtown FBX so I can see them more often.

“Pea soup” Lights were barely detectable by eyes, but with a slightly longer exposure you could see they were out. They really started showing up after an hour or so… Sony a6000 Aperture Priority 10 sec ISO 1000

Light play. Sony a6000 Aperture Priority 30 sec ISO 500

And the show begins… Sony a6000 Aperture Priority 30 sec ISO 500

Sony a6000 Aperture Priority 30 sec ISO 500

Sony a6000 Aperture Priority 30 sec ISO 500

Sony a6000 Aperture Priority 30 sec ISO 800

Symmetry in the sky. Sony a6000 Aperture Priority 30 sec ISO 800

Sony a6000 Aperture Priority 10 sec ISO 4000

Not Steve. Likely clouds, Neat looking…. Sony a6000 Aperture Priority 125sec ISO 5000

End of the night… Sony a6000 Aperture Priority 13 sec ISO 5000

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If the Buddha had a bosom

Last night my Yoga Flow class had what the teacher called a ‘ladder flow’, where one pose it taken and then after each vinyasa/chataranga it is repeated with another pose following it and so on. This is basically how I do all my flows at home so it felt very natural at first.

Crouching down dog was a new twist on a well-known pose and the ever-challenging three legged dog that makes my glutes ache the day after in an oh-so-good way.

Bow your Humble Horse a million times to insure inner thighs ache as much as the glutes do and I was back to dripping sweat all over my mat. Then add some eagle arms while you do so wide-legged forward fold to ensure you get up close and personal with your sweat-filled décolletage and I was ready to go jump in the snowbank even though it was -15F last night.

Still comparing myself shape-wise to the Buddha, the roly poly version at least.  I’m stronger, but I’m pretty sure that if the Buddha did yoga and had an ample bosom he would not be inclined to do any eagle arms, extensive twists or folds.

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Yoga devil in spandex pants

Anyone who identifies as a Power/Hot/Warm Vinyasa Yoga teacher might be the devil in spandex pants. And I’m starting to think anyone who prefers Lizard over pigeon might immediately fall into this category as well. Not because Lizard is hard for me, in fact it’s too easy due to my extended range of flexibility, but it’s one that I too easily flop into unsupported by muscles and therefore almost always end up overstretched the next day with even tighter hip muscles than I had before.

Another Vinyasa class last night and today my arms, pecs and back ache. Liking the challenge, not loving the classes, but not willing to waste the punch card money so I’ve got three of NOT QUITE MY KIND OF YOGA classes more to go. But I’m sticking with it and that’s something.

And of course today I woke up looking like a cross between Shirley Temple and the lead singer from A Flock of Seagulls so much reaching overhead for combing and brushing was needed to get my hair presentable for the public.

 

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issues with authority

Apparently I take issue with stupid authority too:

We just had a power outage. The whole building went dark. Not great if you are the power company. It came up within less than a minute, but since I work in IT and in the same building where the servers are at I hear all the “Oh no!” panic statements about the servers and the work that other programmers had lost.

Our DBA says “Man, if the servers went down I’m losing the whole days’ work”. Fortunately he didn’t since the server room is protected and on a huge UPS. We also have power strips along all the walls in our (stupid, stupid) semi-open office plan. Some have bright orange plugs and I recall being told they were wired the UPS. I ask the DBA if he was plugged into one. He says “No, I was told not to use them by power on high.” I ask, but why? And follow up with emphatic “I want to know why”.

So some guy from the group that does our IT support comes over to my area. I’m not a fan of this guy to begin with and the fact that he overhears all our conversations and feels the need to comment irks me. He snarkily says the reason we can’t use the UPS plugs is because it is connected to the server room and “if you want to keep the servers alive then don’t use it.”

I can feel my blood boiling as I try to keep a calm façade. “Then why were they even installed in a common work area if they should not be used?” I ask.

I don’t have an answer for that.

Screw you authority. You make no sense!

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feeling stabby

Open office plans are the suck, but they could work if people just had a little respect for their fellow human beings. Blatantly noisy and disrespectful co-workers are the suck.

Stab. Stab. Stab.

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