Sneaky grief, in small servings 

Watching a movie tonight I heard a song by David Bowie and it struck me again…

Grief that is.  

Grief that a wonderful beautiful odd man is gone.  Which made my breath catch amd my heart skip.

And while I had nearly forgotten about my own personal loss for a brief period of time while entertained by the movie, this sneaky reminder pulled me back to reality and now I’m left feeling ripped in  half again. 

Grief is a sneaky bitch.  

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Aurora season starts with a bang

I headed out last night to chase with my friend Susan. The data looked really good and though the immediate area weather did not look promising, we decided to head south towards Delta Junction to see if we could find a break in the clouds. Birch Lake gave us that break along with the opportunity for some reflection shots and though there were some clouds I think they added interest to the night.

We left at about 8:30pm so we could find a spot before darkness set in and I was tucked into bed by 3am. A good night chasing with a few stops after we left the lake too since sometimes the Lady dances when she wants and you just have to make due with the side of the road!


Pretty sunset reflection. Sony a6000 with Rokinon 12mm

Big Dipper helps me figure out where to look for the aurora and it gives me a chance to try to focus my stars too.

The aurora started out low, like usual.

With time it slowly grew brighter, wider and higher in the sky.


Two bands and reflection.

Foreground bench that scared me when I first nearly tripped over it. The owls were hooting and other nighttime animals made sounds that I was not accustomed to hearing so this big thing was a bit of a startle when I first saw it with the grass sticking up out of the end.

Playing with Lightroom a bit more than usual on this one. Trying to figure out how to get the color more like what I recall.

Long exposure made that center star quite soft.

Still playing with Lightroom on this one. The orange in the background was really interesting but was in the wrong direction to be the sunset and the sky was much, much darker.

Stopping along the road since the Aurora decided she was not done dancing.

Look at those clouds trying to roll in!


Sometimes the mundane objects like signs can add interest.

I could just barely make out this pink with the naked eye, but my camera was able to get it!

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Becoming Alaskan

That idea that I am more pleased about shopping for camping/fishing gear (so I can go camping/fishing) than just about any other form of shopping is just further proof to myself that I might not ever be fit to live anywhere other than Alaska.
And to further the point, I’m quite pleased about buying a new net for dipnetting.  This pleases me.  The idea of shopping for a dress does not.

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Day 2, Sunday July 2 – End of the Road

The day started earlier than I would have thought especially given how tired I was from my bike ride yesterday. I had gone to sleep early for me, around 10:30pm and I slept fairly well, only waking a few times due to being cold. I never did get around to pulling the furnace out before this trip to figure out why there were flames SHOOTING OUT AT AMY FACE when I tried to light it during my last trip to Tanacross so that, along with a couple of other things that I had hoped to have done by now just aren’t done and I feel like I am living in a VERY ALASKAN RV, with blue foam for one wall and all. But I’m dry and not sleeping in a tent on the ground so I’m happy for my Sandcrawler-bago.

Anyway, I was up and making coffee before my alarm was planned to go off at 8am. It is said that if one goes out into nature that our circadian rhythms get reset and for this lady that is normally a night person, all sort of resetting happens and I’m finding that it’s not all that bad.

I was up and ready to be on my bus at 9:30. Prior to the bus ride I even got to pay another visit to a woman I had met online named Karen, one of Dottie’s humans, who had mentioned she really wanted to see my RV since she said she likes the old ones. It’s in quite a state, as I’ll explain below, but I showed her inside and then grabbed my gear and went out to catch my bus for the day.

I suppose this makes the second annual “End of the Road” trip. Last year during my week-long stay with Susan we took the Kantishna / End of the Road trip as the reserved first ride with the Tek Pass. While I’ll found that I normally prefer to only go in as far as Eielson since between here and there is where most of the wildlife can be found, there is something to be said for going all the way to “The Katishna” and taking your photo at the sign at the end of the road. Additionally, had I not gone to the end of the road I would not have seen the moose in the pond nor would I have got those great shots.

Overall we didn’t see a ton of wildlife, but the sow and two cubs lying in the grass made up for it all.  I’m pretty excited about those pictures. Also got to see a few single caribou in various places, tons and tons of squirrels, quite a few hares (yuck!), a few eagles and a variety of other birds including mew gulls, swamps, ducks. It had been forecasted for rain today so I didn’t expect to see the mountain, but Denali peeked out for a bit while we were at Eielson and she stayed visible for part of our drive past it as well.

My bus ride lasted from about 10am until 7:30pm. We had sun and rain, a bus full of mostly quiet people except for some rowdy kids. Overall a nice day. Not sure what the plan is for tomorrow. I do want to get in another Sable Pass ride or sure and I’m contemplating one that is even longer. We will see how good a job the ibuprofen does tonight since I’m a bit sore from yesterday still.

I’m trying to recall what food I eat during these trips since I tend to take WAY TOO MUCH so for the record and so I can better pack:

Dinner was leftover boiled potatoes that I fried with some organic Geee that I had at home (I’m avoiding dairy due to how much I hate the commercial dairy industry and eggs due to allergy, but it was all I had at home and so I grabbed it) and then topped that with Mushroom Masala from Tasty Bites. So delicious and super easy. Canned potatoes would work too, so that’s another easy meal to take camping!

On the bus I ate two apples, two mandarin oranges and a banana with yogurt, plus GORP, some Packaroons and other small snacking type food; I should have brought more than just snacks for the long trip, but it just made dinner all that much better when I go back to camp.

Nearly 10pm and I’m beat so it’s time for bed.



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Not all who wander are lost.


Sometimes we just had a crappy day at work and need to wander (and go fast) to improve our attitude.

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Denali, July 1, 2017 – Seven Miles down

I’m in the park for a whole week, from Saturday, July 1 to Saturday, July 8 this year and I’m on my own which I’m finding quite pleasant. Leaving home I got a bit of a later start that I planned and then got held up by traffic and the wait at the park office to check in. I had planned to be in Teklanika Campground (Tek) by 3ish, but I finally arrived around 5:30 pm. Most of my drive I was saying “I’m coming puppy!” which might seem quite odd, but I was supposed to be checking in on Dottie, a doggie who was staying in the park with its humans that took the Kantishna ride and it’s humans were worried about her being alone in their (quite plush and super cute) Airstream for eight hours, but its humans were already back by the time I got into Teklanika and the doggie was quite fine.

Once I parked I decided to take a bike ride, the same one that Susan and I first took a  year ago. It’s seven miles round trip and though there were no major hills it was hard for us last year. I’m happy to say it was significantly easier for me this year and I only had to stop a couple of times for a drink of water. I got some pretty shots and a rather fortuitous shot of a hare that looked like it was begging from a bus. I’m surprised I took the shots since I really don’t like rabbits; I basically hate them, great gnashing teeth and traumatizing Watership Down and all.  It was a lovely ride and while I missed the company and the giggling, I do enjoy being on my own a lot these days.

Being on my own already has some other advantages I’d not considered. I’m able to leave the table in the RV set up and considering that half of the RV is still not complete and I’m missing much storage from the roof replacement still, it’s kind of nice to not have to figure out where I’m going to put all the food that I have in tubs on the table right now.  I will be glad to get all my storage back in order so stuff isn’t strewn about though, and then I can go back to having room for company without playing the RV tetris game.

Tomorrow I get to take my reserved spot on the End of the Road bus ride to Kantishna. I’m excited to try to my new lens, the 70-300 which is more like a 105-450 on my cropped sensor camera and I’ve heard good reports of animal viewing from that trip for some folks met online who did the trip today.

Dinner was leftover salmon burger and salad that I had Michael prepare when we had the same thing Friday. Delicious!



Denali National Park sign, outside the park on the PARKS Highway.

New signage just inside the park.

I really appreciate the skies here in Alaska.

Finally made it to Tek!

The skies here are just HUGE.

Landscape that goes one for miles and miles…

Did I mention I like the skies here?

Nearly done with my first bike ride in Denali of this year. At the 26 mile marker but I’ve only come from mile 29.1 making the whole trip about 7 miles.



Run away! Hare! Scary!



Pretty sure this is a golden eagle. It was REALLY FAR but I caught it with my new lens!

Lupine, I believe.


Such detail with my new lens and I’m still learning how to use it.

Home for a week.

Classic RV, aka the Sandcrawler. I swear every person that walked by tried to look inside. Lookie-loos, the lot of them! They are just jealous of my awesome accommodations.

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First ride of the 2017 season

Planned on going out with Michael to take the first ride of the season, but his battery was dead so he told me to go ahead and so I did!


Pipeline Viewing area in Fox is always popular.

Stopped at the weigh station. It was closed but they had cones out so I practiced my slow turns and maneuvers with them.

And then I took a ride over to the airport just becuase I didn’t want to stop riding yet.

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Denali, Shoulder Season Take 1

It’s shoulder season at Denali National Park and the park road was open to mile 30 at the Teklanika Overlook on Saturday, April 15 when I went to the park with my friend Susan.


The Great One in the distance. April 15, 2017

The Great One. April 15, 2017

Bear! – April 15, 2017

Bear! – April 15, 2017

Wolf top left, bear bottom right! – April 15, 2017

Wolf! – April 15, 2017

Wolf and bear and a raven! – April 15, 2017

Wolf! – April 15, 2017

Pretty Greyjay at Telanika Overlook

Two Wolves! – April 15, 2017

Wolf! April 15, 2017

Pretty ice field. April 15, 2017

The Great One under the sun. April 15, 2017

Great landscape in Denali Park. April 15, 2017

Entrance Sign Denali Park. April 15, 2017

The Great One still shows up in the distance on our way out of the park. April 15, 2017

The Great One still shows up in the distance on our way out of the park. April 15, 2017

Willow Ptarmagin. April 15, 2017

Willow Ptarmagin. April 15, 2017

Willow Ptarmagin. April 15, 2017

Willow Ptarmagin. April 15, 2017

Willow Ptarmagin. April 15, 2017

Willow Ptarmagin. April 15, 2017

Denali Park. April 15, 2017

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Moderation works, mostly.

It’s been a week since I decided to try to limit my rice intake. So far I’ve been successful and only once did I have rice two times in one day, yesterday in fact, but it was very small portions both times and I would consider the two to equal one portion. 

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Curry-soup, aka the elimi-rice diet

Monday I had rice with lunch so when Micheal made the curry for dinner I ate it free of rice, like soup, with half a pita and some hummus on the side.  Today i plan to have rice with dinner so my lunch was the curry-soup.  I’m rather liking it this way too. A touch of coconut yogurt cuts the spice just a bit and makes it a bit more creamy.  

I don’t really think of this as a diet, rather as a way of moderation.  It’s doable!

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