Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricanes and other turmoil

I've come to the conclusion that the more you have to talk/blog about, the less you can actually do it. I'm dying to process my Alaska trip in photos, journals and most importantly, paint (Oh yes, I remember paint), but it's been a crazy trip since I arrived back at Logan Airport at 10am Sunday morning after a 13 hour overnight flight, with 2 running for the gate plane changes.

Before I left for Alaska my 81 year old dad had spent his first ever few days in the hospital with a rapid heartbeat. He did not take to it well and left with medication to regulate his heart but much weaker than when he went in.  I was ready to cancel my trip, but he seemed to be recovering gradually at home and all seemed under control.

So I went, and it was incredible. I will post about it soon I hope.

I got back on Sunday, tried to catch up on sleep, booted up my computer to check my email. Watched it sputter and die. Then right back to work Monday morning, with a coworker on vacation so an unusually heavy workload. Lunch was at the Apple genius bar sending my laptop in for repair. After work I headed to my folks and found my dad ok, but thinner and weaker than when I left, on Hospice care and determined to refuse any more tests or hospitalizations. And so the week was a blur of working and visiting the folks, helping put my dad to bed, calling siblings and doctors. I barely unpacked, so was looking forward to the weekend which I though would give me time to breath.

Enter Irene.

Say what you will about her, it's nice that she decided to arrive on Sunday, to give me Saturday to batten down the hatches. My husband was working so couldn't help with hurricane prep on Saturday, but I was actually looking forward to puttering around my house for a full day at home, which I haven't had for 3 weeks. But an early morning call Saturday had me ready to grab my keys and head back to my folks. My mom was panicking about my dad and I told her I'd be there and that the hurricane was just going to have to wait. Luckily though, the situation was resolved and thanks to my sister I didn't have to go this time.

Now I have to make the decision whether to leave again in two weeks for my residency in the Petrified National Forest. I guess time will tell.

So the studio has been dark and silent, and now filled with lawn furniture and trash barrels and anything else from the yard that could become a projectile in a hurricane.

Oh, for the days when sleeping on the rainy rocky coast, paddling 5 miles, lugging gear and lifting my kayak to the roof a boat was the hardest thing I had to do. Let's hope Hurricane Irene blows some better winds my way!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back east, online, and catching up!

Me at the dock in Whittier, AK, waiting to board the Dora Keen and begin my Prince William Sound adventure.
Things have been kind of crazy since I got back from my 13-hour overnight flight from Alaska, but I just picked up my repaired laptop and am in the process of editing my photos and journal. Hopefully if circumstances beyond my control (and there are a few of those in play) cooperate, I'll be posting more soon!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Returning to the White Spot, just for the halibut

Ever since I stumbled onto this place on my entry into Anchorage I've been craving their Halibut sandwich.

I even blogged about it, but blogpress mangled it. Anyway, I'm back, anxiously waiting for a repeat of this.

Now lest you think I came to the Anch just for the coffee shops and greasy spoons, hear's a pic from the Alaska zoo. Remind me to tell you about rescuing my dropped eyeglasses from the grizzly enclosure.

Here's my sandwich -- signing

Location:W 10th Ave,Anchorage,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back in Anchorage

First stop, Side St coffee, the cool little coffee shop I discovered on my first pass through. Actually, it's my second stop, the first was a tiny falafel shop that Carl, Forest Service electrician and generally funny and friendly guy, suggested we stop at for lunch. Carl gave me a ride from Girdwood where I spent the night in the bunkhouse after returning from my adventure in Harriman Fyord and a fun night at Table 5 pub with the aforementioned Carl and Forest Rangers.

So where are all the breath taking photos from kayaking through icebergs? They're on my other camera and no way to upload them till I get home.

So this is kind of a test of iPhone blogging again and is not to suggest I spent all of my Alaskan adventure in a coffee shop!

Location:K St,Anchorage,United States

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


My digs in Girdwood. I have another post written but blogpress won't let me upload it, so maybe I'll have better luck with this one.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blogpress testing

Still having trouble with blogpress but will offer up these cute baby sled dogs if it will be kind enough to post for me.

And if it does I may try another post before we head for the wilderness and out of cell phone range tomorrow.

Location:Alyeska Hwy,,United States

Monday, August 8, 2011


Seeing this polar bear trapped behind glass in the airport wasn't the thing that made me feel I was really in Alaska. After all, we have live ones in our Providence zoo. It was waking up on a gray morning and looking out the big picture window of my room in City Garden B&B and seeing seagulls wandering aimlessly in the park opposite--and realizing that they were Alaskan seagulls. Look the same though.

Of course it was very strange to go to sleep last night with the sun coming in that same window at 10:30 pm, which made it a little hard to fall asleep even though it was 2:30 am as far as my body knew, and I had been flying for more than 12 hours. The last bit was amazing though as I caught a glimpse of Denali rising above the clouds in the distance and the clouds broke long enough to catch sight of a massive glacier pouring through surrealistically gorgeous mountains. This photo is from my iPhone taking a picture from my camera display but it gives ann idea. I'll swap it out later. Mobile technology can only do so much!

And sometimes the simply stubby pencil is more dependable.

Well after a very congenial breakfast with my fellow translate it's off to the cultural center and Anchorage Museum. I hear I'm going to pass a reindeer on the way.

Location:W 10th Ave,Anchorage,United States

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Countdown to Alaska

Looks like the government didn't shut down after all, but at this point it might have been a relief to put it out of its misery. It insists on limping on, however, so rangers will be paid, parks will be open, and I'm still packing for my National Forest Artist Residency in Prince William Sound. I'm also practicing blogging from my iPhone, but am already cheating by editing it on my laptop. In theory I should be able to take photos from my iPhone, write my blog on that tiny little keyboard and post through BlogPress. It actually seemed to work for as long as I could stand working that way, and a download of a Photoshop Lite app solve the photo rotation problem, so I'm good to go. I just need a wifi or verizon connection. That should be no problem in Anchorage, but out in "the field" is another story. So if I suddenly go silent just assume I'm having wild adventures, following grizzly tracks and swimming with killer whales, far, far from civilization. Or 60 miles south of Anchorage. Same thing.

The weather is looking a bit chilly up Whittier way, which is where we launch from, not to mention rainy. But I was warned that it is the rainy season so I'm just going to assume it will be misty and mysterious, which may be another way of saying wet, cold and miserable, but sounds a lot better. Then if the sun breaks through it will be a bonus, and the sun will have plenty of time to peek out, since it won't go down till about 10:30. 

Unfortunately I can't be totally excited about going, since life has a way of throwing curve balls and I don't always remember to duck. My dear father had a bit of a health setback last week and I'm going to feel nervous about going so far from the family. Not that I don't have dozens of wonderful loving and responsible siblings, but I still feel guilty leaving. He's doing better everyday though and has lots of support so I know he will be in good hands. I'll just bombard him with postcards and regale him with Alaska lore when I get back. I hear Alaska is loaded with lore.
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