This is an Alaskan glacier painting by Stephen McGowen, master painter of North Dartmouth. Thanks to his generosity it is in a place of honor in my hall. He gave it to me to bring me luck with my Alaskan residency applications, and it seems like it did the trick! I'm posting it in the hopes that its power can keep the government from defaulting, resulting in the padlocking all our national parks and canceling my residency on Prince William Sound. (The downside to posting it is I've now raised the bar for glacier paintings awfully high.)
But until I get to the state of Alaska I'm going to be in the state of denial and continue to prepare for my adventure, which is only 2 weeks away. Yes it is, the government will NOT shut down.
Last weekend I spent another 5 hours practicing paddling and testing my waterproof camera case in the Great Swamp in Kingston. So far so good. I managed to keep my camera dry, and get out and over a beaver dam with no mishaps other than almost putting my hand on a 2ft. water snake (they bite, but not venomously, the little wimps) who swam away like the Loch Ness monster, giving me the evil snake eyes.
I practiced paddling as fast as I could (or as I like to call it, keeping-up-with -forest-ranger-speed) navigating up winding swampy rivers, paddling sideways and backwards, and pretending I didn't really have to use a bathroom for the last 4 hours of the trip. Wonder where the bathrooms are on Prince William Sound?
I'm really liking kayaking though, and feel silly that I didn't try it 20 years ago. I just might have to think about getting one of my own next year.