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Somewhere in the Mojave Desert, California, United States
Gazing into this abyss called Life and wondering.....what's next !?!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Alaska sojourn, part 3...

My 100th post! Life has suddenly become very busy with school starting up very soon; my daughter coming home on leave next week; and my middle son preparing to move out (again) and start school near the coast. The fledglings are spreading their wings and flying into the big blue yonder. I think I'm over the empty nest thing.....

I'll leave you with an assortment of shots from my trip to Alaska. Just random snapshots and commentary - an essence of Alaska from the inside...

<----These folks were on the ridge at Hatcher Pass, waiting for their paragliders to land. I think I posted a shot of that area including Summit Lake in a previous post to give you a better idea of the landscape.

Fireweed - the roads and hillsides were exploding with it --------------->

<--------Christmas in July? Nope. Used snow booties for the sled dogs.  This is at the Iditarod Headquarters in Wasilla, AK.  Fascinating history around the use of dog sleds and the relationship between the musher and their dog team.  It was quite brutal 'back in the day'. It still isn't a cake walk but the event, held every winter, now has support teams along the 1000+ mile route.

Here is a good link if you wanted to know more about the history as well as current status of the 2013 Iditarod.

And this is Toby, sporting his new snow booties, ready to go snowshoeing with me this winter. The bag on the floor is an authentic food drop bag for the sled dogs. The name on this bag, Shaktoolik, is one of the checkpoints along the trail...--------------->

Our fav pit stop - the Burger Bus!  These kinds of places were all over where we traveled on the Kenai Peninsula. Funky vehicles converted into eateries or drive-thru coffee hutches or ice cream stops. This place has fabulous burgers and fries, and when it's chilly and dreary out - which was most of our trip - it warms the tummies well.....  I assumed these places would only be open once the snow melts. Not so. Many are open year 'round - even in minus zero conditions - the ice cream stops were the most popular - in the winter!

And finally, the image below, not a great one as I used my iPhone and zoomed in. Our national bird, the Bald Eagle. Magnificent. There were 2 pair on the beach right outside our room every day. This one allowed my son to get within 15 feet of it. It flew just a few feet farther away and was joined by, I believe, its mate. A short time later, another pair landed not too far away. They were 'talking' to each other.  It was fascinating to watch. There were maybe a half dozen people on the beach, at low tide, quietly taking photos and just watching. The eagles didn't seem too perplexed that we were there. These graceful birds are huge compared to the gulls and crows that were on the beach as well.

What a treat to be in their presence.....

All images 2012 © Diana Shay Diehl / Alaska