This is one of the views from the Piper aircraft we flew in around Anchorage, Alaska. This is an area where three glaciers come together and have formed a lake from the “calving” off the glaciers.
This was taken from the open door of the Piper as we landed on the waters of that lake. The small iceberg in the photo is larger than the aircraft we flew in.
Another view from the airplane as we are going back to Anchorage. You can see the tall buildings in the background with some of Anchorage spread out below us. There is a lot of water and a lot of large trees within the city so a surprisingly large number of wild animals live within the city itself.
Probably one of the best trips I have ever taken, and if anyone ever asks you to go, do not hesitate, just say… Yes!
This was not a photograph about a hand, but it is now. While traveling with a friend last summer, we were on a tour just outside of Anchorage. At a beautiful spot to view the mountains and a glacier forming in them. My friend pointed as I snapped the photo and her hand was immortalized as she is pointing out the glacier on this cold and overcast day. Even with that Alaska is just beautiful and I can’t wait to go back for my next visit.
Cornflower, it is a chicken or egg kind of question. Is the color named for the flower or vice versa. In any case a lovely shade of blue as well as a charming flower. Also a color found in sapphire gemstones.
A field of cornflowers in bloom is a wondrous thing to behold.
Just a beautiful is a quilt that incorporates this lovely color.
It’s time for the noise makers and the toasts and the traditional well wishes to the new year 2017. It’s a time of reflection for some and a time of new beginnings. We make resolutions each year with the hope that they will last more than a day.
I am still 70, but technically 70 1/2, so I can only hope that the new year finds me wiser. As a child that 1/2 year seemed to make all the difference because we were now taller or smarter or stronger than just 6 months ago. After my trip to Alaska, I know I am all those, well almost all those things, I did not get any taller this year.
I will be forever grateful that he year 2016 allowed me to realize 2 dreams I never thought I would live in Alaska, since I did not do this when I was young enough to survive anything, who thought that at the ripe old age of 70 I would follow my dream. I an thrilled that I was able to do this and can only say never stop dreaming to all my fellow wanderers. This was a hard year as well for a variety of reasons, but I am choosing to focus on the wonderful.
I also managed to live long enough to see the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. It was touch and go there a number of times, but I am so grateful they filled not just my bucket list item, but thousands of others as well.
My friends, I wish you well. Health and happiness and love in the next year.
May peace be with you today and all days.
Some of the beauty of Alaska that I have not shared yet.
Glacier fields and snow capped mountains in summer.
Small lake in Anchorage.
The beauty and distance never stops.
Now that I am away from Alaska and my summer job I have had some time to reflect on all of it. Had I decided early enough in the year, my living arrangements would have been different. I would have rented a room from a private individual and saved myself money and aggravation. Or, I would have stayed in a hostel near where I was working. Some of the people who rent out rooms are trustworthy and some are not, the same as in any place in the world. In some cases you just need to take a giant leap of faith.
I would have purchased a bicycle sooner and ridden it all over the place. While riding the bus was very reasonably priced, free is certainly cheaper. With those 2 changes, I would have been able to save a lot of money over the summer. While that was not my primary goal, it would have been a great secondary achievement.
I would have taken more excursions early in the summer rather than try to settle into my living arrangements. I should have looked at my apartment as a semester of college and just used whatever, rather than try to recreate my home.
Don’t get me wrong I did a ton of stuff while I was there, but I may have had a few missed opportunities to see and do other things. Or I might have done some things a second or third time over the summer. I’m sure I would have still spent all my money in Alaska.
Would I do it again, in a heartbeat. I would also strongly recommend it to any and every person who is able to try this. You will work very hard over the summer, but the rewards are worth it. If you are from another country, what a great way to have a working vacation and learn a different way of life. I had a friend who spent her summer in New Zealand and it changed her life forever in ways she did not expect. So jump in, the water’s fine.
I have been a Cubs fan since I was born!
I have no words to express how over the moon excited I am that they have made it to the World Series in my lifetime. Two things off my bucket list in one year is an unbelievable alignment of stars and planets and karma.
The Chicago Cubs had a thing many years ago called Ladies Day. As a very young child my mother left my brothers and father behind and we took the bus to Wrigley Field. I grew up able to watch major league baseball. This was not like the kids in the playground at the school behind my house. This was big time. Before we had a television in our home I was going to baseball games.
I loved the whole idea of it. Riding the bus to get there and spending an afternoon keeping the stats of players was one of the sweetest childhood memories I have. I realize as a child I did not have much say in who I cheered for in baseball, as an adult I do.
I have been blessed to cross a number of things off my bucket list, even while I was young enough to really enjoy them. I watched the Rose Bowl parade in person and even worked on a float putting flowers on. I went with friends to the Macy’s Parade in New York. But the years these things happened they were the highlights for several years.
This year I had the chance to live in Alaska and will cheer on my Cubs in the World Series, EPIC. Now, I can’t afford the ticket to get in, but being on the same street will make me extremely happy.
For not being a bread eater, I have 3 loaves of various sourdough bread in the freezer. A local bakery makes cornbread sourdough and I have regular sourdough as well as rye sourdough. There is something truly delicious about each version named and I can’t wait to try others. I first discovered sourdough when I lived in San Francisco and developed an addiction for it.
Sourdough was used by Egyptians in 1500 BC, has been widely used throughout Europe. A bakery in San Francisco discovered a unique culture which created a flavor that the miners loved. Sourdough bread is made from a starter that needs to be replenished. The gold rush in Alaska brought sourdough starter here.
A sourdough is also a nickname given to someone who spent an entire winter above the Arctic Circle and it refers to their keeping the starter warm by keeping it close to their body. Some of that sourdough starter is said to still be in use today. The older the starter it generates a tang which is what makes it much more of a prized possession.
There are numerous recipes available for starter, or put the word out and certainly someone has starter that needs to be shared. I have never been successful at keeping and using the starter to make my own, it requires more attention than I can give. I do agree with the premise that sourdough is a magical food.
Denali means “the high one” and is the highest mountain peak in North America. Denali, the park, is 6 million acres of land. Yes, things are big in Alaska. The mountain has had it’s name restored recently and is visible from many parts of the state. This is not a political blog so I really have no desire to discuss the right or wrong about the name. This is what it is today.
It is truly magnificent to see this mountain towering over all the others and covered in snow. I have been lucky enough to see it from different places and feel the same sense of awe each time. I earlier spoke about meeting a man who was climbing the mountain and salute all those who are able to do that. It is very difficult and I am sure very rewarding at the same time. Any time you set a goal for yourself and achieve it, is a time to celebrate. I am now ready to celebrate.
Certainly I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to go to the park and explore to do so. Much of the park is not accessible to some people. It, like the rest of this state, is beautiful and extremely difficult at the same time. This land has certainly built and destroyed many people.
I have so much more to share about Alaska and how it changed me, but only want to encourage anyone who is thinking about visiting or working here to do it. Do your homework, this place is not for everyone. I will be quite now and just share some pictures.