Tuesday, June 26, 2012

80 degree day

        I was going to run a Mediviji half marathon I'd been training for with Aaron.   However with the amazing weather report and one more weekend of summer here in Sitka with my friends before leaving to head south for 6 weeks, I couldn't say no to a kayak to the white sandy beach of Sea Lion Cove 25 miles, one way, north of town.  Before the trip the longest I'd ever paddled at once was with Aaron the day after we returned from our honeymoon.  That day we paddled 12 miles across and back to Kruzoff Island to run up our favorite dormant volcano Mnt. Edgecumbe, so I was a bit intimidated by the mileage of this trip, but nothing I knew I wasn't good for, especially with the dreamy 80 degree weather.  Friday afternoon Ben, Em, Kristin and I launched, leaving Aaron behind to work on our deck at home.

        The sun was up but the wind was too, so the trip didn't end without stories.  And thankfully for our friends Ryan and Kristin were also in route to Sea Lion Cove right as we were about to portage to hide from the wind.  They picked us up in their large 30 ft. aluminum boat  2/3rds through our paddle there, allowing us to make it to the beach on day 2 instead of day 3 or 4.   And what a beach it was, after 2 days of paddling and a 2 1/2 mile hike across Kruzoff we spent and afternoon playing frisbee and lounging on a private beach.  The dreamy weather sure made for a dreamy trip!  Here is the photo journal:

 Aaron busy at work on our deck while we are about to head out frolicking, though it did allow Aaron to run the 1/2 marathon and then he and Sam skiffed out to meet us Saturday after the race.  Then Sam and I switched places, Sam paddled my kayak while I took the boat ride back to town with Aaron. 
 Ben, Emily, Kristin and I at our launch Friday afternoon!  Aren't we tough?  And we haven't even paddled yet.
 The newlyweds Em and Ben out at sea!
 Kristin, the trip visionary and my kayak mate on Friday.  Saturday Em and Ben took the double.
 Sunset on the first night... it was just as lovely Saturday evening.  This photo was taken at about 10pm.
 The trail heading out to Sea Lion Cove, notice two bear cubs in the photo?
 We are still on the hike, hard to take a bad photo!
 Sea Lion Cove, no sea lions, but we did see a Minke Whale and Humpback whales on the paddle over!  Orcas were spotted on the paddle back on Sunday, thank goodness everyone was hauled out on the beach!

 Here is a creek that empties into the ocean that we found on the far side of the beach.
 Tanning in the warm sun, I still have a long way to go to catch up with my down south friends, but it is a start.
Here is the padding crew Monday for happy hour.  They all came over Monday to help us finish the deck and various other tasks.  We are lucky enough to have amazing friends that are willing to help us with our remodel, and look at that beautiful deck! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

No swimming quite yet

A few days ago I pulled Aaron away from installing our new heat pump, in order to go up Starrigaven.  I had high hopes that if the shallow lakes were unfrozen, and we'd be able to go swimming!  On the hike up we were hopeful but not convinced, being early June, often the alpine still has lots of snow.  Sure enough we were still a little early for the swim, but it was still a warm, mostly wind free, frolic up the mountain with my most favorite husband!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Parents visit

No one gets it, until they visit!  When I left for AK for the first time, 4 years 364 days ago, I didn't know that I would stay.  Now 5 years to the day tomorrow, I can't dream of ever leaving.  When I return home to visit no one understands.  To those friends and family who have made the transcontinental very expensive visit however it is a different story.

Last week my parents came up for their 3rd Alaskan visit, the weather wasn't much more cooperative than it had been on their previous 2 trips but the adventures were stronger than ever.  It is always so nice to have visitors here and (hint hint) we pull out the red carpet and make all the stops.

Here are some photos and a brief overview of their trip: 

Monday they arrived via Alaska Airlines on the 11am flight, we skiffed out 6 miles south to Salmon Lake, took a lovely 4 mile hike to the lake, and stopped to watch a coastal brown bear hanging out on the beach on our skiff ride home.

Tuesday was mom and dad's first and maybe last hike up Mnt. Verstovia.  2 1/2 hours of climbing without a single complaint, okay maybe one or two!  There was still quiet a bit of snow on the trail, and mom's Keens may not have been the best option for footware, but no one would have known!  My parents weren't intimidate by this 2550 ft. mountain and glided up like they were still youth!  That evening we hosted Tuesday Night Dinner, had a nice Alaskan style jam, and casually 4 different Wild Alaskan King Salmon dishes were brought to the potluck.

Wednesday was just a rest day, mom and I worked in the yard and we ate good Alaskan inspired meals.  We also ate at the most delicious restaurant I have ever had the luxury of going to, Ludvigs,  YUM!

Thursday we KAYAKED in the Pacific, it took mom a little convincing, but what a paddle!  We even had a little seal follow alongside our boats.  (I didn't even have to pay him.)

Friday we had another nice hike and some fishing!  Dad and I went out with a buddy of mine jigging for halibut and trolling for Kings, and as the swells on the ocean grew so were the fish that were biting.  Dad pulled in two lean cod and back to the house we went to grill up some darn good beer battered cod.   And though we didn't catch any King salmon we did catch the most surreal Alaskan tale I've had my near 5 years here, no emphasis added.  On the way home, in Dustin's 16 foot skiff we boated straight into a WHALE!  No harm was done to either party and I am just glad we only hit the tail of the whale and lived to tell the tale!