Tuesday, December 06, 2005
I had a request for some snow in the Keweenaw pictures. Well, here it is. The stuff has really been coming down since I arrived home a couple days before Thanksgiving. This is the view out my mom's living room window to the park across the street in Mohawk. I'm not in New Zealand anymore, that's for sure!!
This weekend was a good time. Finally got up to Copper Harbor for a fun night at the Peter's abode. Was I spoiled, sushi two nights in a row in the Keweenaw!
Monday, December 05, 2005
Where I went, what I did:
3. Five day hike on the Abel Tasman Coastal Track
6. Hiked the Banks Peninsula Track
8. Hiked the Milford Track
10. Hiked the Northern Circuit of the Tongariro Crossing
Things I will miss the most about New Zealand:
1. the language
2. backpacking huts with flush toilets and stoves
3. hokey pokey ice cream (oops, yes that is bad!)
5. white wine
7. the little spoon that comes with my flat white coffee
8. beer and garlic bread the staples of my New Zealand diet when not on the trail.
9. Cinema Paradiso
10. the sun
There were so many little things that made this place so wonderful. Enjoy the photos! This will be a work in progress!!
This year was another great summer in Alaska. It was so great to get to know all of the staff this year. Many of you have become lifetime friends. There were a lot of really great backpacking trips with some pretty scary adventures. My first trip out for the season to the East Fork of the Toklat with Sharri and Jake involved some pretty good river crossings. There is a statistic that says more people die by drowning than by bear attacks in the park. No one has ever died from a bear attack. Thanks to Jake I did not become a Denali statistic and drown in the Toklat. All of the rain and warm spring temperatures caused some extreme snowmelt in the mountains and all the rivers were running high this year.
A trip with Fiona, Chris and Anna allowed me to have my first Grizzly encounter in the park. Around a blind corner the bear stood no further than 30ft. from me. I am still here to tell the tale....
I finally got to Lake Minchumina this summer. Fiona, Shawnee, and I had a great little retreat at the lodge there. They treated us like family. The food was amazing and plentiful. We all had a great time meeting everyone there and just getting away for a couple of days.
Uncle Fred became part of the DBL family for a week in September. Despite what looked like some possible fierce weather, the sun came out and we had a great overnight trip to Geode Ridge. We also had some great bear sighting on the camper bus back to the lodge.
In the thick of it I know I often questioned what I was doing this summer. It only took a day to be away to realize what a truly amazing place DBL is and how wonderful all the people who work there are. It really is someplace special. I am very lucky to have spent two summer working in such a beautiful place with equally beautiful people. I miss you all!! Please keep in touch.
From Alaska I flew down to Austin to visit my Aunt Mary and Uncle Fred and also to check out the Austin City Limits Music Festival. It was nice to head down there and have a little city time. The music festival was great except for the 110 degree temperatures. Got to see a whole lot of music in two days including Aqualung, Martin Sexton, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Coldplay, and many more. My cousin Mary and her husband Tom also came to Austin for the Festival, that is them in the photo.
After leaving Texas I flew into Salt Lake City. Becky picked me up and we must have talked for 24 hours straight that first day. So much catching up to do. Becky, I sure missed you at DBL this year.
So we headed to Escalante and did a four night trip in Fence Canyon. We had a nice little base camp and had fun exploring the surrounding canyons as well. Neon canyon was something to remember. After one hot day of hiking out of the canyon we made our way to a little day trip in Bryce Canyon where we explored and hugged rocks. Hey, if you can hug a tree, why not a rock?
The next part of our trip was one adventure. We met Jessica, Nichol, and Jen at Zion for an overnight trip of the Virgin River Narrows. This was one tough trip. The canyon was beautiful when we weren't staring at our feet!! I don't think I could walk properly for three days after that trip. I vow to never go on another backpacking trip that involves swimming!! It was great to spend time with all the girls. Jessica hung around for a while afterward. She even took Becky and I over to St. George to sleep on her parents friends porch!! That was really a nice night even though I don't think I got much sleep with the dogs licking my head all night!! It was fun to have the little slumber party, up all night giggling with the girls.
After St. George Becky and I were on our own again. We headed down to the Grand Canyon. This was my first trip to the Grand Canyon and it was as spectacular as I had imagined it would be. We also spent some time trying to explore some of the area around Buckskin Gulch but came into some technical difficulties.
After three weeks in Utah Becky and I were ready for a little fun. I had to fly out of Vegas to catch my flight in L.A. to New Zealand. We decided to get a room in Vegas for the last night of our adventure. We had a great night out on the strip. I got Becky to try sushi for the first time and Becky managed to bring out the wild side of Nicole. The night turned out better than I could have ever imagined. It was a really great way to spend my last night in the United States before catching my plane the following afternoon.
Thank you so much Becky for so many wonderful memories on this trip. It's one of those once in a lifetime things that you will never forget. I love you girl!!
Jessica it was so much fun having you along and getting to know you even better outside of DBL. Thanks for that night in St. George. Don't worry I havn't forgot about your pictures!!
Nichol and Jen I'm so glad you were able to join us, wish you could have stayed longer.