Monthly Archives: May 2016

Atka Alaska Pt 1

In Atka, we toured around the island by 4-wheeler looking at potential  and recently completed cleanup sites of WWII origin.  The Aleutians are incredibly remote, yet I was shocked to see how much garbage that washes up on the beaches from all over the world.  The population of the village is about 64.  As a geologist it was very cool to explore the island and view the snow cover volcanoes with steaming vents.  Again I was fortunate to have excellent weather, which makes for excellent viewing.

Dutch Harbor

In April I flew to Dutch Harbor for a night on my way to Atka in the outer Aleutians to conduct another site visit for work.  I had an evening and following morning to walk around and take in the sights of Dutch Harbor.  Lots of WWII remnants and lots of modern day fishing boats, crab pots and other fishing supplies.  I swear there were so many workers there for the fishing industry from all over the world, English seemed to be the minority language as I saw Mexicans, Pacific Islanders (Malaysians, Filipinos, etc) and Ethiopians!  

A sunny First weekend in April at Girdwood

Pictures of the boys enjoying a gravel beach on Glacier Creek and the Girdwood Playground.  Should have been playing in snow, but couldn’t as what little we had was already gone.  A third snow-less winter in a row.

More of Ketchikan Alaska

Before catching an evening flight back to Anchorage I had some time to explore Ketchikan.  The last time I was in Ketchikan was June 1998 with my friend Ken Hott, for whom I was just in AZ celebrating.  Attached are some photos of some of the totem pole parks, Creek Street and a walk in a protected part of the old growth forest.

Ketchikan to Metlakatla Alaska

Immediately after returning from AZ I had to travel to Metlakatla on Annette Island in the southern most part of the Alaska pan handle.  I had to make a site visit to see the site that we are helping cleaning up along with the native community.  I flew from Anchorage to Ketchikan, got to take the ferry from the Ketchikan airport to the town proper where one of the “bridges to nowhere” would have been located.  I had an evening in Ketchikan then the following am there before driving my rental car onto another ferry to Metlakatla.  Metlakatla is the only “reservation” for Native Americans in Alaska.  Some of the sites were located on top of smaller mountains.  Of course we had to hike up them to see them.

Apache Junction and day hiking in the Superstition Mtns

A few of us didnt leave AZ until Monday aftenoon/evening.  Rich, who’s a teacher in Apache Jct was off for Spring Break too, so he and Mike took Pat and myself on an early am hike.  It was very cool to walk among the giant saguaro cactus.  This warm world of cactus is so different from my current world in cooler, whiter and at times greener Anchorage, AK.  Also felt good to sweat some of the alcohol off from the wkd in Flagstaff.

Ken Hott Memorial Reunion at Northern Arizona University

In February one of my best friends since college passed away while travelling in Chile.  A month later, just about all of my core dorm mates that all hung out in college gathered together in Flagstaff, AZ to celebrate our friend.  It was an awesome experience to see everyone.  It had been 30 yrs since I saw most of these guys.   It was as though no time had passed.  We were all still knuckleheads who had lost one of our own.  I was so impressed that so many had come back as we all live scattered about N. America (NY, Toronto, Alaska).  I was pleased to see that everyone retained their genuineness.  I cant help but feel so fortunate to have met and befriended so many great folks, that after 30 yrs, we could reunite and pick up where we left off.  It felt so easy to be with a huge group all the same age with similar humble backgrounds.

It was spring break for NAU while we were there.  We tried to get into our old dorm, but were told due to security reasons we werent allowed inside, not even with an escort.  My how times have changed since the days of double open doors at all times in the warmer weather, to single bolted door, always closed with a card slide reader for access or a ph at the door.  I cant help but feel for the younger generations that will never experience the carefree, simple, safer, more freedom days of old.

Boys skiing

I’m in Port Heiden for a couple weeks of work.  I finally had some time to edit and send out some pics highlighting the spring.

These pics are of the boys first ski lessons.