Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gray Days

What we do in Valdez to brighten things up. Add blue to your world on gray dreary days. Wait, the sun is coming out!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Keystone Canyon Bicylist

Was barely able to photo this bike rider soaring through Keystone Canyon today. I was on the water run filling the jugs for the seniors at Horsetail Falls. When I saw him pedalling in full raingear with packs strapped to his bike my camera was in the glovebox. I raced to the truck while he sped by. Course I passed him on my way back to town with my windshield wipers going full blast in the pouring rain. I admire people whom ride bikes all over Alaska prepared to camp. Its got to be an enduring way to see the state.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fishing on the dock in the bay

Valdez city dock has been made more user friendly since the new ferry dock was built. This year a handicap access dock is in the works. Now that the "eye sore" smelly fish plant is gone there is a lot more room on the dock. The cannery, Nautilus, moved their operation to Whittier after the city backed out of their 99 year lease. Problem is since the fish plant is gone so are the herring you used to be able to fish for right off the dock. The herring now hang out outside Valdez's only fish proccessing plant, PeterPan Seafoods, Inc., on the other side of the harbor where you need a boat to jig. You should still be able to land pink salmon off the city dock in July at high tide.

The old cannery will be torn down this summer. I'll get before and after pictures.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Old Vet

This WW11 veteran was on the sea cruise with us. He pointed out his camp above the rocky shores of Valdez Harbor' entrance.

Not too shabby. He is set up for the summer. He took the cruise to kill time before the fish come in.
I'm going to go visit him in August to take a picture of him catching a big silver salmon. He was an interesting character. Served in the Merchant Marines and the Navy. You could tell he knew his way around a ship.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A 3 Hour Tour

Come along for the ride! Me and my cronies were outside on the stern of the Glacier Spirit the whole cruise. It was a beautiful day to be on the water and everyone had a memorable voyage. The Captain, Stan Stephens himself, knows Prince William Sound. I brought my GPS and clocked the boat going almost 17 and half knots. Thats 20 miles per hour which is fast for a boat. He zipped us around to all the great spots to see the abundant wildlife. It was my first Stan Stephens glacier cruise. I always send visiting friends and family. While they are gone I make a great dinner for when they get back. Now I know what I've been missing so if you ever have the chance to go you should.

Whale Action

I'm having fun uploading my videos to YouTube from our sea cruise Friday. I hope you enjoy them.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sea Lions Roaring

I wish I had a better zoom lens on my camera. It really isn't a video camera but I can take short video clips. This video was at the sea lion rookery. There must have been hundreds of sealions of all shapes and sizes. Some were really huge. And they were a noisy bunch.

This is Bouy Nine where there are always a couple of sealions sunbathing and greeting the tour boats.

Whale Hunting

Ice Fishing

Glacier ice is dense and lasts a long time. Fishermen use it to keep their catch fresh and cold. We stopped and "caught" a few chunks for our cooler and for martinis later.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Blue Ice

We had a wonderful 7 hour funfilled cruise on Stan Stephens Glacier Spirit. I took 136 pictures including a video of whales breaching. We saw sea otters, eagles, dolphins, sea lions, a sea lion rookery, whales, a goat and Columbia Glacier. It was a cloudy enough day to see blue ice. Blue is the only color of the rainbow that glacier ice doesn't reflect.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Skools Out For Summer

Thats whipped cream and not snow on these kids graduating from junior high to "high school my school."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Turning Green

My chives are back! This year I'm going to try dehydrating them. I'm clipping them into everything now. But it will be nice to have some next winter. Laying cheese cloth over the trays should prevent them falling through the air holes. In the flower pot is one of my new climbing rose bushes I'm giving a try this year. The tall green plants are fireweed.

Its raining and Valdez is turning green fast.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Fire engulfs trailer

A friend's trailer caught on fire around noon today. His girlfriend was doing the dishes when the hot water heater started shooting flames. She woke my friend up and everybody got out okay including the dogs. They lost everything today but are grateful no lives were lost.

Anybody that can here will help them get back on their feet. We are already planning a BBQ fundraiser at Dock Point for this weekend.

Monday, May 21, 2007

All Aboard

Spotted these kids cruising around town. They all needed to be sporting sunglasses today. I asked the gal who was pushing them if they were all hers and she said "no way!" They all attend pretty school together. (Thats what my daughter called pre-school.)
Its been showingly brilliant weather for 4 days straight in Prince William Sound. This Friday all the seniors are going for a Stan Stephans cruise out to Columbia Glacier. And caregivers get to go. Rain or shine!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Cute Boat

Its always fun when friends from Fairbanks show up in town with cute boats. Especially when the weather is as nice as it was this weekend. I showed up at the Fire House at 1pm today for the First Aid/CPR class and suggested they conduct the class outside on the ferry dock. The instructor did me one better and cancelled the class! Better done on a rainy day not a beautiful rare Sunday aftenoon in Valdez.
So we BARBEQUED brats, hot dogs and spare ribs with saurkraut and onions in beer.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Watering Hole

Took a drive out to KeyStone Canyon to fill the drinking water jugs on this beautiful sunny day. Best, clear, cold water this side of Thompson Pass. Free and easy work at Horsetail Falls where there is a nice size pullout. Stop and get some on your next trip.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

I spotted my first Ruby-throated Hummingbird at our feeder tonight. Before the flowers start blooming our feeder gets hit hard. I make the feeder by the quart and change it out with fresh every couple of days. Its worth it to see all the hummingbirds out my window.

Here is a beautiful, high quality, video of hummingbirds from the nest to first flight.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Melting Rain

Rain is pounding the snow away. This is not a pretty picture. The Valdez Post Office is the red structure on the left. The old Vanguard Bulding can be seen in front of Coast Guard hill. Rain clouds obscure the Chugach Mountains.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

hey Batter Batter

Monday's rainfall didn't stop these girls softball practice.
Made banana bread tonight while I watched the Alaska Aces lose to the Idaho Steelheads in Boise. Guess I'll have to root for the Steelheads for the Kelly Cup.
The root looking thing on the far left next to sweet potato is horseradish. I'm thinking about doing a freshpack Copper River Red with horseradish. WOWZA!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Windshield Time

Got a killer deal on the already sliced mushrooms so I got a bunch and dehydrated them. The watermelon, I didn't even look at the price, and bought it. It tasted wonderful. I like my watermelon with Johnny's Seasoning salt on it.
I started a new job when I got the truck. Part of my job is shopping! I get paid to shop. I'm in both grocery stores, both hardware stores and the second hand store almost daily. I also get paid to go to the post office every day. I'm a caregiver and chore worker for the ederly. I had to go get fingerprinted at the cop shop today. $20 bucks. Then another $120 for the internet background check. After all that I have to take a First Aid/CPR class this Sunday afternoon. I have weekends off but the class is at the Fire Dept instead of the college for a much cheaper price. Then I should be done paying to work.
Its fun though and I liked my first paycheck. I'm making more than I was at the college and I get a lot of windshield time. It was a "windshield wipers on" all day kind of day.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Valdez Fly-in Air Show

Went out to the Air Show today since we are not going fishing til Sunday permitting. Yesterday was nice so we had a weinie roast last night and burned some brush and alder bushes we are clearing off our land. As you can see today was cold, cloudy and windy. This is a picture of one of those little one man helicoptors participating in the flour drop. The fixed wing aircraft below see how close they can drop a flour bag at the target.

This little kid brightened up the day!

Indian Valley Meats had a mobile kitchen there serving up their wares.

I had the Reindeer Polish Dog and loaded it up with all the condiments.
And now I have a tummy ache.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fire Dog

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Fools Gold?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Valdez Harbor Entrance

View from Sea Otter RV park's fish cleaning station today. I went to Hook, Line and Sinker and got my 2007 Fishing & Hunting License because I'm going halibut hunting this weekend! We could be leaving Friday night to go way out for an overnighter on the Dawn Treader. A friend is the captain and they just put new engines in and want to take it out for a test run. The weather looked great today to be on the water. A little afternoon seabreeze is all.

Other good news...the Mineral Creek bridge is still there!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bridge to Gold

Drove out towards Mineral Creek Canyon for the first time since the flood. The stop sign is the view coming back after I turned around back towards town. It was still snowy and muddy on the road to the bridge. We are all curious about how the bridge fared. Rumors are its not even there after the Valdez Flood in the fall of 2006. I'll keep you updated.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Fast and Sleek

All weekend was beautiful sailing weather. The cloudy picture is of Alaska's new fast ferry, the Chenega, docking in Valdez from Cordova today. The sunny picture is of a sailboat you could see on Sunday afternoon from my swimming buddy's back deck.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Meet Star

Theres a new barn in the neighborhood harboring horses. Their goal is to rent them for guided tours back up into Mineral Creek canyon. This horse is a Morgan named Star. Her owner just boarded her at the barn this winter and is taking her home to 10 mile in a couple of weeks.

I asked her what she thought about Street Sense. She didn't know who I was talking about. Apparently she didn't watch the Kentucky Derby.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Gardening in the Valdez Rainforest

A fun thing to do on a windy cold Friday afternoon in early May in Valdez is to venture out to 10 mile Richardson Hwy to Gilpatricks Greenhouse. Every Friday afternoon since St. Patricks Day volunteers from the Valdez Senior Citizen Center have gone out to help plant the starts.

This old dump truck makes a great lawn ornament in turquoise blue.

According to Tillie Wonder, who wrote the book Gardening in the Valdez Rainforest, greenhouses are your friend.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mussell Alley

There is no Mussell Alley. Not officially anyway. Thats what we call Robe Lake. Its a pretty good size lake. Big enough for float planes. The glacier fed lake is still icy when we went out there today. The weather has been good lately. Its warming up and isn't raining. Soon it will be time to launch the paddle boat in pursuit of freshwater mussells. The Mussell Alley waypoint is marked on my Garmin Legend. By the looks of the lake today my guess is a good two weeks before I'd jet ski on it.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

the PWS Squid

Not only are boats hauling in shrimp a few squids are making their way to the fishmonger. Thats a good name for a boat. The PWS SQUID.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tuesday Afternoon

I'm getting out and about now that I've got wheels. Went to Radio Shack and got lithium batteries for my camera. Tomorrow I'm going to the dump also known as the Valdez Mall.