Friday, November 19, 2010

Almost Thanksgiving

My desk at Mt. McKinley Princess Lodge
I realized it has been a while since I wrote anything when I checked a message left on one of my posts. I guess things got a little busy. I finished working at the Princess Lodge in mid September. Kind of bitter sweet, but I sure had a nice second half of summer there. I hope to go back next summer, or work for the State Parks in some capacity. I believe in the Park system and what they can provide to us on so many levels. It's also the kind of job you can make what you want out of it. You work with very little supervision and are just expected to get the job done. That appeals to me. I met a lot of really nice people this summer.
While not a huge fan of animal hides, I did come to like this coyote.
Soon after finishing work, I went into Anchorage with my friends Mary and GG. We went to see Bill Cosby in concert. Before the show we went to the stage door to see if we could visit with Bill after the show. Well, to our surprise they allowed us in before the show. I worked on The Cosby Show as a camera operator  for 5 years back in the 80's-90's.  One never knows if actors will remember you, but Bill did. He wanted to know why I moved to Alaska. I said it was the dogs. He laughed and said, "oh yeah, you have those sled dogs." For those who don't know, Bill had show dogs too. Lakeland terriers I believe. Anyway, we spent about 15 minutes with him. It was great fun. After we left, we were escorted through back stage right out to the lobby. The general manager came up and asked to see our tickets, which were good seats. But he took them and got us better seats! Wow, that was nice and totally unexpected.  What a fun night!

My friends GG, Mary and myself with Bill Cosby. Bill held my hand the whole time we were visiting.
When the State Parks job ended I was able to focus on tasks at home before winter arrived. If you read THE GREAT HOT TUB CAPER previously on this blog, then you know I was moving downstairs into the old hot tub room. While Keith; my border and dog handler; went to visit friends and family, I rearranged, cleaned, threw away stuff and generally straightened out my house. My handy man came and took out a wall between the bath and laundry room and put in another window. What a nice room that is now. The bedroom turned out well too. My bed and four dog crates. LOL---the dogs love it.   The view out the bedroom window is pretty nice. I can see stars, shooting stars and the moon and sunrise each morning.

The view out my bedroom window.
I finished editing another movie-the 2010 Willow Jr 100 Race. It turned out very nicely. Kyf Brewer (Kyf) wrote another fabulous song for it entitled, "MUSH!" It's hard rocking mushing music.  The movie will be available very soon via my website: Husky Productions
Thanks to my friend, Dr. Marian Siegel, for the cover photograph.
The dogs got a little bored waiting for snow. They all lined up on the deck one day when I was scooping poop. Here's the photo.

Maggie, Chena, Rosie, Pearl, Jack, Nahanni, Fritter, Spirit
By the end of October, snow had arrived. By the second week of November, I finally got the girls, Maggie, Pearl, Nahanni and Fritter off the gig and onto the sled. We could still use a bit more snow, but we'll take what we can get. We're having fun out there!
First snow---photo taken about 3 am
Husky foot print in the snow
Maggie, Pearl-lead; Nahanni, Fritter-wheel
My friend Claudia took these two shots from the back of her sled. She actually turned around and rode backwards!
LOL---she's good!
I did get to take an overnight vacation to Fairbanks to attend an auction for Lance Mackey. It was a fun time with lots of items up for bid. Thanks to my friend Carol for the room. We'll be taking a flight around Denali next summer which I won at the auction. Hoping for a glacier landing this time.

Lance holds one of the many items available at his auction.
The drive home after the auction was another photo opportunity for me. What else could it be?? Here are some of the sights.
The view over the Tanana Valley
Snow on the hillside through the pass at Denali
A bit windy that day
The Nenana River is freezing up.
Blowing snow, like a wave coming over the ridges.
Ravens in Broad Pass
The igloo, familiar landmark, is for sale
The view from the igloo

My neighbor got a new puppy. Who doesn't love puppy breath???! She still hasn't named him, but that doesn't affect the cuteness factor. Even big brother Remmie seems impressed. HA
OH, what to name this cute guy?!
I visited my friend Pat for lunch one day. Pat is a great example of waiting to get what you want. She moved from Texas a year ago. She wanted a log home, but couldn't find exactly what she wanted where she wanted. She did persevere and look what she found--a great house with an amazing view.

Pat's views over the Palmer Hay Flats---NICE!
And so next week is Thanksgiving. I am thankful the elections are over. :) I am thankful my Mom has moved in with my sister and her husband. I am thankful that life is generally quiet and nice right now. I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.
My Christmas cactus always blooms in November

The view from the bridge on Shirley Town Road in Willow
Sunrise from my bedroom.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dancing With THE Mountain!

One of the great joys of the past few days has been the outstanding views of Denali. Whether crystal clear or partially clouded over, it never fails to awe and inspire. I get to see the mountain from my camping area at the Veterans Memorial on the Parks Highway. It doesn't matter, early morning sunrise or late evening sunset, the view is simply peaceful and serene.
Denali after sunset from the Veteran's Memorial.
Denali the next morning at sunrise, clouded over.

Some have asked me about my little Scamp travel trailer. It has proven to be perfect for my needs while I work at the Princess Lodge. Here is a photo of it. To the right is the view from the Scamp down to Byers Lake at sunrise. There is a nice five mile hike around the lake. It's a really nice place to camp. The ridge above is called K'esugi  Ridge and there is trail access from Byers Lake. Everything in this post is part of Denali State Park.
My Scamp and the K'esugi Ridge in the background.
Sunsets are a major event here, especially when they look like this!

The main attraction of the Veteran's Memorial is the grotto of pillars and the statue in tribute to Alaska's veterans. It's a nice place to contemplate what our Armed Forces have done for our country.

Always on guard!

From here each morning I drive 14 miles south to the Mt McKinley Princess Lodge. A lovely complex with visitors from all over the world.

The lodge from the overlook.
Alaska Range

Closer views of THE Mountain--Denali!

Even Spirit likes the view!

Above, the McKinley Princess compound from the Hill Trail, with the Alaska Range behind. You can even take a covered wagon ride around the area. The view from one of the overlooks on the Hill Trail below.

I just can't imagine a more picturesque place to work!