Friday, August 19, 2005

Final Frontier

It's that time of year again...

Or rather that time of this here experience.

This morning everything was in place, the clouds, absence of waves, and 30 people on the water enjoying everything it had to offer. I feel that this picturesque scene just has to be experienced, and as the weather (just like life) changes, meaning I couldn't have captured the moment if I tried. There it is, the end of a season, an era and lifestyle, well maybe not I'll still stay crazy as ever. The experience, humbling awe-struck and inspiring. WOW!!! sums it up-

That being said this is the last shout out from the state of Alaska!!! Been a wild and crazy journey and there are many a story to tell. Until next time do what you can with what you have, where you are, and make the best of it.

Look forward to crossing paths in the future...

Friday, July 29, 2005

It's the Final Countdown

Why, hello... there...

Man alive has it been a while. The summer has blown by in whirlwind of small town life, copious amounts of manual labor and long... LONG days. In fact there is a good chance, roughly 98.% in fact, that I, currently am unaware what day it is right now. The past construct of time has molded itself into one gianormous day. Hot diggity!!!

I have noticed though that it is the 29th of July, and if it's the 29th of July that means that I have passed my "one month left" day by ten days... This means I have entered the realm of the FINAL countdown... Less than twenty days, how time does fly...

Where have I been? Out loosing my mind really, well maybe not, but it feels like it... The constant experience of work + sleep and its daily/monthly routine has seemed to consume the better part of the long days of summer... Leaving me down and away from the computer, insuring updates would be few and far between. As I try to make a break from the AK with a clean sweep I have been busting what I can to get some updates over the past many months... As the time has gone one, I may have found that photos do better justice than my words, so if and when you have a free moment, you may go back and look through the archives to see how and what's been up... Some may date as far back as February... me = lazy, I know. But rest assured upon your rainy day with nothing do to, hopefully you'll find something to smirk about here...

Until then, do what you can, with what you have, where you are..

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Off the road again

If my math skills serve me correctly it has been a whopping 17 days since the last post. In that time I have traveled from there to here and back again. Ending a 14 day jaunt down to the lower 48 to experience the azure skies and radiant warmth of Utah and Colorado; but i should probably mention it was to further my education, meaning I am not a total wanker.

Just wanted to make note that I am located in Seward Alaska, where I will remain for the summer. The last little duration of life has been a trite hectic so I apologize if your phone calls have gone unanswered, please don't take it personally, I was out of cell range for a few days and with moving in + getting acclimated to the job my time has been an endangered specie... No doubt that when I get this schedule thing figured out I will be updating these entries like mad with photos to fill you all in on what's been up.

I hope that all has been (and continues to be) well in your neck of the woods, and you are defying the odds of being both creative and productive. Until next time, do what you can, with what you have, where you are....


Friday, May 27, 2005

PS Debating whether to slide down

One last gaze over the ice into the snow, before descending to the valley below...
copyright castillo 2005

PS We're sea kayak guides...really

Gotta love them glaciers... Taking a brief tromp around and around with the Exit Glacier Guides (EGG) on, you guessed it, Exit Glacier.
copyright castillo 2005

PS Glaciers on the run

Exit Glacier... making its... exit? Just kidding, although it is receding, it leaves a darn good impression on the Seward area...
copyright castillo 2005

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

PS Flipmode, can you see the previous campsite?

Neither can I, but it's over there somewhere, here is a gander looking across the Turnagain arm from Hope... something the weather apparently needed to learn a thing or two from today.
copyright castillo 2005

PS Cool view from the campsite

Looking over yonder the Turnagain arm graces us with its presence with some Hope (the town) in the distance...
copyright castillo 2005

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

PS End of the day in the AK

Looking northwest into the sun settling sky...
copyright castillo 2005

PS pretty sweet to come back to this

11:30 and the sun begins its settling in for the evening... How cool is that?
copyright castillo 2005

PS Lucky Landing

200+ mph to zero, faster than you can say Alaskan Airlines...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Can you see the fractals?

Great Salt Lake... Red water, fractals, and all the salt-a-rific splendure you could ever want.
copyright castillo 2005

PS I am glad I am not a pilot

Somewhere above Seattle... Really.
copyright castillo 2005

PS Got Groceries?

Hankering for a Harmon experience? I was...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Farmin Frenzy

Out of the four animals here, which one doesn't belong on the farm?
copyright castillo 2005

PS Gracious Goat

Wake up next to this glorious goat, and you may think twice about your late night snacking...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Humble Horse

I asked, "Why the long face?" She didn't get it...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Precious Parking

At Harmon's Grocery get away, everyone deserves their own parking space...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Concentric Circles

Crop circling season again...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Eccentric Emu?

A day at the Harmon farm, their emu didn't see the humor in my sarcastic demeanor...
copyright castillo 2005

Sunday, May 22, 2005

PS Diligent Descent

Hydration is SUPER IMPORTANT down herre in the desert... Notice this chump working the the gallon curls as he descends into the valley below...
copyright Tamara's camera 2005

PS Peacing out CO Style

Leaving the field for the last time on this journey, you can notice the over packed, skinny-legged paddler on the far left stager away with dissapointment...
copyright Tamara's camera 2005

PS Cool Camode

You may wonder what I was doing with the camera in the comode...well, yeah I don't have a smart comment, but I just thought it was a cool view. Enjoy!!
copyright castillo 2005

Saturday, May 21, 2005

PS Dark... Damn... Dark...

Arches... in the Moonlight... Next time bring a TRIPOD!!!
copyright castillo 2005

PS Think when you drink

So is it Utah, or does something seem to be not quite right in the center console? Moab UT
copyright castillo 2005

Friday, May 20, 2005

PS Crowded Canyon?

Telluride, Colorado... A place of boxed canyons, superfluous ski runs, and dreams that expand into the heavens...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Yeah... That is cool

Leaving the tender town of Telluride, I aspire to alliviate all alliterations... I'll stop, for now. Looking out the side of the van, this caught my attention even at 65 mph... Is Colorado, ranch country? or doe this delicious site deceive me?
copyright castillo 2005

PS Hopelessly High

Don't find Elevations like that back in the dairy state...
copyright castillo 2005

Monday, May 16, 2005

PS Droppin a Duece

Do I really have to explain with this one? I have a simple mind, and found this sign hilarious... Although I don't speak German, I reckon I get the jist of it... Loa, UT
copyright castillo 2005

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Greetings from Utah


Just wanted to give a shout out from the south westerly (or south easterly depending on where you are from) region of UTAH... Got in a few days ago and its been BEAUTIFUL... Different type of beauty than I am used to. Red rock all around, trying to get some good photos along the way. Canyons are HUGE and the Colorado is pumping (CO river that is). Yesterday hiked up Castleton and took in the immaculate views of the virtually endless valleys... ALL RIGHT, so my time is brief, here in LOA, head into the field tomorrow with a group from Aspen Achievement Academy... Check it out if you have some time, otherwise I will try to lock some productivity down in the future and post some stories. Other than that, weather has been good, company has been edcuational, and the travels surreal...

I travel around and I'll be where I be
but I continually am reminded
I miss where the land meets the sea....

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

PS Lucky dude...

14 days... 7 ladies... 1 Lucky Man... and a Kodak moment like no other...
copyright Tamara's camera 2005

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

PS Geology ROCKS

Castleton standing tall... probably proud too.
copyright castillo 2005

PS Traversin a Trail?

Making descent from the base of Castleton...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Talk about climate change

Red rock up front, against some snow capped granduer in the background... No photoshop needed...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Not really sure about this one

Where'd the colour go?
copyright castillo 2005

PS What's going down? Barometric pressure

Feelin the rain in the Castleton Valley... Moab, UT
copyright castillo 2005

PS Slick Rock?

Red rock... Courtesy of local geology...
copyright castillo 2005

Monday, May 09, 2005

South West (EAST) here I come

Howdy Folks,

Gotta make this QUIK... I am taking off for Utah in a few hours and I have some last minute stuff to do. Working with some Wilderness Therapy in Moab and then Erovan Colorado, rough I know... But school calls I guess... Back in a few weeks, hopefully I will have some grand pictures and more time to update update update... Good weather, hate to leave it.

Thanks for all of you that keep being who you are and keep my world turning round...

Until next time, do what you can, with what you have, where you are...

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

Shout out to all the Mom's out there!!!

Thanks for doing what you do allowing us to appreciate what makes the world go round. I want to give this out for the special lady who endured my laborous force for a full day prior to entering the world. Thank you for all you have done, sacrifices you've made, and encouragement you continually give me. I hope you take a moment on this day to relish in the world's glorious gifts and sit back to enjoy it. You've earned it!!!

My only regret is that I am not physically able to be there and give you hug this special honored day for you. But really, not a day goes by that I don't think of you Mom. Know that I love you and wish you the best on your special day!!!

Have Dad check his email, I think something got mistakingly routed to him...

Until then, do what you can, with what you have, where you are...

Sunday, May 01, 2005

PS Wonderful Waterfall

I think I see a line... Yes I love paddling, no I won't run this (other than in my mind) the pool at the bottom is shallow, damn shallow. Lowell Creek, Seward AK.
copyright castillo 2005

PS Phantastic Phorest

Sphagnum moss (may want to check that spelling) hangs from the trees and coats the forest floor in a natural absorbant/ spongey good material...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Trompin @ lowt tide...

Every where you look the veiw tends to be quite swank... Tonsina Point, Seward AK
copyright castillo 2005

PS Relenquishing rain forest

An area that you may not peg as 'Alaska', the coastal temperate rain forests aims to inspire, or at least make you feel like you are in an entirely different elemet just out of Seward...
copyright castillo 2005

Friday, April 29, 2005

PS Brief layover

A quick break on the way to Seward to indulge upon the glorious mass of Lake Kenai...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Just out the window

Low pressure, high hopes... Not fixing to complain about the view, even when the weather is getting sorted out...
copyright castillo 2005

Movin on down the road

School’s out (for the next few days anyhow) and I am setting up to embark on the next part of the journey… Commencing the life of a sea kayak guide down in Seward AK… My stuff is packed, loaded, and roaring to go down to Ressurection bay, where no water melons grow…

Almost a new month, and a new experience underway, countless thoughts rolling through my head as we journey down to the booming metropolis of Seward AK… A beautiful drive entailed through the mountains and down to the ocean over the Kenai Peninsula. The weather glorious as can be, and yeah, much to say about nothing there. I unloaded my goods at a house, which looked like it should be built for ants, where I will spend my summer with seven other spirited individuals and two dogs… Good times… Times that I would have to acclimate to, as I was awaken early in the morning listening to what sounded like the Kentucky Derby just feet above my head- energetic pups running a-wall through the house. Oh, a glimpse of life that would be one of the most memorable summers ever…

The city is small, and self contained, the mountains rise right out of the water and into the heavens. Snow capped and bountiful I feel this place has potential. Not as much potential as the water fall I spotted, but we’ll see. Its hard to really feel out a place being there less than 24 hrs. In any case it looks to be a delicious place with more than enough potential to go round many times over.

Cheers to new places and faces…


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

These are the days...

Here we are...

April 27, 2005...
Last day of class. The weather the past two days has been immaculate, 60's and sunny detracting all that last minute energy to finish up papers and projects for class. But you know what? It's done. Another sesh of college thrown into the past. Granted I still have some traveling to do and few weeks of class in May, but that is the beginning of the next chapter opposed to the ending of this one.

The road has varied in speed and productivity, but in the end the lessons learned in life and appreciation hold much higher value of the quantum finance classes I slept through. Mark Twain once said, "Never let school get in the way of your education..." It is important that we take a step back every now and again to contimplate the validity of that statement. In a seemingly static world we must realize the only constant is change. Over the next few days I will pack up and bid farewell to all my winter gear as well as lovely people that I have crossed paths with in this segment of the journey. Crazy how fast this all went. We'll see what happens next.

I reckon that eventually I will get on some updating of the past few weeks, and hopefully some exciting photos. Until then, do what you can, with what you have, where you are... and live it up right.


Monday, April 25, 2005

PS Meloncholgy Moose

Right across from the our glorious campus center, students aren't the only thing loungin about during finals...
copyright castillo 2005

Saturday, April 16, 2005

PS Enticing Eklutna

Quick hop in the coche, few lane changes, + a short walk, and you're all set for the Ekultna Experience...
copyright castillo 2005

Thursday, April 14, 2005

PS Wandering Water...

With the water quelling the thirst of midwest boaters, its going to be a long time coming before we get ours in the AK...
copyright castillo 2005

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

PS Machine vs. Mountains?

Experience the magic of the elusive Boeing 747 as it escapes the laws of gravity on a nightly basis, and you don't even need one of those fancy scanners...
copyright castillo 2005

Sunday, April 10, 2005

PS End to another FINE day...

Glacial river... Relenquishing sunset, doesn't get too much better than that...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Hobbitses on the beaches?

"Hmmm... I found something." *All names, faces, appearances have been kept anonymous in accordinace with master Frodo's wishes...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Got Glaciers?

Look close enough and you may see some immense ice...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Luxurious Lake

Warm enough to take a dip...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Glacial Creation

Glacial Lake, presumably created by the Portage Glacier...
copyright castillo 2005

PS Still looking for that tidal monster

Low tide along the Turnagain Arm...
copyright castillo 2005

Quick stop before headed in search of the Portage Glacier experience. Little beach off the Seward Highway on the Turnagain arm, shortly before another mighty boar tide was predicted. Unfortunately this one was .3 feet smaller than the previous one, so it aimed to dissappoint. The birds chased it though...

Maschevious Meandering


It's been a week and still no new photos or posts... Shocking. Reckon it's been a little busy, but that can happen with the sun exposing more and more of itself to our world each day. The extreme change has surpassed the amount of daylight that is so gracioiusly experienced around the solstice in Wisconsin... Needless to say, I spend as much time outside, studying for class as possible.

This weekend ended on a gorgeous note of some blue skies, sun, and 50 degree weather. Nothing to complain about there. Little different than a mere 13 hrs ago when we were taking the tent down in the early morning drizzle 10 or so miles from the Portage Glacier... (Photos will follow shortly, for serious this time).

Break down:
Saturday started out swell with a crisp blue sky, sun, and a cool spring feel. Short walk on down to UAA to check out their gear swap, but walked away empty handed as there was no whitewater boats to be found. Alas though, I did not walk away from a sweet opportunity to try out Speed Skating. All laced up with some 14 inch blades and I was set to go. Although the energetic lady who made me sign the waiver told me there was a lot of crossover from Hockey, the skates are totally different and the only simlarity I found was that we were still on the ice. No amount of my fancy footwork would bring me to a graceful stop on these bad boys. 15 minutes of "instruction" occured, where I was feeling quite good about my skills, until I got passed up by some pint sized youngins that made me want to hang up those skates as quickly as I had put them on. Only problem was, you glide so quick around the rink by the time I realized I wanted off, I was already on the other side. Maybe next go around... However that's when the excitement began... I was 'educated' on the art of relay races, where your partner skates up behind you and jettison's you off into the oblvion at alarming speeds. My parter assured me, that it was no big deal and the biggest thing to remember was not to stand up upon warping into light speed. Naturally I did the only thing I could think of and as my speed increased I stood up, where to I flew into the wall. Luckily speed skaters pad out those pesky hockey boards with thick blue mats, so I was able to walk away unscathed. It was all good after that, I could get up to warp speed, (sans grace) and motor around the track. I felt decent with that until we came to our final task of the clinic, a race, not some little chump one either. We were lined by height, which by default placed me with all the REALLY GOOD skaters. Had I realized what I was up against I would have tried to sneak in with the kids that were half my size, that way I could have flailed and faltered sans a care in the world, but up in the world of Elites, it was a different story. I fought as hard as I could to not get lapped, but in the end it was inevitable, my skills just hadn't materialized quick enough to make a go of it. Definitely a rousing experience, that I would consider doing again and again, but I had to politely turn down all the sponsorships because my heart lies in paddling...

Later in the day, I was accompanied to Girdwood to drop off some photos and partake in some plant watering. Then it was on to the Crow Creek Mine in search of some sweet camping by a glacier well above the altitude of sweet Alyeska. The road was quite snow covered, and gave for a wild ride... On several occassions, (namingly when the suspension bottomed out) I was reminded why the sign may have said, "ROAD CLOSED, LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY" Ah, but what do we non - alaskans natives know? Apparently about the same as those who live here, because the AK native in the car had no qualms about taking on this ridiculous road. After passing the mine, and figuring the temps would get mighty cold at night we descended back to sea level to chill on the beach and wait for the BOAR tide to roar by. To much suprise it didn't look that HUGE from the distance I was at, but locals tell me it was a monster. And by monster they mean two feet or more... Still impressive to see that rapid of a tidal change none the less.

So no camping in the upper alpine region... But that didn't mean we couldn't venture into the valley of the Portage glacier region for some delightful omni good times. The view from the lake created by this beast was immaculate. Calm teal water that begged to have some stones skipped on it. I am not all about shore erosion, but there is something irresistable about skipping stones into a picturesque scene such as that... Would have made you all proud, for those of you who know my "skills" as they were, they are much improved now; even went for the skip on to the ice move... Yeah, word to that true AK experience. On the way back to the campsite, (which was undecided for quite some time) I had to stop at another irresistable photo opp of a sunset into the glacial river (photo to soon follow). It made the day one to remember. Even though all the indecisive commentary to follow in regards to finding a pefect campsite.

All in all no complaints as the day was slick, the atmosphere imperial, and times grand.
Until next time, do what you can, with what you have, where you are...


Friday, April 08, 2005

PS This Boar didn't ROAR

Watch out for that tidal monster!!
copyright castillo 2005

After an hour of waiting I heard no roar from this boar tide. Hard to gague it's height from all the way on shore, but if you look hard enough you can vaguely see something out there. I promise...