Friday, April 29, 2005
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
Almost a new month, and a new experience underway, countless thoughts rolling through my head as we journey down to the booming metropolis of
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
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
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Sunday, April 10, 2005
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...
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).
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
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...
Sunday, April 03, 2005
It has been quite some time since this was last updated... That is for darn sure. I am working diligently on keeping my sanity focused on school, but will ramble out some words to get some new posts up to fill y'all in on the happenings...
March came and went within an blink of an eye, or so it seemed anyway. Before I knew it Spring Break was over and April had arrived. No good jokes on the first though, sorry to disappoint. Weather has gone from mild to wild and back, snow lie, the peaks are still covered in the white stuff, and there were a few flakes falling this evening. I became somewhat of a ski bum at Alyeska (the raddest resort around... and that's because its the only resort -monopolizing rogues) for the better half of break; sobered me up to why an education is important - no worries to the folks, I will keep my student status.
The daylight is AMAZING!!! We are now at 14+ hrs a DAY!! It's seems like summer, and we still gain almost six minutes a day. Still participating in that, what was it called again? Oh, yeah... Class. Getting the last projects of the session on lock down... Actually that is what I should be doing right now. Maybe, I'll get on that.
Anyhow, I hope all is well in your realm of the world, enjoy the weather where ever you are, and be sure to check back for some made up posts... Until then, do what you can, with what you have, where you are...
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Hot Diggity Dynastar,
It’s the second day of April here and what better way to experience this glorious blue sky day than venturing down to Alyeska for their annual Ski a thon!? Yeah, that’s right; you can’t give me something better to do…
This event, put on by Challenge Alaska, is to benefit their program getting local skiers to raise pledges and ski, ski, ski, or snowboard, snowboard, snowboard (doesn’t have the same ring eh?) all day. I was all about helping out for this event taking some photos, and thought I was doing a damn good job, until I realized I was shooting the WRONG event. Good job B… I knew my day was off to an awesome start when I managed to drop my lens cap on the first run up the ski lift… As for my shooting the wrong skiers… Apparently there was some crazy event going on simultaneously where people were dressed in wacky costumes skiing down the slopes… All the bit too late I realized this and tried to salvage what was left of the day and find some ski-a-thon participants to shoot, photograph rather, I did a marginal job at this, but for your viewing pleasure I posted the wackier shots…
Twas a grand day none the less… Sunny skies, good skiing, younger folk pushing my limits, making me look like a chump… Its times like this, where a collective aura of enjoyment is felt over the entire mountain. Everyone is out doing what they love, and loving what they do, as it should be. Whether locked into some skis, or strapping onto a board, there’s enough snow for all. We do what we can to make the best of what we have, and what ever that happens to be, we’ll walk away with a smile at the end of the day.
Get out and make it count…
Friday, April 01, 2005
I arose this morning with the drive of a freight train… I (in my many years of life experience) realize that good places are hard to come by. The balance here above the 58th parallel is swell. Surly the nights can be dark in the winter, and the people as cold as the temps in