Saturday, July 30, 2011

A few Pictures from the Garmin GPS

Cat Harbor

Leaving Cat Harbor

Little Harbor

One camper at this beach

The hike out of Little Harbor

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hiking on Catalina Island

I am the red one.

View of Catalina Harbor on the left opening to the ocean on the right

View from Silver Peak

When I decided to go to Catalina Island I wanted to go on the "quieter side."  So to Cat Harbor I went.  Catalina Harbor is on the west side of island but it is practically a lake and very protected.  The moorings for the most part were plenty and I didn't need a reservation.  But of coarse they didn't have correct mooring size available for my boat so I had to be by the next size up moorings which made me look really small.  

I arrived later in the afternoon so I made hamburgers and got ready for the next day of biking around.  I rented a mountain bike and head north on the east side of the island.  This place was very hilly which I knew there would be a lot of walking up hills with the bike which also meant and nice ride with down hills too.  I passed by many really cool little coves that fit 2-5 boats in it and few other smaller mooring fields.  It was just so pretty and so many places to explore and see.  

The day after that were spent hiking on trails that were definitely not biker friendly.  I walked the 4mile plus up (steep) hill hike to reach Silver Peak to get a good 360 view of the Island (plus there was a geocache there).  It was so worth it, not a soul in site just me and the view.  It was a clear day so I could see the main land of San Pedro.  I ate my packed lunch and enjoyed the solitude, feeling good about getting here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sea Life on the way to Catalina Island

Some kind of whale

Sea Lion (or Seal) Wave


Fishing Boat

They get so close.

So I had the time this weekend to get away from work and spend my off days with the boat on Catalina Island.  The way there was a little boring and grey with little wind and a few barges to avoid.  But getting closer to the island I was happy to see my first whale ever!  Of coarse I didn't get a good picture but there it was.  

I also kept seeing these fins sticking out of the water like a dead animal floating on the surface.  I realize now that these are either seals or sea lions basking in the sun.  Just when you get up to them the rush off.  I think they are sleeping when this happens.

And last but not least the dolphins.  Hundreds of these guys around here.  You see them coming at you off in the distance, a bunch of stirring water and fins.  They literally come at you in full speed, then they check you out for a while swim with you, actually look at you, weave in and out right in front of the boat.  Some jump out and do tricks for you.  I could watch them for hours.  They are like happy puppies eager for attention.  I always enjoy their company and am sad to see them go.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The adventures of the Nome 12mile Run

Fire works on July 4th are not a typical tradition in Nome due to the never ending light at this time of year.  The tradition here is an 8:00am 12mile run and 10:00am parade.  Now Nome is a very small town, so the number of runners for the race ended up being 26 including Rolland and I.

Now for me I have run back in my college days a few 1/2 marathons and 25ks and sprint triathlons but that was more than just a couple years ago.  My current physical state is working out at the local cross-fit gym 3 times a week.  The most I have run in one period of time since those college days is 3 miles.  So, when Rolland asked if I wanted to do the run I was reluctant because of my current running condition, but also up for a challenge to run in the great outdoors on a very rustic 12mile run.  

So we arrived to sign up 15mins before the race.  We were informed of the race route, where to leave our stuff, the 4 check points ect.   So all 26 of us line up on a street with no line, we have no numbers, and no time chips.  We start to "on your mark, get set, go."  No crowd, just us. I start my watch and Rolland uses his GPS to get an accurate mileage recording.  The first 3 miles or so were steady sloops up and down.  We arrived at the first check point with instructions to call out our names so they can check us off.  At this point I am at my max mileage and my calves are feeling like they usually do after a 3 mile run...tight and in need of a good stretch.  The next 3 miles of the run was a wide gravel path up the side of a mountain.  In about 3 minutes and my legs are barley moving so it seems faster to just walk.  I tried to do a run 3 minutes/walk 30 seconds to keep me going.  But soon I am down to just the reverse 30 seconds run/3 minutes walk to just...walk.  By this time Rolland as moved ahead and I decide to take in the scenery up the rest of this monster of a hill.  But soon I am having to alternate between a walk forward 3 minutes/walk backwards 30seconds just to give my very weary legs and very tight calves a different movement.  I was even trying to imagine I was being chased by a musk oxen or moose or something to give me some incentive, well...I would have been fatally injured for sure.

I finally reach the top of Anvil Mountain, the second check point, and I feel good since now I am half way and I get to go down the beast.  Also Rolland waited for me here, which I was glad for since I needed some incentive to keep up the pace.  

At the top on Anvil Mountains I understand why on the map we were shown at the beginning of the race  didn't indicate a path or a road to follow...because there was no path to follow.  In typical Nome style, the instructions from the check point man was just get back to city hall any route you want.  The next 1-2 miles down were literally walking/hoping/zigzagging and dodging rocks and shoal down the side of a steep mountain as fast as you could without twisting your ankle or doing a face plant.  We reached check point 3 grabbed some water and continued on regular gravel road for awhile.  

Now at this point I am really glad Rolland waited at the top of the mountain for me (this feeling is short lived) because I did not know how to get back and there was not one person in sight. The guy I was following somehow ran full speed the entire way down this hill and was now gone.  I was getting to that point where all the mental stuff starts to come into play and just wanted to walk.  My body just wanting to stop but not really having one particular thing that is bothering me but multiple.  Not really getting winded sort of stuff but more like, "my shoes suck -  I can feel every little stone through them", or "I feel a little tiny pain in my knee ," or I think I am having chest pain," Or "how much farther is this race, why can't they put mile markers or directions on where to go, and where the #$%$ is every one?"  In short, my body was pretty pissed at me at this point. 

So what I assume to be mile 9 or somewhere in there the mental games I play with myself are turning into irritation.  Since I am following Rolland he of course is taking on the shortest route possible of which also has to be "as the crow flies."  Meaning, through multiple terrains: a wet boggy field that you have to lift your feet really high in order not to trip, a four wheeler path that has those little hills for doing jumps and stuff taking extra energy to go up and down, puddles to run around.  The most irritating to me now at this point the gravel paths that the gravel is so big I can feel it through my shoes not to mention a wet foot.  So now the mental games bring me to the point I want to really share some choice words with Rolland about the route and how if I was bigger than him I would beat him silly, but I instead conserve my energy to just finish this wreched race, knowing that it would be even farther if we took roads instead.  

When we finally make it back to town and the  parade is at full tilt and there is no regard for us slow runners who didn't finish within two hours.  We have to stop to cross the street for the parade, we have to zig zag along standing people, strollers, and running children.  The worst part is when we finish it is unclear about who to tell that we are finished.  By this time I am irrationally irritable and ready to blow.  I feel ignored for a race that took a lot of physical and mental stamina from my being.  Rolland seemed to have found someone who knew who to check in with and Rolland points him out to me - he is the man announcing the parade as the floats go by.  I tap him on the shoulder, he looks at me and I ask, "is this the end of the race?"  He of course can't hear me in my raspy dry mouth voice over the music playing.  I think to myself,  "I will say this only one more time because I am tired, I hurt, I am ignored, irritated, have a wet foot and I am the ONLY thing that should matter right now.  In the bitchiest, meanest, loudest "give me your #$% attention or you will suffer" voice I can muster up, I repeat my question: "IS THIS THE END OF THE RACE!"  Not only did he for sure hear me but also the whole town of Nome -  I was talking right into his microphone.  He passed off the microphone to someone else and gave me all the attention I needed.  Of coarse his clock had us 5 minutes longer than my clock...just another thing.  (Rolland at this point is glad that I am mad at someone besides him.)

I didn't know if I should laugh or cry or be happy that this race was over.  Deb comes over to ask how we feel, I say, "don't talk to me,"  Deb understands me most times, but her pastor does not.  She, being the caring pastor tried to ask me again how I was feeling, I barely answered a spiteful , "fine" stated that I "needed to be away from people" and left.  I went home to take a nice hot shower.  I got in the shower -  there was no hot water.  BAAAAA!!!!

In the end, I suck at running, love the outdoors, am a poor sport at times, like to see what I can physically handle with little training, demand attention when I am low and took this race a little too seriously.  We placed 20th and it took us 2hrs and 14minutes on my watch and 2hrs and 20minutes on race clock (once we found the guy).  According to Rolland's GPS we managed to cut off an entire mile on the short cuts we took.  Its hard to say weather our 11min miles were because of the 3 mile walk up the hill and the tedious descent down the hill or if I am really just that slow and out of running condition. My calves two days later still are tight and I am not walking normal.  I went into it with a goal of finishing in less the 2.5hrs and I did, I should have been a little bit more happy about that.  Oh well, in few days I will be bragging about how I ran a multiple terrain, 12 mile run in Alaska.  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Alaskan Great Outdoors

Sunday afternoon was a ride to find a geocache that had not been found for a while.  According to the description there was a waterfall there.  So we piled in the truck and headed out to find it in the great Alaskan outdoors.  It was a sunny day with a few clouds and everything was green.  The road/path was a little bumpy and a few spots had very large puddles and at one point we even drove through a stream.  We managed to park really close (drove up the stream).  We were all very happy to discover this place; so pretty, so isolated, lots of snow and two waterfalls.  

Max, Bianca, Deb, Jannelle, Rolland

It was evident that this water fall had been flowing here for a very long time, the edges around it were completely smooth.

Me in the snow

The never setting sun of Nome.

Cotton Grass

Jannelle and Trix

Add caption

Monday, July 4, 2011


Bianca and Jannelle
Took a walk along the beach with Jannelle and Bianca on the way to the old Gold dredger that is on display now.  Was a beautiful but still chilly day.

 Inactive Gold Dredge

Deb and Rolland are taking care of Max.  Max is a native (Eskimo).  He is two and pretty good kid and  laughs a lot.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

There's no place like Nome


For the July 4 weekend I am Nome another time visiting the Trowbridge family.  Even though its summer it is still cool for me in the 40-50's.  The sun is up all 24hrs of the day.  The night hours 0200-0300, there is sort of a dusk.  

Yesterday we did some four wheeling up in the mountains to get to those long lost geocaches that haven't been found for long time.  One hadn't been found for 2 years.  Still there though, it was a rough ride on the tundra to get there.  I see why no one has ventured up there for a while.  

Bianca on the 4 wheeler

Rolland's dirt bike

Meekis...a bit shy.
It was my 30th birthday last week, so we had small b-day celebration.  Jannelle baked a cake and we ate it a la mode.

The Trowbridges a few months ago bought a sled dog team.  Now that its summer they get their exercise by using the 4 wheeler as their sled.  Very interesting.