We were planning to go Camping either in Homer or Seward this weekend, but plans fell through. We decided to push back the Homer weekend. This actually worked out better since Elaine and Evelyn flew in on Friday afternoon. I picked them up from the airport after working at Talkeetna on Fort Rich. We (Andrew and I) took them for a tour of base before freshening up at home and setting up the air mattress. We took them out for dinner at Humpy's and ice cream from Marble Slab. Elaine stayed up a little to chat with me before heading to bed.
Saturday I took them dowtown to the tourist shops and the Market on 4th avenue. They absolutely LOVED it! And got many gifts for family and friends. I dropped them off at the hotel around 3:30ish before heading back home. Andrew, Alex and I went to Beartooth Theatre to see 21 Jump Street.
Today we got up early-ish before heading out to hike to Bryon's Glacier and visit the Alaska Conservation Center in Portage. We got somewhat close to the glacier but stopped because the clouds began moving in fast and we didn't want to get caught in a storm. It was pretty windy too, coming off the glacier/mountain area. I wasn't expecting that.
We went to the Beigich, Boggs Visitor Center. It was named after two men who disappeared while flying in a Cessna plane in the middle of stormy weather. When we drove up to it, I thought the building looked familiar and I was right: I came here while on my first trip to Alaska while at Houghton College. I remembered because Smokey the Bear sits on a bench near the entrance and I remember taking a picture there while in college.
Then we visited the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage. It is home to native animals that have been orphaned or injured and need to be rehabilitated. There are black and brown bear, caribou, wood bison (to be released back into their homeland in December of 2013), elk, moose (3), lynx, Great Horned Owls, a Bald Eagle with an amputated wing etc. It rained a bit and it was cold, but I am really glad Andrew and I got to spend the day together. We didn't talk too much but I love to walk in nature with Andrew.
On the way back we stopped along the highway at one of the pull-offs. We walked along the interpretative, about 0.7 miles. I got really chatty then because I was nervous about running into a bear. There was a very bright orange notice put up by park rangers about a fresh bear kill about three miles away. The trail is still open, but high caution is advised. So when Andrew disappeared into the woods when we got there, I got nervous. And then when we walked the trail, I got nervous.So I talked. A lot.
Tomorrow we are having a few people over for a cookout, about 4 pm. I am hoping we are going to have a campfire with marshmallows afterwards. I will have to get more chocolate if that's the case. My friend/coworker from Sitka is coming too. As are the Bulanan's and Alex. I don't think there is anyone else.
Anyways, I have not been very good about keeping up with pictures on here so I am going to try to be better at it. I have come to realize that not everyone has Facebook or has access to the pictures I usually upload there, so I will try to upload more here. But I can't promise anything. Bear with me.