Saturday, October 27, 2012

 Yeehaw and yippee kai yay

Tonight's the big night as Flounder and I head off into the wild blue yonder … on our way to Utah for a cattle drive. Yep, we're going to help run 800 head of cattle from Bryce Canyon in Utah to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. I expect there'll be some moans and groans as our iron butts turn into mush on a saddle on our four-legged steeds.

In order to do a little prep work, we decided to go horseback riding with Alaska Trekking. We caught up with Steve and Kim, on Wednesday, up at Hilltop Ski Area, which was where they were working out of that day.

Flounder got a horse named Rusty. He was tall, and she looked good on him.

Flounder and Rusty.
My horse was named Doc. I was glad he was that kind of guy … kind, considerate with an awesome bedside manner. He was exactly what I needed as the last time I remember riding was a horse I owned … a palomino named Brigadier. But everyone called him Buck, and there was a good reason for that.

Self portrait of me atop Doc, but you can't see him.  I've not perfected this yet.  Actually my arm wasn't quite long enough to get that photo.
Needless to say, I was a tad nervous and a bit tense. But after about 15 minutes, things were okay. I settled in and enjoyed the rest of the hour-and-a-half ride.

Flounder and me ... on the trail.
The next day I woke up and didn't feel any ill effects. However, once I got to zumba I felt a few of those muscles I'd used the day before. Advil is my current best friend and I'll be taking a big container of it on the trip. Medicinal purposes.

Hopefully there'll be a few Facebook posts from the trail, if I have some cell coverage and a battery that lasts. Hi ho Silver, away!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The end is here …

Yesterday I rode in the rain, the day before I rode in the rain, the day before that I rode in the rain. It seems like the entire month of September I rode in the rain, not to mention what was likely the whole summer in Anchorage being rainy and generally crappy weather.

Even so, there were some beautiful moments … swans, fall foliage, Beluga whales, trains.

There were also some ugly moments … rivers and creeks overflowing, houses washed away by the flooding.

Let's wander over to the next pond, everyone together, look left.
The Matanuska River ... the water is high from all the rain.
I walked down a trail across from the Eklutna Power Plant, off the Glenn Highway, and found this skiff tied up to a tree.  The water is high everywhere.

Near the Eklutna Power Plant.
On the Old Glenn Highway.
Further north outside of Palmer, the fall colors just get more beautiful the further north you go.
I've passed this vehicle many times over the summer, and have wanted to stop to take a picture. 
Part of a house lays in the river, apparently washed away from a half mile or so up where there are remnants of what appears to be a house and other things that make a home.
It was a beautiful day up north.  That wasn't today.
And then this rubber raft showed up on the other side of the river, locked in place by part of a tree.
Memorials fascinate me, and this one is along the highway past Sutton.
At the bottom of the flag pole is what I would call a memorial to a fallen warrior.
Another memorial at the end of (I believe) Long Lake.  Interestingly, I don't know that I'd noticed this before as it's across a small pond in amongst the trees.

Near Potter Marsh there were a lot of trees down from a recent wind storm.  Many trees are down around town, but these were easy to get to and not along a main road where I could be a cage target.

The Alaska Railroad trains are heartstopping, the rumble and when you can get it, the whistle of the train as it passes by.  We often get them to whistle by pumping our fists and arms in the air. 
Yet today (September 29), I find myself wishing for rain to ride in. I got up, looked on my Iphone at the weather and saw that it said snow in Anchorage. I looked outside. Yep … SNOW!!! Now that's what I call ugly. Will it melt so we can ride a few more days? Who knows. It's snowing again.
It did quit, the snow melted and we got to ride some more … in the rain!!!