Monday, July 31, 2017

Denali Backcountry Adventure II

  This pic was shot thru a dirty shuttle window, yet shows a young male Moose. He will have a life of drinking beer and fighting over women, kinda the same as some young men.

  We were given a $ 190 cabin which was a major upgrade from what the tour included. We slept well for too few hours and had to be ready to get on a nice Thomas Bus to spend our day seeing animals of all types and mountains I had yet to see from the ground anyway. This bus ride is far better than the National park bus ride. These guys find all the animals and serve hot cocoa and cookies. It is a 97-mile drive down a dirt road to the runway at the other end. That is where their lodge is located next to a river from Wonder Lake. 

  The Lodge and air service and bus and cabins and more are owned by the same company. It is the top notch way to see Denali Park. I asked for the price to stay at the lodge in the middle of nowhere and it rounded to $ 600 a night. Kinda worth it if you really need to be away from cell phones and contrails and people.

  What you see above is dirt and grass growing on ice from a glacier. That whole valley floor is ice.

   An old bull moose. He has a big hump on his back.

  Many animals were seen from the bus. It will stop, but you can not get out for a better picture. 

   Today was being back home and getting mail and groceries. Normally I never see any old coworkers when out doing things, but today I was called by name twice in two places by old co-workers from two different jobs. The first one remembered me very well and I did not recall him. Guess my mind is going or I am that noteworthy. He passed along that my old boss from that job died last month. We were the same rank, but he put his on first and he was section NCOIC. We were about the same age and I recall he was a fun guy to work with, bummer.  The next guy to call my name was a flight scheduler from an air cargo job I had. He wanted to know who I was flying for now. I explained that my wife and I had retired from all work in 2011. I did confirm I miss being in a cockpit, but it is better to fly for fun than a job.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Denali Backcountry Adventure

Mushka was Bulgaria's finest tour problem solver extraordinaire
  This was one of Kathy's donations bonus gifts. I was not too thrilled with the idea of a long train ride, then a bus ride and then unknown hotel and then a 14-hour bus ride into Denali Park and another night in the hotel before another long train ride. But it was FUN.

Great food served here, who would know?

  After the getting up and driving to the train station to pay for four days of parking, we went inside and got our boarding passes and gave them our luggage. The weather had been forecast rainy, but they sure were wrong. we had great weather for the whole vacation.

This guy knew where to find a good meal also

  The train ride went well and we were taken a few miles South of the park to a place called Denali Cabins. That is when we discovered whoever put our tour together made a lot of mistakes. We had no room and no tour. Mushka called the manager and we were given a big room upgrade. Then told to take the free shuttle and where to get food like we eat. The tour would take more time to fix, but eat well and get settled into your room. That impressed me.

  This will be a four part post, perhaps more.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Made it above the tree line

  Today was Sunny and warm, so we headed back out to the lake in the mountains for a walk. We both were still a bit sore from Friday's attempt at the Twin Peaks trail so we planned to do a six mile walk along the lake. Sunday thru Wednesday is 4 wheelers access to the lake road we were planning to walk and golly was there a lot of them.

  So rather than eat dust and be miserable we chose to try the mountain again, but slower. The first pic is taken from where we rested before the return back down. If anyone remembers the posts where we walked and picnicked each week before my heart attack, today's hike was the one I had planned to be able to do by the end of this Summer. Did not even think I would have a major health issue at that time. Amazing how life can change and I got into better shape than I was.

  This is a 1960 Austin Healey ' bug eyed' Sprite.

  Thought someone other than me would enjoy the car pic.

  That hot dog above had a good idea laying in the chilly creek.

  We are home now and may not make it out of bed tomorrow. It also starts Kathy's 7th year of getting retirement pay. She has had no health problems and been enjoying life without a job. My how time flies.  This week we will have another Kathy discount adventure, should be raining the whole time, but I will carry my camera anyway.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Did not make it above the tree line

  The pic above is the Sun. It was taken with Nikon D-7200 at 300mm ISO 100 1/500 sec with a white light filter attached. The pic below at 1/125 sec. I am trying different settings and hope to have myself dialed in soon. I wanted the professional filter yet did not have $ 1600 sitting around to be spent. So I got the $ 13 eclipse special. It is cardboard and thin silver coated plastic. You may see many photo attempts.

  I got two since they looked flimsy and I figured I would break one.

Available on Amazon 

  So that has been my outside playing for today, yard mowing got delayed. It is not like there are not a lot of chores to be done, I am just beyond lazy.

  Yesterday was my first attempt in over 20 years to hike to the top of the Eklutna Twin Peaks trail. I used to do it weekly just to stay in hiking shape. Now I only made it to the old car in the woods. I did not take bug spray and the flies were driving me nuts. I was also wearing jeans and it was a warm day. So even though my goal was not met, I called it quits and walked down. My pants, shirt, and hat were soaked with sweat and it took 3 hours to do, we only made it about a thousand feet up the hill. The hike levels out a lot later on and is 2.6 miles long with an 1800 foot gain. You start at 1500 feet elevation you can drive to. The State Parks Department lists it as difficult. I knew I would have to try it weekly for a month before being in shape to get to the top. I really thought I would make it above the tree line though. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Binge Watched 11.22.63

  This is just a simple post of a simple day. A few years ago I read a Stephen King novel 11.22.63 about time travel, non-stop over 24 hours. Today I saw it had been made into a mini series and Kathy and I watched the whole series today. There were breaks for food and putting trash out, but no other distractions. It is on Hulu. They did a good job of staying with the story line and we both enjoyed it.

  Hope all you guys had a more productive day.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Hung out with old friend today

Fresh Overhauled Lycoming O-360 engine 180 hp

  I awoke very early for me and gave my early riser friend a call. He was shocked I was awake and asked if I was free for the day. Yes, I was. So he picked me up and we drove 60 miles to his other house and hanger. He wanted to deliver a part for a mechanic to install on his airplane.

1957 Cessna 172 with Continental O-300 engine 145 hp 

  Cliff decided to upgrade his old yet fun to fly C 172. He now has all the parts and paperwork to make the engine change. I myself love the smooth running six cly O-300. Anyway, it appears I will not get a plane ride with him this Summer.

  I walked around his hanger and snapped a few pics with my phone. It is pretty junky, but a lot of cool toys in there.

Model B John Deere 

Tiny piston bore and giant valves on 2 cly pony motor

  Hope I am around when they get this Cat D-4 ready to start.

  I enjoyed my time with him as he ran errands and now just spending time in my man cave. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

8 miles in 3 hours made me tired

  Today was a break from low clouds and rain and it made it over 70 degrees. We did a couple errands and drove out to our favorite lake walking trail. Fortunately, it was a windy day and that kept the biting bugs grounded. We started with a six-mile cardio workout walk, but it morphed into an ass kicking eight miles in a three-hour walk. After an hour we were able to eat our peanut butter sandwiches, but neither of us wanted dinner. We drove home and took off our dirty clothes and took long hot showers. I am writing this just before bed.

  I packed light and these pics were with my Moto 4 G. I did take my new toy along, but too tired to play with it tonight. I finally got a GoPro Hero 5 Session which is a tiny 1.5 inch square. It records 60fps video for 17.5 minutes per file and most of all it has great video stabilization. It will record for an hour provided you stop at 17 min and restart a new file. I made a lot of 2 minute videos. On this walk, I just kept it in my hand and it has one button quick push to start recording. It can be completely controlled by my Moto 4G via bluetooth.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

30 Canadian Pesos Well Spent

  This is attempt two at making this post.

  Nephew Dave who works in Ontario Canada now got a day off and went to the Tall Boats and took a two-hour ride.  He took all these pics with a Samsung S 4 smart phone he carries.

  Hope this works.

  This was his text to me with the pics.
 Took a 2 hour sail on the Empire Sandy this morning. Pretty good trip for 30 Canadian pesos. I was still hoping we'd hoist an American flag and set fire to the harbor, but no luck on that 1812 re-enactment.