"Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Berry Picking!!!

Tuesday Karen (personal trainer) and I went berry picking out near the old Treadwell Mine.  While we were on our way, we came across some zipliners.  Nope!!!  This is one activity I will be skipping - look how far off the ground this guy is hanging from that cable:)  That speck in the trees is a person!!!

Berry picking was a lot of fun and I got almost enough to make the Salmon Berry Crisp that Sarah requested.     There were lots of berries but some were not quite ripe so I may have to go again unless someone beats me to them.  They are so pretty!  When Sarah got off work,   we   she made the Salmon Berry Crisp and added a few raspberries to the berries I picked.   Yummy!  I must say she looked like a natural in the kitchen.  She has been hiding her cooking abilities from the rest of us.  Note to Doug:  Your reputation as the family chef is in danger:):)  This was delicious!!  (the secret family recipe as requested by Jan can be found here:  Berry Crisp)   FYI:  salmon berries grow wild in Southeast Alaska.  They taste similar to raspberries.  Nothing to do with salmon:)


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Goldrush Days/Surprise Sighting

Friday night started off with the weekly music fest in the park.  It was a cold, drizzly night so there weren't too many people there but I did get to wear my finished scarf.   Finally, my first knitting project is done!

Saturday and Sunday was the annual Goldrush Days Festival.  It is held on Douglas Island just a few blocks from where I am staying.   We went both days and watched the events.  There were different "mining" and "logging" competitions and it ended with a miners vs. loggers tug-of-war on Sunday afternoon.  Sarah took her camera so I hope to add some of her pictures later.  I'm sure hers are a lot better than mine!  She has a backpack of stuff and my camera fits in my pocket!

Sunday afternoon we took a break from the festival and walked out to the mine ruins several blocks away.  They were really neat to wander around.  At one time this was one of the largest mines in the country but it flooded in the early 1900s and was never reopened.  The trail out by the ruins is great so I am sure I will go again.  We saw lots of ripe salmon berries (similar to raspberries) so I may go picking:)

While we were at the festival on Saturday,  I had quite a surprise when I ran into  a family whose blog I have been reading since late last summer.    They are a family of five that left Kentucky last August on their own adventure.  They are headed to Fairbanks, Alaska - on a bicycle built for five!!    You can read about their adventures on their website - the Pedouins.   A book will be published on their bike ride as well.  Can you tell they have had their picture taken a time or two?  They are camping out near the glacier.  (we have a rosy glow from the red tent we are in!!)

Eagle report - this morning there must have been 8-10 eagles flying around outside my window.  So awesome!!!  I love watching them.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away!!!

Okay, some sunshine would be nice about now!  I was planning on going outside Monday and taking a picture around 11 p.m. for the Summer Solstice but it started raining about 10:30!!!  It seems like it has been raining ever since.  No walking for me on Tuesday or Wednesday but I did go walk today since it is only
 drizzling.  Sarah just laughs and says "you are in Alaska".   I did mention I needed some Vitamin D and she told me to pick some up at Costco.  Sorry, I want the real thing!!!!  The glacier is still impressive even with the rain and clouds.

Yesterday I did walk around the downtown Juneau area and took a couple of pictures in the rain before I went to the movie.  Notice the people with jackets - about 55 degrees.   I saw "Knight and Day" with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.  Not quite sure I fit in the "target audience" for that one.

This evening I went and tried to have dinner with the Governor of Alaska!  He didn't show while I was there but I enjoyed the free grilled salmon, etc. anyway.  There is a park a couple of blocks from me that is used for a lot of community functions.  This weekend Gold Rush Days are being held there and the following weekend the 4th of July Celebration.

While I was at the park, a group of float planes returned from their sight seeing trips and I was able to get a picture of one of them.  They usually are in groups of three or four.  While I was walking home, I saw a salmon berry bush.  They are starting to ripen - people pick them to eat fresh or make jam.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Weekend Wandering

Friday afternoon's walk was back at the Mendenhall Glacier (can you tell I love it there?)  The glacier had just calved and the ice was so blue where the break occurred.

 Friday night I met Sarah and her friends for the weekly "Concert in the Park" before we went to the Twisted Fish for dinner.  Each week in the summer they have free music in the park.  I think this week had a 60s theme as there was a folk singer and then a group doing some Motown music.  The Twisted Fish was good - it was time for some halibut.

Saturday I went for a long walk in an area I had not been before - way out past where the cruise ships dock.  There was a young woman there who had just seen a mama bear and her two cubs!  I saw the bushes moving but didn't actually see the bears.  Saturday night Sarah and Rosie saw a bear walking down the street when they were  looking out the apartment window - and they were in downtown Juneau!!   I also drove all the way to the end of the road in that direction so have now been to the "end of the road" in both directions.   Sarah and Rosie came over later in the day and we went to the north end of Douglas Island so Sarah could fish.  No luck but it was fun:)  We finished the evening at the Island Pub with a pizza.

Why Sarah won't move "down south"!!!
Sunday's walk was also a new trail for me.  It was only about a 100 yards off the road but I couldn't hear any traffic noise - just the tinkling of my bear bell!  I know it sounds like I am doing a lot of walking but this is normal for me.  I have been doing the 10,000 Steps a Day Program for a long time and even wear a pedometer!!!  It is much more fun to me to walk outside rather than use the treadmill.

Eagles - There are eagles everywhere here!!!  I had never seen one until the first time I came to Alaska.  Every morning when I am drinking my coffee I watch them flying over the Gastineau Channel.  Monday morning this one was sitting in the tree outside my window.  Not the greatest picture because it was taken through the glass and the sun was really bright but I wanted you to see.  I love watching them and think they are so majestic.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Flume Trail

After working out, Karen (new trainer) and I went on a walk on Flume Trail.    I had to do some research to see what they meant by a flume.  Apparently it is a wooden trestle that used to bring water to the town.  We started at Evergreen Cemetery and walked through the cemetery and up a very steep staircase (99 steps!) to get to the start of the trail.  The picture is looking back down after I got to the top:)  It was beautiful along the trail and a really easy walk.  Part of it is more like walking on a boardwalk.  After reaching the flume and the end of the trail, we headed back to my car through Juneau.  The more I walk around Juneau the more shortcuts and stairs connecting different streets I come across.  It is kind of fun to see where they all go.

Later in the evening I went to a book reading/signing by Heather Lende.  Several years ago when I was visiting Sarah she suggested I read, "If You Lived Here I Would Know Your Name".  It is a great book about living in a small town in Alaska.  Heather Lende has just come out with a new book, "Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs".  She was a great speaker and I am now the proud owner of an autographed copy of her latest book.  I highly recommend her first book and will let you know on the second one!!! 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Alaska State Capitol and Juneau/Douglas City Museum

After meeting Sarah for breakfast Wednesday morning, I headed to the Alaska State Capitol for a tour and then over to the Juneau/Douglas City Museum.  The Capitol gives tours every 20 minutes or so and then lets you wander around on your own.

  After seeing the chambers for the senators and representatives, I looked at some of the exhibits and photographs on the wall.   Alaska celebrated its 50th year of statehood last year and there were a few exhibits in celebration.

The Juneau City Museum was interesting as well.  There is a 30 minute film about the history of Juneau/Douglas and its role in the mining industry.    There are more miles of mining tunnels in Mount Roberts than there are roads in Juneau.  I thought that was pretty amazing!!!  Lots of exhibits on the native peoples and the history of Juneau/Douglas.  Douglas is the small town across the channel from Juneau (it is where I am staying) and at one time was much larger than Juneau.

My daily walk today was around Juneau and through Evergreen Cemetery.  Joe Juneau and Richard Harris, early settlers  of Juneau/Douglas are buried next to each other with a path between.  The picture above is Joe Juneau's site.  There were lots of  headstones dating back to the late 1800s.  I thought this one was especially interesting.  If you can't read it, it says:

Frank G. Moore
Red Man
38 Great Suns
Summoned By The
Great Spirit
Dec 23, 1904

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's a Cold, Cruel World:)

A week or two ago a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she knew someone that needed a bone marrow transplant and urged us all to sign up.  I went to the site to see what you need to do.  Guess what?  I am too old!!  They don't take people over 60.  OUCH!!!!

Today I went to the Juneau Senior Citizens Center to see if they needed any volunteers.  The director was very nice but it is a federally run program and all volunteers must pass several background checks.    Takes too long and is too costly for someone here on a short stay.   But guess what?  At 60,  I qualify for their programs:)  She invited me to come any day for lunch or to one of the programs.  OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!!!!!!  My only saving grace is she did ask how old I was - she did not assume I was sixty.

As engraved on my iTouch and my children have been coerced to tell you,  I am the NEW FORTY!!!!  If they tell you otherwise, please let me know so I can "review" my will.

I also went to the Alaska State Museum today.  Every time I come to Juneau I visit this museum.  It is so well done and always interesting.  There was a wonderful exhibit of photographs this time as well as all the usual exhibits.  They do need volunteers so I may check back with them next week.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Saturday at the Symphony

Saturday night Sarah and I went to the Juneau Symphony with several of her friends.  Another friend, Rosie, was performing which made it extra special.  This was the symphony's "pops" performance and they played music from some of the great American musicals - "The Sound of Music", "South Pacific", "West Side Story", "Rodeo" and ended with music from the "1812 Overture".  They started the performance with "The Star Spangled Banner" and included "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" as well.  Definitely a crowd pleaser.  I really enjoyed the evening even though the younger set politely dumped me as soon as it was over so they could go party.  Sarah had picked me up but then we went in my car - I think know there was some advance planning on her part so I could come home and she wouldn't miss any of the action.

The weather in Juneau has changed!  Sun?  What is that?  The last several days have been rainy and cold.  It's like Houston in winter:)  The high temperatures have been in the 50s!!!  This Texan is not used to that kind of weather in June.  I have gotten my knitting back out and am working to finish my scarf.  Sarah has gotten me hooked on "Glee".  I bought the first season on DVD at Costco and have been watching it.  It has been a relaxing few days!!!  I do try to get my walking in between rain showers but I am way behind.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Question and Answer Day!!!

There have been several questions in the "comments" section.  I'll answer them here in case anyone else has wondered the same things.

1.  Are there any quilt and yarn shops?  Two quilt shops and a yarn shop that I have found as well as a Joanne's.  The yarn shop sells beautiful yarns but doesn't have classes in the summer.  The Joanne's is much better/nicer than the one I go to in Houston.  None of these are owned by the cruise lines.

2.  Do you have trouble adjusting to all the daylight?  No, but it is light (twilight) when I go to bed and when I get up!!!  I do check the time when I wake up - several times it has been 4 a.m.  We are on "Alaska Time" which is 3 hours behind Houston.

3.  Have you met your roommate?  Yes, she came in the day after I got here and is now gone to Colorado for two weeks.  She is very nice and we get along great.  As before in California, we are not here at the same time (during waking hours) too often.

4.  Can you buy the native garments?   I asked Sarah about this because I didn't see any for sale.  Sarah doesn't think so - she thinks they are for the native people only.  There are several stores in town that do sell native crafts, etc.

5.  How long are you staying?  I have a ferry booked for September 28th but can change my reservation for $10.                        
6.  Have you "met" any bears?  No.  When the family was here in 2008 we saw one out at the Mendenhall Glacier.  It was awesome!!

7.  Are you going on a plane ride?  No!!  I would not say I have "conquered" my fear of heights:)  Besides, it is way expensive.

8.  What kind of camera do you have?  Canon Power Shot 1200 IS (just a "point and shoot").  Sarah has a much better camera than I do.  I'll try to get her to take some pictures for me to post.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Sarah and I have done more hiking/walking this week.  One day I did the popular hike near the airport (Sarah was working) and saw float planes lined up.  This is a popular area for birdwatching but I was there in the middle of the day and didn't see too many.

Tuesday Sarah had the day off.  After my first session with my new trainer, we met for a hike around Auke Lake followed by a hike and picnic at the Mendenhall Glacier.  We took lots of pictures!  The lake is popular for swimming - brrrr!  I felt the water and it was too cold for me but not as frigid as I was expecting.  We saw some people swimming and others on jet skis wearing "dry suits".

                                                                   Auke Lake
                                             Definitely a rain forest!  (Auke Lake)

                                                     Sarah on trail (Auke Lake)

Sarah warned me never to touch this one - the underside is covered in stickers!  There were beautiful yellow water lilies on the lake.

When the whole family visited Sarah in Alaska the summer of 2008, Nick and Sarah were the only two that made it out to the waterfall at the Mendenhall Glacier.   There had been a rockslide and those two climbed over the rocks.  Since then, the rockslide has been cleared and a new path constructed.  Lots of people were out there the day we had our picnic.    The icebergs are ice that has "calved" off the glacier.

The weather has been very warm here - for Juneau - and no rain.  That is supposed to change in the next few days.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier
Sunday was a gorgeous day and the first day I only needed my jacket in the morning.  It actually got up to 70 degrees and it didn't rain.  Sarah and I met in the morning.  After an early lunch at Heritage, we headed out to the Mendenhall Glacier.  I love going out there - it is always gorgeous.  After doing the short hike, we drove to the other side and hiked on the West Glacier Trail.  There were lots of people out so I didn't have to worry about bears.  My guess is I could outrun at least one of the other people!!!

These pictures were taken just a few minutes apart.  Notice who has her jacket on!

After walking on the West Glacier Trail, we went on a drive to the end of the road.  There are only about 40 miles of road in Juneau.  We stopped and enjoyed the views and walked around in several different areas.  We ended the day at the Crab Shack with king crab legs.