Saturday, May 29, 2010

West Glacier Trail

Enjoying yet another fabulous hike to Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier. It was what we consider hot at 70 degrees, but we sat on sun baked rocks, munching our lunch above the turquoise ice. We heard spruce grouse in the bushes and swatted away Alaska's state bird...mosquitos.

Turquoise lake forming on surface of glacier

Moulin forming on edge of glacier

Monday, May 24, 2010

Salmon Creek Resevoir

One of Juneau's back-up water and electrical sources lies behind the Salmon Creek dam which was built in the 1910s by the Juneau-Douglas mining company. We had a very pleasant hike though we took some ribbing from the Boston Marathon gang (which includes Bishop C). Hey, we were bird watching, doing some minor trail improvements and heck, taking pictures.

Salmon Creek is a pretty easy hike. 7 miles, 1100 ft elevation gain. Compare Thunder Mtn.'s 6 mile/8 hour trip to Salmon Creek's 7 miles/4 hours.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Don't you love it...

Don't you love it when you're telling a story in Seminary that's going nowhere and then a bear comes and sits down just outside the window? It's like, nevermind - there's a bear.

The boys want to chase the animal with their bows and cameras. Mr. X and Elder Y want to examine its tracks on the pavement. The girls just smile. When the large and lumbering black bear leaves for greener pastures, your students look for all sorts of bear jokes in the scriptures, "Is a bear able to do good?" "You just said BEAR testimony! hahaha."

It was a good next to last day.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thunder Mountain

Our hiking schedule said, "Thunder Mountain" for Saturday. The weather agreed. I figured we'd hike for about four hours and call that good. So, I boiled some eggs and baked a big potato. Mr. X filled water bottles and found some reallllly old jerky we desperately needed to rotate.

The first couple hours wound by. We were making slow progress through the trees, snow and windfalls. At about noon we stopped in some snow - at about the same place we lunched when Mr. X's brother visisted - to eat our potato and jerky.

We soon stepped into the steepest part of the trail. Because we could dig our feet into the snow, the going was okay. Eventually we reached the last push to the summit and learned that wearing slick, nylon pants is a recipe for disaster when scrambling on old, alpine meadow grass. Mr. X was standing at the top shouting for me to "hold on and dig in".

At the top we hung out with eagles, until Mr. X realized it would be offensive to eat boiled eggs next to a Bald Eagle. We spotted sow and bear cub and wolverine tracks along the ridgeline (Mr. X initially thought these were rabbit tracks, but the nail marks made him think they were wolverine).

I caught some zzzz in the warm, plush heather and moss. I also caught my first sunburn of the season.

Mr. X mentioned that we'd been hiking for 5.5 hours, that we were down to a few cups of water and totally out of food, so we turned around. Fortunately, near the bottom, Mr. X remembered a bag of chocolate chips which we forced down our throats. We were grateful to get home to eat yoghurt with strawberries as well as a homemade pizza.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

NieNie's Mormon Message

By sheer chance I was able to view this video. Definitely worth a watch...or three. Perfect for Mother's Day too.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


"Spring has sprung, Spring has come,
Life is skittles and Life is rum [lifesavers]
I think the loveliest time of the year
Is the spring, I do, don't you, of course you do"
~Poisoning Pigeons in the Park by Tom Lehrer

It's undeniably spring though it was hard to tell just when it happened, but

  • The fiddleheads are unrolling
  • The tulips are starting to bloom
  • The Airport trail was closed due to aggressive bear activity and
  • The first cruise ship docked this morning