Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

I Do Not Have Alaskan Skin

While we were in Alaska, Ryan's brother Grant took us to Homer, Alaska (a tiny little fishing town in the southern part of Alaska) and took us out on his boat. We camped the night and then the next morning got ready to go out on the boat. I am not sure of the exact recorded temperature that day, but mind you it was really cold. Well Grant, Sharon (Grant's girlfriend), and Ryan each had a long sleeved shirt on and were perfectly comfortable. I, on the other hand, with my California blood, was rather chilly in my t-shirt, three thermal tops, sweatshirt, down jacket, leggings, jeans, wool socks, beanie, and gloves. Even one of the old fishermen in the coffee shop made mention that I must not be from around here.

Animal Whisperer

The whole time we were in Alaska Ryan's parents kept calling me the animal whisperer because all kinds of wild life came out when I was around. We got to see bald eagles soaring, Alaskan salmon swimming up stream, cute Puffins (relatives of the Penguin), common muirs ("the penguin of the North"), sea otters, seals, sea lions, mosquitoes the size of sparrows, a pod of porpoise, a pod of orca (killer whales), and a humpback whale (the porpoises and whales all came right up to our boat on the glacier cruise). We of course saw moose everywhere. They are like wild dogs in South America; okay maybe not that bad, but there are a lot. And the most exciting animal encounter of them all was when Ryan and I got charged by a mama grizzly bear. True fact, not lying. We were on a canoe trip with two of Ryan's brothers. Ryan and I had gotten a little ahead of his brothers and we were paddling quietly, enjoying the scenery. We came around a bend in the river and suddenly we hear a loud growl/roar. We look over to find a mama grizzly bear 10-15 feet away charging into the shallow water after us. Oh my gosh, we had not paddled faster the entire trip. We flew down that river like a power boat. I guess she was just trying to protect her two cubs who were on the shore because after we took off the scampered into the woods, but boy did that stop our hearts for a few seconds. Lesson learned, never sneak up on a grizzly bear.  Oh and we also saw a dead black bear in the back of someones' pick up.

Humpback Whale taking a dive...

Orca... AKA Killer Whale... AKA Shamu

Very Loud Seal Lions

The Horned Puffin... Relative to the penguin

Alaskan Snow Cones

We are now back from Alaska and oh what a wonderful time we had visiting with family and seeing the beautiful sights of Alaska. One of my favorite things were the glaciers. Ryan's parents were nice enough to take us on a glacier cruise and we got an up close and personal look at the incredible Alaskan glaciers. They were just breathtaking! They really looked like big snow cones. You just wanted to take a big bite. After our cruise, we all hiked up to a local glacier called Exit Glacier. Ryan and I were even able to walk right up and touch the glacier. I was tempted to lick it, but I decided that our unlawful touching of the glacier was enough on its own to help the glacier hurry along with its already rapid rate of melting to extinction. I learned that the aqua blue color of the ice, that gives it the snow cone look, is from rich glacier minerals. The glacier runoff gives many of the lakes and rivers and bays incredible aqua blue water. It is absolutely beautiful. The pictures just cannot capture what you are able to take in with your eyes.

"Little Kid Lover"

All mothers hide your children because there is a creepy hairy man on the loose. Actually it is just my husband Ryan in a Chester Molester mustache. He looks like he should be behind the wheel of an old van with no windows, driving slowly through a suburb. Luckily the mustache only lasted a few days and Ryan gave in because I refused to kiss him with the caterpillar on his lip.  I am happy to have my cute husband back.