I didn't write an E-mail about the JMT, but here are my photos anyways:
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Saturday, July 7, 2007
A Little From Alaska:
well, i've got 45 minutes before my ride shows up here, so i thought i'd do some email. Since i last wrote, i've done a lot...
SHORT VERSION: lots of animals, beauty, and enjoyableness.
LONG VERSION: I met clay in Denali National Park, kinda in the middle of the state, and we prepared for our backpacking trip there. we spent the first night in the campground in the front of the park, but left for the backcountry the next morning. a bus dropped us off on a river in the middle of the park, and we were to begin our journey through rocky riverbed, spongy meadows, glacial moraine (loose rock covered glacier), steep creekbed, ice rivers, and steeper mountain passes... all littered with wildlife. we spent 4 days out there, and hiking without any trails is a much different experience than i am used to... the terrain isn't always what you expect from what you read on the topo map. one day, we hiked about 4.5 miles in 9 hours... the going was slow to say the least. the scenery was beautiful though, so it was nice that we had so much time to enjoy it, and the 6 grizzly bears, 20 or so dall sheep, 1 wolverine, 6 caribou, 1,000,000 ground squirrels, 1 red fox, and some birds too. i thought the wolverine was a badger at first, but when we got out the ranger corrected us. anyways, the pictures do more justice than my words, so i'll shut up and just let you wait for those.
along the trip in denali, we saw nobody else, my feet got shredded, we camped on a glacier, we camped on sheep poo, we camped on a beautiful bed of wildflowers, we played frisbee where nobody has before, did some extreme rock skiing in my boots, and i got ultra scared on a mountain ridge NARROWER THAN MY FOOT with one corniced edge, and the other was about 75 degrees. luckily, my rain pants work both ways, and clay couldn't tell if i had wet my pants or not. i highly reccomend it there.
after that, we had a throw away day in anchorage, and headed back to that town of homer that i started in cause i liked it so much, and cause clay hadn't been yet. there, we went fishing again, and hiked around some, and hung out with lance and his pals... it was nice to take it a little slower for a little bit. one day, my friend lance had a bbq at his place with the fresh salmon we'd caught that day, and it was the best fish i'd ever had... almost enough to make me wanna move here so i could catch dinner everyday.
after 3 days there, it was time for clay to leave and for me to go toward juneau. i had kind of a messed up time getting to where i needed to go, but it consisted of me getting dropped off in the wilderness at 2:30 AM in a rainstorm after being in the car for like 12 hours, setting up my tent for the night, then waking up the next day and trying to hitchhike to the sort of nearby town of whittier. some old irish guy picked me up cause he really liked talking, and i think he felt bad that i was walking in the rain. he told me about how much fun he used to have doing construction and drinking all over the state, so i have to go to some bar in juneau and tell his friend neil hi.
i made it to the ferry with an hour to spare, and took a sweet boat across the prince william sound to the town of valdez (think exxon valdez oil spill), and i saw the terminus of the trans-alaskan pipeline. i just kinda walked around a bit... it was a cool town.
in the morning, i packed up again to ferry to the fishing town of cordova. yesterday, i went kayaking in the ocean and saw about 100 sea otters, who became very curious as to what i was... it was like having 100 little puppies staring at me from 20 to 100 feet away, it was a pretty unique experience. after about an hour or so of that, i headed closer to the shore cause there was a lot of splashing around, and i watched salmon jumping out of the water for a while... it made me excited to go eat some of them.
anyways, this is long enough... tonight, i'm ending my solo time and meeting jonelle and ben in juneau for a few days, then we're meeting my dad somewhere else to go fishing for a week. dirty.
i'll see some of you in seattle, others of you in la after that, and hopefully even others in santa cruz after THAT.
cody-PS: frisbee players: i saw luke from monster on the bus in denali, it was pretty random.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
A Little From Alaska:
don't be alarmed by the new email address, you can continue to use my ucla one til further notice if you'd like.
i somehow managed to get 20 free minutes here at the hostel computer, so i'm gonna use it to give you a little update on my trip. i don't have any pictures up yet, and they're really the highlight of everything (yes, yes, cause i'm such a great photographer, i know). actually, cause its just amazing here so far, and i haven't even gotten that far into the wilderness.
so, on the first leg, i arrived here with my mom and we took our rental ford windstar down to homer, alaska. you can google earth it if you want, its in a pretty sweet place. at the end of the highway, homer has a population of around 7000, and is home to supposedly the best halibut fishing in the world. i didn't do that though. its really beautiful there, and i decided that i'd get a summer job there if the whole "engineering" thing doesn't pan out too well.
over winter break last year, my sister's boytoy invited an alaskan friend to go to tahoe with us on our family vacation... and this weird guy named lance showed up and did a bunch of stuff with us. turned out, he was actually really cool and not that weird, so i met up with this home-slice in his hometown, homer... but i didn't visit his home. he drives a water taxi there across the kachemak bay, so i got tons of free rides around the beautiful waters there, it was pretty nice.
one morning, he took me "dip-netting" which is dipping a net into a river, and seeing if you catch any fish, without any bait. so, Lance, Wendy, and i walked up the cold river and actually caught 18 sockeye that were 6-8 pounds each, in about an hour. i don't know why i ever even bothered with hooks and all that worm nonsense. i donated all my fish to lance, since he has to survive the harsh winters, and feeds only on canned fish from the summer, while hovered over a burning garbage can to keep warm. after getting back and napping for a few hours, i was ready to start day number 2 of my day. each day here in an alaskan summer, you get 2 days out of it: day number 1 and day number 2. cause theres 20 hours of full daylight each day.
i also went kayaking with otters, seals, jellies, and eagles, which was really fun. glacier water can be a bit cold though. i also hiked up to a mountain with lance and wendy where we encountered mosquito city. and considering the mosquito to volume ratio, it was more like downtown mosquito central, cause i'd never seen so many before in my life. at some points, if you just stood still, there was a constant buzz of mosquito noise around you... it was weird. i got to slide down some snow patches to make the downhill a little quicker too. the land up there was really cool though, lots of snow patches, and we walked on really plush groundcover- the kind that you're usually not allowed to walk on in rich people's yards. it was GREAT.
i also made my mom ride a bike 9 miles, so next time you see her, pat her on the back. we visited a quaint little village of soldovia, which was quaint and little. the town taxi driver had to be taken from the bar to give us a ride back to camp though.
lastly, i saw a really sweet glacier and lots of animals (humpback whales, otters, seals, sea lions, puffins, porpises, SEAGULLS!), on a boat yesterday... the glacier was enormous, and i got to see some pieces calve off live... global warming hard at work!
well, looks like i'm out of time now... my mom left and i'm heading up to denali national park tomorrow and meeting clay there, hoping to see some grizzly bears and maybe some moose too. i've been practicing my punches and kicks in case one tries to attack me... i'll seeya later,