Sunday, July 1, 2007

Alaska 2007 #1

A Little From Alaska:

Hi all-

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,


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