Friday, July 30, 2010

Back to civilization (aka Anchorage) and the rest of the photos from Adak

First picture: recognize the roof? That's an old McDonalds! Second picture... I think used to be someones residence... note the bunk beds still semi in tact. Third picture... One of many bald eagles we saw on the island. Apparently they are quite the nuisance, and the head biologist on Adak is constantly getting calls of having to get them out of the dumpsters. It kind of gives you a different perspective on the famous american icon. Finally... A typical workday... there is lots of weight on the bottom of those ropes!

Well I have safely made it back to Anchorage. Our last day was a 12 hr workday, kind of unexpectedly. The weather being so cooperative allowed us to scout out other lakes that may have a good record. Before we knew it, we were on the middle of a lake, working hard, and it was 6 pm. That would have been fine, except we had to fly out the next day, and in order to fly out, the boat and raft had to be disassembled, deflated etc, and all cores and everything else had to be packaged up for shipping. In total, we shipped 1,100 lbs of stuff back to Anchorage. A few hundred pounds of that is in the form of mud in tubes which we will FedEx back to Flagstaff to hopefully become my Master's Thesis!

After a week of lifting 1,000 lbs in and out of a truck on a regular basis I can say that lifting my 30 lb bag of luggage through the airport is nothing! Our adventures got quite comical as the last couple of days the mornings were rainy and the truck bed was extra full so we were squeezing the 4 of us in the front seat of a regular cab (meant for 3, and with a shifter in the middle, made for even more of an adventure). Add that to the tape deck with a selection of 2 pre-made 'mix' tapes that came with the truck (there are no radio stations on Adak) and we were really cruising in style. The person clearly went through some mood swings while making his/her mix, as there were 6 Bob Dylan songs in a row, 5 love songs, followed by increasingly bitter songs. I'm not sure we made it much past the bitter songs, but we concluded that he was on the island by himself missing a girl back on the mainland, who over time refused to come out and finally broke up with him (the break up songs were next on the mix we just never made it that far).

We now get to unload and reload for our next adventure. I will post again tomorrow night, but after that we will be camping near Valdez.

And one last good story before I forget... So Alaska is full of bears, I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that. Typically, they roam around the vast forests that exist in Alaska, so it isn't so often you see a bear roaming around Anchorage. Well when we arrived to the Univ of Anchorage dorms tonight, there was a sign warning of a black bear sighting. Apparently, they have been spotted all over town, which is unheard of. One was even walking down the path between our dorm and the next one just two nights ago!

Here are some Anchorage bear news stories to keep you entertained ...

Also... it is finally getting dark in Anchorage at night. When we were here just a week ago, the sun would set around 10:30 and rise around 3, with it being dusk for the 4 1/2 hrs in between. Now it is actually dark out, and we have lost at least an hour of sun.