Friday, May 23, 2014

Road Trip!

Our trip is happening! You may think it's funny I'm taking the time to write this now, as we sit in the wilderness in the Copper Valley... But let me give you an update of what we've seen so far, and in the end you'll realize why I'm writing this. 

Our trip out of Pilot Station was glorious, we had an hour delay due to fog which is pretty classic. The flight was beautiful, and on our Bethel to Anchorage we had our first drinks in 5 months. When we got into Anchorage we ate, ate some more, and enjoyed the significantly warmer weather. We got tired of the city fast though, and were itching to get into the mountains so we rented our car and headed south. 

This was our view the entire way down Turnagin Arm toward Girdwood and Portage Glacier. The photos do it no justice... 

After we finished that trip and left the city we headed up to Chugiak, where my new teacher mentor, Todd and his wife Jenny live. We climbed a mountain and when we pretty much got to the top, we found their house (which Todd built himself) and their view of the Alaska Range, and Denali. We all went adventuring and Todd took us to some of his favorite places around his house, like Hatchers Pass (an old mining ground way up in the mountains) and Eklutna Lake which is a beautiful lake that is the water supply for anchorage and it's surrounded by mountains. 

Todd and Jenny were fantastic hosts, their house felt like home, and we enjoyed great food, drinks, weather, and company the entire time we were there. We never wanted to leave, but adventure was still calling! 

When we left Todd's house we headed north on our trip toward Delta Junction. We stopped at some awesome view points of Denali and the Alaska range, went to the national park entrance (where I accessed internet to fill out a very important job application *fingers crossed*) and then continued on to Healy where Todd recommended we stop and have a beer at 49th state brewery. I don't regret that one bit, it was an awesome spot, and we ended up staying at the campground next door and sleeping in our hammocks.

The next day we woke up early, drove through Fairbanks, and got to Delta Junction where Max's uncle has a cabin right on the Delta River. We had an awesome view of the Alaska range, and we spent the rest of the day relaxing, napping, and building inuksuks down by the river. 

We left Delta this morning and have been driving along side the pipeline, and through some massive mountains. 

There haven't been many towns along the way, and thus no gas stations. So here we are, parked at milepost 187 on the Richardson Highway, with no gas. AAA is on their way, but they're coming from Glenallen which is nearly 2 hours away. 

So far on our trip we've seen 12 dall sheep, 10 moose, a caribou, a grey fox, a golden eagle and a few bald eagles, and tons of other birds and small animals.... And we just saw a wolf cross the road about 150 yards in front of where we ran out of gas. 

Tomorrow we fly from Anchorage to Juneau, we spend Memorial Day weekend exploring Juneau, and on Wednesday morning we board our ferry which will take us to Sitka, Wrangell, Petersburg, Ketchikan, and the Bellingham. From there, we fly back to Eugene and we'll be back in Oregon on May 30th!  

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Closing Time...

I can't believe it, but the school year is almost over up here! Because we didn't have a spring break, and we started in late August, we get out much earlier than most other places, and it's all paying off! 

It's light out until after midnight now, and is getting warm. People are staying out late, and now that the river has broken up, they're going out on the river in boats again. 

My students discovered my blog, and they were so excited to see the pictures that I've posted of them.  So... HI CLASS! 

I am happily enjoying my last weekend of the school year up here, we've packed almost all of our boxes (17, so far) and mailed them all today (It costs a fortune) and I'm also starting to pack up my classroom. I've already done my lesson plans and prep for the last week, and we've accomplished almost all of our goals for the weekend, other than shooting about 40 rounds of shotgun shells, so life is good! Anyway, here are some photos from the last few weeks.

We've been doing tons of spring inspired art! 

Green-up is in progress

This is dried king salmon

This is the day the river broke up, you can see the crack in the middle and in the next picture... 

You can see how it split and the bottom half just slowly floated down river. It was very anticlimactic, I was expecting more crashing and drama. 

An abandoned building by the old pump house. 

The old water tank above town. This is where "the kids hang out"

Prom happened, but we left before it started. The whole town is invited, and apparently the only people who danced were the adults and the little kids. 

We were so excited about it, obviously. 

Break-up still in progress... 

Your classic lawn ornament.

I'll title this picture "Pilot Station"

Once the river broke up above us, the ice started flowing by. It's still going! 

The lot of city vehicles

This building is where Eskimo dance is held. It's all open inside with some bleacher seating. 

Here is a picture of the AC store, with it's new sign :)

We're almost finished studying the regions of Alaska, and here are some things that you can see in 3 of the 5 regions. 

Here ya go, Mom! I made this in art :) My students made these also, they turned out so cute! 

Can you believe it?? I can't! 

The ice jammed up at Holy Cross, so the ice wasn't flowing down for about 2 days, but it just started again because the jam broke up. 

Here is the ice flowing again, but as you can see it doesn't stop people from going out in their boats! 

Possibly one of the last times we'll walk on an airstrip without getting arrested. 

The first flowers of the summer! Also, bumble bees the size of dinosaurs... 

We still can't believe that we came up here and did this, and now it's almost over! It went by so fast, and Max and I were just reminiscing about when we decided to come up here. We told ourselves that a year seemed like a long time, but even if it was terrible it would fly by and be over before we knew it. Well, it hasn't been terrible, it's actually been great, and I think that's what made it all go by even that much quicker! This whole experience is pretty unreal. We fly out of the bush in a week, and this time next Saturday we'll be in Anchorage enjoying sushi! See ya'll soon!