Sunday, October 23, 2016

Slow October Days~

After a sweet, filled summer

our days have slowed a bit.

We are finding our new fall rhythm

and anticipating the changes sure to come with the 
turning of the seasons--

and the election.

I hope all is well with you.....

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Weekend Wanderings - Newton Peak~

Another beautiful April day,
and another check off of the
To Explore List.

This time we drove further up the Dexter Bypass Road,
and parked at Deadman's Curve.
After adding a few layers, we headed uphill with snowshoes.

There are winter trail markers to guide folks safely over the top
when the visibility is poor.

I have only been to the top one other time,

It was surprisingly bare and dry on the first step.
I was on a quest to see my first spring flower,
but, alas, not a flower could be seen.

Once we were above the steep side,
it was a lot calmer and more comfortable.
Time to drop the snowshoes!

Our destination was that peak with with little ROC on top.

This Remote Communication Outlet (RCO) 
serves as a repeater for radio transmission in times of 

It is located on the peak across from the Anvil Mountain 

The tips of my snowshoes are pointing to

At the upper edge of Newton Peak, we found this shelter.
We couldn't tell how old it was.
There was a lot of evidence of reindeer/caribou up there,
so maybe it belonged to hunters?

If you sat down, it would block that ferocious wind while you waited.
Covered with a tarp or hide, it could be quite cozy
in a storm..

Before we began our descent, I took a picture looking north.
The bottom "line" is the Dexter Bypass Road.
Above it are hand-dug ditch lines and a train line.
The Bypass runs between Dexter (+ beyond) and Nome
through King Mountain,
Newton Peak and Anvil Mountain.

The sun was doing its magic on the snow, 
but we were able to stay upright on the steep slope.

Once we leveled out a little, we sunk a lot more!
I experimented when I fell,
but rolling was not any faster,
or dryer.

While on the low side, I spotted another little hiker.
How can they survive on the snow?!

I guess the warmth is good for us all.....

Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekend Wanderings - King Mountain~

Another splendid day for a walk,
and today we headed up nearby King Mountain.

We drove to the Ditch Rider's cabin then began down 
into the Dexter Creek bed from there.  

The snow was punchy in lots of spots heading up out of 
the creek bed.
Much of my time was spent looking up as I crawled out of a hole.
This time I caught a view of the

When we thought we were at the edge of the snow
and expecting only bare tundra ahead,
we parked our snowshoes.

We found a different type of marker at the first level spot,
there wasn't any writing to give clues about 
its use.
Mining?  Geological?  BLM?

We were wrong about no more snow.
There was one last thigh-deep, and very soft patch.

There were also perfectly shaped berries from last year!
When transitioning from tundra to snow,
we left bright red marks behind us.
It was from the cranberries and black berries 
that wintered over.

The top of the south end of King Mountain
has a rock marking stake...
and amazing views from all sides!

From the ocean to the south,
to the mountains on the north side, 
it was a 360' view!

Even sad things like this abandoned mine were seen.
No gold was ever taken out from this place...
although the land was stripped and 
strife was caused in town.

The rock marker  at the top was surrounded by flat rocks, like a seat.
Planned or not, it worked well!
If you peek closely, you can see our house over my left shoulder.

Looking out we could see that the 
river is already starting to flow across the ice.


We have never seen that rapid melt in April before.

Going back down on the snow we unexpectedly crossed paths with this furry guy.

He had a long way to go with all of those little, bitty legs
across his long snowy trail!

A little message for all of our April birthday family and friends :)

This is one of the remaining water pipes from long ago
mining days. 
The Ditch Rider was probably responsible for monitoring its flow.

To to top and back...
It was a fantastic hike.....

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Weekend Wanderings, Day Two~

On Sunday it was overcast
and a little bit windy, 
but we had planned to check out a patch of cottonwoods
up the hill by Banner Creek.

After trying to navigate several different ways across the 
melting ice, 
we turned back.

On the return, we passed this large beaver lodge that was holding 
up a long expanse of ice. 
The beavers may be fun to watch, but they sure can
dam up the water flow!

Option Number Two was to check out an old wooden trestle along the 
Nome River above Banner Creek.

The tundra here was pretty frozen still, so decided to skip the snowshoes.

From the road we didn't see some of the deep gullies full of melting 
snow, but we crawled on.

The Pilot Man took the high path, I took the low.
He made it there before me ;)

The work and strength it must have taken to get this line... amazing!

Look at the size of those beams!

They are still fairly strong when you watch where you are going. 
With the wind I didn't step out too far.

Might take off, if you know what I mean.

 This is the upgraded Thirteen Mile Nome River Bridge.

Didn't see anything green or popping up spring-like in the tundra.
It might need another week of sunshine.....

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Weekend Wanderings~

The Pilot Man and I headed out with snowshoes last weekend.
It was a beautiful, sunny day,
with barely any wind.

We headed out to Basin Creek.
There is a landing strip there which is the closest alternate airport
for Nome.

When the weather is below minimums in Nome,
the planes can land there so the passengers can be picked up
and driven into town.

From above Basin Creek, we had a good view of the
 private mining operation below. 

 We also found a few location stakes on top.

The snow has been melting quite a bit with the warmer temperatures
and winds.
This has exposed some of last year's treasures such as
this little tuft of qiviut.


The sunshine and warmth are also causing the 
willows to pop.

A true sign of spring!

 I ended up with a whole pocket of qivuit collected as we walked across the tundra.

Although is is melting, the snow was still firm enough in most spots, that we could walk 
without snowshoes.

I did manage to find a few softer spots that I 
had to climb out of!

The water from the melting snow leaches down and drips from 
below the snow pack.
We saw a lot of this bright yellow lichen which must
fade later in the summer.
Perhaps bleached and dried from the long summer days? 

My attempt to slide downhill was not very successful,
but the footing was good going up, 
and down.

It turned out to be a day when snowshoes were optional ;) .....