Saturday, February 1, 2014

Johnny Mathis Nirvana

We had a quick little weekend snow a couple of weeks ago, and ended up taking a hike the next day after the storm.  It was quite the winter wonderland!  Of course - at the time I'm posting this entry - the snow has long since melted, but it was beautiful. 

Fifteen years in Florida transforms snow back into something fun and novel again.  Not something you curse at, as I'm sure many jaded "winterland" folks do daily! And to think I lived so close to a place called Summerland not too long ago.  Once again I'm thinking, "Oh, how far we've come."  ♪ ♬  Ch-ch-ch-changes!  ♪ ♬

You're welcome for putting David Bowie in your head.  I dare you to not sing it.

What was remarkable about our hike that day was the unbelievable diversity we saw in just the span of a few hours.  We went from snow covered, idyllic trails, to a black sand beach dusted with snow, and right back in to those mossy forests I can't stop talking about.  It was hard not to notice the unbelievable variety in all of the landscapes we walked through.

To go from these surroundings:

To this snow dusted beach:

And then right back in to the mossy forest...all within just an hour or so.  It's so diverse, I love it:

I love when we see the really fat mossy trees like this one.  I always HAVE to take pictures of them.
I won't tell you how many mossy tree pictures I have.  I'll leave it at...a lot.

Cute Little Bunny Tracks
Flopsy and Mopsy must have had some errands to run because we saw tons of bunny tracks in the snow throughout the day. - You can't help but picture their little back legs hippity-hopping around when you look at the shape of the tracks.

And predictably, Adventure Dog had to get right on the edge of the cliff side.  He wanted to trot down and check out some of the birds he was hearing chirp and swoop around on the bay.  And by "check out," I mean chase and wreak as much havoc as possible upon them.

I don't think you can really tell how steep it is from this picture, but it was a substantial drop off down to the water.  No fear whatsoever in this pooch.  Either that, or he's not the brightest crayon in the box.  I'm going with fearless.  Because he's the bestest boy, and that can't possibly include less than sharp.  ;)

Watch your step there, Puggy Boy - He looks like he's ready to take a leap into the great beyond!

WWII bunker/fort/enclosure - they're everywhere on the island
Sometimes while we're hiking, we'll stumble upon old WWII bunkers and forts along the cliffs by the water.  It's always kind of cool when you happen upon one of them because you're never expecting a history bomb in the middle of a hike.

Sometimes literally a bomb, too!  Not us, but I know of several stories (real people, not just hearsay) who have come across WWII explosives and had to get the authorities involved with removal/assessment.  Crazy.

So not only do you need to be bear aware while hiking, now you have to make sure you don't stumble upon potentially live bombs - that look like they couldn't possibly be anything but a dud - that have been laying around for almost 70 years.  Superb!  This is a few years old, but check out this story related to live WWII bombs in Kodiak.  Again, crazy.

Outside of WWII history, I have to say, I'm still digging the cold weather - especially when it snows.  It's so pretty.  Yes, Johnny Mathis Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland pretty.  I don't love the aftermath of the snow when I have to drive into town to work on sketchy roads in the dark, but I'm still in the whole "winter is pretty" mentality.  I'm sure after a few winters I'll be over it, but right now I'm loving the crisp, chilly air.  It's a really nice change of pace from the humidity of Florida.

Speaking of driving to work, I guess for those who follow my posts and are curious, I should mention that I was offered and accepted an Archives Assistant position with The Sun'aq Tribe of Kodiak, helping to build a digital archive of their Tribal governance records and history.  If you're so inclined, you can check out what I've done so far here.  You can only view the bibliographic records, not the actual documents (unless you come to the tribal center) because of copyright & privacy issues, just FYI.

It's been interesting so far, but it's grant funded, so the job ends in September.  It's a good beginning though, because I've been making some worthwhile contacts in the community through this position, which could potentially lead to...well, who knows, right?  Yay, networking! 

So, I'll keep embracing this on again, off again Johnny Mathis Nirvana that's reality these days.  Kodiak is fickle.  Snow - rain - everything freeze - everything melt - snow again...and repeat.  I don't have too much to complain about though, considering it was about twenty degrees colder in Atlanta, GA this week than in Kodiak, and a large portion of Alaska.

I love the snow and brisk temperatures, but the dreary gray that's been the norm lately can head on out aaaanytime now.  Until spring time comes, anyway.  Then I'll have to hope we're in more of a Katrina and the Waves "I'm Walkin' on Sunshine" mode.  Maybe a little Jimmy Cliff "I Can See Clearly Now?"  I'll take either.  Here's hoping!

Ta-ta for now.

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