Going out with a bang (the summer, that is..)

We started out the summer (Memorial weekend) with a fantastic camping trip with Nathan, Amanda, and Adam on Portland Island (track down the blog entry).  The 2008 summer went out in a similarly fantastic style–a weekend in Tenakee Springs (with Nathan, Amanda, and Adam–we need to hang out with those guys more often, if the weekends keep turning out like these did… 🙂

The above panorama does an ok job of capturing it.. You can click on either the image or this link to get a “.mov” which should fire up in quicktime and let you pan and zoom and navigate around the panoramo.  Use the arrows to navigate and shift/control to zoom in and out.

Carrie and Torsten flew out on Ward Air direct to Tenakee on Thursday.  Matt stuck around Juneau to get the “SEAMONSTER 2” proposal in, and teach the first class of the semester (both worked out well, I think..).

On Friday, Matt went out on Alaska Seaplanes and went through Angoon.  Our introduction to Tenakee was fantastic.  First, we all had a good soak in the hot springs.  We enjoyed walking down main street.  Carrie loved the store and the cash register:


We walked about a mile to the cabin that Nathan had just helped put up..

What a location!  We had a delicious crab meal on Friday night. Nathan pulled ’em up, with the help of the boys.  After the boys examined the crabs, the crabs got their revenge by chasing the boys around (with Nathan’s help…), and then we got our revenge (and dinner)–yum!


We loved our Tenakee visit for many reasons–I (Matt) was happy to relax in preparation for the upcoming semester–I really needed it!  Here’s a few photos from main street and the public restroom (below high tide line!)


 Part of the amazing experience was whales (humpback) swimming by at least once a day, along with seals, sea lions, lots of birds, fish jumping, etc. etc…  The final day, we had at least 17 whales (we decided it was either about 20 hyperventalating whales or 40 normally-breathing whales!) and we had three whales breach at one time–fantastic!  And the berries were at their prime and the bushes were full..  The hike back out to catch the ferry home was long, and the whole weekend was phenomenal but tiring:

 More pictures are at the gallery, as usual.  The ferry ride was long (with a stop off in Hoonah), but the whales followed us, and we got another nice breach.  We’re scheming on finding some miracle way of buying a cabin out in Tenakee…

Best Weekend Ever!

This memorial weekend was Juneau at its best, and we all enjoyed it! It started out with catching a skiff ride (with Nathan, Amanda, and Adam) out to Portland Island. Nathan had staked out the best sandy beach camp site (and there was only one other group on the whole side of the island–they were out of sight). The panoramic image tries to give you a sense of it (if you click on the image, you’ll get a “movie” which should load up in your browser or with quicktime and you will be able to navigate around the panorama with your mouse and control/shift for zoom).

It was incredibly relaxing, with a great beach walk. The sun was overpowering. Whales swam by three different times, sea lions visited, eagles, kingfishers, ravens, fish jumping… Torsten had a hard time getting to sleep before 10pm (despite waking up at 6am that morning!) and we all were over-sunned, over-stimulated, and happy relaxing. Carrie made (well-deserved) fun of Matt for using the iphone to email a few photos to the grandparents from camp (see them all at the gallery), but when Matt got the voicemail from Marijke that they couldn’t go up on the glacier with Era helicopters, and there was no need for Matt to hurry back to Juneautopia, we were happy to get the news.

We went on home, were a bit exhausted, but rallied to go to False Outer Point on Douglas for Eran’s 40th birthday (happy birthday!). Torsten got a nap in the car, then was ready for rock climbing and fun with the kids at the party.

On Sunday, we met Dave, Lori, and Garret for a hike up the East Glacier Trail at Mendenhall. Matt did some more playing around with the panoramas, so from one of the outlooks along the trail:

Torsten was showing his roots:

Our camera had a rough time keeping up with us this weekend–it took lots of pictures, but the digital display/viewfinder gave out, so we have a few more random pictures and a few less pictures we meant to take.  But we got some good ones!  Here’s Carrie and Torsten at the AJ falls:

After the hike, Matt spent some time on the roof, preparing for wireless computer connections to Lemon Creek Glacier and Carrie and Torsten worked in the yard. We went out for a bike ride with Torsten’s new trail-a-bike. He rode approximately four miles!

We biked over to Chip, Missy, and Adelie’s for some baseball, a great “local food” dinner (grilled salmon and scallops, with a Devil’s Club sauce, a fiddle head salad, and some fresh bread and strawberries (we broke the “local” part with the strawberries we brought, but Torsten is on a big strawberry kick at the moment, and they were delicious!

Since this was Memorial Day Weekend, we finally got the weekend we’ve been craving–one with three days! We took Torsten over to Garrett’s house (and the babysitter there) and we went with Dave and Lori on their “anniversary kayak”. Again, Matt got to play with the panorama:

Here’s the whole kayak gallery (for Dave and Lori!).

Other folks with cameras got photos of us, and perhaps we’ll add more details in a later blog-update, but this is getting long enough (or too long).

Juneau gave us great weather and we did our best to take advantage of it!

Klondike Road Relay

We always enjoy going up for the Klondike Road Relay.  It is a ten person running relay from Skagway to Whitehorse.  This year, we considered changing the UAS team name from the Road Scholars to either “Talus and Heavner and a few others” or “Can’t see the Trees for the Forests” (we had Carrie, Matt, Torsten, Uncle Peter, and Nana all along–Carrie, Peter, and Matt ran; and we had two Forests on the team).  It was a blast as always.  Matt started it off by running leg 1, then Carrie got leg 3–she had a blast as the first time she ran with music, and Peter brought the team home by finishing up leg 10 in Whitehorse.  Torsten and Nana provided moral support–and we spent about 5 hours total on Saturday at the Whitehorse Aquatic Center!

Here’s Matt starting, Matt handing off to Forest, and Peter finishing off (the problem with running through the night is that it is hard to get good pictures–so none of Carrie…)

 Many friends were along for runs on the UAS team, other teams, and support–the Ferry ride up to Skagway and then back home is always fun.  Eran ran for the “Afro-disiacs” team…



 We had an awesome cheering crew of Stella and Torsten (with hot chocolates on the cold Whitehorse finish day):

 (Almost) the whole team photo shows all the fun–except Mike Ciri snuck out of the photo!!!!


Finally, here’s a photo of Carrie, Torsten, Peter and Nana (just after Matt started out on leg 1) in front of the traditional mural:


We had a great visit to Hoonah last Sunday, thanks to Uncle Peter and “job connections.”  Carrie, Peter, Torsten, and Matt went over on an Allen Marine boat (with about 30 people total)–very relaxed, and we stopped to see many whales along the way.  We got over there, and Carrie and Peter went to ride down the world’s longest zipline, while Matt and Torsten explored Hoonah’s most amazing (and only) swingset, and then hiked along the coast to meet everyone at the end of the zipline and have some lunch.  It was a great trip, and we’ve got more than a few photos up in the gallery.  Here are a few highlights:

We all had a blast!  No great shots from the zipline (Peter’s camera batteries died!), but take Carrie’s recommendation–just do it!

Beach Hike

We went out to Boy Scout Beach with Chip, Missy, and Adelie two weeks ago.  It was a great day–parts of the trail still had really deep snow, while other parts were melted off completely.  The wind off the ocean was a bit chilly, so we found a tree sheltered area for our picnic.  If the pictures below aren’t more than enough, there’s the gallery, as usual.

Yukon Questing

We caught the ferry up to Skagway and then drove up to Whitehorse for the start of the Yukon Quest. I think it is amazing the great opportunities in Southeast, and we try to take advantage of as many as we can–I’m glad we were able to talk a few UAS students into ditching classes (mostly my classes that I canceled anyway!) to head up for the start of the Quest. Torsten liked the dogs, but really loved the Whitehorse Aquatic Center. Here’s a few photos from the start of the race.

Sled dog, ready to go!

Torsten did great all bundled up and enjoyed the start:

The whole Yukon Quest start photo gallery is available.

Earth says: “Wake up!” (Rockin’ your world)

Matt was just about to head out, when the house started rockin’. Then it kept rockin’. Then Matt saw the lights moving and checked–yep, trees outside are moving. Then Matt wondered about going to wake Carrie and Torsten–no need, they just woke up. Then the cabinets and wood TV/computer hutch started creaking. Hmm.

Good morning from Earth, remember me down here? A magnitude 5.7 earthquake up about 120 miles NW of Juneau (almost 60 miles west of Skagway) at about 9.0 miles deep at 6:49 was all the alarm clock some of us needed. Exciting way to start the day, and hopefully no one up there is hurt. I’m curious to know how many avalanches it triggered..

Hope you all have a rockin’ day.

Tracy Arm Tour

Torsten and Carrie went on down to Tracy Arm with Rob, Erica, Sammy, and Izzy. Whales are big, ice is cold, glaciers are cool (especially calving sea water glaciers). Matt was doing his civic duty (jury duty). Check out the photo highlights.