Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

A Trip “Out the Road” to Eagle River

 

One of the things AdventureMan and I did in Juneau was to drive every road. It’s not hard. You drive all the way south, and all the way north on Douglas Island, then you drive out to Thane, then on the Juneau roads, up behind in the basin, and then “out the road.” Everyone in Juneau knows where “out the road” is.

 

When I was a kid, the road got bad just past the airport, on the way to Skater’s Cabin, which I thought was on Auke Lake, but discovered is really on Mendenhall Lake.

00Glacier and Lake

You had to go out the road to get to the airport. You still do, but it is only like six minutes, the road is so good, unless you hit a deer (which we saw happen) and have to stop and call Fish and Wildlife Rescue. You can’t leave an injured animal on the highway.

So we have a morning, and it is not raining! The sun is even peeking out now and then! It’s a beautiful day, we dress warmly and head out the road, out driving all the roads. Look closely, and you will even see blue sky in the photos 🙂  We drive the Lena Point road, looking at all the cabins where we used to go picnicing, then to Amalga Bay, with it’s beautiful still lake and reflections.

00AmalgaBay

You’re just going to have to bear with me as I show you photos with a lot of green in them. It’s not that Pensacola doesn’t have green, but it doesn’t have Alaska greens. I remember in Germany, a long time ago, years ago, having a discussion with AdventureMan about how many different shades of green there are, and ever since then, he has reminded me of that conversation. This year, on this trip, he said “Now I know why you are so sensitive to greens!” Alaska is full of greens, and mostly they are blue greens, and oh, I love the spectrum of blue-greens. 🙂00AmaglaBay2

00AmalgaBay3

As we approached the end of the road, there was heavy road construction going on. Winter is coming, to quote Game of Thrones, and in Alaska that means a short window for all the road reparations that can happen as a result of brutal, icy, rainy, snowy winters. The construction traffic controllers told us it would be about twenty minutes before the pilot car would be back to lead the next line of cars over the broken, rocky, off-road paths, and we decided, in our little 2 wheel drive rental, that we would forego that pleasure. We headed back for Eagle River Picnic Grounds, which were beautiful and serene:

 

This is one of the covered picnic cabins, heavy duty timber

00EagleRiverPicnicShed

 

You can see one of the ferries departing nearby Auke Bay from the ferry terminal00FerryDepartingEagleRiver

00EagleRiverCampsiteView

We head on a little further to the Eagle River Camp Grounds. We are in love! This place is beautiful, with hidden campsites with cabins and campsites for RV’s, but all hidden from sight. No indoor plumbing, but the public restrooms are clean and well kept. You can hike around, there are many trails.

 

Salmon spawning in the stream – the ranger tells us a mother bear and her two cubs were by earlier, but we missed them. You can smell all the rotting salmon on the banks and know that the bear are eating well.00MoreSalmonSpawning

An old dock, long gone, from Eagle River – and look at all those beautiful greens in the background 🙂00EagleRiverCampSites

Seagulls feasting on salmon the bears left behind. Bears are not very efficient eaters; they strip parts of the salmon and leave a whole lot:00SeagullsFeastingonSalmon

A Stellar’s Jay, the kind I grew up with. The Jays in Pensacola are more white with blue markings and much bigger. But look at the blues on his feathers, so intense, so radiant!

 

00StellarsJay

 

We love Eagle River campsites so much you will see more on our way back out through Juneau 🙂

September 2, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Alaska, Beauty, Birds, color, Exercise, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Photos, Road Trips, Travel, Wildlife | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pantone’s Colors for Fall 2013 Showing Now in Stores Near You

The luscious Pantone Fall 2013 picks are already showing up in the department stores Fall collections. Oh yummm, they’ve held on to that emerald green!

Screen shot 2013-07-16 at 8.21.04 AM

July 16, 2013 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, color | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Epiphany and The Star of the East at Christ Church in Pensacola

“Pay attention!” AdventureMan nudged me, hard. I was trying to find the Star of the East that Father Neal Goldsborough had just pointed out on our Christ Church dome, but I couldn’t find it. And I WAS listening, I was paying attention, I just also wanted to see the star, the special star on our dome, signifying the star that the wise men followed to find the child Christ.

I see a lot of other heads swiveled to look up, searching the dome for that special star. It’s one of my favorite feasts of the year, Epiphany; I can hear those camels grumbling and sputtering as they clop across the hard roads, I can feel the bite of the cold in the deserts (yes, in the winter deserts can be bone-freezing cold), and I can imagine the wise man consulting as to exactly where that star is leading.

058

images

Later after the service, a kind Christ Church parishoner shows us where the star is – painted with more gold, shining brightly just over the horizon in the dome of Christ Church. It is beautiful, subtle, and it makes me happy to know that one star is special.

In this photo, you can see the hanging lamp that obscured my view of the star during the sermon, and you can see a slightly brighter star in the center of the lower dome:

00DomeWithBrightStar

A little closer, and the star shines even more brightly:

00StarOfTheEast

January 6, 2013 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, color, Cultural, ExPat Life, Faith, Pensacola, Photos, Public Art | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sun Setting Over the Bayou

I love winter. I love the cool temperatures; I feel so much more energetic. I get things done.

I’m in my office, and I can smell tomatoes roasting downstairs; AdventureMan has found a new recipe for a Shrimp and Avocado Soup. He is using freshly picked tomatoes given us by our daughter-in-law’s Dad, so fresh, so tasty, and the roasting is intensifying the flavors. He is happy; he has found passion in cooking up new tastes; one night a week he does dinner and from time to time when he is inspired he also cooks up dinners to share with our son and his family.

I’ve gone off duty. I’ve been working all day, following my passion, listening to NPR and a guest talking about happiness. Happiness, she says, is enjoying the process, living in the right now. High points like Christmas and weddings are but a moment; the true secret of happiness is learning to appreciate the daily life.

For me, the right now is gathering colors. I love colors, and I can see minute differences in shades and colorings, so this is precise and demanding work, gathering the colors, sorting them so once I start using them I can find them quickly. This is just a fraction of the colors I will be using; the colors of the sea:

00GulfColors

I have a good collection, but never enough. This time I especially need a good selection of the lighter shallow-water colors:

00LightSeaShades

At this time of the year, I can see the bayou through gaps in the trees that have lost their leaves. The sun is setting; sparkling in through our windows, and it’s the most light we’ve had all day. Even so, the light is fading fast, and I can no longer reliably sort one shade too close to another. Time to go “off duty.” I’ve saved the newspaper as my reward for working hard all day. Time to enjoy the setting sun, sparkling off the glimpse of bayou.

00SunsetOverBayou

January 3, 2013 Posted by | Aging, Arts & Handicrafts, color, Family Issues, Food, Pensacola, Relationships, Sunsets | 2 Comments

Pantone Fashion Color Forecast for Spring 2013

LOL, not even Christmas and I want to know what Spring will bring. Lucky me! Emerald, my favorite color!

 

More information directly from Pantone by clicking here.

November 17, 2012 Posted by | color, Cultural, Customer Service, Shopping | 1 Comment

Views from Pensacola Beach

We have the Happy Toddler at the beach this week, and we are having so much fun. The weather is changeable – we have sunshine every day, but most days we might also have a couple minutes to a half hour of pouring rain.

Yesterday, AdventureMan grumbled “There is nothing I love more than being all wet and needing to run the car air conditioning because it is also hot and sticky!” Being damp and cold is miserable, only slightly less miserable than being damp and hot and sticky . . .

Most of the time, the sun is shining. Yesterday, the surf was up, bringing a treasure of seashells and depositing them on the beach and giving us some scary waves to jump – scary if you are a two and a half year old; those waves look BIG, scary if you are a grandmother and don’t want to watch your daring little grandson be washed away!

Some of the wonderful nearing-sunset blues I love so much:

And a picture of the little boy we love so much:

August 9, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, color, Community, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Florida, Pensacola, Weather | Leave a comment

Pantone Fall Colors 2012

These are the wonderful colors Pantone says we will all be wearing this coming Fall and Winter. Some years there are NO colors I like; this year I like ’em all, but oh, especially the green:

July 31, 2012 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Bureaucracy, color, Cultural | 2 Comments

Riding Across the Wild West

We just figured this was going to be a rough boring stretch, driving I-10 across West Texas to New Mexico, but, as so often does, magic happened and the day changed totally.

AdventureMan had a little allergy, so I did the driving across the wilds of west Texas. It wasn’t anything like I had expected. I’ve read lots of books set in Texas, and seen movies. I expected No Country For Old Men. What I got was a long empty highway with hardly any fellow travelers, some spectacular scenery, hardly any speed limit at all, and lots of time to think and enjoy the ride. Wooo HOOOO on West Texas!

Turning north at Ft. Stockton, we entered Hackberry Holland country (James Lee Burke) with those long empty landscapes punctuated with endlessly pecking derricks, whirling dust, endless pick-ups and tankers, and not much else. The scenery went from those plateaus and arroyos to Qatar flat and white desert, from Texas wildflowers to succulents. Then, just around Pecos, Texas, as we are in the end stretch toward New Mexico, it turns more golden, like Kuwait, with some elevations. Across the border, I asked AdventureMan (now awake and feeling good again) “where is the red tint we see in all the ‘Visit New Mexico’ brochures?” Within half an hour, the iron-oxide tint shows up and we see the red glow start to appear.

We know we want to visit Carlsbad Caverns, so we spend the night in Carlsbad, and eat at Mi Casita. Here is what the desk clerk told us:

“I can’t eat at Mi Casita because the food is too spicy, but everyone who really loves Mexican food eats there.”

We loved it. I ordered things I don’t usually order, enchiladas and beans and rice, and it was so GOOD.

As we left, we went down to the city park and took pictures of the river, and AdventureMan fed the hissing geese some of his peanut-butter and crackers that we carry along in case we might starve or something ;-).

As soon as I can get these photos transferred from my iPad to my computer, I will put in the photos and this will be a much more interesting entry.

April 28, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, color, Cultural, ExPat Life, Food, Jordan, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Qatar, Road Trips | Leave a comment

The Winner!

You’d think, now that we are ‘retired’ that we would have a lot of time, but we have plugged in to our community, and we are busy and scheduled! Before I left for Seattle, I was preparing for, and then helping with the Pensacola Quilt Show, held only every two years.

It was a lot of fun. Pensacola has amazing quilters, people who hand-piece and hand quilt, people who are amazingly skilled at machine quilting, and I am honored to know some of them, and delighted when I get a chance to work alongside them.

Whether or not I had won a ribbon, I would be honored just hanging my quilts in the same room with these talented women. Nevertheless, I did win an honorable mention in the theme quilt catagory, which was Snail’s Trail. I am only telling you this because I want to show you the ribbon, which is whimisical, clever and delightful:


I smile every time I look at it.

In addition, I won one of the offerings at the Chinese Auction. I have seen these auctions run different ways, but in this one, you get 25 chances for $5, and I put all my chances in the jar for these fabrics, I wanted them so badly. I took a class from the lady who made them, and I love the work she does. Winning this is like winning a pot of gold for a quilter 🙂

When I look at these fabrics, I am ready to start quilting again!

March 28, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, color, Community, Events, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Fund Raising, Local Lore | 7 Comments

Pantone Colors for Spring 2012

Pantone predicts the colors consumers will be buying in Spring 2012:

February 20, 2012 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, color, Shopping | Leave a comment