Thursday, September 29, 2011

Brenna & Kaitlin Pietila holding the horns of Russell's sheep; story below

This summer, Russell Helminen went sheep hunting. An airplane brought him to this place in the mountains, dropped him off with two wks. worth of food and his gun, tent, etc. There was a GPS involved here, but don't ask me about it....Russ walked and walked, over rocks and trees. tented in small hollows. Got his sheep, and notified the pilot. Russ dressed the sheep, and walked some more to where the pilot would pick him up with 70 lbs. more weight on his back...all his gear, etc. He figured that he walked over 50 miles in that one week. He doesn't show it here, because of the big smile, but he said he was bone-tired weary!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

did I put this on already? can't remember.
Brian, David, Bruce & Bob Torola
shapes, man,...shapes! (brian torola knows how to do fancy stuff with the computer, so he created the great shapes on the guys!
Caleb caught a "grayling"...odd shaped fish with such a huge top fin

Chena River another river Caleb fished
These purple spuds are also purple in the inside...taste like regular spuds...
In Denali
Over the next hill will be Eielson, our destination
Map of mt. mcKinley

Monday, September 26, 2011

Another beautiful scene...tall skinny trees are black spruce, typical of alaska
we stopped at this spot which was super-windy. found this artist kind of tucked behind a rocky place...i am an artist, but not that dedicated that i would haul my stuff up the mountain and make sure my easel was weighted down so it wouldn't fly away, plus so many clothes on...
at this stop, the wind was about 50 mph, and right past the people was a tremendous drop to the valley below. we saw a lot of dall sheep, but not as close as the bears.
We took this shuttle to the 2nd to the last stop on the single road to the mountain...called Eielson. It was an 8 hr. trip, bus was comfortable, stopped every hour for a rest/walk stop.
A shot of Denali, the very top was covered with cloud
another view from Eielson
Here we saw a mama grizzley, with two young behind her...the cubs took off, tumbling together on the ground, so annette got out her telephoto lens....

These, we think, are the almost grown cubs playing together. what an awesome sight.
There is actually 3 grizzlies here...we just got to our destination on the shuttle bus, when the driver spotted these 3 bears in the gully. we visited the visitor cntr, and wandered outside, took pics. of mt. mcKinley (or Denali, which was named by the Athabascan indians, and means simply "big mountain". ) After a bit, some of us went back inside the bus, when the rangers started yelling for everyone to get in the bus or the bldg., the bears came up on the parking lot.

These next two pics. show the fall colors in the mountains...

the reds and pinks are blueberry bushes...we tasted them and they were almost bitter

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Here goes another "commercial"...this is the way kylie got around, by "crawling" on her knees instead of the regular way.
on the way up to fairbanks...we noticed so many cars and trucks with trailers parked in little spaces along the highway...found out that fourwheeling is a big thing in alaska....we saw at least a couple hundred cars...and lots of trails thru the wilderness
another beautiful mountain scene

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kylie and Gordon
visited the hoganson's in fairbanks...they met us at the visitor center, and we all went into town to the "fudge pot" for coffee..then .visited in the park nearby. this couple have lived in different parts of the world, as he worked for NASA...retired in alaska, and remained there. she is neil harju's sister. (he's from cokato)
Doug at Bridal Falls, on the way up to Fairbanks
talked to evie on skype at gordon's in alaska...she's in armenia with the peace corps

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

First sunday in the motorhome, russ, katrina and gordon came for the wkend...we listened to services and sang. Back row..russ, katrina, brandon, doug, nichole, caleb, annette: front, me, lemopi, gordon, amanda and kylie (baby Avery being held by nichole)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

At the base of a glacier, leaving Valdez
Beautiful wildflowers in a cafe window, where we stopped for coffee and some dreamy desserts.
Doug Roiko, Russell and Gordon at breakfast in the motorhome, Valdez
This is where the pipeline ends, and oil is shipped from here. beautiful, and no signs of the oil spill; water was full of sealions, otters, and fish
Enjoying the scenery on our way up to Fairbanks...note...i am trying to keep the pics all in order, but sometimes it doesn't fault.
Amanda peeking out of our motorhome...we had it for a week. Went from Anchorage, to Valdez, up to Fairbanks, to Denali, bk to Anchorage. From there we rented a van and continued on to Homer.

Monday, September 19, 2011

the pics of the trip are backwards on the homepage...we started in anchorage, to valdez, to fairbanks, to denali, to homer, to Girdwood, bk to anchorage.
at the base of a glacier...
on the way to fairbanks
scenes on the way up to fairbanks
happy kylie helminen and doug
katrina & russell's tent on left, caleb & brandon's, our motorhome
it rained in valdez (3 days) but we had our rain gear on and enjoyed it anyway
fishing was awesome, & i especially enjoyed watching the sealions flip fish to kill them, while the seagulls flew all around them, hoping to get a piece of fish...there were many near the fish hatchery, plus seaguls and sea otters....and one bear came down to fish...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

home from alaska late tonight, so put a few pics on...(yawn)

valdez, fish hatchery...the light kept changing, so i have a few of these
tons of people fishing off the shore for king salmon
another fish hatchery pic, valdez
Solomon's Gulch, Valdez
Nicole Roiko w. Kylie and a bear at the visitor center, Valdez
Lempi & me, admiring the nastursiums, Valdez, AK

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Andrea & Loren's kids, Rodney & Darryl Haverinen...on the parade bike in Menahga
This is being posted from gordon helminen's in alaska....i will be home next sun. night, and got a bunch to post on this wunnerful trip!