Sunday, June 29, 2008


On our flight home today we saw a sow grizz trotting around with her three newborn cubs, looking quite cute. Then on the next valley over, we found a group of 7! That's the picture above. It's pretty unusual to see this many together, since the males stick to themselves. The best guess is that this mom had 3 cubs, then had another 3 the year after or adopted another 3. After this was taken, we saw three more solo bears near the water. The king salmon are definitely running now. 14 spotted in a 10 minute flight!

Friday, June 20, 2008

hello again!

Well yes, we're back! Waiting for the weather to turn in Chignik can afford one with some time to catch up with fun things that have been neglected for too long. After our fun U-haul trip last summer through Denali and up to Fairbanks, it was just non-stop work and shennagins for an entire year, bringing us full circle and back to Chignik! Here are some of the highlights (all photos should be up on the pics link aside from our last 2 weeks out here):

July - August 2007 - Played at Liberty Bell camp, just east of Healy, AK on the Parks Highway, just on the north side of McKinley Park.

September 22, 2007 - Finally sealed the deal and got married in Copper Harbor, MI!

October 2007 - Hit the honeymoon road to Tuscany and the Cinque Terre in Italy, generously supported by our great friends the Della Libras. Our Chilean manager Michele and his family offered us their home and car for our visit and we were rewarded with delicious, one-of-a-kind meals and even finer company and travel suggestions. Many thanks.

November 2007 - To central Mexico for Joel to work on a project, and to Fairbanks for Jo, to tidy up a report.

December 2007 - In the Denver office for a bit before having a great Holiday in Summit County, enjoying the snow and a Rotert family reunion.

AND...We finally bought a home in Portland! Very small (722 sq. ft) but right in the heart of town with front door access to the light rail. Wish we could spend a bit more time here, but just the thought of having a home base is nice. Never thought our first home would be a condo but it's easy to take care of while we're away. We love it.

January - March 2008 - Down to Chile for some more mapping work at our Rio Figueroa project. Jo was sent back down at the end of the month through most of March while I worked on some other projects from home in Portland.

April - May 2008 - Up to Fairbanks to get the field season rolling, then back to Portland for a bit, on to Denver, then back up to Anchorage to gear up for the Peninsula project.

During our Denver visit it was announced that Metallic Resources will soon merge with 2 other companies. We're still awaiting news of our fate though an offer for continued employment is in the works. We're hoping we can keep the team together as we've come to love working with this group of people. We'll see.

And now Chignik for year 3 of field work. That's it! We'll try to keep you more up to date this summer and with our whereabouts, who knows maybe we'll have the rest of the summer off. eek.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Cantwell, Alaska

First, I should say that we have a lot to post, and I do plan on putting up stuff related to our trip to Buenos Aires and Uruguay, our visits in the U.S. with family and friends, and our first Alaska work shift down on the Alaska Peninsula in Chignik. This is the first internet connection we've had overlap with some time off, though, and our cultural enligtenment during dinner tonight proved to be pretty good fodder for a quick post.

3 indications the bar you just entered may not be the best place to stay:

1. The bartender's first question to you is "do you have any guns to check?" and informs you he's leaving the state because he's sick of shootings and knife fights.

2. The guy who's just bellyed up at the stool next to yours begins his conversation with "yeah i've been in and out of prisons pretty much my whole life, but I only get DWIs now"

3. At 10PM, "Swamp Angel Road" is taking the stage.

Welcome to Cantwell, Alaska, home to 212 hearty souls, approximately 70 miles east of Denali Peak as the crow flies on the Parks Highway. Jo and I have packed up a Uhaul with field gear and boxes of other random stuff including a pair of crutches and a well-worn moon-boot foot brace (see post regarding Hawaii trip last summer) and are headed north toward our new project area just east of Ferry, AK, then to Fairbanks for a few days. If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend the Cantwell Lodge for a burger and lively conversation.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Only in Alaska..........

Only in Alaska can you buy a handgun at the grocery store. Yesterday I went in to Fred Meyer to pick up a few things and walked out with a carton of milk, a box of cereal, some toilet paper, a Ruger .357 revolver, and a six-pack (figured I could use the empty cans for target practice).