Monday, August 28, 2006

Ketchikan to Kasaan

We're in a hurry as I write this. Yesterday Joanna, myself, and another consulting geologist flew to Ketchikan. In about 1 hour we'll be taking the state ferry over to Hollis on Prince of Wales Island. From Hollis we'll be driving to the historic village of Kasaan. This area was host to the very first mining claim ever filed in the Territory of Alaska back in the 1850's or 1860's. Jo and I will be living in a double wide trailer right on the Kasaan Bay and choppering up to the prospect site to do a bit of mapping. We won't have access to the internet unless we drive to get groceries in Craig or Klawock. This is probably the last post until we head back to Ancorage sometime in mid-September. One of the nicest totem parks in Southeast Alaska is near the village of Kasaan so expect to see some photos when we get back!

Hawai'i - continued

Well, unfortunately I was unable to upload all the pics I wanted for the last post. The internet and our schedule just didn't agree. And I didn't have time to detail our drive to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. We'll definately have to go back as hiking with crutches didn't work out too well. At any rate, we were able to see steam vents, the Kiluea Crater, rift zones, endless lava flows, and steam plumes rising out of the sea where fresh lava spills into the ocean. You can check out the rest on the site by clicking the "our pics" link on the right of this page.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Hawai'i - The Big Island

After Returning to Anchorage, Jo and I were excited to spend a week traveling in Alaska. We considered taking the train to Denali, kayaking from Whitter or near Homer, or visiting Kennecott. Only one problem: RAIN. The forecast called for nothing but terrible weather for the week all over the state! Ugh.

On our way to see Talladega Nights (pretty funny by the way), we thought about putting some air miles to use. After the movie we made a quick phone call and booked two tickets to Kona, departing the next day! We got online, found a fantastic little 1 bedroom place for rent by a local couple, and packed our bags.
Because we had a transfer and overnight at LAX, we called some friends and spent a fun Saturday evening with them in Santa Monica. By Sunday afternoon we were on the lanai enjoying a refreshing beverage. Great stuff. The first pic shows part of the beautiful view.

By Monday we were here in Kekaha Kai State Park. Bliss.

Monday was a beach day mixed with a little hiking and a dash of snorkeling. 30 minutes of required walking tends to keep out the riff-raf and makes a potentially busy beach relatively secluded. At the tail end of a short snorkel, I looked over to find a sea turtle swimming within arms reach. Very cool.

On Tuesday, Jo and I scouted out Kona and had a lovely sunset dinner on the beach. We found new favorite local food, too. Poke is tuna sashimi with some seaweed, seasame oil, ground chilis, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and some green onion. Ooooo it is tasty. Highly recommended for any sushi lovers out there.

Wednesday we decided to check out Kealakekua Bay, the infamous spot where the famous Brittish explorer Captain James Cook was killed. It is also very close to where we stayed and one of the best snorkeling spots on the island. We rented a kayak for the morning and paddled our way out to the Cook memorial on the coast. It turns out that this trip is popular with just about everyone, but the crowds were confined to the put-in and monument areas. Once your head is underwater, you don't really care about much else anyway, since there are so many gorgeous fish to stare at! I wish we had a waterproof case for our camera, though I think Jo likes a spot where I'm not taking pictures of everything.

Wednesday night we decided to cheese it up and go to a genuine, 70's era resort style Luau. It was amazing! There were various Polynesian themed dances that would start very traditional, then bust into some crazy gig that was likely scored by the lovechild of Don Ho and Tom Jones. It was wildly entertaining and in all honesty the food was fantastic, with a traditional slowly roasted pig, more poke, and all sorts of tasty fresh fruit.

Since Tuesday my right foot had been sore. I blew it off until Thursday morning when I discovered it was unbearable to walk on. Jo finally convinced me it was time to go to the clinic. Here I must digress and explain how that on any travel break it is tradition that I get sick, hurt, or lose an appendage so that I have to go to the clinic at least once. This trip therefore is no exception. I was diagnosed with bursitis and told to stay off of my foot and keep ice on it/off it for 15 minute intervals. Let's see...coolers like to have ice, I can put my foot on it, and they go well with beaches...sounds like bursitis is working out well with the beach vacation theme! By the time we made it out there on Thursday however, I realized I should have considered how well crutches work in the sand. Not very. I managed to scoot at least 20 feet though and that was good enough for me!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


We have a lot of ground to cover.

After our last post, life got pretty hectic! And we had very restricted access to the internet. The combination of the two resulted in the title of this post, referring to our blogging! Regardless, we still want to throw in some updates when we can so I'll attempt to play catch up while being brief.

Following the wrap of work in Chignik, Jo, myself, Robert, Hans, and Andy moved the operation a few miles (100 or so) down the Peninsula to the town of Sand Point. This town is on a nice island (without bears!) called Popof in the Shumagin group. Sand Point is a metropolis compared to Chignik, with a large grocery and supply store, 3 restaurants, tavern, and a paved road! We stayed in the only hotel, the Anchor Inn. Andy managed a few nights in a very comfy B&B.

During the day, weather permitting, we flew to another prospect called Pyramid on the Peninsula, about 15-20 minutes away by air. Since Pyramid is a high point on a narrow part of the peninsula between the Bearing and Pacific Oceans, the weather is usually terrible. High winds, low ceiling levels and rain, which is typical of the Aleutians in general, is magnified here. We managed to map and sample for 4 and a half days before heading back to Anchorage. This pic below shows the best weather we experienced. Don't get me wrong, it's still a beatuiful place, it's just not very often you can see it!

Jo and I headed out on Aug. 8 back to Anchorage. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate with Robert and Hans who were scheduled to leave a few days later. They eventually escaped and got a few days of well deserved rest. Andy's on a new project, somewhere up near Elam I think. Andy, you out there?

more pics can be viewed on the flickr site, see the "our pics link" on this page.