Saturday, July 07, 2007
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
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
It looks like Jo and I will spend our next break in Buenos Aires, Argentina as our visas are set to expire at the start of May. Pretty excited about this! Our friend Alex and his girlfriend Paula coincidentally are moving from Santiago to Montevideo just before our break, so it looks like we'll get to hang out a bit with them too. Should be loads of fun. Alex went to school with Jo at Oregon State and was with us on our first overseas trip to New Zealand in 2000. He's worked in South America a long time and speaks like a local. It'll be good to have him around, since our Spanish is still pretty bad.
After another work shift, we'll head back to the states for a short break, sometime around the end of May/start of June, then make our way up to Alaska for another season of gunslingin and rockhoundin.
We're off to work tomorrow so we'll be off the net for bit. Ciao.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Since our visit to Pisco Elqui in the Elqui Valley over last break, Jo's also perfected the art of the pisco sour. Just be sure you put in enough pisco to take Uncle Sal (salmonella) out of the party since raw egg white is involved.
Jo and I took a tour of the Mistral pisco distillery and had the good fortune of seeing the sights with a guide who took pity on our Spanish abilities. It was an animated affair and she did a fabulous job of somehow making us understand everything from the distillation process to how long the first owner of the fields played dominos with his buddies in a cave in a drunken stupor sometime in the late 1800s. Kudos to this woman. And there was free tasting at the end. Again, kudos to this woman. Along the way we were able to take some pretty ridiculous touron pics. I'm only going to post one (the rest are on the Flickr site):
By the way, Flickr has a cool new feature that allows you to pin photos to a map location. I've been trying to add locations to our photos, hopefully I can finish that up before next break. I've finished most of the Chile pics and some of the Alaska photos. It's a pretty amazing tool and the locations can be view on a simple typical map style or with satellite photos or a hybrid of the two. Resolution is within tens of meters for the map, little under a kilometer for the sat photos. Check it out!
Friday, March 09, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
1. we took some more pictures
2. we are in a hurry to go somewhere where we'll be out of computer range for a bit
So let's recap...
HOLIDAY ROADTRIP 2006-07
Hopefully most of you got the Holiday memo for this past holiday season. It included a bit of our roundabout trip to Denver during the massive snowstorm(s) that shut down the airport for a few days. The short version of this story is that as we came in for landing at DIA on the morning of the 23rd, the winds were too strong to land so we went to Salt Lake. After a few hourse on the tarmac there, the airline decided to take us back to Dallas, where we had originated, unless of course you count the flights from La Serena and Santiago. Anyway, without a way to get on another flight until the 27th, we had to rent a car and hit the road.
At first, we thought we were heading to Denver. By Amarillo, this clearly was not gonna happen. The weather and road were still awful and the thought of getting to Denver only to turn around and head back to New Mexico wasn't pleasant. The next day we bee-lined it for Taos.
My good friend Jayson lives in a beautiful adobe in Arroyo Seco (below), just outside of town and strategically located near Taos Ski Valley. He hooked me up with some gear and we got some nice turns in under blue bird skies. It was a great visit. I also bumped into a good friend from the Colorado College days who's relocated back to Taos, where he grew up. Jake taught me a thing or two about skiing during that one year in Colorado Springs and it was great to see him, hang out and meet his new wife and babe. Of course, I should have taken more photos. I don't have one of either Jayson or Jake.
For Christmas Eve and Day, we had plans to meet up with our friends Heath and Shanti at their super comfy new home in Sante Fe. Our friend Brandon also joined us from Portland. We spent a good deal of time getting caught up with our mutally busy lives and then proceeded to cook and eat. Well, some cooked more than others (everyone but Joel), but that's largely because I doubt they'd care too much for a meal I prepared.
We had a lovely stroll down Canyon Road gawking at art and enjoying the luminarios and lights brightened by white snow...
And went for a late dinner at Maria's for the traditional pasole and tamales. Delicious.
Christmas Day was a feast of Chilean empanadas for lunch following by cornish game hens and numerous accompaniments in the evening. Heath captured the moment well with the family seated all around...
By the 26th it was time to say goodbye and head north to visit our friends Stacy and Mike. Stacy's Dad graciously offered to let us stay at his wonderful new home in Bayfield, CO, about 15 east of Durango. Thanks again Steve! It was fun getting caught up with those guys while dodging out-of-control Texans (no disrespect intended to my fellow rednecks) on the slopes at Wolf Creek.
We also had a chance to get to know Dutton (Stacy and Mikes beautiful chocolate lab) well. What a great pup. In between runs we were able to hit the refreshing Pagosa Hot Springs. Very relaxing. At some point we need to visit these guys at home in Socorro, New Mexico.
Next on the agenda was Denver. Until the second snowstorm put an end to that idea. Better find a place to stay, quick, New Years is just around the bend. Then the thought hit me. I got a hold of friends Bret and Keri. Just a few years back they found a condo near the base of Crested Butte. As luck would have it, no one was renting for the next 3 days and we were in! How cool are those guys? Thanks again! You can check out their view from the balcony below.
Jo and I had a nice romantic dinner out on the town following by an old-fashioned throw-down by local funk band Full-Stop Funk supported by the super boogiefied Children of the Horn. Although the snow conditions weren't ideal, we had blue skies on the mountain and enjoyed a great day of cross country skiing during the first day of 2007.
As we made our way back to Denver, we couldn't resist the temptation to soak at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs. So we lounged in the thermals on the side of the river before succombing to the calls of work.
VANCOUVER - WHISTLER JANUARY 2007
We headed back to Chile on Jan. 4 and worked for a few weeks before heading back up north for the Roundup Mineral Exploration Conference in Vancouver, BC at the end of January. We capped off the busy and fun week by skiing a few days at Whistler where friends from Seattle, Portland, and Nevada met us, stayed and played. Good times. Unfortunately we have hardly any photos from this 10 day trip. I did manage to get a good one of our friend Kevin, who's a new Master's student at the Mineral Deposit Research Unit at UBC in Vancouver. You'll find Kev in some other photos from Mongolia (likely with a beard and mad look in his eye), he worked with us on several different projects over there. We commented to each other several times that it was nice to get to know one another after having showered.
BACK TO CHILE
On February 6 we left Vancouver, spent a night in Denver, then headed down south. Looks like we be working down here until at least May, maybe a bit longer. We're likely headed to a project in Mexico for 3-4 weeks after that. At some point we'll make it back to Denver for a short time before heading back to Alaska for at least part of the summer.
WANTED - WEDDING PLANNER
And in the middle of all this craziness is our wedding!
SEPTEMBER 22, 2007
As many have pointed out, I made an error in my email with the attached Holiday memo. The wedding is in fact THIS year, we are not yet married.
Jo has worked hard to solidify accomidations for 250-300 people in Copper Harbor, although we'll be impressed if we fill all the rooms.
I've had several people ask how to get to Copper Harbor by air. The easist route is to fly to
Hancock, MI (adjacent to Houghton) (~45 min. from Copper Harbor, airport code = CMX)
However, alternatives are to drive from:
Marquette, MI (~ 2 hrs. 15 min. airport code = MQT)
Duluth, MN (~ 4 hrs. 45 min., airport code = DLH)
Central Wisconsin airport in Wassau, WI (~ 4 hrs. 45 min., airport code = CWA )
Flights are probably cheaper to Minneapolis or Chicago, but the drive would be quite long (~ 7 hrs). We are planning on providing a shuttle from the airport in Houghton/Hancock to Copper Harbor to avoid the need of a car rental there. We're hoping this and the affordability of the hotels will offset some of the airline costs for those who must fly. Look for further details on the blog or the official invite that we hope to have out this spring. On that note:
PLEASE EMAIL US YOUR MAILING ADDRESS!
hopefully you know the email, I'm not going to post it here for fear of phishers and spammers.
Hope you're all well!