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July 2005 Archives

July 6, 2005

A Wild Ride

On our jet boating trip down the Sitkine River in Wrangell, Ivan Simonek, a naturalist and professional photographer extraordinaire was on board with his lovely wife, Jeannie. (Check out his website for amazing pics: alaskansmugmug.com) He took this one of Tim and me, a few hours before our pilot, Jim did a "Hamilton Manuever." I won't go into the physics of it, but suffice it to say the boat turned end to end in 40-50 feet and the G forces were better than an E ticket ride. After the first try and my scream when the frigid water hit us, Cap'n Jim hollered, "That was only practice!" I yelled back, "Good! "Cause that was just a practice scream!" I wasn't kidding.

July 11, 2005

Cheaty Bird

Eagles were always thought to mate for life, but Captain Jim told
us that while recent DNA analysis indicates that monogomy is
dominant (I guess that depends on what your definition of "is" is),
they do fool around. Birds with benefits.

July 12, 2005

My Last Hike in the "Great" Outdoors

Miles and me. Harbor Mountain, Sitka, AK.

I’ve been dragged on enough death marches by Tim, that I’ve developed…

The 5 Stages of Getting Grief from Hiking with Doreen: Denial (“There's no way in hell I’m going all the way up there!”); Anger (“I can’t believe I let you take me on this f--king hike!”); Bargaining (“If we stop now, I’ll have the energy to do another hike tomorrow. Really, I promise!”); Despair (“Oh, why did I ever let you talk me into anything over 3 miles?”); Acceptance (“This is absolutely, positively, the last hike I will ever go on for the rest of my life!”)

I would add a sixth stage, one which only occurs in extreme circumstances, at a perfect storm of elevation gain, total distance, mud and bugs: Confabulation (“Look at the dog! You’re killing him!”)

Finally, when I’ve nagged enough to make even Tim agree to quit, I clutch the poodle to celebrate, beaming as I attempt to reinforce the wisdom of my husband’s capitulation.

“I’m so glad you didn’t make me continue to the top. That way, I could actually enjoy how beautiful it was. I’d even do it, again.”

“Really? Tim replied. “I wouldn’t.”

July 15, 2005

Street Life by Andy Serwer

http://money.cnn.com/commentary/streetlife/Hey, thanks, Serwer! (And, I know the dog is cute, but what am I, chopped liver?)
I've gotten quite a few emails wondering about the bus itself. Check out the Meltdown Cruise entry from June '04 for info on that, as well as our many, many mishaps our very first day out (door flying open at 60 mph with me next to it, nearly getting run over by the bus as Tim backed it up, horrendous hail, cat peeing on bed in terror, wrong turns and not being able to back up... )is it any wonder I developed a bus phobia?

July 17, 2005

Caribou Bling in Denali National Park, Alaska

Caribou in Denali National Park. Those antlers -- a bit much.
Someone should take the poor animals aside and tell them that
there's such a thing as over-accessorizing.

July 23, 2005

Denali Denial

Us in front of Mt. McKinley, the biggest draw of Denali National Park.
This picture, however, wasn't taken at Denali, since as we found
out after our bus ride, the Park is probably the worst place to see
the mountain.

In Denali National Park, the only way one is allowed in, is via bus (and no, I don't mean ours). This was not a good thing. It's not that I was afraid… more like constantly horrified. It started with the very first animal sighting, a caribou. An older woman across the isle from us let out a blood curdling scream. I thought perhaps, that the poor animal was being eaten by a bear. Since I had yet to see an Alaskan bear and there would be little I could do to help poor Rudolph anyway, I craned my neck in its direction. But, no. He of the antler bling was languidly grazing in a meadow. Then, I heard the rest of what I suppose is the tourists’ rallying cry: “WALTER! GET THE CAMERA!” Tim and I hadn’t taken organized tours in quite some time, and as we shot each other pained looks, we remembered why. “This is going to be a very long trip,” we said, in unison. What does Walter’s wife do when she needs to get his attention for something really important? Like… say she’s being strangled by a stranger, which nearly occurred several times during the eight hour trip. The rule on the bus was that anyone could yell STOP for anything at any time: animal sightings, picture opportunities, bloody noses (this really happened… they sent the kid off the bus… to be put out of his misery by a bear, I suppose. Or, is that sharks?) Our overly helpful guide/driver even got walkie-talkies for us slobs in the back, so that we could more easily communicate our wishes to him on this hell ride. Unfortunately, “Stop the bus. I’ll catch a cab” was not one of the possibilities. Then, there were the Dall Sheep. Someone would shout, “STOP THE BUS!” and we would… for dots of white, which we were told were frigging sheep on a hill. O.K. He didn’t really say frigging sheep. Being a naturalist named River, he of course referred to them as Dall Sheep. Apparently, no one on that entire bus had ever been to a farm.

“But, they’re mountain sheep,” Tim protested the first time I made this incisive observation. By the sixth, he had come over to the dark side with me and delighted in spotting sheep himself, only to withhold the information from the rest of our wool-crazed herd. At one point, the driver even stopped the bus on his own, saying he was going to scan the mountain ridge with his binoculars for bear. I rolled my eyes at Tim. “If they’re that far away, who gives a sh*t? To which he replied, “let me get the walkie-talkie for you.”

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About July 2005

This page contains all entries posted to What Do You Want From Me? by Doreen Orion in July 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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