29 may 11 wild quaker

I was probably the only Quaker in the world who crossed a salmon stream and encountered moose and wild rabbits on my way to Meeting for Worship on Sunday morning.

23 may 11 prince william sound

Another season in Prince William Sound has begun. We hauled Blossom to Whittier on a Saturday. We spent the afternoon getting the mast raised, rigging sails, installing the bimini, and moving everything back in. By the time we launched, it was evening and we still had some shoreside duties left to do so we decided to stay in the harbor overnight. One task was to remedy a dumb mistake that we won't likely make again (hopefully). When they raised the mast, we didn't check the location of all the halyards and missed that the end of the jib halyard was at the top of the furler. Late Saturday night, when the tide was low, we motored over to a pier where Paul could climb up a ladder and reach the halyard.

On Sunday morning we inflated the dinghy, paid our fees to the harbor master, and finished rigging the sails. We motored in the rain and calm out to Surprise Cove for a night. A rare treat to share the cove with only one other boat. On Monday morning the sky was clearing as we hiked up to North Lake. By the time we headed back to Whittier in the afternoon, it was balmy by PWS standards.

Not a long or far trip, but a good shakedown cruise to work out the kinks in Blossom and us.

17 may 11 happy commuter

I'm reading Geography of Bliss by NPR reporter Eric Wiener. He wanted to take a hiatus from reporting on conflict and despair to write about happiness and, hopefully, to find the happiest places on the planet. He started at the World Database of Happiness in Rotterdam. There he learned many correlations about humans and happiness. One is that people tend to be unhappier when they commute.

When I read that last night, I thought "not if they're on a bike." This morning I proved myself right. Not smiling was difficult while sharing the paths with moose and rabbits and listening to songbirds singing loudly to find this year's mate. Most of the other commuters on the trails were smiling, too, and responded warmly to my "good morning" greeting. The buds on the trees and shrubs were just about to open.

I found my little geography of happiness right here in Anchortown on the way to work.

11 may 15 2 months in a post

This may be the longest that I haven't updated the blog in the last 5 years that I've been doing it. I keep wanting to simplify my life but saying 'no' can be a problem for me. It's been a busy 2 months with existing responsibilities, new obligations, and some fun. I'll focus on the fun to catch up on the transition from late winter to spring. I start with Bhikkhu because he is fun and the last two weeks have been busy with vet visits to make him healthy, too.

The end of March featured the glorious weather that we come to expect of that month. We took advantage of warm temperatures and soft snow to explore some trails that we normally bike in the winter.

Taking a bone from a scruffy white dog is not like taking candy from a baby... Paul found this for Bhikkhu during a spring ski at the end of March in Talkeetna.

On Aprils Fools Day we skied out to friends' cabin at Dalteli Lake with three other couples. Roger snowmachined our stuff in and left us a message in the snow at one of the intersections. We stayed for two nights, skiing to another lake on the full day, to visit other Talkeetna friends.

Alaska Airlines treated passengers to a fantastic view of Denali in early April. I was on my way back from a small conference at Chena Hot Springs, east of Fairbanks. The springs are nice but the best part may have been the fresh salads, including tomatoes and basil, that they grow in the greenhouse. The Ice Palace is also a trippy (and cold) experience. If you haven't been to Chena in the past decade, it's worth a trip.

By late April, the daffodils on the south side of the house were beginning to bloom. The snow was slower to leave the rest of the yard. In fact, there's still a small patch on the north side under a birch tree.

May has been beautiful, too. Here is sunset around 10:00 on May 2nd. It barely gets dark at night now.

Last weekend we went to Talkeetna for our annual episode of voyeurism of mating birds. We didn't set any personal records at Birdathon, but we had fun hiking and biking.

I can't promise anything, but I do hope to get better about updating the blog. We've got a new computer which has made photo uploading and editing a little faster.