The Way of the Saturday

Today was an exemplary Saturday. We slept, with no disturbances, until 10am. After a breakfast of cereal and hot cinnamon toast, we packed up some snacks and water, and headed into town. We live west of town now, and there is a nice big overlook on Baycrest hill, before heading down into town. Here’s what it looked like as we came in:

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Brace yourselves, there are a lot of pictures coming.

First, we headed to the first farmer’s market of the season. There was a surprising number of fresh vegetables, though many were “starter” planters. A gypsy band was playing, and we ran into a few friends as we strolled around.

Our next stop was at the hardware store, to pick up a shower curtain, some squirt guns (doggie correction tool), and some snacks.

Then, we searched out a trail. After some misdirection and a return to town to get an actual map (hurr, we’re outdoor leaders!), we set out on a short 2.5 mile hike down to the ocean. Ashlee and Macgee went with us, and we used the opportunity to let Macgee carry some of the weight.

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The first part of the trail was just a gravel road, but it wound through the forest.

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Eventually, we hit a parking area, and then the real trail began.

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One of the spectacular things about Alaska is how everything goes from frozen and dead to vibrant green and gigantic in the span of a couple of months.

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Even with the sun shining fully, the temperature was still in the low 60’s. The trail was not very strenuous, but this was our first hike of the year (sadly), so it was a bit painful. We made our way down, listening to the sound of water running through the canyon below us. After a couple of miles, we started catching glimpses of the ocean. Ashlee also saw it, because she picked up the pace considerably. Macgee trundled along with his pack, occasionally running it into a tree, or my leg.

At the end of 2.5 miles, we entered a clearing and found ourselves on the beach.

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There are more big rocks on this beach than any of the others we’ve been to, so Skippy took some time to pose.

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It didn’t last long, though, since the rock was covered in barnacles, which are apparently uncomfortable to sit on.

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Ashlee, being half labrador and half walrus or seal or something aquatic, jumped right in. We forgot her ball, so we tossed rocks out into the surf, and she tried valiantly to find them.

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Eventually, she stopped falling for it.

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As I mentioned, there are a lot more big rocks. This one looked pretty interesting. I think it looks kind of like a big melting caramel. But I’m also kind of hungry.

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Looking back down the beach, I saw Ashlee meeting another dog. In the background, you can see some of the mountains in the chain that includes our three most prominent volcanoes: Iliamna, Augustine, and Redoubt. But none of them are in this picture. Sorry.

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While I was away taking pictures of caramel rocks and volcano-less volcano ranges, I tied Macgee to a giant piece of driftwood. When I returned to trade my camera for his leash, he was ecstatic.

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After running around in the fresh water creek on the beach (Macgee won’t go in the ocean. He gets close, but the waves scare the bejeezus out of him. Even the little tiny ones. He jumps back like a startled cat.), we walked further upstream and found a nice little waterfall.

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Since no outing with the dogs is complete without a little humiliation, here are some pictures of Macgee with a hat.

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We hiked out and returned to town to finish up our shopping for the day, and drove home. For dinner, I made a bbq sauce (ketchup, mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked salt, cayenne powder) while Skippy made a crust, and we recreated one of our favorite Aver’s pizzas.

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Of course, we put our own spin on it (meaning we used whatever we could find in the refrigerator): bbq sauce, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, bacon, shallots, red bell pepper, pieces of rotisserie chicken, banana peppers, and fresh jalapeno peppers (on my half). It was amazing. So amazing, I made a second one with the leftover ingredients, and froze it to eat later.

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And now I’ve spent over an hour editing photos and creating this post. Saturday is almost over. See you tomorrow.

Hello, Whirled

I’m finally back online after 2 months in Internet purgatory. In those two months, we: moved twice, almost bought a house but lost it 4 days before moving in, got a full time job (me), and generally felt crazy.

We’re now in a little house just outside of Homer for the next year, while we evaluate our options, and the satellite internet installers just left about 10 minutes ago. I’ll make a longer catchup post later, with plenty of pictures.