Alaska 2018

Friday August 10, 2018
Busride in Denali

Saturday August 11, 2018

Sunday August 12, 2018
Bus from Denali to Seward

03:47 Alaska time 04:47 California time
Kent: I think Denali has the greatest vert relief of all the mountains on earth.

03:53 Alaska time 04:53 California time
Kent: Ray, I received the vf set back
Kent:  Thanks
Kent:  A crazy system
Kent:  I spent forever working on different sewing (tack) patterns to hold it together and the drop tower testing to validate
Kent:  Was a tough product that of course in the end cost too much and after only a couple seasons we got out of th vf game
Kent:  I always thought the best sets were ones that use a segment of actual climbing rope and a forged aluminum locking plate
Kent:  Those in theory can be reused after a big fall
Kent:  Jet lag has its grip on me....

07:02 Alaska time 08:02 California time
Paul: Dusty- you clocking your road and train time on this trip? Seem like you are getting lots of miles in

07:02 Alaska time 08:02 California time
Paul: And seems like a bike rental in Alaska would be up your recent alley

09:54 Alaska time 10:54 California time
Ray: I think that vf set looks really cool
Ray: I like how compact it is and that it's black
Ray: Makes you feel like a badass to be wearing it and soloing

09:54 Alaska time 10:54 California time
Dusty: Woke up 150am
Dusty:  Managed to get dressed and go outside to look for the northern lights and meteor shower without waking Kathy up
Dusty:  All rooms at this place are apparently suites, which helped not wake her up
Dusty:  Sky was gray and starless, and seemed brightest to the north for some reason
Dusty:  Didn't get back to sleep until like 5am
Dusty:  Overcast now, still in bed, only slept another hour or two after 5
Dusty:  First train came through at 420am
Dusty:  Trees everywhere help noise reduction, we are right next to river
Dusty:  7+ hour bus ride tomorrow to Seward, not looking forward to that at all
Dusty:  No real plans for today
Dusty:  I saw a bike rental place, thought about it but probably won't
Dusty:  Only real goal is to see a moose up close, but seeing one from a bike isn't the safest plan and they obviously aren't on any real schedule
Dusty:  Main road here is crazy busy, already saw the road into Denali, trees and forests are ok but don't do much for me
Dusty:   Also in piss poor shape at the moment, only got on the bike about 3 times in the 3 weeks since i got back from France......looks like rain maybe today and definitely tomorrow and perhaps for several days on the ship
Dusty:  Only remaining goal for trip is to see Glacier Bay in nice weather, that's Tuesday, may get rained out
[this was not true, I kept forgetting about whale watching in Juneau]
Dusty:  Seeing mountains in Homer and Denali in nice weather was excellent and incredibly lucky
Dusty: Would suck to see nothing but clouds instead...

09:56 Alaska time 10:56 California time
Ray: I bet you're happy to be home, Kent! I love traveling but it's great to come back home
Ray: I'm so glad I don't live in a shithole of an apartment in one of the gritty, bustling cities I love
Ray: (Full-time, that is. Might be fun to get an apartment for the winter in Rome someday.)

10:05 Alaska time 11:05 California time
Dusty: guide yesterday said there's only been 1 brown bear fatality in Denali National park since it opened 101 yrs ago, which seems impossibly low
Dusty:   I have no fear of black bears at this point but would not be comfortable camping in brown bear territory.

Ray's pic

10:24 Alaska time 11:24 California time
Ray: Odysea Aquarium
Ray: Pathetic
Ray: Overpriced
Ray: $71 for me and Sophie
Ray: Reminds me of Az center
Ray: Whole place is designed to be drained and bulldozed in about 22 years.

10:35 Alaska time 11:35 California time
Kent: I was going to say, those colors will be washed out by the az sun and look like shit in a few years
Kent:  Looks okay now though.
I am happy to be home
Kent:  However, that cold I was fighting my whole trip has gotten worse and there is a ton of smoke in the air from nearby fires that has given me a headache all day today
Kent:  I have my boys and that part is wonderful
Kent:  Cept need to make them lunch now
Kent:  Chicken salad sandwiches (easy) and some fruit and chips are the menu today, after swim meet this morning for Andrew...
I've been watching my videos of mountain climb (so happy I found my memory card) and damn that was nutso.

Ray's pic

10:44 Alaska time 11:44 California time
Ray: Ok, the bathroom is very cool here...

10:46 Alaska time 11:46 California time
Dusty: Fish poo

10:52 Alaska time 11:52 California time
Kent:  My lady is in Paris teaching and playing now
Kent:  She left the day before I got home

11:00 Alaska time 12:00 California time
Dusty: Kathy and I are way younger than the average person on this tour so far
Dusty:  Seen very few younger folks, like almost no one younger

11:09 Alaska time 12:09 California time
Ray: Seward is fantastic
Ray: Wait till you learn about the day the town blew up.

11:20 Alaska time 12:20 California time
Dusty: You mean the 1964 quake or something else?

11:24 Alaska time 12:24 California time
Ray: yeah
Ray: Seward was a giant fuel depot in 1964
Ray: That didn't work out so well.

11:41 Alaska time 12:41 California time
Kent: My parents have done EVERY Rick Steve's tour and are now in another family of tours
Kent:  They split about equal time of solo travel after the tour
Kent:  They, and my sister Kathy are going to Russia
Kent:  I would love St Petersburg
Kent:  They're doing Moscow etc as well
Kent:  Rick Steve's pictures I've seen (a lot) have 50% older people
Kent:  Nowadays, my parents are always the seniors of group, and a few younger inexperienced travelers in them.
Kent:  There's a film, Dawson City: Frozen in time I'd like to see
Kent:  It's town history and the recent discovery of a bunch of nitrate films from 100+ years ago

12:16 Alaska time 13:16 California time
Paul: Yes
Paul: When Mike and I were camping for 4(?) nights in the Denali backcountry I was less than comfortable, even after stashing the bear boxes 1/2 mile away

12:28 Alaska time 13:28 California time
Dusty: I seriously thought about doing Dawson City and or Fairbanks as part of this trip..
Dusty: until checked TripAdvisors list of things to do in those areas...
Dusty: and factored in the day of bus travel to get there to see..
Dusty: next to nothing...
Dusty: Also was dying to bike to and then hike up the Golden Stair, but logistics would have been impossible for the amount of time we had in Haines

12:31 Alaska time 13:31 California time
Ray: Just got back from Odysea
Ray: Not as good as Alaska or Switzerland, but almost as expensive
Ray: Now back to my book, Over the Edge, Death in the Grand Canyon, 2017 edition.

12:34 Alaska time 13:34 California time
Ray: I think I should do a book called Over the Hump: Life and Death on Camelback Mountain
Ray: Shitload of death and rescues there in last few years.

12:39 Alaska time 13:39 California time
Dusty: You should do it Ray!  I started that book, quit several chapters in cause it was too repetitive..
Dusty: too many drownings.
Dusty:   the similar book about Yosemite is excellent, I've read it twice
Dusty:  The guys writing still is too damn arrogant

12:41 Alaska time 13:41 California time
Kent: Skeleton point guy had one more cocktail than you!  Night hiking canyon is a trip! 

12:51 Alaska time 13:51 California time
Dusty: May have to reflect on my advice to write a book on camelback rescues since my near miss on Suicide may and up in said book....

13:20 Alaska time 14:20 California time
Dusty: Kents pics of him falling on Suicide Direct would be on the cover of course

13:37 Alaska time 14:37 California time
Kent: Hand on a coiled rattler? 

13:37 Alaska time 14:37 California time
Dusty: Yeah that gets in the book too

13:37 Alaska time 14:37 California time
Dusty: As does Ray's dad's knot coming undone as he gets to the top of the monk

13:38 Alaska time 14:38 California time
Dusty: So far sounds like you might sell at least 3 copied of that book Ray

13:41 Alaska time 14:41 California time
Ray: I certainly have material for a few chapters! I'm just now listening to the audio of the guy who stole the plane in Seattle
Ray: Crazy shit! "I'm gonna try to do a barrel roll and if that goes good, I'm gonna nose down and call it a night."

13:41 Alaska time 14:41 California time
Kent: Flash your headlamp 3 times if you are okay
Kent:  From a hovering copter.
I read Ray's camelback blog on snake
Kent:  I remember it very slowly uncoiling head first and slowly slithering into Ray's shit bush
Kent:  :)

13:41 Alaska time 14:41 California time
Dusty: I think i may still have a copy of the ASU Stale Mess with your camelback helicopter rescue writeup floating around in my garage

13:42 Alaska time 14:42 California time
Ray: I had no idea there were that many flash flood deaths on easy GC trails I've been on!

13:42 Alaska time 14:42 California time
Dusty: How did the barrel roll go?

13:45 Alaska time 14:45 California time
Ray: It would not have been good to get bitten in the face by that little guy while making the exit moves of SD p1
Ray: It's still wild out there - I showed you dudes the photo of the 3 bobcats playing in Dick's backyard, right? Not sure how barrel roll went, but I know he did nose down at some point

13:45 Alaska time 14:45 California time
Kent: There's video of both a barrel roll and s loop de loop where he barely makes it!

13:46 Alaska time 14:46 California time
Dusty: He certainly did find a fascinating way to end it all...

19:42 Alaska time 20:42 California time
Dusty: Took dining shuttle (aka employee van) 15m north to Healy to the original 49th State Brewery for an early dinner
Dusty:  They have the movie prop bus from Into the Wild that I wanted to see
Dusty:  We didn't know this was Augtoberfest weekend - German food only
Dusty:  By October everything up here is closed for the season
Dusty:  I got baked salmon w spaetzle
Dusty:  Was a little surprised that the place was packed by the time we left an no one paid any attention to the bus..
Dusty: I'm guessing the crowd was locals only, they've seen it...lots of the employees for the restaurants down here live up there

20:47 Alaska time 21:47 California time
Kent: Great memories!  Fun times!  I love spaetzle with the right sauce
Kent:  Not sure what I'm used to having would go well with salmon
Kent:  Cool bus.

21:12 Alaska time 22:12 California time
Dusty: Yeah it wasn't the best German food I've had but i wanted salmon, so..
Dusty:  love the Eddie Vedder soundtrack to that movie, Sean Penn did a fantastic job with the whole thing
Dusty:  Still remember Penns interview on Colbert before it came out hinting at how he'd ended the movie....
out of probably 1000 Colbert shows I watched it is one that i still remember pretty well

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Alaska 2018

Friday August 10, 2018
Busride in Denali

Saturday August 11, 2018

Sunday August 12, 2018
Bus from Denali to Seward