Monday, September 26, 2011

Evan's Trip to Alaska

Evan took a restrained 400+ pictures in Alaska. I have whittled them down ruthlessly, but there's still close to 100 pictures here. I may get lazy about writing, but the pictures are loverly. And I really want to go to Alaska.

Lindsey had a few folks for lunch on Sunday, the day after Evan got there.

Lindsey doesn't have a lot of chairs, so here is Tricia seated on a yoga ball, and Tom on a stool.  Not that Tricia would tease Lindsey about this.

This was the beautiful weather that Sunday.  When you live in Alaska, this is the view when you run to the grocery store.  Or other mundane chores.  Yeah, I still miss Alaska a lot.

Lindsey's back yard.

The back of her house.

The front of the house, I believe.  And Lindsey and Nanette, deep in fulfilling conversations.

The trash pile from the demolition.  It only got worse after Evan was there a while.  Lindsey eventually rented a U-Haul to take it to the dump.  Which, unbeknownst to her, meant she had to dump it in the commercial trash hauler's section, which meant she only had 15 minutes to unload 2000 pounds of trash.  And she had to buy an orange vest for $5.  But at least her front yard was reclaimed.

The bathroom.  (I am applying for the Obvious Captions award, if anyone would like to nominate me.)

Front door and kitchen.

Some nice built-in cabinets.

Sunday night, despite the fact he was about to pass out from exhaustion, Evan decided not to waste the perfect evening in sleeping, so he and Lindsey drove down to Turnagain Arm to see this sunset.

I can't remember if there were supposed to be sheep in this picture, or not.  Either way, it's pretty.

Cool picture of a random stranger's silhouette.

Evan's I-desperately-need-a-haircut silhouette.

And Lindsey's My-jacket-has-fancy-reflectors silhouette.

Utter gorgeousness.

And then the moon came up.  And yes, I'm slightly bitter/jealous as I type all this.

Lindsey's cabinets.  She got an awesome deal on cabinets one day in Home Depot, with the stipulation that she had to pay for them and get them out of there in a couple of hours.  So there they sit, awaiting installation.

Living room.

The kitchen, after all the drywall was torn out and Lindsey painstakingly taped all the insulation seams.  I thought I had put up a picture of the kitchen before, but I guess not.  Suffice it to say, the plans to save the old drywall were scrapped once they started adding up how many holes there were to patch.

Living room.  On the left there are the highly luxurious living room chairs in which Lindsey and Evan ate supper every night while working horrendously late.  I don't feel too sorry for them, though, since many of those suppers involved Bear's Tooth pizza.

The kitchen, drywalled and in the midst of taping.

Bathroom-- new tub installed and new drywall.  This is after Evan had been there for a week.

Then, they had to return Tom and Tricia's vehicles they had been using for a week, so they headed up there for supper Saturday night.

Mountains and clouds.

This picture is blurry, but it's so familiar to me-- about halfway through my drive home from work, and such a beautiful view!

Driving up Hiland.

I don't miss driving up these curves on Hiland, although Evan assures me it is way more fun in Lindsey's sporty car than it was in our old boat of a Taurus.

The view up there is... all right, I suppose.

The hot tub-- I have REALLY got to visit Alaska!

Then, after Sunday meeting, when Evan realized I was going to have his head if he didn't take some pictures of people.  The Lundell "babies" are older than most of the Lundells were when we moved up there!

Merle and Lois.  I loved seeing these folks when they passed through here last spring, but I would love it even more if I got to visit them at their beautiful house and take another walk through their awesome garden.

And the Evans, host to the day's potluck, and dearly missed friends.

And then, the road trip to Denali.  Could they have had a more beautiful day to drive up there?

Yeah, this is The Mountain.  Denali.

Nellie and Becky, making the scenery even prettier.

Checking out the evening's lodging.

This is the Cantwell Lodge, which was built by placing two ATCO trailers side by side and building this hall in the middle. 

The view from Evan's room.

And the view from the parking lot.

A little blast from the past-- the old outhouse, thankfully not needed now.

Reading the sign on the door.

Evan, Lindsey, and Lindsey's friends had taken this trip to Denali because Lindsey won the Denali road lottery.  Once a year, if you win the drawing, you get to drive your own vehicle all the way into the park.  Normally, you have to park and go on one of the park buses.  They decided to get into the park early, since that's the best time for wildlife viewing and they hoped to beat some of the crowd.

Unfortunately, it was still dark enough that a lot of the following pictures are blurry, but they are proof that Evan got some awesome views of bears.

It looks like they're playing in this one.

A lone bear.

Even if you never get to see Denali, there is so much gorgeous scenery in this place, you could spend days just staring at it.

Although the road is a little freaky.

I think this is Polychrome Pass.  I think it's name is fairly self-explanatory when you see this picture.


The fall colors in Alaska are spectacular, even when there's no trees.

And, there's not enough scenery, so let's take pictures of each other.  Actually, Evan thinks Nellie was taking a self-portrait in front of the view, but it looks funny!

A picture of the road.  I remember standing at this spot, about 2.5 months after we moved to Alaska, being so glad we were there!


It's about the time of year when caribou shed their antlers, which is why (I think) they are that color.

At this visitor center, they have outlines drawn on the window to let you know where the mountain would be if it actually wasn't covered by clouds.

Lindsey took this awesome picture of antlers framing a beautiful view.

Then, the mountain began to emerge from the clouds!

Evan said they would stop every couple of minutes, "Because we might not see it any better than this," but it just kept getting better and better.

A beaver!

Then, just to round out the wildlife profile, a bull moose.

Strutting around to show off in the pictures.

"Oh, you'd like a picture of me by the water?"

Yeah, this is utterly gorgeous.

The little birds that hung around the campground, hoping for (highly illegal) handouts.

Not a bad spot for lunch.

Yeah, Evan went on a road trip with four women.  What a Lothario.

Proof that they drove all the way to the end.  Evan says there wasn't much to see beyond the Wonder Lake campground where they had lunch.

Mountains, and some tree color.

Lots of caribou.

A closeup of Denali.

Lindsey, star photographer.

Wildlife viewing.  Back when we were SO much younger and we did this trip, we had fun stopping and pretending to point to a certain spot, to see how many other cars we could lure into stopping to search fruitlessly for the wildlife we were exclaiming over.  We are so much more grown-up now.  Totally.

Eielson Visitor's Center.  The just renovated it to disappear more into the landscape.  As you approach it from the road, you can't see it at all as it is recessed into the ground.  All the focus can be on the awesome view!

And, some more photogenic bears.

This one looks like it's belly-flopping in the stream.

Evan is REALLY glad I wasn't along for the ride at this point.

So beautiful.  We need to start saving our pocket change now so we can all go up in ten years.

And, back to Anchorage and Lindsey's bright red kitchen!

There was still lots left to do when Evan left, he felt terrible.  Lindsey is going to have to be Super Amazing to finish up and move in by the end of the month (end of this week)!

A picture of the guy Lindsey hired to tape and mud the drywall.  There's a story about this guy that made Evan LOL for reals.  Evan had hooked up a new gas line, but could not get the furnace to light.  He called the gas company, and a guy came out to help him.  After the problem was fixed, and the gas guy turns to go, Drywall Dude calls out, "Hey, are you Joe?  Joe So-and-so?"  When Gas Guy replies in the affirmative, Drywall Dude says, "Hey, I married your wife!"  It made Evan remember the interesting characters he met in the construction industry in Alaska.

So, now Evan is home working in prosaic New York.  Not as breathtakingly beautiful at all times, but as he sits in his chair with a sleeping Lincoln, I think he's happy to be back.  We're certainly ecstatic to have him back.  The kids wore their souvenir t-shirts to school today, and spent the whole evening dragging their wheelie suitcases around as they got on and off the plane to Alaska.  We might have to start saving other people's pocket change, too, but by hook or by crook, we will get back to Alaska someday!


Bethaney said...

Uhhhh.... jealous! So nice to see familiar views and familiar faces.

laura said...

So beautiful! Thanks for sharing! I wouldn't mind getting in your suitcase - 10 years or not! (:

Virginia said...

What a lucky duck that Evan is! I've never even been! Thanks for posting pics of Lindsey's place. She's a champ, doing all that work! I can only imagine what a relief it was to have Evan up and helping. Gorgeous pics!

Verity Earl said...

The Cantwell Lodge is the most amazingly classy place ever. I'm so happy to see pictures of it again, and be privy to the knowledge that it was just so amazing, Lindsey had to take her friends back.

Mrs Starling said...

Nice pictures of Denali...Dad and my brother Tom climbed it several summers their pictures are a bit closer up! :) Nice to see the view from afar!

Evan and Clover and Co. said...

I thought I remembered your dad telling me that, Jami, at Quakertown in 2008. I would love to see their pictures sometime! (Much easier than climbing it myself! ;-)

The McCoys said...

Thanks for sharing! It is beautiful landscape - too bad it's so far away, eh? Maybe we'll get to see if for ourselves someday...

The McCoys said...

Oh and I really want to "Like" your pictures...blogger needs to update their features :)