Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Seldovia Summer Soltice Music Festival

As I mentioned I am checking out as many music festivals locally and feasibly economically as possible for work. The music around here tends to be more on the folky/bluegrass side which ain't my thing. but i learned to appreciate talent when i hear it.

I was going to camp in Seldovia but due to weather i decided to stay with a friend i met through work stuff.

I still do not understand this small town. Lots of history:  "The Seldovia Village Tribe is a blend of Aleut, Yupik, Alutiiq and Athabascan peoples. In the 1850's Russian traders moved Aleuts and Alutiiqs from their homelands to a new fur buying/trading post established at Seldovia Bay, joining the Dena’ina (Athabascan) peoples that already inhabited the area. Following the American purchase of Alaska the official Russians moved away. Additional Native peoples and Northern Europeans came to Seldovia drawn by the rich marine resources".

Thing was I did not see many natives. The town was bigger back in the 50s before Homer got the main road to anchorage then Homer stopped needing Seldovia as a port. A walkable charming town, with some nearby hikes and beaches. I felt like I was more in AK and in Northern Exposure with the one bar in town, one main road, everyone knowing everyone. I thought Homer was small :)

The music was eclectic ranging from young pop girl to gospel African American lady with a set of pipes, to native guy with a little drum which a big heart (click here for video) and voice to orchestra rock band from Anchorage whom I have seen twice already and got to know and know have new friends in Anchorage.

The cool part was this small town was so easy to meet the musicians and talk to them for a while There were workshops and I met and actually made a halibut dinner for Si Kahn a long time community organizer from NC who is helping us fighting Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay.  Please Click here to make a comment to the EPA by June 30th and for more info. It may seem just like an Alaskan issue but in this small world we are all connected and clean water and healthy wild salmon runs effects more than just AK. Thanks!

Overall I had a nice and peaceful time. Nice break from the busy big town of Homer. Click here for pix.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

End of the Road and Hoopin on a Mt Sunset Valcano

After my bday, I spent 4 nights in Homer then I head off to Seldovia, a small village across the bay, for 3 nights to check out the town and music festival. My work is partly about relationships and networking and I am trying to learn more about this interesting place I dwell and make sense of how to best do my job.

In the meantime in Homer, work has been just getting busier and busier as we come close to our end of July concert on the lawn. After work I always seem to manage talking about it at at home, with friends/the public, even when I don't bring it up. I leave work at 5 and get to explore the town area with friends since I ain't in Homer on the weekends much these days.

It's been not so easy being away every weekend, all the catch up at home to do. But can't complain about my adventures. Just wish I had more time to do all the things that interests me (long list) and chill with all the amazing friends I have (long list again). I hardly can catch up with my pdx/nyc friend anymore. I guess I need to marry rich so I can just volunteer vs working full time at a nonprofit :)

One night a friend and I took my friend Mary (who moved from  Cali to Anchorage to Homer) to the true End of the Road. Only about an hr drive but I never been down there. Waited till break up season was done. The road down to the sea was f'n scarey. But all new landscape and had a blast. click here for those pix.

Another night finally caught up with friend Kammi; we went up the mt to get more sun and some sunset views. We hooped in an open field, no one else in sight. It was grand. Just two girls giggling and having fun. Click here for those pix.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bday retreat - Solitude

I survived my 3 days alone in the woods across the bay in a yurt. By 10pm I have not spoken to a soul in 12 hrs. No human communication in any form, that's what I wanted as it is so rare these days to have. Each day I saw or heard a kayak couple or hikers. Disappointed by this, I avoided them and did not say a word to them. I did not move to Alaska to be surrounded by people and technology and I had to go across the bay to try to beat the peeps. I think I ran away from the concrete world that I grew up in and that's one reason I am so in love with nature. 

I am pretty sure this was the most alone time I have ever had that I can remember. Good way to celebrate your bday as we were alone for the first nine months! Been meaning to do this for years. Did not even want to know if I got cell phone reception, did not check. It's funny how we humans tend to feel the need to camp, hike or travel with someone. Why are we so social Why do we not want to be alone for some moments? Especially now when you hardly have alone time? Best present i ever gave myself and will become an annual thing. A honeymoon by myself with myself.  I've always been intrigued by the mediation getaway, etc but never thought I could handle that so I guess I have come up with my own version.

Packed some books, paper and pen, just enough food for 3 days, water, box of fire wood, clothes and of course camera and some whiskey. That's it. I realized as i unpacked that I just brought enough meals and snacks. nothing extra. i could not believe i did that as I do snack every 2 hrs or so. i had to ration and plan my food to be safe. Then I found mussels not very filling but fun to harvest and tasty. I read a whole book and edited a few chapters of my travel book. Slow going. so painful as I am not great at this. I realized that I even at the beach I was writing in the present but right now I am looking at the past to post this blog for this to be published in the future.....Just like my travel book. I love writing in the moment, the rest is harder for me to get to.

Some highlights include: eagle greetings (the closest I have ever been and have been by company this weekend), beaches to myself, trees that remind me of Oregon, secret morning spot in moss, 2 eagles on a branch, early morning mt reflection, and my first yurt experience. I woke up to all sorts of birds but can only recognize the eagle calls and went to sleep with a roaring fire that I lit on my own and by my own feeling like an adult. The fire was more for light than heat and got it too feel like the start of a sauna. Can't beat that. If I was with someone I might not have heard the sound of the eagles' feathers in flight b/c I most likely would have been talking. Went for a hike first time this summer. Happy I can identity some AK plants within a year of living here.

Spoiled with warm and the nicest weather ever on my bday that I can remember. I never thought I would ever tan here, we have had a very unusually hot summer. I can't imagine how the true Alaskans are taking this heat. I am enjoying my multi tone color body. Feels like I am in L48 with this heat at times but the sun here is like nothing I have ever felt before. such a scorcher need to reapply sunscreen more often and feel the heat coming from my face after the day is done.

THANK YOU all for the bday wishes. You all make me smile and feel grateful! Click here for pix.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

River Fishing and Sun!

More and more i understand the phrase midnight sun. not only is daylight still around by midnight but even on dreary days the sun appears around 9pm. totally throwing me off.  Instead of fighting it, i am working with the solar energy. sleeping late getting MY work done slowly (mainly blog and pix). sigh. 
It's such an extreme. In winter I could not stay past 8 and now I can stay past 1am! And I don't even drink tea these days my only source of caffeine. Summer is busier than I like it to be. The roads, the people I do not know, the airplane sounds over the beach and town. I need balance and this super action is more than I can take.
I also have a lot of weekend adventures planned which is cool. Some of it is for work and some is play and some is a mix. I pretty much think about work 24/7 right before i sleep and right when i awake. It's just so connected to everything it's hard not to. So I am trying to visit as many local festivals I can to do some market research and better understand this place I live in. My work puts on a 2 day concert which I have never done before and I am not much of a festival fan. Just don't like being around tons of people and out all day and night. so I am checking things out to to see how I can make our concert a more effective fundraiser since we pour so much time into it. 
So busy at work and on the personal front. never a dull second. Also we have had amazing weather. the best summer in 5 years i am told. its been above the average temp which is 60... so making up for last summer's windy, cool, cloudiness. I got a tan already. It's so keeping me from being in side after work. I hope this keeps up but you never know how quickly things change here. 
Well my bday is friday. 34 and I am going across the bay solo via a water taxi to stay at my first time in a yurt, first time in the woods alone for days, first time camping via boat. I need to break away for a bit and I am excited to spend my bday in the total opposite way than the past. 
click here for river fishing and more pix.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The end of May in Homer & Seward Kayak

May has been a chilly month. We had a super long spring with not much sun. Though it did not snow much this winter the snow lasted longer. Towards the very end of May we finally got some awesome sun and great low tides.

For memorial weekend a friend and I visited Seward. About a 4 hrs trip to another coastal town. Very similar to Homer but smaller with even cooler temps. I wanted to check out the scene and the glacier hike.
My friend also had friends with a kayak business so we got a good deal on a day trip. I could not help myself from comparing their bay to the bay in Homer. Though they have awesome mountains there's are taller and closer in, but we have a longer range.

It's an awesome scenic drive. And the train goes down there from Anchorage, which I imagine would be a beautiful ride. The nice part about going down now is the mountains are still white soon they will just be green.  On the way back we got a great spot with great reflections of the mountains from a lake still with ice. Felt like I was in heaven. It's been so nice being in the sun wearing sandals without socks and no jacket. If summer in Homer was just a tad warmer I would never leave :)

Cool pix of low tide, baby razor clams and the bay in May in Homer click here.

Click here for pix of kayak and road trip to Seward!