Monday, February 7, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

8 Weeks in Alaska

In 2004, I went on an eleven week, 10,000 mile driving trip from Chicago to Alaska, spending eight weeks traveling every paved road and many gravel ones in Alaska.  My adventures included three visits to Denali National Park and two visits to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, several hundred miles of biking, dozens of day hikes, two glacier hikes, a kayak trip in Misty Fjord, three whitewater raft trips, rides on both the White Pass-Yukon and Alaska Railways, two flight-seeing trips, two small boat adventures to glaciers, a 20 mile backpack in Denali State Park, a trip above the Arctic Circle, three trips on the Alaska Ferry (Bellingham, WA, to Skagway, AK), two explorations of the Alaska Pipeline, and more.

I've split these diverse adventures into eight different videos listed below.  Enjoy whichever ones interest you!

Alaska Trip Part 1 Inside Passage, Ketchikan, Juneau

Alaska Part 2: Skagway and the White Pass & Yukon RR

Alaska Part 3 Skagway Flightseeing Glacier Bay NP

Alaska Part 4 The Arctic Circle & Trans- Alaska Pipeline

Alaska Part 5 The Kenai Peninsula

Alaska Part 6 Denali National Park Wildlife

Alaska Part 7 Biking, Hiking, & Paddling

Alaska Part 8 - Sierra Club Adventure Trip

Here's a post covering the entire eleven week driving trip.

Chicago Blizzard of 2011

This storm ranked number three of the all-time worst Chicago snowfalls, and I've had the dubious distinction of having endured (survived) four of them!

Here are a few movie clips from around my place in NW Chicagoland during and after this latest blizzard...

I hope to get more footage on Monday as we snowshoe in the local forest preserve, and I'll publish it again then.

Here's my recent post reminiscing the Blizzard of 1967, Chicago's largest snowfall ever.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Parking Ticket Fun

Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting. Well, for example, the other day my wife and I went into town and went into a shop. We were only in there for about 5 minutes. When we came out, there was a cop writing out a parking ticket.

We went up to him and said, "Come on man, how about giving a senior citizen a break?"

He ignored us and continued writing the ticket. I called him a Nazi turd. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tires. So my wife called him a loser. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket at which time I talked about his Mother. This went on for about 20 minutes.

The more we abused him, the more tickets he wrote.  Personally, we didn't care. We came into town by bus.  It wasn’t our car. We try to have a little fun each day now that we're retired.   It's important at our age.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hiking in January's Snow

Our group of retirees hiked over 50 miles in the snows of January, both on trails and bushwacking cross country in 10 or so different forest preserves in Lake, Cook, and McHenry counties.

We rarely saw other people -- occasionally some other hikers, a few dog walkers, a couple snowshoers, and a few skiers -- but we did see many dozens of deer including a number of the more reclusive bucks, and twice we had the joy of seeing coyotes out in the open and a bit curious about us, as seen below...

Here we are crossing a field back to our vehicles.  Kind of reminded me of a Beatles album cover!

Hiking the narrow secondary and tertiary trails gives us a more intimate encounter with Nature...

For once, I managed to get into the photo, surrounded by my two buddies Len and Dave...

As I write this post, what the weathermen are already calling "The Great Chicago Blizzard of 2011" is a mere hour away.  It has left foot and a half depths across the states to our west and south and is bearing down directly at Chicago.  The prognosticators claim this storm will rank in the top 5 of our all-time record storms, perhaps even topping the records of 1967 which I wrote about here.   So check back in a few days and I'll reports of the storm and of our snowshoeing in its remains.