Abercrombie, VFW, And Saying Goodbye To Tiffany

First thing, just as soon as Lyli got off work in the morning we were up and on our way out to hike at one of the most beautiful parks on the whole island, Fort Abercrombie.  It is a fee park so we saved it for last.  The trail is easy for all kinds of hikers with lake and ocean views as well as the many WWII bunkers you can explore.  

Yay we got one with all four of us!!! I love it too! It could not have worked out better.  It is a small hospital and Lyli, Cheryl, and I are all labor and delivery nurses this meant we were never all four off at the same time (Lyli just got off from working all night in this photo).  When I worked Tiffany could hang out with Lyli and Cheryl.  I have never gone on the Gypsy Nurse get togethers or outings as I have my family, but this felt like a vacation.  I had so much fun with these lovely ladies, and I am pretty sure they also had an equally good time.  Thank you Lyli for trading two shifts with me so that I could be off most of the time Tiffany was here. Taking pictures down the barrel of the cannon.Bear prints in the sand at VFW beach.

Lyli’s favorite portal for photographing visitors to Kodiak.  We all took turns getting our photo taken through the portal.  Fresh bear prints in the sand teased us as we all really would like to see a Kodiak grizzly bear.  Lake Gertrude is so stunningly beautiful.

We went to Abercrombie then VFW but the photos did not come up in order the beach with the boat ruins is VFW the rest above is Ft. Abercrombie.  Then we dropped off Lyli to get some sleep before work again that night.  We then drove around to the Kodiak sign and took our photos with it.  We tried several different restaurants before we ended up back at Henry’s for lunch.  Monday and Tuesday are the days when nearly every place in Kodiak is closed.  We then checked Tiffany in at the airport.  They said the security checkpoint would not be open for another hour and fifteen minutes so we went back out to Gibson cove for a last hurrah.We got her back to the airport just in time.  We love you Tiff thanks for coming, we enjoyed your visit and the vacation you brought to us.  

Cheryl and I made use of the rest of the afternoon washing and returning the van I had borrowed from the Powers family as well as the car she had been given to use by the hospital.  Then she gave me a ride to the hospital as they now had a car that I could use until the end of my contract. We finished up the evening by shopping at Safeway and then cooking a joint meal of shrimp with sautéed peppers and onions on rice and brie with pears and apples.  It was a good way to end the day.  We were all wiped out from five days of getting up early and staying out late, hiking and sightseeing.  

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Pasagshak & Chiniak Bunkers With Tiffany & Cheryl

Pasagshak…the mountains make it beautiful!Real waves! The surf is so gentle on most of the island but here there are actual waves.  I love the sound of them rushing the shore.
We ran into one of the ladies from the Coast Gaurd women’s Bible study there.   Heather thank you for taking our picture! We appreciate having a picture of the three of us that is not a selfie ❤️.

 Our next stop was fossil beach. 


We didn’t plan ahead for the one restaurant in the area to be closed.  Cheryl came to the rescue with her bag of spicy cashews.  How did we miss that detail.  Next was some of the Chiniak bunkers.  On the way we spotted salmon in the stream stopping to take pictures.  

On the way home we called and woke up Lyli (by request) who met us at Aquamarine for dinner before work.  We had plans to have a bonfire on the beach, but I was wiped from staying up all night and all day, so we retired early.

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Travels Begin

Last Tuesday the kids and I left Kodiak with Paul to take him to Homer for visiting friends and catching his plane back to Oregon. I was praying for good weather since everyone I talked to told us how bad that particular ferry was for making people sick. We got up early to make our 2:15am check in time and off we went. Our prayers we answered for good weather we had calm seas the whole way. 

The kids we so tired from playing with grandpa and the early morning start that the spent a good deal of the time sleeping on the ferry. 

On Thursday we went and had dinner at Ruth’s work. So we could meet some of the people she works with. 

After dinner it was time to take grandpa to the airport and say our goodbyes. Thank you grandpa for coming to see us the wonderful time. 
Friday Matthew took us out in the Jeep for a drive down the beach to see some fossils. 

We did not find all that we looking for due to a change in the shoreline. However the kids still had a good time playing and making hand art with the clay. 

It has been a fun week and hopefully the start of a fun vacation South. 

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Cheryl Joined Our Party!

Sunday morning Cheryl, another travel nurse that both Tiffany and I worked with in Hilo HI, flew in from a visit home.  We met up with Cheryl and Lyli at Fly-by and visiting and catching up until church started at 11.  Church was good, it was my last Sunday as I will be working all of the upcoming weekend.  It is hard to say goodbye to everyone we have enjoyed it here and the church members have become family.  After church we met up with Cheryl again and got out to stretch our legs after barometer we needed to move to keep the stiffness at bay.  We hiked the Northend trail of near island around to the little adjoining island as it has an amazing view.  

Then I went home for a nap before work and Tiffany headed out with Cheryl with out me.  Work was good and I knew Tiff was in good hands.  They sent me pictures of their haul of sea glass that they found at the glass beach.  After work we all four of us met at Fly-by again.  Cheryl and Tiffany had been out driving looking for bears since 5:30AM.  After some coffee I took the van and parked it at our apartment so I could go sight seeing with them too.  Lyli is working my Monday and Tuesday.  We will miss her as we sight see but are so thankful that she was willing to trade so that I could hang out with Tiffany while she is here. Thank you Lyli! 

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Barometer Mountain

We might be a little insane this short 2 miles each way walk has 2,500 foot elevation change that equals a 60 degree hiking angle so we were practically climbing straight up using not only our feet but clawing for hand holds as well.  I couldn’t believe it.  But, I knew other people had done it and we could too. With my feet still sore and the mole skins on, thick socks, hiking poles and my $10 Walmart tennis, we were ready. 

I think we were both thinking…what in the heck are we doing!?! 

It didn’t take long to see evidence of bears. 

Are you sure this is the way? 

This is about the point where we were wondering what we had gotten our selves into, giving eachother the out.  Neither one of us took it so we kept trekking upward.  The day was beautiful but cold if you stood still too long.  

It was a good thing we were all layered up.  

This is the angle we are climbing at!! 
We made it to the top!  Then we walked along the ridge a little ways.  The breeze was so cold!
The climb down was quicker but more treacherous.  I fell several times but managed not to slide too far which is a miracle.  We were glad to make it off the mountain in one piece.   

It was call for celebratory sushi at Powerhouse, after a shower that is.  Lyli joined us for the celebration. 

We were just glad to be walking.  

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Tiffany Is Here

Thursday morning Tiffany came in Mike met me at the hospital with their van which was a life savor.  We could not say thank you enough for the use of the van.  I headed strait to the airport from work getting there shortly after Tiffany.  Instead of grabbing breakfast out we stopped in at Safeway and both picked out some groceries.  I was so excited to have cold cerial, cinnamon Chex is an amazing treat.  Then since we had both been up all night we headed home to catch up on sleep.  We met up with Lyli another L&D nurse here that has just gone staff but has been a long time traveler.  We all headed to the hospital after dinner and showed her around the place.  Lyli showed Tiffany around Kodiak while I worked, I was so thankful that she did.  They kept sending me picture of all of the fun they were having.  This made me so happy.  I didn’t want Tiff to have to sit around the house just because I had to work.  When I got off of work we met up with Lyli again and continued to check out the rest of the island.

After Java Flatts for breakfast Pillar was our first stop, then the harbor and Near Island North end trail to look for puffin.  
The water was perfectly still and reflective! 

My phone died so I couldn’t take any pictures…we probably pushed too far, but we managed to get Lyli home for a little nap before work.  I rested for a few hours too then we headed out to check out Menashka and part of Termination point trail. 

We needed to head back home and rest up for Barometer in the morning. 

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Just A Walk Down To The Harbor & Back

I needed to have a health form printed and signed for school being carless I knew it would be a healthy walk 2.9 miles each way.  I had had Chad take my danskos and tennis shoes I had kept my flip flops and a cheaper pair of nursing clogs.  I decided to take my nursing clogs.  The jeans I was wearing were about ready to give up the ghost Ana before I had made it half way to the harbor I was regretting the decision to wear those shoes.  I had sores on both of my heals and major chafing from where my jeans had worn a holes in the upper inward thigh.  I bit my lip and continued on.  Getting my papers and then stopping at Harborside for a smoothly and to hear myself up for the long painful walk back.  I was hurting, carring my shoes and pulling my pants up in hr middle I’m sure I made for white the site.  The worst part was that I didn’t have it in me to walk to Walmart to by new shoes so I had to wear those same clogs for the next three days at work.  Walking to work in my flip flops then shuffling through each shift holding my breath as they were all three busy shifts.   I had to keep reminding myself that it was a beautiful day it didn’t rain on me the whole walk which it could have easily done.  Lyli was so nice to take me home from work so I didn’t have to make that walk and the Powers family was so nice to let me use their van so Tiffany and I won’t be on foot for her visit here. 

Besides being painful the walk was very beautiful.An awesome blood blister under the callus.  My heals were much better after some mole skin and thank goodness for leggings I am starting to walk a little better.  Those jeans and shoes found their way to the dumpster and I bought $10 tennis shoes at Walmart that have saved the day.  

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Dad Visits Alaska! 

We had fun with Grandpa here, between work and spending time with him there was no time for blogging.  We visited the harbor on Near Island looking at the boats and checking out the sea lions.  It was peak fishing season so a lot of the boats were out. 

After the boat harbor we checked out sea plane harbor.  With in a half an hour of arrival we were able to watch about 9 planes take off.  Later we found out that they had been on hold for the weather to clear and had just been given the go ahead.  We felt so lucky to have been witness to the amazing sight.  

One of the days he was here we snuck out of the house early when I got home from work, then we had breakfast at Java Flatts and picked fireweed blossoms to make more jelly.  I may be slightly obsessed with making fireweed jelly… It is so darn yummy. 
We took our blossoms home and made jelly, jello, and just dried some for tea or other things later.  Thanks Jessica for letting us used your fruit dryer. 

I didn’t really like how the jello turned out there was to much flavor and sugar and a hint of the bitterness that the tea has by it’s self.  One of my favorite things here is beach bonfires, one of the nights dad was here we carried a pile of wood to Gibson’s Cove and enjoyed the beautiful view while roasting our reindeer sausage and marshmallows over the fire.  

We did a lot of just hanging out. 

He liked the touch tanks and learning about the different kinds of fishing boats.  We went berry picking, a church BBQ, and we got to celebrate my birthday all together. 

Gotta love those wild Alaskan blueberries!  Dad and I stayed up late watching the sun go down over Mill Bay and then got up early and drove all over looking for bears which allowed us to watch the sun come back up in the Flatts. 

However we did not see any bears.  

We snuck in one last play date with the Walton girls. 

 I was sad to see everyone leave on the 2nd and was relieved that they made it into Homer in one piece.  

It was crowded so they ended up on the top thank goodness it wasn’t too rainy.  From work that night I recieved this photo via text… They all dad included got to see the Aurora Borealis.  I’m so jealous but also so happy for them.  

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Camping, Kodiak 2016

We have all the right stuff I don’t know why we haven’t gone camping before.  It was the perfect day for it.  Pastor Tim and his wife Becky had offered some fire wood if we ever needed it for a beach bonfire or camping so we messaged them and were able to visit with them for a few minutes and pick up some wood on the way out towards Chiniak.  The sun was out it was supposed to be a whopping 73 degrees and I’m heading it got hotter than that.  Because at 11:00pm when we went to bed it was 66 degrees still and was only supposed to get down to 61 degrees overnight.  We could hear the whoosh whoosh whoosh of the surf crashing agains the shore as well as the trickle of the stream passing by our camp site.  The birds sang the evening and most of the morning away.  We were so glad that even in our minimalist packing we make room for our backpacking camping gear, sleeping bags, and two backpacking tents.  Thank goodness for driftwood logs that double as a bench and are plentiful on the beach. 

 After dinner we hiked up the beach to check out some WWII bunkers up the beach a little ways. 

A little mung bean noodles and phó broth makes for a good dinner. 

It is hard to capture the view in these photos. 

The bunker art is usually dark, they need to do bright and cheerful bunker art. 

I should have gotten up and checked out the sunrise better.  What I saw from the tent was pretty spectacular though.  

We packed up late, afternoon.  The kids states that when they came out of their tent in the morning there was a mother and baby deer in camp that were so cute.  The kids would have loved to stay for several more days and even I was sad we couldn’t have stayed another day.  We would have been awefully short on food if we had stayed one more day.  We didn’t bring our cooler on this trip and we were missing it.  We stopped on our way home at Java Flats and picked up lunch then sat on the beach by sometimes island and ate our sandwiches.  We picked some more fireweed blossoms enough to make another batch of jelly then headed on home.  A shower was in order.  After we were all clean and less smoky smelling we headed over to Near Island.  We have been spending a lot of time on the little island that adjoins Near Island.  This time we wanted to check out the rotary park, I was hoping there would be a new fun beach, but instead we found a gazebo and a whole bunch more salmon berries.  

We made our second batch of fireweed jelly when we returned home and more fruit leather out of the salmon berries.  We had quite a bit of berries left over so we enjoyed them over vanilla ice cream as dessert before bed. So yummy. 

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Windy Sunny Day At The Beach

We are really starting to feel the days slip away from us.  My dad will be here to visit in just a few days we are all eagerly counting down, but in the other hand I know that that means I have only two more weeks here with my family before they start the journey home.  I will eventually get to fly to catch up with them giving me four weeks total left here in Kodiak but just as the first 9 weeks have sped by the next four weeks will go twice as fast.  As ready as we are to be home we don’t want to wish any of our time here away.  Today was more of a contemplative day at the beach.  The kids had been requesting to go back to Menashka (white sands beach) a they had so much fun climbing on the rocks the first time we went.  This time the tide was way in.  I was suprised at how high it was.  We couldn’t climb out to the rocks and wouldn’t be able to for a while.  Eve quickly found a friend, Hannah worked on building a stone house,  Chad and Caleb went exploring in opposite directions and I took a nap in the sun.  

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