Soon to be updated about my belize and guatemala trip.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
What a lovely treat. My mom and my lil sisters came out here last weekend and joined me. Finally I get to share these cool places with them. We had a lot of fun and I got to show them some of the amazing things around this island.
To be continued.....
with photos and baby deer.
Posted by brookenature at 6:45 PM
Sunday, October 14, 2012
¿Quieres ver lo que es una sirena de verdad se parece?
[[Want to see what a real mermaid looks like?]]
A real mermaid looks like me....
Hooooray, I can attempt to speak spanish here.
Do I speak it well?
Yes, if your an idiot and don't know spanish..
no, if you actually speak spanish.
I been wandering the streets of Avalon just about every night since I got here. I have adopted about 4 people as my friends along the wandering. They speak spanish, therefore, I attempt to speak spanish.
Want to see my lil' alley to my new home :
So glad this girl came to see me :)
My amiga Mckel decided to come visit, only for 3 short days, but, they were 3 very fun short days. We wandered the streets together, went to the beach, kayaked, won deal or no deal, twice, went to zee hot tub, ate lots of food, listened to some jazz with our pina coladas. Good times. So glad she came out, it was very very fun! Some much needed girl time!
Tree huggers and rainbows:
I finally went scuba diving! I did 3 wonderful dives over by the dive park at the Casino. It felt so good to immerge myself in the water and become a mermaid. I saw lobster, lots of fish, snails, a manta ray, some white sea bass, a sea kelp forest, oh, and more fish. What wonderful dives! Can't wait to go again! After my first dive, I went over to the stairs and got myself out of the water and floating about 20 feet from me was a lil sea lion, with about 4 big chunky bites taken out of it by a shark (it looked fresh)
Check out zat ray.
Off to wander....
I twist like a mermaid and dance like a gypsy....
Posted by brookenature at 2:56 PM
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Here I am on Catalina Island, also known as Avalon, California. It is sunny, with warm ocean water to play mermaid in, touristy things to splurge on, and bright orange giant goldfish swimming around the shorelines.
It is a beautiful island, how can I not love it?
I just wish I had someone to share it with.
I just wish I had someone to share it with.
I work and stare at the ocean, every day
and then I go jump in and play.
Just so happens I am here for jazztrax, its a big jazz music festival and on Thursday, I scored a free ticket for wandering in the same place an old man was wandering (turns out his friends got held up at the airport and didn't make it, so free ticket for me).
Did I mention, the jazz show I watched, had tambourines involved. It spoke to my soul, so glad that I happen to travel with my tambourine! It's a little different, but hey, its one of my best travel buddies :)
Posted by brookenature at 1:01 PM
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Fair to thee well glaciers, withering winds, and radiant rain.
After hiking to Canada two weeks ago, I fell into a zombie mode. I woke up, walked to work, worked, ate, walked home, slept and repeat. I had to make up for the time I was gone and so I did in a mode that felt zombistic.
Coming home after the adventure I had in Canada was a bit difficult. I went into work the next day and thought to myself, did the past week just happen? I know it did, I will never forget that adventure. I have a bit of a sprained akeles tendon on my right ankle back. It basically hurts whenever I walk, but its tolerable, and for that, I do not think it is torn. This was a bit devastating because we did have a few more sunny days and I forced myself to not go hike because I want my body in ship shape condition for winter and snowboarding!!!
So last two weeks, I worked my last days as a “bamboo so soft sales gal,” hung out with my friends and said my fairwells as they all started fluttering away on airplanes to go home for the season and awaited my turn to leave. Good news, it finally came!! I am on a plane from Seattle to Arizona right now and then I go from Arizona to Utah, zippppiteh.yay. I am soooo excited to see my lover boy and all of my family and a few friends before zipping off to an island til the end of October. When I say excited, I mean ecstatic, I mean so gosh.darn.freakin happppy, I may cry, the happy cry.
Alaska was amazing and I met some amazing people in both Juneau and Sitka. Grace, Carina, Koali and of course lil puppy sofie, you made Sitka amazing for me. Haley, Jenny, Kelley, Steve, Ted, Curtis, Toodles, and the rest of you ACT bus drivers, I love you all, and without you, I am unsure what I that I would have had as much fun as I had out in Juneau without you all! Kyle, it was good working with you and you know that I think you rock and you best be having an excellent time visiting Fiji (I miss it so).!! I met so many great people and had so many great things.
Thought I would make list of top things I did in Alaska real quick:
--Kayaking to the Mendenhall Glacier (and touching it, even though that was a stupid thing to do and I could have died, the photos are absolutely amazing).
--Hiking Mount Edgecumbe in Sitka. Mt. Edcumbe is a volcano and the hike is 14 miles round trip. Until this day it was the longest hike I have ever done. It went to an elevation of 3200 Ft from Sea Level and it ended up being an absolutely perfect day when I went.
--Hiking the Chilkoot Trail from Dyea Alaska to Canada. 33 mile trek, getting lost twice (once in the dark, once in the fog at summit), seeing four grizzlies, feeling like we may very well die due to being lost and very cold, and going with complete strangers. The things I saw, the emotions I felt, and the accomplishment I felt after this hike is irreplaceable.
--Spending time in the Yukon Territory and jumping into a hotspring after indulging on autumn leaves and Yukon wildlife.
--Kayaking in Sitka and chasing the Salmon during the Salmon run.
--Biking out to the rope swing and jumping into the ocean in Sitka.
--Hiking Mt. Juneau
--Riding in a Seaplane, seeing 5 glaciers and a black bear and then eating the most delicious King Salmon I have ever had.
--Eating at Ludvigs, hands down, best food ever. (in Sitka)
--Watching the sunsets in Sitka
--Seeing whales in the wild for the first time and bears in the wild for the first time.
I only have a few short days to be home though, it is bitter sweet really. I leave Oct. 3 for another adventure out to Catalina Island til the end of October. Just for a short month, enough time to work a bit, train a bit, get a tan a bit, eat a bit, swim a bit, scuba a bit, turn into a mermaid a lot and eat a bit.
I am excited to go somewhere warm for a change, it will be so amazing to dress down and wear short shorts, tank tops and bikinis and frolic around barefoot. I am ecstatic about that sunshine and warm ocean water. Hello sunshine and frolicking on the beach, diving into the ocean, and letting the wind ripple through my hair and enjoying it.
Good bye Alaska, Hello Utah, and See you soon Catalina Island!
Let the good times roll…..and roll….and roll.
Posted by brookenature at 11:33 AM
Thursday, September 20, 2012
After finally getting a ride from the Canadians neighbor, we made it to Tagish for the night and then awoke early to bring the Canadian to work in Whitehorse. He let us take his car so I could get back to Skagway and explore some of the area too. So we got some coffee went to the shop, got a bite to eat and decided to go visit an animal preservation that was about twenty minutes away. I love animals! This place also happened to be close to a hot spring. I may love water and hot springs more that cheesy potatoes and after not being in one for over 5 months it was necessary for me to jump in. I asked the Taiwan girls if it was okay, just for 15 minutes because we were in a rush to get me back to Skagway and they said yes. So I went, paid the $11 to get in and soaked up that hot water for a mere 17 minutes before going back to the car. That was the first time in 5 days I had, kind of taken a bath. I didn't get the real bath that actually cleaned me til I got back to Juneau later that night.
I made it :) Yukon Territory
Canada Flag and I
Bought me some Canada Dry Gingerale in Canada.
Me and zee squirrel
I'm Horny? or Antlery.
Ooooh so big.
Taghini Hot Springs
I love water. I'm a mermaid.
How fast I had to drive to get to the ferry in Skagway. Turns out, I took the long way and it took an extra hour. We got there at 4:07 pm and the ferry left at 4:15 pm. I was suppose to be there at 3:15 pm. So glad I made it.
Posted by brookenature at 9:24 AM
On my last post, I mentioned that I was going to Canada.
I did it, I went there and the way I got there was by
Trekking across the Chilkoot Trail
33 miles -- 53 kilometers
Into the wild
through five different ecosystems
after the main season ended for doing the trek.
On September 14, it was a dull early morning where I woke up, hobbled out of bed and picked up all this gear.
Got my hiking backpack, 20 degree farenheit sleeping bag and dry sack, extra pair of clothes, camelback, water, rain jacket, food, hiking shoes, extra socks, flashlight, first aid, pepper spray, passport, and of course, my tambourine and I was out the door. Carried on all my baggage onto the ferry, fell into a light sleep for the next few hours and awoke to a whale announcement from the people sitting behind me. I jump up and see a small pod of orcas for a split second and then go back to my stuff and drink my protein chocolate malt drink I brought to attempt to energize and prepare me for this beast I was going to attempt to conquer in the next couple days.
I had never heard about the Chilkoot trail until about 3 weeks prior to this trip. I was planning a trip to venture into Canada for the first time since I am living so close to it at the moment and my destination was the capital of the Yukon Territory, Whitehorse. Not completely sure on why I decided this, simply because it was a place that seemed safe and easy enough to get too. I posted a advertisement for whitehorse members of couchsurfing.com to see in hopes of finding a free place to stay whether it was a floor, porch, or couch to stay on since I am traveling on a low budget. I had one person reply, Steve, saying I could stay with him. He asked if I would bring his car back to house and I could stay there because he was going to do the Chilkoot Trail with a former couchsurfer of his and needed his car to get back to his house, then he suggested that if I would like to come along on the trail, I was welcome too.
Like I said earlier, never even heard of the Chilkoot Trail, but after he extended an invite, I used the magical world of google and discovered this looked like an adventure I could not turn down. I sent him an email and said I was in. As September 14 crept closer and closer I made preparations for this hike. After all, this would be my first big "hike in and camp along the trail," kind of hike and it was 33 miles (that is 53 Kilometers!) Holy Crap...This could be my "turn into a badass moment while I'm here in Alaska!"
I get to Skagway and meet my fellow hikers for the first time. The couchsurfing friend who we will call the canadian, and the japanese traveler on a working visa in Canada. We go eat to boost our energy and begin the hike at about 4:30 pm on Friday evening. As we begin there is a light rain and in my head, I'm telling myself, "this is crazy," "I don't know these people at all and I just met them," and "What am I getting myself into?" Man, was I in for an adventure.
In the first few miles of the trail there was bear tracings everywhere. They must poop every step that they take! The trail folows a river most of the way and I glance at an opening as we are walking and see two big grizzly bears walking through the water, luckily in the opposite direction. One plunges into the deeper part of the water and comes out with a salmon in its mouth and the other keeps walking downriver. I point and am speechless as I try to tell my fellow two hikers what I see. It finally comes out as "uh, bears, two, um there, grizzlies, shhhh." I was a little in shock okay, because I have not had beary good luck at spotting bears. We watched for a few minutes and then continued on our way. Literally, five minutes after we continue walking along the river we hear two big bear snarls straight ahead of us and my brain goes to "Oh Shit!!!" I was a bit nervous, but then the trail veered across the water due to a bridge and we crossed to the other side, not that it made us any safer because grizzlies can swim, easily, across the river. We keep walking and feel better that we are on the other side of the river from where the bear snarls came from. I'm in the lead trekking through the woods and then I turn a corner and see two big eyes staring at me about 40 feet ahead of me on the trail as it starts to turn. Then I see two big brown grizzly bears ahead of me and put my hands out and start backing up whispering whats ahead of us to my fellow hikers. We start to make noise and hope the bears go to the side of the trail instead of the same direction we are going. It was a mama bear and her lil babe who was kind of turning into a fatty. (Not a good combo). Lucky for us, that was the last of the bears that we saw on the trail and that was all within the first two miles of the Chilkoot. I was not looking forward to sleeping with these things wandering around me.
So many cool mushrooms on this trail. Check it, its mushroom head toad, from nintendo.
We get to the first camp, Finnagins point at about 5 miles into the trail and debate whether or not to press forward since darkness was creeping on us. We decide to move forward and in the end, that ended up being an unwise decision. We got lost, it got dark, pitch black dark and the only one who brought a flashlight was me. After trekking two miles forward, we decide to turn back and head to Finnagins point again because we felt like we knew the way back to it. We were all pretty grumpy and nervous by this point and began the long search attempt to find Finnagins. As we get closer to the camp, we come across 3 hikers, some young lads from Minnesota and one of them is a trail worker by day and knows the trail "hallelujah!" I asked if we could follow them to Canyon City because they had two more lights and three people and that would bring us to about mile 8 of the trail for the night. They let us join and we finally make it to Canyon City Camp at about midnight. We fall into a slumber in the survival cabin at the camp and I slept on a table in my sleeping bag cacoon.
Canyon City Camp, leaving it.
Next day we sleep in a bit, but not long and begin the journey up and over the summit. What we didn't know is that we might not make it up and over the summit. We pass two camps and after eating a decent lunch at Sheep camp, we begin the brutal incline through the "rocky staircase of hell" (that is my description of it). As we get higher in elevation a fog starts to roll in, the wind picks up, the rain starts pounding a bit more and eventually turns to a slight snow at some points and we are lost. We take a wrong turn to a wrong peak after coming so high up the mountain and well, we are basically screwed. The orange poles were taken out of the trail since the official season ended the last day of August, so that made it really hard to find the trail. We tried to look for the rock stacks that were marking the trail earlier and well, finding a rock stack in a freakin' rock stack is basically impossible, or nonexistant.
Some of the rocky staircase of hell as the fog rolls in.
After getting soaked to the bone, feeling my emotions get to an ultimate high and thinking thoughts like, we may freeze to death, we may get stuck up here (we were too high to turn back, the rocks were extra slippery since we had got so high, and the wind was nearly blowing us over already). We started to follow the old gold rush tram cords we found in the rocks and ended up finding our way after being on the top part of the rocks for about 3 hours. We somehow were able to find the top of the chilkoot trail after several attempts and I have never felt so relieved. We got to the survival cabin at the top, not ment for people to stay in, it's right on the border of the US and Canada and shedded our wet clothes, cooked our mountain meals and hopped in our sleeping bags. We were soaked to the bone and shivering more than I thought possible. I was worried about the Canadian getting hypothermia because he did not pack any extra clothes. I gave him my fleece and got my extra jacket from my drysac and the japanese girl gave him her extra pants that were dry. We were unable to have any kind of fire or heat source in the shelter, but at least we had shelter from the wind and the rain. Before I fell asleep that night I felt so humbled that we had found shelter and hoped that we would make it through the night of mass fog, rain, snow, and wind at the top of the Chilkoot.
Top of the Chilkoot, at last.
Clearly, since I'm writing this, we made it through the night and I am so greatful for that and so glad to be alive. We began our trek down the trail with all of our soaked clothing and extra heavy bags (due to getting rain and water on them). We had a long day ahead of us, but had our eyes set on Lindyman Camp which was a good 10 miles away. Although the walk to Lindyman was difficult, very hilly, it was a very beautiful hike and it had plenty of fresh water to fill our empty waterbottles up with. It was also, freezing cold. There was still plenty of snow at the top of the trail and coming down from it. There was not much said during the hike, we were all pretty silent for most of it. My thoughts were, I can't believe we made it through last night and found the trail, we are sooooo damn lucky. It took us quite some time to find the right way, but we found it, we didn't get hypothermia, and were alive. We may just have a chance at finishing this trail alive and well.
One of the pretty views.
Another dazzling view from the hike to Lindyman Camp.
Picking blueberries along the trail.
Lindyman camp was my favorite camp, there were other hikers, like four of them, and a beautiful lake, wood burning stoves in the survival cabins, and a river. The only bad thing about this campsite was the damn weasel that kept running all around and under the shelter throughout the night, making me loose any chance of sleep I would have got. Damn Weasel.
Leaving Lindyman Camp.
Hiking along the railway from mile 37 to mile 33 to finish this biatch!
What we didn't know when we finished the trail was that there was some miscommunication between our ride and us. They did not show, I had to hitch hike to Canada Customs and call the Canadians neighbor to come get us and then we waited. But before the hitch hiking, we walked a good 3 miles on the road and waited for two hours for our ride in the wind and rain in the middle of nowhere.
To be Continued. & edited.
This hiking adventure was intense and amazing and brought out emotions I have never felt before.
Posted by brookenature at 1:20 AM