Sunday, May 24, 2009

Foundation work

Hmmm, looks like Dan has a gopher problem?

Yeah, Keith is the gopher! Time to dig up my foundation so I can seal it. It leaks a bit of water during every runoff or other heavy water event.
Scraping the old sealant off was dirty, grueling work

All scraped and wire-brushed clean, ready for primer:

After priming, applying the PolyGuard, and mastic:
The back-side of the house pretty much done:
My "stairs" for the past few days:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Humble Pie

The time had come: after thinking of it all winter, Eric and I were headed off to attempt to climb Flute, Organ, and Polar Bear Peaks in one traverse, with rock & ice climbing gear, ski gear, and food for 4 1/2 days. The pile of gear looked ominous in my basement:

We had a good forecast, so despite the heavy loads we were pretty upbeat when we started out the South Fork Eagle River valley via the high trail on Thursday evening after work:

We went up past Eagle Lake to the foot of the falls below the Flute Glacier when it started getting pretty dark, so we camped on a gravel bar. After the ptarmigan quieted down, we got some sleep but I awoke to the tell-tale sound of light rain hitting the megamid. NOT GOOD I thought, then went back to sleep, awaking a bit later to no rain. Then waking up again to rain, then realizing I'm too cold I awoke to put on another layer and realized it was sounding like thick rain. Oh well, I went back to sleep nice and warm and slept for awhile. Then Eric and I both got up and realized it was SNOWING. Ugghhhhhh, back to sleep for awhile, maybe it will burn off. Nope...after a little walk to stretch out I figured our trip was busted:

So a little quality tent time....NOT what we were expecting:

After debating, we decided to bail and humped back to the trailhead. My pack was killing me, and it was really hard to get it on with all the skis and boots and heavy load. When I got home I found out I had the pack adjusted WAY too long, so it's no wonder the pack felt horrible. Oh well, I needed a nice weekend in town (where it was bluebird) to start a big project at the house anyway....

Sailing, surfing, fishing

Pat invited me to join him on the Koni Loa's first voyage of 2009 and I jumped on it. This is the boat I sailed across the Gulf of Alaska on and have become fond of. The chance to go surfing for the first time ever, and try out my new made-for-surfing-in-cold-water drysuit, and be out of town for 3 days was all I needed. The only problem was the concept of being on a boat for 3 days while I'm halfway fit and still trying to keep in shape for near-future mountain trips....oh well, no worries.....

I didn't take many photos - I was pretty burned out from lack of sleep for one reason or the other and the slower pace than normal for me put me in a bit of a sleepy trance. After troubleshooting and solving a problem with the water system (my experience starting up water treatment plants came in very handy!), we motored (no wind whatsoever) to Bear Glacier, scouted around, and found the surf break we've been talking about all winter. What a beauty! There were 3 other guys there. We anchored and Pat flew into his wetsuit stoked to get some rides in. I took my time dealing with the new drysuit and was soon off on my first surfing mission, stoked and nervous! Short story: the waves were in the 8-10' face range, way too big for me, so Pat staked me on the outside and I played around, getting used to the dynamics of the waves, and Boom! I came in too far and got caught inside one of the biggest sets, watching a dark wall of water looming overhead and then start to break. Pat yelled "look out Dan" and I instinctively dove into the wave and came out pretty OK, but then the second one came and I dove again but got bonked on the head by the board and barely made it through. The waves intimidated me thoroughly so I stayed well outside for the rest of the 45 minutes. Pat caught a couple waves but the tide was coming up and the waves were no longer ride-able so we paddled back to the boat and called it a day.

But the day refused to quit. We motored over to a favorite fishing hole of ours, dropped line, and Pat came up with a ling cod and a sea bass within 10 minutes! We then motored into Bulldog Cove, dropped anchor, cooked a FINE fresh fish dinner, and went to bad very happy and quite pleased with ourselves :-)

The next day dawned just as bluebird as the others. Lounging around after breakfast:

Pat felt a bit sick, I was still a bit intimidated by yesterday's waves, so be decided not to return to Bear Glacier but check out a break near Fox Island. On the way out, I took a picture of a little skiing project for next season:

What a fine weekend, and a very unseasonably warm start to summer, in stark contrast to last year's rainy summer!