Friday, October 05, 2012

Alaska Travel journal: Sept 23: Rainbows!

Saturday: it was another rainy day.
Temperatures in the low 50s...not bad but a visit to Drifters Lodge's main lodge to watch an OSU game seemed like a good idea.
Turned out they didn't get television.
No big deal.
We decided to head over to the sauna instead.

The sauna sported a large picture window overlooking the river and all the beautiful fall colored foliage.
What a treat!

I got a kick out of how a bit of natural wood was used to create the sauna's door handle.
We lollygagged around until afternoon then the itch to explore struck us again.

So off to the Russian River...where I had been before.
He wanted to see what it was all about.

Remember I had explored the ramp down to the river a few days earlier but stopped before reaching the river's edge because the fishermen warned me that there was a bear down the way?
This time, being a weekend, there were a lot more people around so we felt safe wandering down to the water.

The gulls cracked me up. They would float down the river then fly back upstream, then float down again, occasionally stopping off to stand on a log along the way. 

The bits of red fall color caught my eye.

With the rain the leaves looked like they had been preserved in a shiny film.

I so appreciate that there is such a nice path to walk along on the edge of the river.

A guy and a gal were fishing together.

I still would prefer to take pictures than stand in icy water trying to catch a fish...

We heard reports that a bear with cubs had been spotted just up the bend from here.
People kept showing up asking if the bear was still to be seen.

Fish were getting caught...and Bernie uncharacteristically hadn't brought his rod along with him!
Oh dear!

Deep red salmon were so easily caught that one guy just reached down and pulled one out by the tail.
This guy had one hooked though.

What a beautiful place to spend an afternoon fishing!

Or taking pictures...

Me and mushrooms...

And red...

And berries...

This time I was wearing rain pants over my jeans and silk unders.
On top I had on silks and a turtleneck and my fleece jacket and then my rain jacket.
I felt huge size wise but the outfit was really light and comfortable.

We walked quite a ways up the river.

I liked this "river" of fallen leaves.
I got cold and bit tired before Bernie did so I retreated to the car and ate one of the sandwiches we had picked up at the Barbecue place earlier.
Bernie came for his sandwich about 40 minutes later.
We had seen enough and began to drive out of the area.

Driving didn't last long once I spotted a rainbow arching over the area!

I couldn't even get the whole thing in one shot.

Eventually I ran back up the road until I was far enough a way to get the whole bow.

Pretty special!
So that and the rainbow on the beach in Anchor Point made two rainbows for this trip.

The storm clouds moved in again and we drove on.

We drove past a small pond area along side the road. It took me about a minute to realize that it was reflecting the mountains beautifully so I asked Bernie to turn around and go back.
Easier said than done...there was no good place to turn around for several minutes but eventually a turn was possible and we headed back.

Would you believe in those moments between when I first saw the pond and we returned a rainbow had formed???
I was SO stoked!!!
That I got the rainbow's reflection in the water should have heard me screaming with happiness!

OK...I know...too many pictures but I just loved that moment.

 I could see the mountain through the rainbow...the mountain WAS rainbow!

(And this is the sad part: I knew this would be the picture I would want to blow up to a 24x36 inch print.  Except it can't be blown up that large because SOMEHOW mysteriously my camera setting was set to the lowest resolution possible.  I never change it from the highest this happened I can't imagine.  Waahhh!  A blow up just is blurry looking!)
Dreary sigh.
But light still shines through the darkest clouds, right?

I think I am over it...

Anyway, I took this shot because during the whole trip I never went anywhere without a few tangerines to snack on.  I wore my easy to find orange gloves too.
Someday I might not remember that part of the fun if I didn't take a picture of it.

Bernie seemed to have a good idea of places to drive to.
Like this view place....hidden a bit in mist.

And this one for instance.
Take a good will see this same scene a little later...

When I spotted these two birds we pulled over and I walked to them shooting a picture every couple of steps.
They stood frozen in place and I got about three feet from them before they walked away.

Doesn't it blend in well?

No wonder it froze rather than tried to fly away.
I can barely see it in this picture it blended in so well.

We wound up at Skilak Lake.
Across the water the sun light lit up a stand of yellow trees.

I poked around....he tried a bit of fishing....

The sun came and went.

Nice mix of colors.

I take pictures like this one because a few pictures ago I was wondering if we were at a lake or an ocean inlet.
I need photos like this to jog my memory.

There were lots of roads around the lake and we just noodled around enjoying the scenery.

And then there was ANOTHER rainbow!
I never get tired of rainbows, do you?

The best part of noodling around in the late afternoon is the way the light plays on things.
I loved how this scene, that I put an earlier in the day shot a few pictures back (just before the birds)  now looked.

And it just kept getting better as we stood there enjoying it.

The view point mists had lifted a bit so we could see more now too.

There is a glacier in there somewhere...

I loved it when the trees made a wall beside the road.

And when the road could be seen ahead disappearing around the bend.

We took a look at a boat launch area that Bernie said they had used when he went out the first day.
It was now flooded and unusable.


Hold on...another rainbow!
That made four this trip!

Funny...I always thought of rainbows being the signature of a Hawaii vacation.
I think I only saw one when we were there.
No one mentioned to me that rainbows were an all the time thing up in Alaska.

We didn't eat here...but I thought the joke menu tacked up in the fishing supply shop was hilarious.
Slab of Lab.
Poodles and Noodles.
Shake and Bake Snake.
Rigor Mortis Tortoise.
(Kinda sick, but funny!)

Thought this was a good illustration of the difference between a rainbow trout and a Dolly Varden.
Both are beautiful fish in my opinion.

We took a look at another launch area.
The flooding in the area was really getting bad.
I think we went out for chili that night...and split some pie for dessert.
A bit more reading and it was lights out again.

To be continued.