12 July 2007

helicopters, sweat, envy and cold feet

how's that for a start? it's been raining 2 days now, and that means no sun which = COLD. 55-65. flashbacks of winter with hot tea and wool socks, my nice new knit sweater (which unfortunately is just a bit too baggy in the sleeves for comfortable knitting ).

this a.m. i was checking out some knitting blogs and got technical envy. some of them have these supercool bars showing knitting progress on projects. of course the one site that had a link to get your own DIDN'T WORK. not that that bothered me of course. and this blog isn't very flexible (or i don't know how to use it very well, which could be the case since i don't spend much time on it) so i can't seem to make seperate photo lists of finished projects.

and those knitting blogs have HUGE lists of blogs they read, and i don't know how they have time for it. and time to blog and describe their projects, and take and post pics of them. *sigh* i'm so jealous. and they seem to knit loads of things. right now i'm struggling with sweater envy, because i'm soooooooo bored knitting small things and want to knit sweaters galore. but do you know how much yarn you need for a whole sweater? the checkbook is just not cooperating with me on this one. chuck tells me to go ahead, but those black numbers in the checkbook won't let me.

and i just can't seem find any local knitters to hang out with for friendly crafting conversation. it would be nice to have some idea exchange going on.

but on the other hand, i am forcing myself to finish some projects. i hate finishing projects. not finishing the knitting but seaming and weaving in ends and making any adjustments i discovered after the knitting was done. augh. and i've gotten an early start on some christmas presents - please don't stone me. small things using up yarn. and there's several ideas i've had rolling around my head for a while, so i'm going to set myself down and figure out the math and plan out the designs. that's another thing i'm not very fond of in this knitting business. who knew it involved so much math? i still feel jipped on that. but planning/designing everything ought to take me a while - and then i'll have to find me something else to distract the checkbook so i can sneak past it and buy enough yarn for a sweater.

so now we're to the helicopters and sweat. the last entry i was still suffering through the last days of school. that was done in mid-may, and i got hired by NLUR, the local CRM company, in june. so i've been working crazy hours, 12 6's was the norm. (which didn't leave much time for knitting or blogging or anything). i worked on 4 projects so far, and the most interesting part (outside of meeting cool new people) was the logistics. for the main survey we were dropped in by helicopter every day. that was fun, especially the tight turns perpendicular to the ground, and flying with the doors open. how'd you like to try that mom? check out this video-that's the same helicopter we used, but we didn't do any fun tricks like that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGu45s1_QPU
another site on the river was boat accessed, not as exciting as the helicopter, but fun. the last project was a railroad side extension that we got to ride a highrail on. that's the cool trucks with dropdown rail wheels. it sounded cooler than it was though, just like riding in a truck at 30 mph. but i can say i did it!

which brings us to this moment, heather in between projects, at home feeling like it's winter. i'm dying to go ride my bike but that wouldn't be much fun in the rain. so here i am, finishing small christmas projects and putting off redoing the button band on my fjörgyn viking sweater. i should have picked up more stitches for it cuz of my selvedge stitches . oh well.

last week chuck and i went on a "fishing trip" that ended up not having much to do with fishing. we went down to valdez. everyone talks about it lie it's cool so i was expecting maybe a real town or something. don't know what i was thinking. it's a small village with not much besides fishing. we went to their dinky museums, where i got going about the poor displays and the info not being accessible. luckily chuck was very understanding about my archaeologist quirk. and the pinks were running so we fished for a couple hours, but they weren't biting. some people were snagging them, but i don't think that's fair, plus it's against the regs. we got some cool pics of them swarming the mouth of this one creek with a weir. that's why they snag, there's so many of them the hooks get caught on fins and bodies since they're not biting. too focused on reproducing. hmmm.........know any people like that? hehehe.

valdez took about a day, then we drove up to chitina, our main destination. the reds were running there. for some reason these different salmon species get called bycolor names here, not their real names, so i forget what they really are. sorry. but anyway, the reds don't bite either so you dipnet. that's all anyone goes to chitina for, and it's even smaller than valdez. (i did forget to mention valdez has some glaciers and hiking, but we didn't have time for it.) but there's 2 places to fish in chitina: off the shore under the bridge, or downstream by climbing down cliffs or getting dropped off by boat and tying yourself to rocks. we of course were going for the free, less dangerous route of fishing off the bridge. alas, the river wasreally high, chuck said about 3 times its normal size, and there was no dry ground to stand on. the ghetto campgrounds (just clearings with gravel on the side of the road) were packed because one of them was flooded out. crazy. and the boat charters cost 90 bucks a person, which we were not prepared to pay. not to mention we didn't bring rope or thermals for staying out all night to catch our limit. that was the other thing, the fish weren't coming in very fast cuz the river was high. so we're hoping to go back in a week or so and try again.

we moved on to kennicott mine then. so we made it to all 3 places we planned on, but without any salmon kennicott was the coolest place though. they had almost normal campgrounds, and it was very peaceful. kennicott is a historic copper mine from the early 1900s. so we checked it out, it was cool. the nat'l park service bought it a few years back and they're slowly restoring the buildings around it. there was actually a survey crew there on one of them, and we learned more from them. they won't be restoring all the buildings, but stabilizing them so people can still wander around them. they're on a steep mountainside, and already leaning something awful, so that's probably a good thing. but it'll be cool to have a few restored with machinery etc. there was one semi-restored cottage but it was totally empty so we didn't learn much from that. there's also a glacier there (it's part of the wrangell-st. elias nat'l park) with some trails up to the old mines too. plus there's a tour that actually goes through the main refinment building. we thought it was a rip-off at first (why pay for something if you don't have to?) at $20/pers but found out it takes 2 1/2 hours. so we were all for taking it, but still had to drive home that night. so we reserved the tour and the glacier hikes for another trip. we figured if we had only gone to kennicott we would have been happy. there's a good variety of things to do there, and the people are friendly. some places you go treat you like dumb tourists even if you tell them you're from AK. so we liked it there.

so i'm going to see about getting some pics posted. promises, promises. and maybe i'll start blogging more often.

we can dream, can't we?

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