Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Camera Jaunt With Brenda Borden

Don't get too excited, I think it was more frost than snow, but this was the sight that greeted me this morning when I got up. I was so excited that I went back to bed and pulled the covers over my head.

I couldn't hide long, tho', cos I was meeting Brenda Borden to just sorta wander wherever our whims took us with our cameras. This is off the Knik River Access road off Glenn Highway. We quickly discovered neither one of us really had a clue how to get to the other side of Glenn to the river there, however, showing why neither Brenda nor I should ever be allowed on a sled heading to Nome behind a dog team.

Nevertheless, it was rather scenic on that side.

Wasn't bad on the other side, either, even shot across the Glenn.

I cannot believe how well and how long the colors have lasted. This was off the Glenn Hwy. somewhere toward Palmer. It's hard to lose Palmer. You just sorta point yourself toward the mountains.

Anyone wanna buy a big, really big truck?

The sorta thing that made the Mat-Su famous, its farming.

Click on this one and check out what's on the front roof. This place was adorable and, man, what a view.

Not exactly adorable, but possibly one of the original barns?

Horses! I found .... well, okay, Brenda found.... oh, who are we kidding, we were just wandering and came up on them.

Driveway decor, somewhere in Palmer.

Pretty view
Cows to go along with the horses, lots of cows.

Brenda mentioned she thought she'd seen this place on a calendar and I think she's right.
A bit closer view.

No lie, Palmer has a golf course.

It also has an airport, tho' I thought it was NW of town, not here, which is in the general vicinity of the fairgrounds.
This is more the size plane I'm used to seeing than the ones above, but look at the one below! It's huge!

Okay, pilot buddies, what kind of plane is this and how the heck can they get it off a runway that looks more like a cow pasture than runway?
(Added: According to Mike Dillingham, it's a C1 19 Boxcar and they were used for cargo or paratroopers.)

After lunch at the hotel, we moseyed (is this even close to how it's spelled) out toward the ol' bridge. As you can probably figure out from the position I had to be in for this shot, the water was low, very low.

Wuss that I am, I wasn't traipsing through the mud to get a shot from below the bridge, so this will have to hold you until, oh, someone else takes one. Ha

See what I mean? The water was low, really low.

Someone must have had a campfire or something here.

Wild looking, huh? Looks like a shot outta the National Parks PBS show of the geysers, doesn't it? Nope, nothing so dramatic.
Here's the full view, showing it to merely be a reflection of the mountains in the water.

Peek-a-boo! I see you!

The Reindeer Farm has already closed for the season, alas, but Brenda and I did take time to chat with this one-antlered cutie alongside their driveway.
Some of the barns at the Reindeer Farm.

This is the little gift shop and entrance way into where you can go into the pens with the reindeer.

The reindeer farm may have been closed, but that doesn't mean lots wasn't going on in their fields alongside the road. We were the third of three vehicles stopped taking photos.

Across the road was a bus that I decided might make a more easily accessed "Magic Bus" than the one made famous from "In the Wild".

Dumb question, perhaps, but all the antlered critters we saw seemed to be itchy? Do the antlers actually itch them or is it just all instinct to rub off the velvet?

This is NOT one of Alaska's more scenic spots.

This, however, is not only scenic but a spot that you should recognize by now. The Little Su on the way to Hatcher Pass. Willow-Fishhook Road is closed, btw, for anyone interested.

At the pull-over where I normally stop to shoot down into the Valley, Brenda first spotted this fox. By the time both of us had scrambled and gotten on the lenses we needed, it'd decided maybe hanging around wasn't a good idea and decided to scamper up the road.

It was still sticking to the road, but moving so fast it was hard to get focused through the windshield.
I can't believe we were not only lucky enough to see the fox but that we were the only vehicle on the road at that point.

Last shot I managed before it zigged sharply right and disappeared into the brush. Since I've never seen anything that might even remotely be classified as "wildlife" up there other than marmots, this was just way cool.

In any case, fox gone, back to scenics. Looking back at the Valley.

See that big mound? I think Brenda and I were near there earlier.

A bit of a novelty in many places in Alaska, guard rails!

Yep, there's snow up there.

Brenda taking pictures.
Find the white truck on the road. That's Borden's truck. Just a bit to the left of it, sorta up on the bank, is.....
....a snowman????
They're hard to see cos of the white on white, but there are two more snowmen shown here.

Brenda has a photo of me with Snowman #1 that I'll snag later, but for now here's a close up of his face with a scarf of sorts (found on the ground) that I wrapped around his neck. I mean, come on, it was cold out there!
Alas, the scarf didn't fit well, so I just tied it to his arm, wondering what the next person who came along would think and, who knows, maybe add to the handiwork.
Snowman #1, standing tall and bravely surveying all he sees in his frozen world. Btw, he WAS frozen, rock solid, and a few snowflakes were falling on us as we played. It was a great day to be outside (okay, a cool but great day) and I appreciated it all the more cos I so rarely get to spend much time with Brenda when they're up here. We've got to do this again someday, Brenda!