I had just finished dinner tonight and was sitting in my easy chair when I thought my heart was pounding so hard I would have a heart attack, turns out it was the chair rocking because of a 5.3 earthquake outside of Fairbanks!
Alaska is a land full of surprises
There are many mornings, during the summer, when I am down at the ‘Arctic circle trading post’ having coffee that I encounter visitors to Alaska. The Trading post is of course a wilderness gift shop, so it draws tour buses and the occasional independent traveler. As I drink my warm brew and wait for the fog to clear my head I muse as to what these people from around the world think of their time in Alaska. On Tuesday and Wednesday I had a chance to experience first hand what they might encounter as they traveled a small part of my state.
If you have been following my blog you know that rain not sunlight has dominated the summer this year across the state and the weather on this drive would be no different. I had postponed the trip a couple times wanting clear sky’s so I could once again see the glory of the Alaskan range while driving the Parks highway. The road at and just passed Denali is worthy of taking time to stop and absorb the majesty of the surrounding mountain range. It was however not to be, because the snow capped mountains were shrouded in clouds and even the lower mountains did not vibrate with color because of the lack of sun.
When you add to this the endless number of RV’s and buses on the road
throw in numerous road construction delays you have a 690 mile drive worthy of a record breaking headache.
But then this is after all Alaska and if you travel for a while the weather does change
and I did encounter brief glimpses of the sun at seemingly the just the right moment to be rewarded by a couple majestic panoramas.
I offer you my family and readers a scant few of the images I captured while on this drive. Like any photograph it never does justice to being there but if you use your imagination……
The pounding on my door late last night was incessant, so much so that I grabbed my gun as I reached over to open it. Now nearing the end of August it was indeed quite dark but I could still make out an old man with a face etched with many decades of a hard life. He was dressed in what appeared to be a robe making him quite a strange sight for being out here in the wilderness. He spoke of his immediate need for massive amounts of timber already hone into rough cut boards. His speech bespoke an image of immediacy and yes even a touch of insanity. I was ready to cut him off but stopped dead in my tracks when he mentioned his name….Noah
It was then I awoke to the sound of thundering rain on my metal roof….just a dream I thought brought on by the endless days of rain this summer. In reality of the 86 days so far this summer, running from June until today, the sun appeared on 21 days and it has rained 61 days leaving 4 days of overcast skies. Maybe not quite enough for Noah to start building his ark but certainly enough to wonder what is happening to our weather.
When I look at the overall picture; from the droughts, heat-waves and the numerous violent tornadoes of this and past years only one conclusion is evident…..climate change is indeed happening. If you add into this the scientific observations done with ‘ice-core’ sampling where we have discovered that the earth has for millennium gone through these global weather changes, it only reinforces my conclusion. I am not in any way referring to the artificially constructed ‘global warming’ scenarios where through the artful cherry-picking of certain statistics we are being blamed for the planets rise in temperature, but the natural cycle of the changing of earths weather. If we accepted the ‘global warming’ theory than we should have found that tens of thousands of years ago a civilization that also polluted the earths atmosphere to match what was found in the ice core samples….maybe these polluters were the people of Atlantis?
Meanwhile back here in the woods I may not like the way the weather is changing
but I understand it is a natural occurrence and I just have to learn to accept it and adapt to it.
That is unless I can turn HAARP back on and change the weather back to the way it was.
It was late in the day on Friday as I reached out and took the ticket from the tollbooth operator as I entered the Pennsylvania turnpike. I had left Alaska early Sunday morning and now almost 4,800 miles later I was within four hours of reaching my son’s home in Philadelphia. This meant that I had averaged about 870 miles a day since I began the journey. Not too shabby for this 51 year old to travel that many miles without an incident, but now as the destination approached the days of little rest started to weigh on me.
Only twice in the eight round trips, that I made, between Alaska and Pennsylvania did I ever encounter any problems. On that first trip I fell asleep while driving, those last few miles, and woke up just as I was about to drift to my demise under the trailer of a big rig. Then a few years later while driving to exhibit at an outdoor show in Denver I closed my eyes only to wake up driving down the side of an embankment on the interstate. Of course I over-corrected and spun across three lanes of highway only to come to rest when I plowed into a road sign.
That was then this is now and I am planning on a much shorter drive to Talkeetna for a visit with a fellow blogger. However the 18 years that have passed since I made those cross country trips have eroded whatever stamina I once had and now I am faced with the demands of an older more demanding body.
I have often reminisced about those ‘days of old’ when it seemed that life in general was better.
Those ‘days of old’ when it appeared:
that one third of the world’s population did not want to kill us
that our borders were much more secure
that our economy actually had a surplus
that it was a good thing to believe in morality and God
that we were proud to be Americans.
Is it just me or wouldn’t it be wonderful to have these ‘days of old’ once again?
The grasses, mostly weeds, surrounding my cabin are now around three and a half feet high due to all the rain and now three days of solid sun, one can almost see them getting taller. We haven’t had another sighting, after those first four, of any bears which is good, but now with the sun comes a rise in temperature hearkening a shorter life for the ice in my ice chest on the entryway. Some would say go out and enjoy the sun and the great wilderness around you, and others would say that I am never content with what I have. Either opinion would be right depending on ones perspective of the world around me that day.
I in turn would ask what do you perceive when you step out your front door? If you see your family and friends interacting, maybe over a BBQ where congenial conversation and smiles abound, then you may feel secure in that you have a job that allows you to live in a nice home or apartment with ample time for that BBQ with friends. If your children have activities to fill their summer waking hours and a spouse or significant other that loves and supports you, at this instant you ‘perceive’ that all is good in your world.
In the evenings when you sit down to watch some television you may shy away from news because it only makes you uncomfortable, so you focus on sports, drama or entertainment shows. You tell yourself that you have enough to deal with just making the pieces of your family life work so that everyone is happy. You also think there is nothing one person, like yourself, can do to change what is wrong in the world so why watch the news and have to think about the suffering that is taking place in our country and the world.
We never understand that by watching these ‘mind candy’ shows our perception of what makes a good life is being slowly altered. No I am not talking about all the bias that exists on the news programs or talk shows, but ordinary television with its commercials telling us that our lives are lacking unless we have the newest this or that. Or within the shows themselves when they show us how life is so much better if we ignored the morally right thing to do and just enjoyed ourselves. Or how about the movie or TV show that lead us to believe we are prejudice if we do not accept or support alternate life styles.
Webster’s defines (perception) as, “the knowledge gained by perceiving…or observing”. From the commercials on TV and in the movies, display adds in newspapers and online one cannot ‘observe’ far without seeing something telling us how our lives would be so much better if only we bought into what they were offering. So in a sense we are daily being subtlety brainwashed to want what we do not need.
Is it any wonder
that overall most people are unsatisfied with their lives,
when we are told ‘subliminally’ over and over everyday,
how unsatisfactory our lives are because we lack the newest things?
Is it not time to say we can be content we what we have?
Honey I really don’t think we should be going on this vacation right now.
We will be fine Mary, dad will watch the house and besides the kids are excited about going to Disneyland.
But Mike you know we can’t afford it….
Mary don’t start that again the trip is already paid for, I just put it on the credit card like I do with everything else. Besides I know you are more concerned about all those homeless people flooding into our town and maybe our home, and I understand you are also thinking that the police are doing nothing to stop them from coming here and moving into the empty houses. Those illegal’s must be crazy because once they move in they run up cable and internet bills and eat all the food that the owners have in those houses, it is like they think they can have what we do for free.
But Mary like I said dad will watch out for our home…
I don’t think so Mike he seems more interested in sticking his nose into the problems they are having in other countries.
Well Rose dad is an important man and he thinks people should listen to him.
Oh Mike you should know by now the leaders of those other countries think he is an all talk no action buffoon, because he ignores common sense solutions to problems back here where he lives.
Listen Mary just finish packing and don’t worry so much, these problems will eventually work themselves out.
Despite the fact that we continue to spend more money than we take in
and our borders are being flooded by people
illegally looking for the benefits of citizenship,
our President maintains his focus on problems elsewhere and our representatives
have decided it is more important to go on vacation and campaign for their re-election.
And for some reason you will reelect them…