Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Skagway, White Pass, and some Scrabble

Woke up in Skagway surrounded by cruise ships.  It's been so stormy here, there was actually one more ship that was supposed to come in, but it wouldn't risk it.  I'm glad we came.  Mom and I spent the morning lounging on the ship (hence the sketch), then we went in and boarded the White Pass Rail.  It's a rail line that was built during the Klondike Gold Rush, taking miners up a really treacherous pass.  You see bits of the original footpath that the rail replaced, and there are trestle bridges and some of the most beautiful terrain imaginable.  We cut back into Northern BC part way through the trip, into an area where you can see rain forest, boreal forest and subarctic land pretty much all at once.  There were some beautiful lakes up there.  Fish don't live in them naturally, since they sit on top of an impenetrable granite bed and freeze completely in winter, but they get stocked in the spring so the workers up here have somewhere to fish.  I'm sure the bears appreciate that as well.  We stopped at a suspensions bridge and had a big bowl of Bison Chili.  I should have asked the server "Is this wild bison?  I won't eat farmed bison" ;-).

We got back to the ship, had a little rest (I love cruise ship naps!), and let our ongoing battle of several decades continue.  Greg would tease me, anytime he saw me playing with the Scrabble ap on my iPhone, he'd say "Practicing up for your trip with your Mom?".  Which, of course, I was.  This wasn't our best game now that I look at it; a board full of 3-5 letter words.  We're usually pretty good.  We must be tired from all the excursions.  Or dulled by cruise ship gluttony.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Alaska Sketchbook Pages

The first few pages of my Alaska Sketchbook. More to come!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Back From Alaska!

What a great week.  My mom and I are just back from a one week cruise to Alaska.  It poured rain the whole time, and we rocked and rolled in 100 mph winds.  We loved every minute of it!  I'll post the whole sketchbook over the next while.  Forgive any wobbly lines.  It was a rodeo ride out there.

This trip was a total gift.  Greg was invited to Alaska on a fishing trip last May with his good buddy Ken.  He didn't want me to feel left out (what a guy), so he suggested we get my mom this cruise as a birthday gift and I go with her.  So, I ended up with the trip AND a freezer full of halibut.  Not a bad deal.

It's been almost exactly a year since my dad's been gone.  It was definitely time for mom and I to go have some fun.  We played endless scrabble games in our cabin, met lots of interesting people, and did some fun shore excursions.  More details to come!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tragedy on the Sea Wall

Inspired by Cyberdave's Vancouver Sketches, I headed to the Seawall a few days ago to sketch.  Yogi and I have been running along this route every morning lately.  It's absolutely stunning, littered with great sketching spots.

The day after I sketched this, we headed out for our run.  7am.  We had the seawall almost to ourselves to ourselves.  I saw a paddle boarder drifting along slowly, fairly close to the wall. Then I noticed a Coast Guard vessel, also drifting slowly in toward the wall.  As the two of them converged on a point, my consciousness snapped into focus and I realized what I was looking at.  The paddler had spotted a body, and was leading the Coast Guard ship in for pick up.  Yogi and I stood.  It felt dismissive to turn our backs and walk away, and wrong to stand and stare.  We drifted awkwardly together with the couple of other people on the wall, all of us holding our hearts and shaking our heads as a woman was pulled up onto the boat.  Nothing has appeared in the news.  So sad.  I'm carrying a thought for her, whoever she was, with me today.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lap Dog?

Dear Yogi,
No, this still doesn't make you a lap dog.  Besides, I know you can't even read, let alone use a keyboard.
But you're cute.
Love Mom

Monday, September 12, 2011

Goodbye Z

Okay, I'm totally cheating.  I sketched this months ago.  In fact, I've done a whole trip to mexico since I sketched this.  I got a nudge from a reader (thanks Hap) who pointed out how long it's been since I posted, so here's one to get me rolling again.

It's been anti-technology month for me.  My email got hijacked, my internet at home went down, my computer broke and I left my camera charger behind on a trip.  Do you think something was telling me I needed to disconnect for a bit?  This last trip to Cancun, I spent three days at a conference for work, then 5 days chilling with an old girlfriend, reading, paddling and drifting in the water, walking dogs, napping.  No email to check.  No reports to read.  No fires to put out.  It was like going to the chiro and getting my spine adjusted.  And now, email accounts fixed, passwords updated, chargers replaced and computers functioning, and the cute cable guy (why are they all cute) just left leaving me with a restored portal to the wide world of web.

I'm back.