Schedule and Location

Welcome to the Sarasota Writers Group Blog. Meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of the month at the Nokomis Fire Station, located just a few blocks south of Albee Road (where Matthews-Currie Ford is located) at Pavonia Road. We are on the west, or bay side, of U.S. 41, by the Fire Station's flashing yellow caution traffic light. If you are coming from the south on US 41, we are just north of Dona Bay. Turn on Pavonia and pull to the far end, or west side, of the firehall. Please do not block the fire doors! We meet in the training room on the far side of the complex. Gathering time: 6:00 pm Meeting called to order: 6:30 pm Ten minute break: 7:50 pm Meeting Finishes at 9:00 pm

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sue's Alaskan Adventures Abound

At this very moment, Susan Haley is somewhere in Alaska on another adventure with her son, Billy, and his wife, Karen, and their special canine family member, BB McPup. I had a long adventure-filled email from Sue and I promised I'd pass at least some of the info along to all of her friends down here in Civilization Land.

If you haven't heard, Billy and Karen have been touring the states since January in their pickup truck and pull-along trailer and they insisted that Sue join them for at least part of their Alaskan episodes. For those who are interested in Alaska, check out Karen's very interesting and beautifully photographed blog at

As for Sue's experiences in the past week or so, here's a few quotes from her email.

"Never did I fully comprehend the utter joy of experiencing my first viewing close up of a wolf in his own domain. No words can describe it."

"The wolf and the fox actually stalked right down the road along side us totally oblivious to our presence. [The wolf] was zeroed in on the herd of Dall Sheep about 50 feet off the road. The fox ... on the horseshoe hare we stopped to view. The fox just came out of a clump of bush. He was gorgeous, tri-colored with a magnificant tail that literally drug the ground!"

"We saw a herd of Dall Sheep [and] the lone wolf (later we saw his mate laying outside their den, which had been staked off and closed to all foot trafic, even the rangers left them alone. The guide said they had four pups but we didn't get to see them."

"This is the rest of the list which I will describe more fully later. All were magnificent! 2 large male grizzlies. 1 mama grizzly with two cubs. (Spectacular to see!). She was playing with them. 3 large grizzlies traveling together. ... A mama moose with two calves drinking in a stream not ten feet away! ... Our second mama grizzly this time nursing two little guys! One was blonde and one was dark chocolate. She, too, ignored us!"

She also saw "a beautiful huge golden eagle gliding over a canyon. Many birds and beautiful meadows of wildflowers. ... Saw several ground squirrels and we were lucky to see a huge beaver house and community but the beavers weren't home."

"It's like being in another world. "The Mountain" or as the Natives call it "Denallee" formerly known as Mt. McKinley is so massive that it is only fully visable 20% of the time. We were most fortunate to view both the south and the north summits at 20,849 feet but a huge hunk of the middle was cloud covered. Then we saw the glacier base."

"We learned that in total rock bulk, the "Mountain" is bigger than Everest and since it's a 'young' mountain, it may someday surpass Everest in height, too."

"The scenery is magnificent. Cool days but if the sun comes out for the whole day, one ends up in shirt sleeves. It never gets totally dark. Sunset is 1:30-ish a.m. and sunrise is 3:30-ish a.m. Really weird when trying to keep track of day and time."

All of that, I might add, happened during Sue's first few days in Alaska. Who knows what's she's done and seen since then. But have no fear. Whenever she sends an update, I'll be sure to share it with all of you. By the way, you can still send emails to Sue but don't bog her down with a lot of "writing business stuff" right now. Remember, she's on VACATION! And she can't always get back to you because WiFi service in Alaska is spotty at best. And that can be a Very Good Thing -- especially when you're on a vacation!

Posted by
Russ Heitz