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

Monday, July 12, 2010

Rain, Whales, Bears, Forests and Fjords

Sue Haley sent us another update on her Alaskan Adventures so, being the conduit that I am, I'll pass along her words again verbatim (more or less.)

"We have been in Seward for a week of pouring rain (intermittent WiFi signal, too) except for the day we hiked to the glacier! [My son] Bill went back the next day and took the difficult trail to the top of the mountain, to the ice fields. ... He said it was like being in Antarctica up there. The glaciers were gorgeous.

"We've done some exploring of the surrounding scenery and it's just beautiful. Even with the rain, the lushness and green in the forest almost looks tropical. I'd have never guessed so many beautiful ferns would carpet forest floors this far north.

"We donned rain gear and hiked a few short trails in the rain. I found a huge hole in among a tree root system that was attached to a huge rock wall and I'd bet my life it was a bear den. [We] trampled all around the entrance and [saw] what I think were droppings of a cub or two not far from the entrance. I decided NOT to knock on the 'door.'

"We did have a whale boat booked but they had to cancel every day due to 19 foot seas in the Gulf of Alaska! We are going to try one last time tomorrow and [then] we must move on to Homer on Tuesday. We can try again there, or take a shorter tour that stays in Resurrection Bay and at least see the fjords. ... They said the whales often come in there, too.

"Today the sun shown gloriously but seas hadn't diminished enough. Oh to see a whale after all else I've been so blessed to see would be the icing on a wonderful cake before leaving.

"Beautiful place, this planet Earth, as long as you get away from the hoards of people. I've made it a project of picking up trash in the forests; [I always] take a bag with me hiking. You wouldn't believe [the amount of tossed aside trash] even up here. People, collectively, are a scourge, I swear.

"I've eaten some great Alaskan halibut and cod and we did go to a stream where the salmon are on their tortuous trip upstream to spawn. Incredible how those fish jump to go against raging current on descending mountain rivers. ... 'Course, the bears are gathering at the major spawning sites for the hunt that will fatten them up for winter.

"After Homer, I'll be leaving out of Anchorage and not looking forward to it at all but Bill and Karen are beginning to think about their 5,000 miles trip [back to their home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania] and I can't go into Canada [because I have no passport.]"

So, our own "den mother" will be coming back to sunny Sarasota one of these weeks. She's obviously having a wonderful time and well deserved, to which we can all say, "Amen."

Posted by
Russ Heitz