Robertson River

The hike up from Cathedral Rapids near Tok was beautiful.
We were able to hike straight up the drainage to the start of the climb and there was one waterfall after another.

The climb up the pass was relativity short and ended just below snow line.

We had a few solid sheep trails that made for easy climbing on and off.

The pass was guarded by the sheep.

Ann and I before the unknown decent to the Robertson River. The last 6 miles of the 17 mile hike was filled with brush, deep creek crossings and alder cliffs. We used the new term alder elevators to swing back down the cliffs to the creek and finally arrived at the Robertson River at 10 pm. It was one long awesome hike.

The next morning we floated the fast, fun and braided Roberton River 25 miles back to the bridge.

Trevor at the pullout and conclusion of our kidney reunion packraft tour. We even caught up with Ben at one campsite, had a bonfire and many laughs.


Moody Creek!

The hike to packraft Moody Creek starts at the Dragon Fly drainage at mile 273. Trevor, Ed, Ann, Shook and I started trip two of the kidney reunion packraft tour straight up to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain and off the back side.

Tbone, not texting :)

We arrive at Moody Creek, excited to get on this new unscouted river.

One of many fun manoeuvers through a solid class three river. Ann (a.k.a. Scout), famously said just go ahead it looks good.

Trevor headed through a rocky set.

I loved this river!


Sea Kayaking Hoonah to Tenakee

Point Retreat lighthouse, just north of Juneau and the ferry is ready to turn into Lynn Canal, then icy straight and starting destination Hoonah, Alaska.

We poured over maps, gps coordinates of the cabin, the portage and poured a few beers. The M/V LeConte left Juneau and our week long sea kayak vacation began with tons of whale watching.As we hurried off from Hoonah down Port Fredrick to our only night at a cabin, we spread way out over the sound. The weather was warm and falling seas were calm. Then, amazingly, a whale breached between our group of kayaks and some of us were screaming like little girls.

Heather cooking a smoked salmon dinner the first night. Ben headed to the stream for fresh water and had our closest bear encounter of the trip.

We lined our kayaks through the mile long hidden stream that ended at our portage over to Tenakee Inlet.

Muddy in parts.

The actual portage was only 300 ft over a small hill.

Every inlet on the Tenakee Inlet side were filled with wildlife, including many bears. There were 7 bears that we could see before moving on to the next camp spot. (photo by Ed)

As standard practice in heavily populated brown bear areas like Chichagof Island, we cooked dinner and then paddled to our campsite.

...and then another campsite. This sow had three very small cubs.

Juvenile bald eagle.

Long bay had hundreds of seals and seal bay had only a few.

Every night camping we had great weather and views.

Marke just completed an intensive marine biology course at Cape Decision, and acted as our trip marine biologist. Here he is holding a jelly (no longer called a jellyfish, sea star are no longer starfish....).

Sea cucumber.
Grassy Rock.

This image shows the exact precision of Jeff Oatley's tide predication, and a source of some doubters who shall remain nameless. High tide at 00:36, 17.6 feet, water on three sides, and no bear worries.

A few miles from Tenakee we saw our first fishing vessel Miss Tammy, a seiner, catching salmon.Kayaking into Tenakee, population 100 in the summer.

Tenakee hot spring community bath house and the only local government, the bath house committee.

The 8 hour ferry ride back from Tenakee to Juneau was filled with relaxing, story telling and a few beers.


Juneau and finally pics of the house

Back in December, we packed up the cars and drove to Haines to board the M/V Fairfeather ferry. Bad choice in the winter on Alaska Marine Highway, it only runs in fair weather. So we were stuck in Haines for 3 days waiting for the M/V Kennicott and we loved it! Pella's new past time is muching on mussels on the beach.

Pulling into Juneau on the M/V Kennicott ferry in route from Haines.
We love our new house! It is on steep hill with a view of the mountains and the ocean through the kitchen window. We live right downtown. Now that Ben is back in Fairbanks teaching photography for the semester, I have no car and walk everywhere.

I love the open kitchen cabinets. The house is an old mine shack from Kennsington Mine that has been renovated. Hopefully it will not slide down the hill like part Gastineau Ave has in the past....It was built in 1935.

Upstairs bedroom. The downstairs has another bedroom and gear closet. Ben is making that his studio, so currently it is an empty room/bathroom for all of guests that have been visiting!

Ben on the front porch with his coffee.


Post Defense, Prauge, Good bye Fairbanks and Hello Juneau

Defended my PhD thesis in Environmental Chemistry on Oct. 15th. It was a wild 5.5 years living in Fairbanks. Studying atmospheric chemistry, meeting the most incredible lifelong friends, dialysis for 3 years while waiting for a kidney transplant, one of my good friends Trevor White donating his kidney, and countless backcountry adventures! Finished the final on Dec. 3rd 2010 and just waiting the hard bound copy.
Heather made awesome pomegranate martini's for all and of course we had a dance party in the living at the Shook/Huff house.

Ben poured champagne for a toast.

Two weeks before the defense some of my crazy Fairbanks friends and I flew over the North pole on the direct Condor flight to Europe, we had a great week in Praha! We bought the tickets months before when I thought I would be done with school. So the timing was not ideal, but what a fun trip!

I accepted a job with the Department of Environmental Conservation- Air Quality in Juneau! We had a good-bye party of sorts in Fairbanks before the move. One of the big projects I am working on is the PM 2.5 problem in Fairbanks. That and I am on the Endurance North board and we have our White Mountains 100 mile ski-bike- run race to attend to in March 2011!

Jackson. (Ben's punisher tshirt has finally been passed down)