denali highway

beautiful light at Gakona Glacier on our way camp and hike on denali highway this past weekend. it is a 135 mile dirt road that has amazing views of the Alaska Range.
morning coffee.we drove in to tangle lakes and up to Mclaren summit. This is Mclaren Summit trail, a nice 6 mile trail and then some bushwhacking with great views and nobody around(though we did see Trevors car and bikes).
one of a million alpine lakes along the ridge trail.


fairbanks weekend

ben and i headed down town on our bikes after some early morning blueberry picking for the golden days parade.
later in the night with this still endless sun we headed to chena lakes for a canoe trip.

of course more berry picking on Sunday, i am sure getting a good bunch. check out the pro berry gear, extra tuffs, carharts and a pail..i am serious this year.
julie smoking her salmon catch from chitina this weekend. it is good to be back in fairbanks enjoying this great weather. we also enjoyed a salmon, lettuce, carrots and snow peas from julie for dinner and it was yummy.


i spent my last day visiting with my two neices katie and jenny. here is katie with her signature look.we then drove to New Buffalo, MI to visit my brother tim. it is right on the lake front and huge severe thunderstorm blew thru. we went for ice cream and the weather radio spotted a tornado, the ice cream parlor shut down and we had no where to go...

so jen, jeff, tim and i watched outside. the lighting and thunder were the best i have seen in years. today i fly back to fairbanks.


Sailing on Lake Michigan

we had an awesome sail last night on the boat. here we are shoving off from Monroe Harbor in downtown Chicago (Monroe Harbor is the one in front of Buckingham fountain in all the pictures of the skyline)
my brother jeff and i on the bow under full sail. jeff is the 1st mate, i am a about a 1/2 mate right now.
my dad the captain and the rest of our crew putting up the main sail with the Chicago sky line in the background.
we sailed into the sunset under clear skies and hardly any waves from the offshore wind. this is Rich and Paulette my parents good friends. Rich donated his kidney to his wife Paulette 17 years ago!

my dad at the helm, preparing to come about.

mom and i as we head in for the night. navy pier in the background. i am glad i was able to get out on the boat, i should be back to Fairbanks by Friday.

stopped by to see all the neighborhood friends(and new babies) at Dana's daughter's birthday party.

Candy, Nicole and Amy. It was great to see everyone, it has been at least 2 years.

Earlier in the day we had brunch with some of the family.



my parents and i have been going on daily walks around the neighborhood. my dad is caring his weather radio, hopefully those waves will calm down before we go sailing later today. the Mackinac Island Sailing Race left the Chicago yesterday under small craft advisory, good waves and wind. Visiting Orland Park has been great, dialysis has been really crappy...it will be a few more days until we figure that out and I can fly back to Fairbanks.



we made it back to chicago and i am recovering at my parents house. it has been rough, eating strawberries and laying by the pool. the scar you can't really see is under my elbow, those sterry strips are making it heal quickly.
two of my three brothers, jeff and dave, stopped by to say hi.
here is ben playing fetch with maple the only one who actually swims in the pool these days. dialysis tomorrow and then i am going to start looking at flights back to fairbanks. we can't do any blood tests for a kidney transplant for 6 weeks, so we have awhile to wait. ben flew back to fairbanks yesterday and i am sure pella was happy to see him. i think her vacation was pretty darn good though at the moose mountain resort house! (aka sarah and tom's)


tour de rochester

ben and i are still at the Mayo Clinic. Today we had the day off from doctors, meetings, dialysis, tests ect. so we headed around town. we are getting anxious to leave wednesday night and get to chicago see family, relax by the pool, head out for a sail...
after our morning coffee at the double click coffee shop we found today, we headed for a walk around town. i have been to this great indian grocery shop everyday so we had to stop there again for a limeca. i am totally addicted.
we then took in the sights on a paddle boat, ben did all the paddling though, with my incision i just can't move like that yet.

then we headed to the Rochester Art Center, yesterday ben saw an exhibit by Warren Mackensie. Ben was pretty physced about that since there was a picture by Szarkowski the photographer who you can read about on his photo blog.

Congrats to Matias for his run on Mt. Marathon and Stac (and team) on completing the firewood 400 !


"free style" surgery

i am not sure if that is an official term, kind of like free style cruises. They have a room service menu and you can order whenever and they bring it right too you, no set eating times. It would be even greater if the food was any good, but it is a hospital. here is ben and i out on the 3rd floor balcony with my new slippers and Paris Hilton dog(from stan and marcia). ben even snuck me in a Starbucks this morning, what a good day. they are going to let me out of here tomorrow! ben and i will drive to chicago and then ben will be headed back to AK.
Mayo Clinic buildings, high of 95 today...hopefully some more good thunderstorms.


dialysis and more morphine

another day behind us at Mayo. Dea's dialysis was much later in the day today than we expected, but she adapted. the pain from the surgery seems to be quite manageable for her, and the incision site is doing well, but the lingering nausea from the anesthesia has been an issue. she began eating for the first time just a couple hours ago - over 48 hours without any food.

it was a fairly rough day, but she's making progress. tomorrow should be a much better day. she should be able to eat, move around a little more, and begin thinking about getting back to Chicago.

i'll keep updates coming.



lime popsicles and morphine

Dea is out of surgery and everything went as planned. the surgeon was able to go in over the scar from her old transplant, and without complications. she's recovering now with a morphine button and lime popsicles. the anesthesia still has her a bit tired, but she looks great, and is in good spirits.

she'll have dialysis tomorrow, and maybe begin to start moving around. so far so good.

she's in room 10-231

all for now


ben and i watched the fireworkss from the hotel room, we had a pretty good view. ben was screwing around with his camera and took these shots. pretty cool.

Mary Beth, Brad and Grace drove down from Egan, MN (near St.Paul) today to visit before the surgery tomorrow. it was good to see them. grace was a hoot. we all went out for dinner to Mac's.

our parents at sliver lake tonight for the fireworks.


mayo clinic

i arrived late last night into Rochester, MN. my last flight was 19 minutes long from Minneapolis, i think that is the shortest flight i have been on. after a long day meeting with surgeons, doctors, and no real good news....ben and i headed out for a nice dinner. the rest of the day was great- from gyros to tornado warnings! the storms were awesome, tons of lighting and thunder just as i had hoped.ben and i at jaspers for dinner.

ben arrived before me earlier in the evening last night at the hotel. he couldn't get the light in the room to turn on. he called maintenance and when we got back from the airport we got this note:
it says "dear guests, the reason the light does not work is because it is not plugged in. For the light to work you have to plug in the lamp. we are sorry for the inconvenience." well, i thought it was pretty funny.