Sunday, October 08, 2017

Trail Quest - State #32! - South Dakota!

In 2011 I ran the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon - a fantastic marathon on the northern 26.2 miles of a stellar trail. So, when I dreamt up this quest to run a trail in every state, the southern bit of the Mickelson Trail hopped to the top of the list for South Dakota. Last weekend I finally got to make it a reality!

Kendall, Taz, and I loaded up Hedwig and off to South Dakota we rolled. The first night out we camped in Lusk, Wyoming. If you ever need an RV park in Lusk, find your way to BJ's; there you will find the niftiest campground bathroom ever!

A picture from within the women's restroom/shower room at BJ's campground, Lusk WY
From Lusk, we headed to South Dakota and Custer State Park which was bustling with a buffalo roundup and an Arts Fair (in the same park, but not in the very same spot - that would have been interesting!).  After spending a chunk of the day at the Arts fair, we moved on to Hill City and a campground located right along the Mickelson Trail. The next morning, Taz and I were able to trot directly from our prime camp spot to the trail for a delightful autumn run with rustling golden leaves, wild turkeys, and a !yikes! a steady uphill 8 miles to a rendezvous with Kendall at the Crazy Horse Memorial.

From campground to trail

Taz smilin' on the fine Mickelson Rail Trail

Autumn makes for some beautiful running

Big rocks, small but mighty cattle dog

...just in case one needs a rest
Mister Taz still has some sprint left in him when he sees Kendall

Crazy Horse Memorial in the background; South Dakota trail in the books!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

ALASKA!!!!! Part 5 of 5 Last night on the ship then Juneau

The last night. Oh my... 
Dining crew lines up for introductions and hearty applause. My goodness, they fed us well!

Marty, Cultural Liaison, leads us to the last night's surprise dessert buffet
One last hug from one of our favorite dining crew, Ashley

Polar Plunge Award Ceremony
Yes, I am now a member of the Killer Whale Club!

Where we went and what all we saw!

 The ship docked and it was time to explore Juneau

One more trail - the Gold Creek Flume Trail
I ran, Kendall & Steve walked, and off the trail and into the neighborhood we found the niftiest Little Free Library decorated with bottle caps and dog license tags. And even better: inside there was a Mackinac Island fudge shop mystery book! (Of course I took it - and came back later to replace it with a book I'd brought along on the trip.)

A block from the Little Free Library - the capitol building!

 Juneau is filled with artistic touches

Steve attempts to pose for the painting
 Lots of museums too

Of course the basketry interested me - the finest weaving I've ever seen.

Leave it to Kitty to find the fish!

There was much to make us smile

The town is built along a mountain. Deal with it!


 ...and there you have it!

Very very happy voyagers!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

ALASKA!!!!! Part 4 Glacier Bay National Park!

Cruise Days 6 and 7
Glacier Bay National Park: Magnificent! A park ranger and a Tlinget cultural liaison came on board and we were filled with information about the park and native history - and answered every question thrown their way. A great couple of days!

Kayaking up to Reid Glacier (Steve & I kayaked; Kendall photographed)

Lots of critters


Big Bear has a friend!

It's a sea otter - we saw lots - turns out they're hard to photograph

Simon, the ship's naturalist, is a great photographer!

 The very active Marjorie Glacier - calve (from above) and shoot (from below!)

Then it was time for some solid earth - and a hike (run for me!) at Glacier Bay National Park Headquarters on the Forest Trail plus a visit to the Tribal House.

 From the ocean-side and into the lush rain forest...


Wild blueberries!!!

Tree spirits


Tribal House