Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Blue Bear

A pitiful looking but lovely and big black lab sitting forlornly in the back of a pickup, patiently waiting for her people to finish eating breakfast at the restaurant that we visited this morning..........

After breakfast we visited a gun store in town for a short while before heading over to Douglas Island.
I bought theater tickets from a colleague a few weeks ago, for a play that I knew nothing about.
But the tickets were cheap enough and I had not been to the local and well known Perseverance Theater yet, and wanted to do something very different.
The play was called The Blue Bear. 
I knew nothing about it but was looking forward to seeing it, and after leaving the gun store I dragged my reluctant Mountain Boy over to Douglas..........

We had a couple of hours to kill and Plan A was to walk on the sandy beach at the end of Douglas South.
Plan A lasted for all of about 15 minutes.
The weather Out the Road close to the house this morning had been calm and mild.
The weather on Sandy Beach was freezing.  Very strong and very cold winds. 
Instead of walking on the beach we made a valiant attempt at walking on the trails.
The Treadwell Mine Trail is a wonderfully beautiful and interesting walk, filled with open gravel trails and hundreds and hundreds of old gold mining artifacts and buildings.
A throwback to an era when gold mining dominated the town of Douglas in the early 1900's.
I have walked this trail a number of times over the past year and have always loved it. 
But today it was a series of trails filled with ice, making for only treacherous walking.
Ice on the trails.  High winds on the beach.  It was time for a Plan B..........

Although we debated on a walk downtown, Plan B was to drive out to Douglas North and walk on an up-til-now unexplored trail called the Rainforest Trail.
I knew nothing about it aside from the fact that it was filled with tall pine trees, making it a protected trail.
Definitely worthy of walk on an early Sunday afternoon.
On the way to the trail we stopped briefly at the North Douglas Boat Ramp.
The tide was high, the ramp was completely underwater, but the glacier as always was visible directly across on the opposite side of the channel and was beautiful.
I have stood in this place more times than I can count, and every single time it takes my breath away...........
Quiet channel and quiet mountains.
Yesterday while my Mountain Boy and I walked on trails out at the glacier I fought the entire walk to push work from my mind, and to just be in the moment.
I was only partially successful yesterday.
Today I was more relaxed and my head was in a better place.
This is why I came to Alaska.
To simplify my life.  To live my life.  To slow my life from the busy work and busy training and busy racing that had filled my days down in Tennessee. 
To remember that sometimes you have to slow down and remember that this is the only life you have and to live it to the fullest.
I stood looking at the mountains.  And the water.  And the pine trees.  Not really wanting to move from where I stood.  Just wanting to stand here for a very long time and remember why I came to Alaska............
We climbed back into the truck and drove further out on North Douglas Highway until we reached the parking lot of Rainforest Trail.
We knew that we did not have time to see it all, but this trail turned out to be a very lovely trail.
It was easy walking, wide open, almost completely without snow or ice, and filled with tall pine trees and with lots and lots of moss covering every surface.
It was beautiful..............
After walking on trails almost completely downhill (and knowing full well that it would be almost completely uphill on the way back to the truck) we eventually veered off the trail so that we could access the beach and the channel
A new rocky beach.
A lovely beach in the winter.
It was a very good day and I was more glad than I can put into words that we had decided to walk here..........
I stood looking out over the water feeling precarious peace.
And then I looked over at my Mountain Boy.
And studied him for a few moments.
I have known him for more than four years now.
This person is my rock.  The person who is able to center me.  A rough man who somehow manages to smooth out my rough edges.
Edges that are much rougher than anyone knows.  Except him.
After all of these years I had come to the conclusion that there was no such person out there.
No such person who could keep up with me, could catch me, could hang on to me.
I am pleased to have been proven wrong............
We only walked part of the trail today and I had assumed that we would have to do a quick out-and-back.
Surprisingly we walked on an open trail along the beach and then picked up another trail on the way back to the truck.
Still uphill most of the way, but new territory anyway.............
In only a short time walking the beach we enjoyed dogs running, waves crashing, seagulls flying around and resting on rocks, beautiful views and each others company.
I was reluctant - very reluctant - to leave, and as I stood on the beach I regretted our plans to go to the theater.
For a few brief moments I weighed suggesting that we blow off the afternoon play, and spend more time doing exactly what we were doing in exactly the place we were at in that moment.
But the theater was a new experience for us here in Juneau and I wanted to be able to say that I experienced it at least once.
And so I looked and photographed and enjoyed for just a while.............
A great picture..........
Small pine saplings growing out of a moss covered and downed pine tree trunk........
This picture surprised me because this small pond looks more beautiful in the picture than it actually did in real life..........
Random nature pictures taken on the trail on the way back to the parking lot..........
Taken on the highway from the truck.
This waterfall was completely frozen only a couple of weeks ago when we last drove by this way.
Today it was a combination of ice and fast-moving runoff from the mountains..........
Perseverance Theater is a very small and intimate theater.
Every seat was filled for the last and matinee performance of The Blue Bear, which meant all of about 150 people watched this performance today.
Both LC and I were skeptical of both the audience and of the performance going into this new experience.
The performance was minimalist, creative, well presented, and surprisingly we both greatly enjoyed the experience............
One final picture of a very lovely small pond on the trail today...........

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