I may have been unknowingly foreshadowing when I mentioned that I was going on a weekend adventure and I'm sure I would have a few good stories to share when I got back.
Last Friday John, Kiva, and I headed out of town to Seward for a wedding. We left Anchorage around 1pm and arrived in Seward a little bit after 3pm. We met up with some of the other Arctic Valley people who drove down Friday and had snacks and drinks at Ray's while we were waiting for our (boat) shuttle to arrive.
It was a beautiful day, but the wind was blowing which made it a bit chilly. Once the boats arrived, we began unpacking the cars and loading things on the boats. After 10 trips from the car, down the ramp, and to the boat, we were done unloading (we brought a lot of food). We split up into the two boats and headed out across Resurrection Bay to Humpy Cove (for those of you familiar with the area, it's the same cove where Orca Island is located). Due to the winds, the ride was a bit bumpy, which was not great for me (thank goodness I took drugs...I tend to get sea sick on small boats). Kiva had a blast trying to catch the spray over the side of the boat.
When we arrived, we unloaded all of our food at the cabin on the water (we were spread out over three cabins, one near the water, one around the cove and up a bit, and another farther up the hill), and worked on taking our non-food goods up the hill to the cabin where we were going to be sleeping. There was a trail around the cove to get there, but it was easier to hop in the dingy and row the 200yds across the cove. Another boat load of people arrived an hour or so later and then we fired up the grill and made dinner (brats and chicken).
I decided to hike up the hill and go to bed before it got dark, but everyone else stuck around and socialized for a little while longer. There was quite the ruckus when everyone else came up to go to bed (there were 6 of us in the cabin total) and some rearranging of sleeping spots, some excessive dog barking, and lots of semi-whispered "shhh people are sleeping."
The next morning we were up around 7am (I think), mostly due to the fact that Bryan (the owner of the cabin) had gotten up at the crack of dawn to start shuttling in the rest of the crowd from Seward and started a ridiculously big fire in the stove. It got super hot and none of us could sleep anymore. So we drank coffee on the porch and ate pre-breakfast (bacon cheddar scones...thanks Pam!). After a few (three for me) cups of coffee, we decided to head down to the other cabin (where all the food was) for breakfast.
The table full of food (this isn't even all of it)
Morning low tide (-2.1 I think)
Camp Robber, they visited us every morning
More people arrived throughout the morning/afternoon. I took a nap after lunch, and then we headed back down to the other cabin for more eating and to get ready to go to Orca Island (about 1/4 mile boat trip from where we were) for the wedding.
A beautiful day for a wedding
At one point I was sitting down on the dock in the sun enjoying myself when the wedding photographer (who was paddling around in a kayak) mentioned he wanted to get a photo of everyone on the ramp (there was a ramp that went from the dock to the deck of the cabin that was either super steep at low tide, or almost flat at high tide). Leslie (who I was sitting with) and I both looked at each other and were hesitant to go 1) because we were enjoying sitting in the sun and 2) because we weren't convinced it was a good idea. But we went and stuck to the edge. One loud crack and splash later the ramp was broken and people were scrambling to either side so as not to get wet. Leslie got wet from her knees down, John and Matt had the worst of it because they happened to be in the middle. John only got his feet wet (because he was wearing rain pants), but went into the water up to his thighs, and I think Matt was in a similar situation. Fortunately no one was hurt. Harry the dog (a 14 year old golden retriever) is the only one that actually went swimming.
This earned Matt the nickname of "wet boots" because he walked around in his ski boots for the rest of the day Saturday and his
still wet hiking boots for the whole day Sunday.
We flipped into get things done mode and started rowing people from the main land to the dock (to get on the boat to go to the wedding) in the two dingys we had. John apparently has some mad rowing skills that I was unaware of.
Row row row your boat
Once we all got to the island, we basked in the sun and attempted to stay out of the wind until it was time for the wedding to start.
Despite the wind, the wedding was lovely. The lighting was amazing, so I'm sure that the photos will be amazing as well. After the ceremony there was cake and champagne, and then we boated it back to the cabin for dinner. It got pretty chilly once the sun went down, so I spent a fair amount of time inside, and then decided I was too cold and it was time for bed. I (again) made it up the hill before dark.
The broken ramp and our makeshift ferry system
Sunday morning was similar to Saturday (except everyone claimed they felt better because they had not had as much to drink), except there were rumors that there was a small craft advisory for Resurrection Bay. It was very windy even where we were which overall is pretty sheltered. Given that we were traveling back to Seward in a small craft, we discussed the possibility of staying another night if we had to. It wasn't ideal for some, but there was really nothing that we could do, so we figured we'd make phone calls when we knew more. Eventually we headed down to the other cabin for breakfast. We were informed by Bryan that his bride wanted us all to come to the island for breakfast (it was also her birthday, so we obliged). We packed up the food and headed over. Lee and Matt cooked up some eggs, hash browns, and bacon and we had quite the feast.
There was discussion of the weather and the possibility that we would not be going anywhere for the rest of the day due to the wind. A few people went out in the boat to check it out and see if they could get cell service to make some calls. When they returned, they told us that they almost capsized at one point and we were stuck. After everyone made their phone calls (there was one rock that you could stand on and get two bars of service, we named it "two bar rock") and accepted the fact that we were weathered in, despite the fact that it was a beautiful sunny day, we continued to have a good time.
Enjoying the sun
John's backup plan to get us home was that we would call in an escape from the prison (just outside of Seward) and then we would all find orange clothing to put on so we would get picked up since the cops would think we were the prisoners. I believe the response to that was "you're the logistics manager for a major cruise company and that's the best backup plan you can come up with?"
That evening when we went back to the island for dinner (thank goodness we all brought too much food...there was definitely no danger of us starving) we figured out who would be on the priority list to get back to town on Monday morning. The people that absolutely had to get back to work and those that were flying out at 10am were first on the list. After dinner and some impromptu karaoke, we headed back to the cove for bed. There was more rearranging of sleeping spots so that the people who had to be on the first boat out were together.
View from Orca Island
The earliest crowd left around 6am on Monday morning. I'm not sure if the crowd that had a flight to catch made it, but everyone who had to go to work was a little late, but with few poor outcomes (except for the guy who is in the military...he will be paying for that one for a while). The rest of us got back to Seward in the afternoon and worked out who was going to ride back to Anchorage with whom since all the people who carpooled got separated when we sent the early crowd back to Seward, and then hit the road. I called work to tell them that I was probably not going to make it in even though I had initially thought that I might. John had a busy day at work, so after we dropped our rider off, I ran him home for a shower and then took him to work (I had picked him up from work when we left town so his car was not at home). I got home, took a shower, and fell asleep on the couch. When I woke up I realized that I did not feel like making dinner, so I suggested that we (everyone who got back to town around the same time as us) go to the Moose's Tooth for dinner. So we kept the weekend alive for a few more hours over pizzas. We were all exhausted but agreed that it was a pretty awesome weekend with a fabulous bunch of people.
Kiva had an amazing weekend as well. She was in heaven running free and herding kids, adults, and dogs.
At one point I had to put her in her kennel (she's not very trustworthy around food and I knew she would try and follow us when we got in the boat to go to the island for the wedding) and she couldn't even keep her eyes open long enough to eat her dinner. It was also a good opportunity for us to work on commands with her while she was off leash, which we don't have much of an opportunity to do at home. She did almost everything we asked of her. If I told her to "leave it" (even if I was hollering at her from far away) she did it 95% of the time. Mike, owner of Harry and the cabin with all the food, used to teach obedience and he mentioned a few times how well she was doing with all the other dogs (there was a grumpy female in heat, three old dogs, and a young Brittany spaniel who initially tried to beat Kiva up). She put the young ones in their places several times and deferred to the old ones.
Supervising the children
She may have taken a steak off a kid's plate and grabbed a burger right out of someones hand, and while I acknowledge this is not appropriate behavior, I will say that she is smart and fast and knows an opportunity when she sees one (if you taunt her and have food in your hand, she will get it from you...she's a dog that knows what she wants and will do pretty much anything to get it). She also totally loves kids. She was playing fetch with a stick with one of the girls and I witnessed her run up and drop the stick at the girl's feet. If you know Kiva at all, you know that she is generally not good a playing fetch and it is very hard to get her to drop the stick even if you tell her to.
She worked so hard that she pretty much didn't move for 24 hours. When we first got home, she remained in this position for at least three hours.