Friday, July 2, 2010

Haven't updated my blog in a while. I don't have a lot of time right now. We are leaving Alaska tomorrow. After we flew out of Barrow and to Fairbanks, not a lot happened there. We saw some moose and did some birding, hiking, fishing, etc. Then we left Dr. Dave and Jill and went back to Talkeetna for one night. The place were we stayed was horrid. My mom called it the "Hostel From Hell". First, we looked around the town. Then, as soon as we got back, it was late and we went to our four-bunk bed. Then, we realized some guy we didn't even know was asleep on one of our bunks! We woke him up and told him that he was in the wrong room, and he left. It was really hard going to sleep. It was gross- we couldn't even go on the carpet with bare feet. Plus, we kept hearing gun shots. Plus, there was this really loud motorcycle at three in the morning. Plus, somebody was singing in the shower at one point. Plus, these people staying there had the TV outside our room REALLY LOUD till like 2 AM and it was some war movie where all you ever heard was like victory and defeat yells-which are really loud. The next day we went to Seward. It was nice there. We went to a Sea Life center. There were also these really cute bunnies, and they were so tame that they would eat from your hand--in Ohio, wild bunnies just like run away from you. After a few days we went to Homer, where we are now. The place we are staying in is a log cabin-- all to our self (thank god). We have been doing a lot of walking and fishing. Yesterday, when we took nine casts in a row, we caught seven fish---AND a starfish! We also saw a whale. I don't think I've ever heard of someone catching a starfish. I'm sorry I can't put on pictures, but the Library, where the wifi is, is about to close

Monday, June 21, 2010


We went out looking for birds again. We saw the threatened Spectacled Eider and we saw a King Eider and another Snowy Owl. We also saw a really cute Lemming, which is a small furry animal, caribou skin, and a boat made of Bearded Seal skin and hardwood. We also saw a ton of plants. We went to a famous Mexican Restaurant called Peppy's. Then we flew back from Barrow to Fairbanks.

We went to some place where my mom, Dr. Dave, Dr. Jill, and I did presentations on birds. I explained how we do our bird counts at Seven Hills. This was the third time I had done some kind of small presentation about the bird garden at our school. The first time was at the Cincinnati Zoo with Jake Lautman, Emma Perentesis, and Lela Robinson. The second was at the Queen City Bird Festival, with Jake again and also Jeff Welch, Kenneth Remaklus, and Sophia Pardo. The second time we showed some of the poster boards from the bird experiment project. Anyway, after the presentation, we got in a 10 passenger van and headed out to look for wildlife-especially Polar Bears. The ocean water from the Arctic Ocean was frozen solid We saw seals, but that was all. We also got seal and whale bones we found for souvenirs. The natives in Barrow are aloud to hunt whales because of their culture. Each family is aloud one whale per year. Whales are endangered, and it is illegal for anyone else to harm them. Then we went back, and that's really all we did.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

<-------Stellar's Eider-Rare

When we woke up, we all went in the truck--me, my brother, my mom, my dad, Dr. Dave, Dr. Jill, and Jenny Wohlfarth, a freelance journalist. Me, Dad, Jenny Wohlfarth, and my brother (for the first part, then he went in) rode in the back of the pickup truck, where there are no seatbelts and no roof. It was 22 degrees, and the wind was blowing really fast. We saw a lot of birds, including the Snowy Owl, and the threatened Stellar's Eider. After that, we just crashed, and watched TV. It was kind of a relax day.

We left our hostel in Denali and drove to Fairbanks, where we met up with Dr. Dave and Dr. Jill, who are Ornithologists (7 Hills People--ring a bell?). Then we had to take a plane to Barrow, Alaska, which is the northern most point of North America. We took a plane called Spirit of Disneyland II and it had Disney characters all over it. It said "We're going to Disneyland" which was kinda weird because we weren't going anywhere near it. It is in the Arctic Circle. We rented a truck (there are seven of us) and drove to a place were scientists stay when they have to be up there for research and stuff.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

<----- Golden Eagle

<-----Mt. Denali

We woke up at 5:30 this morning. We drove to Denali National Park, home of the famous Mt. Denali--better known as Mt. McKinley. When we got there, we took a wildlife bus, where you went around a tiny section of the park looking for wildlife. It was only a tiny fraction but still, minus the rest stops, it was about a 6 hour round trip. Cars are only aloud to go a little bit into the park, and the buses can not go through the whole thing either. We saw: 3 Golden Eagles, a bunch of ground squirrels (which don't look like Ohio's tree squirrels; more like mini prairie dogs), some caribou, some snowshoe hares, a falcon, a raven, some Dall Goats, and even four grizzly bears! During our longest stop, the ground squirrels came really close to us and investigated our backpacks. It was really funny and cute. Towards the end [of the bus ride return home] I got really tired--I normally sleep until about 8:00-9:30--and fell asleep on the bus, since I was already laying down because I was car sick. During the drive, we also got a great view of Mt. Denali, the mountain we named our dog after. The mountain is all white, because it is completely covered in snow.
Speaking of dogs, after the bus ride, we went to the park's sled dog kennel. The roads all close in the winter, so they use sled dogs. There was a presentation, and we got to pet them. They were really cute. I got some pics of them on my camera, but I haven't got a chance to load this yet. Will show you them ASAP.
Then we went to a pizza place. It was really cool. There was a rock wall on the ceiling, a foosball table, the people there were playing Wii Sports bowling, and two dogs came in while we were there. They also had free wi-fi, which I was thankful for. (I have had limited wi-fi access lately). After that we just played cards and Monopoly in the commons, or, as they call it, the 'octagon'. Then we went to our cabin, which is called the coffee grinder.
<-----------Ground Squirrel
<---Female Moose

Yesterday--when we woke up in Talkeetna, I had a huge pancake for breakfast, with hot chocolate and cranberry juice. It was supposedly like a 'brunch' and was gonna be the only meal before dinner. Then, we took a long drive-a couple hours- then visited the visitors center, and went on a hike. On the way back, we saw our first moose! It was a female. Then we drove to our motel, which (Yes!) has four beds, and after that we kinda just hung around in the commons. We had to go to bed early- 10:30- because we had to wake up at 5:30 the next morning.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We left Anchorage for Matanuska. When we got there, we hiked a glacier. It was easily the most beautiful place I've ever seen. We were surrounded by ice, and in the backround there were trees and snow-capped mountains. We had to wear crampons, those things you attach to your boots that have spikes on the bottom. There were three kinds of ice: white, black, and blue. I learned a ton. We also saw a plant that was famous and poisonous because the main character of the non-fiction book and movie Into The Wild. There were crevices in the ice that were really big, so you had to be careful. When we left, we drove for three hours to Talkeetna. We got there really late, and we didn't eat dinner till like 9:30, and unfortunately I didn't get to edit my blog till today because my mom had to edit hers.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hey people I'm really sorry I couldn't update yesterday....This is what happened.

We woke up at about 7:30 and drove to Chicago. There is a time change there-- 1 hour early. Our plane was scheduled to leave at 5:30 Chicago time (6:30 Cincinnati time) and get to Alaska at 12:30, 8:30 Alaska time. Then, our plane got postponed twice, and it ended up we didn't leave until 7:05 Chicago time (8:05 Cinci time) and we didn't get to Anchorage, Alaska until 10:30 Alaska time--2:30 Cincinnati. I stayed up the whole plane ride. The weird thing was, the sun didn't start to set until about midnight in Alaska. We got our rental car, and headed to a hostel (free wi-fi-- thank god!!!). We didn't get asleep 'till about 12:30 a.m. Alaska time-- 4:30 a.m. Cincinnati time.
When I woke up, luckily, I was already adjusted to he time change, because since I was up so late I didn't wake up till 8:30 AK time, 12:30 OH time. Anchorage is great. The first thing we did is went on a nature trail, where we saw a bunch of different birds that I've never seen before. I spotted a Junco later on, but didn't get a very good picture.
Then we went out for lunch to the Middle Way Pub. After that, we went to Flat Top Mountain, and climbed it--it's approximately 6000 feet tall! The trail wasn't that bad, until you were about 97% there, when the trail stopped and you had to climb up rocks. What was pretty freaky was we saw a cute little white dog in front of us, and it's owner had cut off the trail, went through the ice near the top of the mountain, and went to a ledge. The poor dog tried to follow him, but it slipped and started skidding down the ice! Luckily, (thank god!!!) it was smart and managed to stop itself and somebody put a leash on it. The sight at the top was completely amazing-- you could see the whole city and a lot of other mountains. After we finished, we went to 'Moose's Tooth' (pizza place) and my mom ordered pizza. Long story short, she ate 10 cloves of garlic. Got to go now, I'm getting sick of my mom and brother's snores so I might go to's like 11:00 AK time. We are leaving Anchorage tomorrow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I can not BELIEVE we are leaving for Alaska TOMORROW!!! I can't wait but there is a lot to do between now and then to prepare. I might not be able to write on my blog tomorrow but will update on trip ASAP. We are leaving for Chicago in the morning. Our plane leaves for Alaska at 5:20 PM. Once again, I will update everyone ASAP on what we are doing, and I will take advantage of every wi-fi hot spot we go to.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

We are going to visit the dogs today in the shelter. This is unfortunately the last time we are going to get to see them before our trip to Alaska. I should probably mention something right now--how the dogs got there. Well, they were at some place in Kentucky, and were scheduled to be put to sleep the next day. Then, the shelter flooded, and people from Save the Animals Foundation came and took them in. Save the Animals is a no-kill shelter. My parents got our last dog, Emma, from there before I was born. We were there looking for two new ones. As soon as we told the people there that we wanted two, they brought them out. They said those two really loved each other and the volunteers were hoping that someone could adopt them together.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wow. Only three days until Alaska. I am seriously amazed that it is already SO CLOSE!!! Ugh, I don't really have anything to write. Dog pics time!!! They are just puppies, so they are playfully wrestling. The one on top is Moose, below is Denali (who has lighter fur).

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hey people, only five days till we leave for Alaska! Today, I went to the pool. Freezing cold. Which reminded me, I might (will if possible) get to do the polar bear plunge in Alaska! By the way, here is another picture of my new dogs! They are in their favorite spot, under the spruce tree. (Left: Denali. Right: Moose. A way to tell is Denali's nose has much more white on it.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Here is a picture of Moose. The picture uploader is finally working.
There is some problem right now and I will post a picture of Moose as soon as possible. They are sisters, and they completely rely on each other.

Hey people. Leaving for Alaska in five days. Can't wait. Yesterday, we got to visit with our new dogs (we are officially adopting them after the trip). Their names are Moose (my brother picked out the name) and Denali, named after the mountain in Alaska (my mom's idea). Here are some pics!!! The one on the left is Denali.