Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Smoky Clearwater

Snag in the Clearwater channel.

A blissfully quiet and still place...

Fromage and I went out canoeing on the Clearwater Lake near Delta Junction. Too smoky from the terrible forest fires right now to float the entire river. Plus, we got a late start....

Fromage and the moose in the water---a cow with two calves. She was eating water reeds and they stayed on the marshy shore, bleating to her to return.

We were paddling along back to the landing in the evening when we saw a strange object far off in the water. With the smoke, it was hard to understand---a kayaker? A small a canoe on the other side of the lake? Suddenly I realized it was actually very close and it was a swimming moose! Only his head, stubby antlers and ears were above the water. I shot this video, and you can get an idea of his speed and strength. Perhaps it doesn't come through clearly on the audio, but Fromage says, "Eat your heart out Michael Phelps!"

Young swimming bull. We didn't get any closer. He was at a disadvantage in the water and I didn't want to scare OR antagonize him.

Beautiful trees in the channel. I told a friend recently that this river float is like a six hour zen meditation.

Eero on the river.

The Blogosphere: My 300th post

Having a blog is a funny thing---public diary, and all that. What to say that is personal, but not really private? What to share with friends and family you know are reading, but also what to share with the many strangers who may stop by?

I've made a few friends in the Blogosphere, as we call it. These are people I've never met in person, but with whom I share great similarities and interests. Leanne, from Art and Life is a fellow artist whose art I love and we cheer each other's good ideas along. Bike & Beer is a cyclist who lives a continent away from me. We once traded cold weather cycling gear (hers) for a big salmon (mine)! We've yet to meet in person!

I also keep in touch with people I know and love who live far away from me; Brilliant Lite, Bugheart and Red Doors, to name a few. Since I live near the Arctic Circle, 'far away from me' is pretty easy to accomplish....

There is one person whose blog I've been reading for almost two years. A fellow bike rider who goes by the handle 'Fat Cyclist.' This is Elden, a man with a passion for bicycles and his family. Hard working, a good writer, clever, and funny as hell. Elden's written a lot about bikes and life in the cycling lane. Elden has also written a lot about his wife Susan's long and difficult battle with cancer. He's shared so much of his life in this---all of what his family has been through. He doesn't just talk about how hard it is---he's fought it with an amazing determination in whatever way he can. Fat Cyclist bike jersey sales all go towards the Lance Armstrong Livestrong cancer foundation. Elden has set up numerous fundraisers, raffles and contests in which the entry fee is a donation to cancer foundations. He's created whole cycling teams and groups around the country to give support towards fighting cancer. This guy is fiercely dedicated. He's raised literally hundreds of thousands of dollars that all go towards cancer fighting efforts.

I'm so sad to read this morning that his wife Susan died yesterday, August 5th. Hell, I've been reading along with Elden for two years and I feel like this guy is my friend. I just broke down and cried. My heart goes out to him and his family.

I don't know if there's a way to 'fight' cancer. The cells don't care----they'll take what they want no matter what. I have friends and family with cancer right now.

All I know is that this guy whom I've never met has really impressed me with his honor, fortitude and heart. You can read about him....he's Fat Cyclist.

The blogosphere is a consensual forum to share our lives, stories, projects and opinions in whatever form. (Hey, being an introvert, I totally love it.) It's a sad day for someone I've never laid eyes on but care deeply about.

My sincere condolences, Elden.