|Walker and me at Liberty Falls, Alaska|
This isn't a great photo, but the story is fun to tell. Walker and I were doing a self guided tour of Alaska a couple years back. We had dinner in Valdez, and wandered around the harbor looking for wildlife. Well, a young woman approached us and asked us to jump start her car. It had two flat tires and looked like it needed last rites more than a jump, but we were happy to try to help. While we were working, we chatted, and were totally blown away to discover this woman and Walker are from the same home town. What are the odds of that?
So this woman, Shrades was her name, worked on a fishing boat out of Valdez. After we got her car running she gave us a tour of the boat. Absolutely fascinating. When we told her we were leaving Valdez in the morning, she whipped out a Milepost and showed us a side trip to a place called Chitina, a tiny old town along the Edgerton Highway. Along the road was a detour to Liberty Falls. She told us to be careful if we tried to go there, as a family of bears had been making the rounds pretty much daily. A mother and three cubs. well, that sealed the deal for us. Our tour was winding down and we had yet to see bear. The year before, I'd seen a dozen bear wandering Alaska. I didn't want Walker to get skunked.
We found Chitina, we found Liberty Falls, but we never did find bear. This photo was a result of Walker talking me into crossing the falls from the trail on the right side of the photo, to the opposite side for photos of a different perspective. Can I tell you? I must have been nuts. Those rocks we hopped across were not smooth. They were not stable. They were not dry. I took a total face plant into the water right about halfway, but I managed to keep the hand holding the camera elevated enough that it didn't get wet. The rest of me? Soaked. And sore. Did I mention those rocks weren't soft, either?
Now: what would we have done had those bears wandered out of the woods while we were out there in the middle of the falls? I don't know, either. We probably would have become lunch.
Anyway - Walker got his photos (that's him toward the middle of the photo) and I got over my unexpected dip in the freezing water. We made it back across the falls without incident and were surprised to hear cheering ~ we thought we were alone. A couple from Pennsylvania saw us and decided to stick around in case our dumb asses needed some help. While they were watching, the wife took this photo. She mailed it to me a couple weeks later.
Here are a couple more photos from our trip:
|Walker aboard the Tanina in Seward Harbor|
|Me, at Anchor Point|
To see more Photo Friday entries, click here.