Cynthia St. Charles Store

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Beautiful Valdez

 We really enjoyed this area.  It is a beautiful place and we had some great adventures in Valdez.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Valdez Salmon Fishing

Pink salmon were running when we were in Valdez and people were catching many in a very short period of time.  The shoreline was just boiling with fish thrashing around. We did not really have the proper fishing tackle for such large fish, but Joe had to give it a try with his little lightweight telescoping backpacking rod.  He caught this one on the first cast.  It took both of us to land it, though.  His reel would not function under the weight of the salmon, so I waded out a ways and caught old of the line, pulling it in hand over hand while he reeled in easily with the weight off the reel.  We cleaned it and I cooked it on our little travel grill that night for dinner.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Valdez Fourth of July Celebration

 Rainy and chilly weather in Valdez for the 4th of July celebration.  Folks turned out in force, anyway.  It was a big production.  Live music,  free food, fireworks, and I especially liked this enormous fire for making smores.  Quite a party!  It never really was adequately dark for fireworks, but they shot off a big show, regardless.  I personally considered it a great waste of fireworks (as about as dark as in the pictures shown here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Valdez Town

 We had some rather fabulous weather while in Valdez.  We stayed in the area three nights awaiting our next ferry over to Whittier.  These pictures are taken from the overlook above the town and harbor.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Worthington Glacier

Unfortunately, I did not get a good photo of the Worthington Glacier from a distance.  We stopped off at the glacier overlook, then hiked the mile to the toe of the glacier.  Pretty neat to see the water rushing out from the bottom of the glacier and rolling downhill.  And to be able to stand inside the glacial cavern was a thrill.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Mail Art - October 26

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
-George Bernard Shaw-

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Richardson Highway to Valdez

 After we got back out on the Richardson Highway, the clouds appeared again.  We caught a few glimpses of the mountains as we drove towards Valdez. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Copper River Dip Netting

 Heading back out on the McCarthy Road, we were treated to the sight of clusters of dip netting fishermen along the Copper River near Chitina.  These folks were fishing for their own personal use according to Alaska legal requirements - a privilege only allowed to citizens of Alaska.

 They were dragging in salmon by the dozens in their dip nets.  So entertaining - we watched for at least an hour before we headed on down the road.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Root Glacier

We hiked the three miles to the toe of the Root Glacier.  There are also trails to the Bonanza Mine (9 miles) and Jumbo Mine (10 miles), but we were satisfied with our Root Glacier hike.  We were fascinated to discover, upon our arrival at the toe of the glacier - people were camping there - sleeping in tents set up right on the moraine!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Kennicott, Alaska

 The Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark is operated by the National Park Service.  Very rich copper deposits were found here in 1900.   They had huge challenges to get the copper transported, though.  Ultimately, a railroad was built and the first train out in 1911 carried $250,000 worth of copper.  
 At the height of operation, about 550 men worked in the mines and mill town.  Over the next 27 years, at least $200 million worth of ore was produced.

There are three spellings for Kennicott - also spelled Kennecott and Kennycott.  Apparently, the current decision is to refer to the town and mill as Kennecott, while the river and glacier are referred to as Kennicott.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

McCarthy, Alaska, Kennicott River and Root Glacier

 We reached the end of the McCarthy Road at the headwaters of the Kennicott River.  From here, we could look upriver and spot the Root Glacier.  This area is a large glacial gravel bed (parking lot), but we camped here - and we were not alone.  There is a footbridge and trail giving access to the little village of McCarthy and the historic mining town of Kennicott.  There are shuttles available for a fee (well worth it, in my opinion, as we wanted to hike beyond Kennicott, and we arrived late in the day.
The McCarthy footbridge across the Kennicott River.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wragnell - St. Elias National Park

 OK - back to telling you about my trip to Alaska this past summer!  I was very interested in visiting the nation's largest National Park - Wragnell - St. Elias.  There are two roads that go into the park.  Otherwise, it is only accessible via bush plane.  We were driving, and I really hoped to be able to drive both gravel roads into the park, but weather only allowed us to drive the McCarthy Highway.  I find it amazing that they call it a highway, because it is a gravel road - a 59 mile long gravel road!  There is a bit of chip-sealed road, also - making the adventure into Wragnell - St. Elias a 93 mile (one way) excursion.  We were thrilled that the weather began to clear as we made our way along this road.  We had been driving in the rain and wind and heavy, low lying clouds for many days by this time.   We were thrilled to be able to see some of the mountains, at last.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mail Art October 19

Today's quote:
"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal;  nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."  -Thomas Jefferson-

I am now offering a year long subscription of weekly postcards.  Please note the tab at the top of the blog - or follow this one:

I also have it up on my Etsy page:

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Block Prints on Mixed Media Journal

 These are process images of my first Mixed Media Accordion Journal - this layer is various block prints in various colors.  More to come later on.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Visual Journal Series for 2015

 I went to the store to buy mixed media paper to make Mixed Media mail art postcards and found a great deal on giant rolls of Canson Mixed Media Paper.  I have so much of it ...... and still trying to get into working in the studio - and thinking I do best when I have something specific to work on each morning when I show up.  I have decided to make some accordion folded journals - mixed media techniques.  Here is my first one.  Golden Fluid Acrylics in primary colors followed by some sprayed diluted gesso....let's see where this goes!
Having fun so far!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Hand Dyed Scrap Quilt in (mostly) Greens

 Here is another scrap quilt now finished.  It measures 52 x 86".  Good to be getting these done.  I like seeing them done.  I like reclaiming space in my studio.  I love seeing how they come together.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Scrap Quilts for Transition

 The weather has been cooling off and I am trying to get back into the swing of a studio routine.  I am not feeling terribly inspired as my head is still attached to travel, camping, hiking, fishing, etc.  So, I start sorting scraps and sewing them together.  Here is my first lap or baby sized utility quilt for 2015.

Below - the back of this quilt.

This is the sorted pile of scraps I used for this quilt (as well as a couple of others).

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Kluane National Park

We did not really get to see much of Kluane National Park due to weather.  I was really looking forward to seeing this area of Alaska - which I had never visited before.  We did have one brief moment when the sky opened up a bit and we could stop for a photo.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ferry Ride Skagway to Haines

 Cloudy, rainy, windy ferry ride from Skagway to Haines.  The ride was short and saved us many hours on the road.  I had hoped we would be able to spend some time in Haines, but the weather was miserable, so we headed up the road to Haines Junction.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday Mail Art - October 12

"The excursion is the same when you go 
looking for your sorrow as when you go
looking for your joy."      - Eudora Welty-

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cruise Ships at Skagway

 There were multiple enormous cruise ships docked at Skagway.  We were there for about 24 hours and saw several of them come and go.  They pulled in, tied up and people poured off the ships and out into the small historic town of Skagway.  The town is all set up for tourists with multiple train tours, bike rentals, and endless souvenir shopping, many restaurants....the atmosphere around town was very carnival-like for a while - then - suddenly - everyone would be heading back to the ships and the town would quiet down.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Driving to Skagway, AK

 Other than our time in Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada, this was one of our most spectacular drives on the trip.  The sky was somewhat clear so we could see the mountains.  The drop down into the gorge where Skagway is located is most dramatic and really takes the breath away.  Pictures cannot do it justice.  Scenic train tours are very popular in this area and now I understand why.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Carcross, BC

 Carcross, BC was to be our last stop in Canada for a while, and we enjoyed the gift shops here.  Loved their exterior paint jobs and much of the merchandise was along the same lines!