Monday, August 25, 2014

Engaging Kodiak


This season the snow wasn't the best, there was snow, but not tempting for so much enjoyment of powder.
For the holy week, in the middle of April, we had a different plan. As my only 4-day-weekend was worth it to fly somewhere. It was time to met the roots of my beloved.

KODIAK, AK.

Everything is packed and ready.
I just have to go to work and Jill is gonna pick me up there and then go to the airport.
But the morning started rough for us, with a cat sick and emergency cleaning.
By 4pm we made it to the airport, Era airlines door, now Ravn airlines.
Flying in Era is like those times I was going to my hometown in the bus,
where locals travel with everything they want. No TSA drama.
A bag of bread is standing alone in the desk, no airport shuts down. 
The plane, a bombardier dhc-8-100, take us from a sunny runway and lands in a rainy runway.

We met Linda & Roy, old friends of Jill.
My bet is that they don't see each other since 30 years ago, I can be wrong.
Yes, I'm like a little kid in Disneyland watching everything around through the windows,
without speaking.
My ranchero face is still stunned by the pictures and stories.
My silence breaks only for ask about pictures.
During dinner I kept listening stories that probably I just saw in movies or NatGeo before,
but this time I was there, with someone in person.
Roy's heritage back in the day, the union of his Russian grandfather and local Suqpiaq Aluttiq grandmother.
Then his father was bear hunter and guide,
and they did a lot for Kodiak bear hunting, around WWII times.
As this mentioned, Kodiak has a big  mix influence and roots from Russia and locals still.
After great time meeting them, we drove around town to finish the day.

Waking up in Kodiak with a sunny day it's a good score.
We drove North in the road system, not much in time.
White Sands Beach was the first stop. Walked on the low tide all the way to the water. Then the rocks.
A bald eagle was sitting in a rock, letting me get closer to see it. Marine life was still in the rocks and pools.
A trail was heading inside a rainforest. And around the bay. To the point of bush-walking.
Spring is the time were bears wake up. Even if I was excited to see them, is not a good idea.
No in Kodiak. No without bear spray.

Lunch at the Monk's Rock. A quick stop by Orion's for a map,
a local shop with mountain gear, climbing gear, ski stuff and surf shop at the same time.
Yes, you can climb a mountain, ski and surf the same day in Kodiak.
The sun is still out there. Some rain drops fall with the breeze.
It's just warm and perfect.

Fort Abercrombie is our host now.
A magical rainforest with saturated humidity, embraced bunkers from long time ago, they hold the hand of stunning cliffs to the sea, where we can see sea otters, eagles, boats.
Then more hiking between Beach, Rainforest and NAVY special warfare detachment area.
A quick stop in a giro place followed by the local brewery.
Near Island is a piece of land that host the new dock, we stopped by too.



Another day with sun, the 18th. Now South.
To go across the island in the road, that passes between mountains to head down to another beach area.
Pasagshak Bay with a few  old houses, next to big brand new houses.
If you follow the road you get to Surfer's Beach. Huge bay sending lefts and rights to the sand.
The area is surrounded by buffalo. The vibe and energy there is strong.
The buffalo walk from the mountains to the beach, between grass and sand.
I was feeling like if I was in the past, a native in the land of bison.
But a rocket launch facility in the background of the buffalo, reminds me the modern era.

Fossil beach. The last point we head in the truck.
While walking around between rocks, the waves were breaking just a few meters from us.
Looking for fossils in the rocks, but at the same time for places where to step.
Little pools where hosting little fish and starfish.
The walls of the cliffs are shaped by the waves and probably storms. Bands of rocks,
fossils of trees or maybe maritime animals stuck up there.
By the time we were there, one couple showed up, walked a little and gone.







We started a fire.
While enjoying the fire, we saw whales. Probably humpback whales. Like 7.
Sea lions. One surfer catching some waves. Two chairs, lunch, smokey fire. Local beers.
A Black Raven proposing to an Alaskan Gull in the same magical spot from where she's playing years ago.
A storm in the horizon is sending fishing boats back home.
The Gull says yes to the Raven.
In the top of the cliff, a deer is watching the whole scene.
Time for the birds to fly away.
Dinner at Old's River Inn.








3rd Day. Rain. The Kodiak Weather is back
Still with that we drove Northwest, to Anton Larsen Bay.
Dirt road almost all the way. A road next to the bay, with cars parking in the edge,
but nobody around, no humans. Still no bears.
3 miles hiking under the rain. Rain jackets and rain pants saturated.
Arrived to Three Pillars Point, looking for japanese glass floats.
3 miles walked back to the truck with empty hands. But a great hike.
It's time to stay in dry and warmer places. Like Museums. Or Bars.





We stopped by the Kodiak Refuge Visitor Center,
where there's a big bear statue next to a picture of 26 years old Roy.
Dinner and local restaurants.
From the B&B for local drinks to the Powerhouse for sushi a sake.
Before heading to bed, we drove next to the East Elementary School,
three deers where walking and eating grass.

On Sunday, the Sun was out again.
It was Easter Sunday.
We headed to Pillar Mountain, a road took us all the way to the top.
Eagles, Ravens and Windmills were spinning with the wind.
Clear view of the Kodiak town to one side. The mountains still with snow to the other side.
The ocean to the horizon.
There was the time to appreciate a great moment, relax and views.
After there, we went to Mill Bay to play in the rock that cut in half.
Surfers were catching waves. Kids getting the feet in water.
It was time to head back to see Linda and Roy,
we had dinner and we had more stories.
Stories that now some tears are dried there. Happiness.

They gave me a hat, a book, an a card.


The moment when they left us in the airport,
was the moment when I realized that there was a picture missing in my trip.
At least a picture of us together.
At least a picture with Linda and Roy.
And at least a picture of the Kodiak Bear.


Another excuse to go back... right?! :)

I wish I had the time to finish the video and share all the pictures, but I have a normal job & I'm going on Vacations ;)

Monday, July 21, 2014

1st. Alaska Boulderfest


The 1st AK Boulderfest was hosted in Hatcher Pass, by AK Climber
It didn't got cancelled due weather. The Rain that started early that day.
The weather forecast said it was gonna rain, so I assume some people didn't give a try.
I decided to drive there and at least hang around, hike or whatever with rain.
When I got there, I arrived at same time than Tracy & John, Noah & Ezra.
All from Wasilla, AK. Committed climbers.
We moved to the "Basecamp", meeting point.
Hanging out for some time, while I was trying to remember names,
we decided to go "climbing".  Right?
  
The first boulder of the circuit was next to the road. 
A nice cave to put our dry socks and some dry stuff.
A V4 and V3 were our first try. I was exceptic.
The group got bigger.
Then the magic happened, we're actually climbing.

Then we moved to another bloque.
Just across the creek.
A Vrain1 of granite just above the pads with puddles of water.
Then a slab on the left, VrainSomething...
... Still climbable!
The rain slowed down a little. Then stopped.
We moved to another area. 
A pocket of blue sky came out.
The the rain started again.
The climbing was still going on.Some friends left, others stayed.
Another bloque down the valley, with other problem.
I stopped climbing but was hanging out.
The weather window was there, the sun trying to show up.
From a foggy morning, to some shinny pockets of sun.
The views were just great.

For reference of the area, names of the boulders, rates, or you wanna give me a present, check Todd's guidebook

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

10 Cosas que odiaré de la #LeyTelecom

10 Cosas que odiaré de la #LeyTelecom

1.Vigilancia Masiva. 
Las empresas registrarán todos mis metadatos; como las fotos de los perritos abandonados en periférico, las frases del Dalai Lama, mis selfies de Yoga poser, los mensajes que le envié a mi compa sobre como llegar a la casa, cuánto tiempo hice en la bici al poner el GPS en el celular etc.

2. Acceso ilimitado a mis datos. 
Desde que abrí las cuentas con miles de dolares en las Islas Caiman, el gob. se dará cuenta de cuánta nieve vendo de contrabando. Al igual que se darán cuenta de las 3 casas que tengo, casas de campaña claro. 

3. Buscador de Datos.
No pinches mames! La gente sabrá que me llamo José y no Kakiko al checar el sitio Googleando Mexicanos punto com! 

4. Adiós precedentes de la Corte contra la vigilancia.
Ahora que la gente sabe que me llamo Pepe y que vivo en Alaskawamas, no podré quejarme. Ahora todos sabrán donde encontrarme, para qué? no se! pero ojala alguien me visite. Vivo junto al árbol verde, blanco en invierno.

5. Mercado de Datos.
Los de la KGB, la CIA, Interpol, sabrán que Pepe, el gran traficante de nieve, vive junto el árbol verde, y no solo eso. Se compartirán los metadatos entre ellos! Que pinche miedo!

6. Mis datos en manos de agencias y criminales Internacionales.
Las grandes compañías que saben cuantas casas de campaña tengo me buscarán. Abrirán mis casas con una navaja y meterán un Oso Grizzly para compartir un bote de miel conmigo. Además, los skiadores y snowboarders del mundo, me buscarán y arrestarán por vender nieve ilícita a nivel internacional. 

7.  Usaron mis datos? Nunca lo sabré.
Oh my efin Gaaaasshhhhh!!!! así es... solo llegaron por mi y nunca supe como lo hicieron. Nos tomamos unas cervezas antes de que me arrestaran claro.

8. Facebook, Twitter y Google en manos del gobierno.
Que pinche peligro. Ya no leeremos babosadas de la gente. Bueno, si, pero de empleados y gobernantes. Conozco muchos. Cada vez postean menos perritos.
Google, ellos lo controlarán. Ahora tendremos que ir a las bibliotecas y leer libros para enterarnos de cosas del mundo mundial.

9. Zonas de silencio.
La Ley permitirá crear Zonas de Silencio, zonas sin acceso a internet, o feis. Zonas así como bosques, como Alaska, naturaleza, etc. Pero tener este tipo de zonas viola un Derecho Universal a la Paz interior, lo que algunos consideran un peligro.

10. Censura de Radio y Tele.
No más La que buena, no más Televisa, ni Univisión. Nos bloquearán todo. Las novelas, Primer Impacto y los 40 principales. El artículo 15, en su fracción 16, prevé la “suspensión precautoria de las transmisiones”, sin explicar cuál será el criterio a seguir. No, si, ya valió madres.


Pero como me dijo mi prima, yo vivo en Estados Unidos, de que me preocupo. 
Tendré que ver cómo nos impacta duriiiiisimo la ley a nosotros los ricos, poderosos y amantes de la paz.

Monday, June 30, 2014

It's Bike Park season again: 2014

It's Bike Park season again.
As I'm getting old I can feel the difference riding 4 years ago in Bugambilias with my friends than now.
Yesterday was my first day at the bike park in Alaska. My stored bike had a chance to get of the garage.
Adapting to it is like learning to ride... again. The fun starts slow, the nervous fast.

As advancing during the day, my legs and hands are getting tired. My brain relaxed.
Finding some friends helps to keep a pace and increase the personal confidence.
Repeating laps is the best way to keep those nerves away. And increasing the fun part.
The years advance, and the sun too. The moments are fast as the turns on the trails.

Water breaks on a sunny Sunday are mandatory, also good for resting fingers.
The trails as usual are slowly taking form. Bikes carving the glacial soil and marking the puddles.
The mud starts to saturate frames and goggles, shorts and pants.
Squats and burpees in a dynamic form at high speed.

The end is always surprised by a girlfriend with a gift, a taste matching beer.
Graphics of el Día de los Muertos from a Mexican beer and helmet. Feeling it after a long day.
The horse is still brave, to tame him is my job. The pricey Alyeska Bike Park trying to take shape, but still, race times with an iPhone, jumps still to work on, and hiker with dog in the downhill trail, speaks about it.

Another season for us starts and the arena steaming is... But the Silvertip is always rocking!



Monday, June 23, 2014

Amanece en tierra ajena.

¿ A donde vas dejando apresurado el suelo patrio y el hogar querido, la honrosa toga y el puesto distinguido y el fraternal amor desconsolado?  

           Diste penas por gozo sin medida, diste por todo el cielo ...  inmundo lodo y breve tiempo por la eterna vida.                       

Tu piedad no desfallece a pesar de mi desvío, Por fin venciste, Dios mio.
      ¡Que lentamente amanece...!



Amanece, amanece y desaparece.
Cada día que pasa, termina y mis pies observo.
Lodo, tierra, agua y polvo. Signos temporales,
que acompañan las eternas cicatrices.

Apresurado por la vida me dejaron,
obligado a buscar el cambio y el eterno gozo.
De tu lado me fui, de tu suelo patrio partí, siguiendo tus pasos me vi,
ese reflejo engañoso, en el lago frio.
Altas latitudes, con nieves perpetuas.

No has vencido padre, ni a tu lado sigo. En pie sigo.
Aventurado camino y cuando el día llegue,
y descalzo toque tu puerta,
sabrás porque he venido.



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The NeoliberCapitalist Buddhist

Yesterday, on my way to the climbing gym, I saw a scene that put my mind to think for a while.
The 2013 Subaru with a new Juliana bike on the roof rack, next to the ski box, with all the windows closed.
Prayer flags inside the left side, and a mandala on the right side. Next to the yoga mat. So I wrote this.

Years ago, when I watched audiovisuals from my friends expeditions in the Himalayas,
I saw those flags flying at the higher camps and summits in the mountains.
We didn't have those in Autlan. Not even in the highest mountain in the area.
So, I ask about them. Tibetan prayer flags.

From the Tibetan Buddhism, to the Mountains. Blessings and Harmony along the ridges and passes.
Lung ta (Wind Horse): blue - sky, white - air, red - fire, green - water, and yellow - earth.
The balance of the five elements producing health and harmony.
The wind hit the flags, spreading the peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom.
Their printed mantras purify and sanctify the air.

That's my memory about the prayer flags.
Because the symbols and mantras on prayer flags are sacred, they should be treated with respect.
They should not be placed on the ground or used on clothing. Old prayer flags should be burned.
As climbers, we used to have them in our porches or roofs of our houses.

Now I got confused by the misuse of the tradition. I'm not pure buddhist to pray it or say something. 
But since kid I learned to respect flags. Learned to live with basics and share with the rest.
Now while riding around town, it's common to see the new "NeoliberCapitalist Buddhist".
The typical person spreading love, humbleness and Namasting others... and still paying every month,
the bills of the newer Subaru, Westfalia, or Super fancy 4WD Toy truck.

The air conditioning system inside their vehicles makes the mantras to flow and bless the atmosphere.
Spreading health and harmony inside their micro bubble. 
Which is good, because if they are sick, they keep their germs.
Or if they just came out of a sweaty class,
they keep their smell for them. 

Let's share love and compassion with the rest, from inside of our nice cars.
Let's show the humanity the strength of our machines and engines.
Let's the air spread our wisdom when we choose this great V8 overpriced machine.
Mamaste.







Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Rainy days.


The weather itself changes. By day, by season. 
Lots of rain had arrived, pushing the sunny days away.
Winter will come and go, with less or more snow.
Now the days are just gray.

The routine is the trap of the wolf.
Where stepping with the same rock, at the same time,
becomes normal.
What's the purpose of the rock?
Why don't move the rock?
Why don't jump over it.

Water and the desire of jumps.
The summer season brings thoughts to mind.
Memories of accomplished dreams.
Melancholy of rusted roots.

Just another storm in the sky.
Like others had been soaked my back before.
But on the way, I always dry.