IMG_4974 (1)On our final day in Alaska, we woke up in Girdwood and went out for our final hike.  We chose Winner’s Trail which we expanded by adding a few miles on the Upper Winner’s trail.  It was a wonderful way to cap off so many hikes and sites in Alaska.  We then drove to Anchorage to take a late flight.

IMG_5058Winner’s trail is a easy hike and I strongly recommend continuing to the hand tram (a pulley system that allows you to crank you way across the river).  Unfortunately the hand tram was broken but the views were still incredible.  We peeled off to take the upper Winner’s trail which is a bit more challenging and less traveled.  I saw a black bear ahead of us near the end of that part of the hike.  The day was clear and warm — making the hike the perfect end to a great series of hikes.


IMG_5088After our hike, Jack and I drove to Anchorage for a few rounds of trap shooting at the Birchwood range outside of Anchorage. It was Jack’s first time and he was very good.  I on the other hand was dreadful. No need to discuss the number of hits.  Let it just be said that clays have little to fear from me.  Everyone is quite nice at Birchwood but I do not expect an invitation to the skeet competition planned for this weekend.

We are now heading to the airport on a delayed Delta flight so it looks like a red-eye flight that will be delayed by three hours for some undisclosed reason.  Fortunately, we have a lot of Alaska pictures to entertain us from our trip.  I will post a final blog entry after we return to Virginia and get some sleep!


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  1. @Paul Schulte: He may have been carrying an illegal weapon, but there is no appearance that he was trying to use it. In the Minnesota case he told the officer of his leagal weapon specifically for the purpose of preventing precisely what happened.

  2. Is Comey a Commie? I did not get that one. I was on vacation. I came back from the hospital visit and looked at my discharge papers and they changed my name to Al Zeimers. Or, I have his papers.

  3. JT, Thanks for the diligence and generosity in posting during the trip w/ your son. Hopefully you’re one that can sleep on a plane. 16 year old kids can sleep anywhere!

    I’m on my way to Aridog’s funeral. There’s a mass @ a Polish Catholic Church in Detroit @ 11:15a and then a lunch @ his favorite restaurant in Detroit, Mario’s. I will be representing JT and all the folks here and convey to his family and friends our sympathies and what Aridog meant to us all.

  4. also Paul, are you familiar with Zimbardo’s prison experiment? I think that was very telling about authority and power.

  5. Much like the white bros in blue who have killed people — both white and black? I agree it was an emotional rant, but given the fact that she serves as a cop and yet is a minority is it that surprising? All I’m saying is that there HAS to be accountability for rogue cops! Remember Serpico?

  6. BTW – your sister in blue is an accident waiting to happen. She has no impulse control.

  7. Paul, I was obviously not there so like anyone else I try to put together the pieces from what I read/see. Alton, the guy in LA, may indeed have been carrying an illegal handgun – the guy was essentially homeless from what I understand and a neighborhood fixture selling his CDs outside of the convenience store. Struggling with the officers after being thrown to the ground by uniformed thugs? Do you really want to go there? Eric Garner struggled and was killed and so the beat goes on.

    Have you seen the video by a black female cop who is a “sister” in blue?

    1. Autumn – statistics show that if you are black you are more likely to be shot by a black or Hispanic cop than a white cop.

  8. So, dear “peeps”, on Wednesday night I saw the footage of Alston being held down in LA and shot like a rabid animal by the cops. I cried and cried. Then on Thursday I woke up and saw the news about Philando in MN and watched that footage and cried some more.

    How to channel my rage and frustration and sadness in a constructive way? I decided to get out and interact in the black community.

    I live in North Charleston, SC — a few minutes away from Hanahan where Walter Scott was gunned down last year by bully cop Michael Slater.

    The “main drag” is Remount Road which I call the “Avenue of Broken Dreams” and most folk avoid – this street has all the broken denizens of society – hookers, poor whites/browns/blacks – just 14 miles from Charleston proper which just received the accolade from Travel and Leisure magazine of being the “best city in the world”

    So, I went to the Walgreens on Remount and as I got out of the car I was approached by a very handsome clean cut black young man. As soon as he walked up I knew I was gonna be panhandled — after living 3 years in DC I developed a 6th sense. So, the young man says “hello” and then launches into “I normally don’t do this, but can you spare a dollar for bus fare?” I tell the boy that I don’t normally carry cash but I’ll check my wallet – turns out I did have some cash – a tenner so I gave it to him. His face lit up and the thanked me profusely and I said “be safe and stay away from the cops” he turned back, with tears running down his face and hugged me. By that point I was crying too. Then he came back again and literally lifted me off my feet in a hug and said ” thank you, you are my sister” I said you are right – we are ALL family regardless of our skin color. I have no idea what that young man’s story is — what he used the money for and I don’t care.

    Then, after that I went to a store called DD’s Discount which most of my peers are wholly unaware of as they are liberals, but are people of means so they don’t mingle with the poor. As usual, most people there were black or biracial. Only two other whites except myself – one was a cashier and another who really stood out was an older white woman — she caught my eye, as aside from her skin colour she was thin, chic and groomed — more like a person I might encounter at Whole Foods. Anyway, I set out to look for a new door mat and found one. I got in line which was very long – typically these stores are into understaffing so only two registers were open.

    The chic white woman was ahead of me and approached the white cashier – I didn’t get the whole exchange — something about returning a suit case she had bought and the cashier was telling her that she had waited too long and she couldn’t offer a refund/exchange according to the store policy. The woman proceeded to berate the cashier and demanded to speak to a manager – turns out the other cashier (black) was the manager and told the woman that the other cashier was indeed following store policy and if she had a problem she need to call the corporate office. In the meantime the line grew and grew and the black cashier waved me forward. I walked up with my purchase and quietly told her that I felt so horrible about the most recent assaults. The white customer walked between me and the cashier and proceeded to yell at her – the black cashier was very calm: “Ma’am, you are interrupting a business transaction and a private conversation” The white woman said “well I am going to call the cops” the entire store went silent. The black cashier said “really? do you want to bring up the police given the racial tensions we are all experiencing today? “But, please it that’s what you want to do call the cops” The white woman says “what tensions?” By that point I was shaking with rage – given that there were children present I curbed my language but went off “are you totally ignorant? do you watch the news? do you realize that two black men were killed by rogue white cops?” The woman says “what does that have to do with me?” The black cashier with the patience of Job quickly assessed that I was about to lose it so she said “ma’m please step aside so I can complete this sale and this lady can leave” Then the woman says “well a lot of bad things happen to whites as well” – then a black customer stepped up addressed the white woman and asked “do you know who this lady (the black cashier) is?” The white woman said no and he said “she is the niece of Cynthia Hurd [Hurd was one of the victims of the Emmanuel church shooting, a highly regarded librarian much beloved in our community] so she is feeling very especially sad today about all the violence” The white woman says “who is Cynthia Hurd?” The man explained who she was and the woman’s response “well, what does that have to do with me?” During their intercourse the cashier quickly finished our transaction and I left. Angry as hell, but with deep admiration for that woman who despite everything remained so calm and professional.

    I returned home seething and felt still I need to do something. And given that Cynthia Hurd, such a caring individual has been brought up I thought about my library branch which is largely staffed with black ladies. I have developed a great relationship with them over the years – they are all empathetic, kind and funny and I always enjoy our interactions about books. So, spur of the moment I decided to stage an “action” Walked in, stood up on a table and told the library Caworkers and patrons that I wanted to bring attention to the senseless, horrible killings of Alston and Philando and to let them know that my heart is broken, that I stand with all of the black and brown people in this country who fear their male sons, husbands, nephews, etc. face the fear of being killed by the police with zero accountability. I said that we are ALL sisters and brothers and we must all band together peacefully to combat the violence. Then the library head appeared and asked me to leave. Cause unlike that chic white woman who repeatedly said “what does that have to do with me?” I disagree. I stand with all of the oppressed in this nation irregardless of colour.

    Anyway, just puttin’ it out there…….

    1. Autumn – I think some people have jumped too soon. You may be one. In at least one of the cases, the victim was illegally carrying a handgun and appeared on the tape to be struggling with the officers. He has a history of this.

  9. A crazy week to be sure between Comey’s testimony and the killings. Have we lost our collective minds?

  10. You missed one of the most important stories in history. Clinton Clinton Clinton and I do hope you write you opinions as soon as you get back home.
    Comey as I see it has destroyed U S law (I know except the 99% Hope you had a nice vacation and hope you will please give us FULL opinion.

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