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Wow I have not written a blog here in Ion's. Literally, guess I have been preoccupied... With a short update here on my whereabouts.  After my rather damp, yet filling summer last season in Whittier

Natives in Plaza Santa Fe New Mexico

                         Waterfall court of the Patriarch Zion National Park

Portage Pass Trail, Whittier , Alaska

                          View of Prince Willliam Sound, Portage Pass Hike


                                           Early eve on the Virgin River in Zion


I headed to Zion National park for a short two month, what i call shoulder season gig at the lodge.  I had never been there and since I was craving the sumptuous warmth of the southwest this was a good plan.  I had sent an e-mail to their HR person in the middle of the summer and got an instant reply.  So off I was with intermediate stops in between.  For starters I had the incredible opportunity, thanks to my manager last summer of traveling on a cruise ship on my way out of Alaska... he had been a transportation director for Holland America for 20 years and connected me with his buddy who took his place for a friend and family discount on the Zaandam.  One of my BFF'S that I have known since high school flew up to join me on the Cruise.  We headed to Seward on the 11th of September and boarded the ship.  Mind you this was my first real cruise... I never thought I would even go on one, so I felt grateful to have this opportunity.  the                                   itinerary was suppose to be College Fjord, Glacier Bay, Haines, Juneau, Ketchikan then finally the home port of Vancouver B.C.  Due to bad weather the Captain made the smart choice of deadheading ahead of the weather so we headed straight to Glacier Bay.   Good weather for the most part stayed with us so it was pretty enjoyable despite the September Alaskan Monsoon's.  This was truly a magnificent way of departing the land of the midnight sun.  My faves were Glacier Bay and Haines, since I had not been to either.  Haine's is tiny, yet charming and reminded me a tad bit of Sitka, only smaller.  We were a little too early for the Bald Eagle Festival they hold in November, yet still visited the center that host's the event (The American Bald Eagle Foundation)  many of you might know, I spent almost two years working full time for Alaskan Raptor Center in Sitka as a keeper in the early 2000's.  I do miss my job, yet the ultimate breaker was the bleak winter and rain for me.  In any case the cruise was marvelous and a great way to finish off my summer.  We spent a couple of days in Vancouver exploring around and I met up with a good friend who lives there once the cruise docked.  I love that city, probably because it reminds me a bit of a more northern version of San Francisco my home port.  So after two fun action packed days in Vancouver,  I flew via portland, Santa Rosa and Las Vega's then a shuttle to Zion National Park which would be my home until the end of November.  I love new adventures and having the opportunity to explore places that i have never visited so this was a gift.  I had never before worked in a Restaurant as a Hostess so this was new as well. 

                     Great Blue Heron, Virgin River at Canyon Junction Zion NP

                                           Rainbow Mist at the Emerald Pools, Zion NP

Briefly I had a good experience, although what I thought would be shoulder season really turned out to be peak for this park.  The cooling temperatures of the autumn made it to be a big draw for tour groups, Europeans and more traveler's so it was jamming busy the entire time I was there.

                            Fall Colors Temple of Sinawava, Zion

  Maybe a bit too busy as I can get over sensitive to a high impact of people all at once. What saved me was an early shift and afternoons hiking and hanging out by the river



                                            Taos Pueblo, one of the oldest communities in the U.S

After my Zion Adventure,  I took to the road and headed to New Mexico.  For years I have wanted to explore Santa Fe And Taos so I was really excited when I secured a very reasonable 59.00 airfare on southwest.  I had only been to Southern New Mexico and that was a thousand years ago on a college road trip, so I was really excited.  Native Cultures and art are passions of mine, so I was very happy to go on this little journey.  Santa Fe was awesome and since it was off season it was quiet.  There was some light snow, yet I was impressed with the Natives that endured the cold and hung out in the plaza selling their wares.  I am pretty weak when it comes to willpower with native art, so of course I walked away with some pretty awesome jewelry and happy to support these amazing artists who work so hard to make a buck.  After a few days exploring Santa Fe I headed to Taos.  Well I have to say I fell in love with Taos.. amazing and feeling as though I stepped back in time a million years ago. I made a very good attempt at networking and meeting people in hopes of landing a winter gig there.  It seems despite the ski area, which is mostly a weekend destination, that this is off season for Northern New Mexico, so I really did not have a lot of luck landing anything.  In any case, the visit was fabulous, and on top of that I got to back a month later.  After I left Taos I spent a few weeks volunteering at a horse rescue in Arizona, yet I cut my time short after i had noticed some abuse by someone the owner had helping her.  With my love and passion for animals I couldn't be around this kind of energy.  I was disappointment because my intentions were to stay there the majority of the winter, yet in any case I was very fortunate as a good friend I have known since high school rescued me, and as luck would have it, she was heading to Taos as she had just purchased an adobe there and wanted a buddy to ride with her there.  So I got to go back which was awesome and spend more time there.  This time the snow had melted and the temp's were pushing into the 50's... it has definitely been a crazy weather winter.  After all this adventure I landed in San Francisco (my hometown) and have spent a couple of months catching up with family and friends, working on my zazzle store, a bit of house sitting, blogs and so forth..  Soon enough in another 2 1/2 weeks I head back to the land of the midnight sun to Seward for my third season with Kenai Fjord Tours.  On top of that I will have a part time job on on of my day's off so I am going to be a very  busy bee.  Work work work... and I am very grateful for those opportunities.  Well I hope everyone had an awesome winter, and I am sure you are all looking forward to your next adventures.  In the meantime enjoy and hope to see everyone's smiling face's here soon enough.  

Happy Traveling and adventures everyone.

                             Me and the What? Easter Kitty in San Francisco at the Easter Parade

                                            Sun Art Santa Fe New Mexico

                                                  Magical Sunset Taos New Mexico

On The Zaandam Crusing Southeast Alaska in the Fall

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Comment by Dawna Raven sky on April 17, 2012 at 12:50pm

Thanks Aggie: I am usually more regular with my blogs.. this winter I have to admit... between my zazzle blogs for my store and trying to promote other's.... and just wanting to be... I have been behind.. hopefully this summer they will be more regular maybe.. although I have two jobs this summer.... kft and on my friday off for Celebrity Cruises as a pier check in agent... when the ship comes in.. so it is going to be a busy summer.. Hope your's is great as well.

blessings, Raven Sky

Comment by aggie71 on April 17, 2012 at 12:05pm

Boy, I love reading your blogs ..... especially looking at the pictures!  I probably just missed by a few weeks .... I went right through Sante Fe NM on my way to Mesa Verde.  Have fun this summer!   Ranger Rich

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