Mullberry Whine

poured out before bed

Over the Moon and Hanging with the Sun

Mr. Whine and I did not have the classic post-nuptial honeymoon we’d planned.  Quite shortly after we were married, I became suddenly and seriously ill, so any plans for travel – and for continuing medical school, for that matter – were put on hold.

Three years later, I’m in remission and in possession of my MD degree – and still married (no small feat under the stress of disease and degrees, let me tell you).

And now, three years nearly to the day since we tied the knot, we’ve had the good fortune to finally check that box on the life-to-do-list next  to ‘Honeymoon.’

Mr. Whine and I spent our amazing belated honeymoon in Alaska, hiking, kayaking, camping, boating, and road-tripping in between – not to mention availing ourselves of sockeye and fresh seafood at every turn.  The beauty of this untamed land – it’s incredible landscapes, teaming wildlife, and salty-sweet inhabitants – was astounding, and the experiences we had memorable in so many ways.

I will spare you any journal-esque prose of our time in the wild, but will tell you that your own Whines were more than successful at connecting with each other and with nature (but, thankfully, were not torn limb from limb by charging bears or disgruntled moose), are now heartily ready to continue riding the ever cresting wave that is medical education, and shall willingly regale you with a little Alaskan eye candy.

AERIAL ALASKA…

– even the bum-crushingly long flight to AK was fabulous!

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…after a few hours nap starting somewhere in Canada, I woke to Captain John’s announcement that we were entering “the last frontier,” and was privy to this snowy clear view outside the plane window…

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…aerial view of twin calving glaciers…

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…the fog – present 2 of every 3 days in AK – begins to roll in–…

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…–but not before I catch a snap of the snowy patterns on the mountains!…

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TURNAGAIN ARM…

– Captain Cook, why would you turn from this place, search for Northwest Passage be darned!?!?

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…a scenic view point along Seward Highway overlooking the Arm as the tide recedes…

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…for the first few miles I think we stopped at every view point provided, so enamored were we with the vistas…

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…Beluga Point – although beautiful, no belugas that day…

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…one of the last scenic points along the Arm – we just couldn’t help ourselves!…

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…sitting on the roadside watching the tide roll on out…

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…even when the view point turn-offs dried up, we still snapped from the car…

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KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK BY BOAT…

– cold, wet, loud, AWESOME experience through Resurrection Bay and into the Gulf of AK

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…1) its an arch 2) rising from the sea 3) there’s a tree growing out of it … how could you NOT take a picture?!…

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…I still can’t get over the teal-green hued water at the base of the fjords…

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…can you spot the nesting bald eagle?…

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…the bustling Kittiwake rookery…

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…just don’t look up with your mouth open…

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…turning out toward the Gulf of AK…

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…I’m a huge fan of the mountain smudging fog – which is good, because it hangs around quite a lot of the time in these parts…

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…friendly little sea otters munching away…

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…snow melt waterfalls carving away at the rock face as they plummet into the bay…

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…Holgate glacier groans and snaps and breathes and calves, leaving bizarre and beautiful ice bergs to mosey out to sea…

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…icy waters near Holgate Glacier and the mountains she carved…

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…a nature flavored slushy…

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…islands of rock where the fjords once stretched…

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…natural caves and outcroppings, compliments of the sea…

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…sea lions sunbathing in the cool afternoon air…

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…Seward by sea as we return from our fabulous boating day…

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EXIT GLACIER AND HARDING ICE FIELD…

– a stunner among valley glaciers, and a lesson in both the power and fragility of nature

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…Exit Glacier is the only part of Kenai Fjords National Park accessible by vehicle, and we happily took advantage of the glacier view point near the park’s road entrance…

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…that ancient, dark glacier silt and all that running glacial water – spectacular!…

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…no kidding – BLUE in the hard pack crevices!…

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…advice from your friendly Kenai Fjords National Park Ranger… but, um, at how long do I have to wait to determine that said grizzly is eating me?…

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…near the valley trail head to the glacier (right after a giant moose rocketed out of the brush, crossed the trail without a care, and headed back into the wild… we may have needed a change in unders at this point)…

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…Exit Glacier flood plain fulfilling it’s purpose, and then some…

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…Exit Glacier melt field…

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…farther up along Exit Glacier melt field. The glacier ended at the point I’m standing taking the snap in the late 1950’s…

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…yet more Exit Glacier melt field…

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…Approaching Exit Glacier – and bearing it’s crazy breath – it’s darn windy at the glacier’s edge and up on Harding Ice Field!…

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…closer still to that coiled blue edge…

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…and that’s as close as you can get – and this is shot 1/6 of a pan down the tongue of compact ice that is Exit Glacier…

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…Shot 2/6 of a pan down the tongue of compact ice that is Exit Glacier…

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…Shot 3/6 of a pan down the tongue of compact ice that is Exit Glacier…

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…Shot 4/6 of a pan down the tongue of compact ice that is Exit Glacier…

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…Shot 5/6 of a pan down the tongue of compact ice that is Exit Glacier…

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…Shot 6/6 of a pan down the tongue of compact ice that is Exit Glacier…

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…the element scarred surface of the glacier…

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…heading down from the glacier’s edge, and thoroughly enjoying the landscape she carved for us over the years…

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DENALI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE ON FOOT AND BY CAR…

– beautifulvistas and reindeer games!

...Denali Mountain (original and proper name for Mt McKinley) would be hereabouts - if it wasn't so cotton-pickin' foggy.... It's OK. Denali is only visible 1/3 days, and only 20% of visitors are lucky enough to catch it.  This snap is from the South View Point in Denali State Park, the spot allegedly offering the best peep at the grand old peak (it's apparently less visible in the national park where it stretches 20 thousand odd feet into the Alaskan sky)...

…Denali Mountain (original and proper name for Mt McKinley) would be hereabouts – if it wasn’t so cotton-pickin’ foggy…. Ah, well. Denali is only visible 1/3 days, and only 20% of visitors are lucky enough to catch it. This snap is from the South View Point in Denali State Park, the spot allegedly offering the best peep at the grand old peak (it’s apparently less visible in the national park where it stretches 20 thousand odd feet into the Alaskan sky)…

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…again with the Denali occluding fog…

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…but I did make it to the top of Denali – sort of…

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…a frozen river winds through the red tundra just outside of DNPP…

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…despite the pesky fog, there is still color…

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…mountains to the right of them, mountains to the left of them, mountains to the front of them – and mountains to the back…

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…a stunning view in DNNP…

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…what’s that in the foreground? OMG, it’s Rudolph!…

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…Rudolf, Blitzen, and Cupid thoroughly enjoying a snack and nonchalantly disinterested in the two humans frozen while feverishly snapping photos on the trail…

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…another stunning view in DNNP…

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…the scene from one of the more popular view points in the park…

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…more of the scene from one of the more popular view points in the park…

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…yet more of the scene from one of the more popular view points in the park…

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…the forest, the tundra, the mountains…and the RVs. I’ve lived both in the deep south and in CO and still never have I seen such a fleet of RVs as in AK…

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…love this shot….

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…watching the cloud shadows dance across the face of the tundra, foothills, and mountains…

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…beautiful, even on a cloudy day…

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…the whistle of the train echoes eerily against the mountains and across the plains as we spend our last day in this indescribably rich park…

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CAINES HEAD TRAIL…

one of those very long and crazy amazing trails you have to hike at low tide – and then time your return such that another 12 hours have passed and the sea has again receded, relinquishing the trail for the hike home. Despite the logistical conundrum of the hike – and our fear of taking too many photos lest it slow us down and we miss our window home! – it was one of our favorites.

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…because the hike wouldn’t be exciting without random snow melt streams running down the middle of your trail, right? The rangers have likely run out of 2x4s to put across them after the crazy flooding this year…

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…hangin’ around (hanging around)….

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…after a long stretch of thickly wooded trail, we catch a glimpse of Resurrection Bay…

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…and the breeze off the bay at this spot was FABULOUS!…

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..apparently a very (very) good spot to set up shop…

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…although time was short we lingered a while at Tonsina Creek, enjoying the sound and feel of the cool rushing water and taking a handful of photos of the stream and the liberated glacier silt to the right, now reclaimed by native forest…

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…more Tonsina and silt…

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…and some more…

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…and – you guessed it – yet more…

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..heading back into the thick forest…

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…with one last look behind…

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…and now for some sappy textural pictures…

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… (above pun intended) …

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…a fitting, natural wood heart for our honeymoon…

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…interest in a tumorous growth on one of the cedars…

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CABIN FEVER…

– beautiful seaside lodging for a few days

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…dirt road fraught with falling rocks leading to the cabin…

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…view from the cabin deck at high tide…

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…view from cabin deck at low tide..

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…more low tide from the cabin deck…

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…I LOVE this shot. Just to the right of the dead tree – a mating pair of bald eagles perusing what the now receding tide has left them. On the cabin chimney – a young bald eagle (not yet bald), yet too green to defend ‘his’ territory. Perched on the tree – a raven, nervously deciding which eagle to harry (he of course chose the young one shortly after this was taken, chasing him away down the shore.)…

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…one of the multiple shots of the treasures left by low tide…

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…one of the multiple shots of the treasures left by low tide…

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…one of the multiple shots of the treasures left by low tide…

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…one of the multiple shots of – well you get the picture…

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…a bald eagle also shows interest in what low tide has revealed – though less due to hungry eyes than hungry stomach…

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…although he does seem to enjoy the view…

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TWO LAKES HIKING TRAIL, SEWARD…

– a short and easy hike near the town, we enjoyed this walk multiple times when cooling down from longer hikes

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…Lake One, just at the trail head…

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…the water is so clear you’d be tempted to drink it..unless you are, like myself, a microbiologist, with knowledge of all of the bitty critters harbored there, waiting to assault your insides…

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…everywhere you look there is a snow melt water fall…

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…and each waterfall is stunning in it’s own right…

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..enjoying the rock formations and mountains surrounding Lake One…

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…more of the teal-green waters of Lake One…

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…Lake One once again…

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…and – you guessed it – more of that photogenic natural diva, Lake One…

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…lovely moss carpets the forest along this trail…

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…Fiddle me this. (Because they’re fiddle heads… See what I did there?!)…

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…more fantastic bark textures along Two Lakes trail…

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…Lake Two sort of comes out of nowhere and then the trail pops back into the forest, leaving little time for photography…poor forgotten Lake Two…

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…remember when I mentioned that there are a hundred million snow melt waterfalls in springtime Alaska?…

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…the late night sun warms the grass near the end of the trail. It is nearly 11pm in this picture, proving that Alaska 1) is indeed the land of the midnight sun 2) is a good place to get crazy jet lagged and 3) offers hours (and hours and hours) of natural beauty for two not-so newlyweds happy to be celebrating, alive, and together…

4 comments on “Over the Moon and Hanging with the Sun

  1. kindredspirit23
    June 11, 2013

    Beautiful! I am so glad you two got to reunite and in such an awesome setting.
    Scott

    • mullberrywhine
      June 13, 2013

      Thanks as always, Scott. We are so VERY blessed to have had the experience!

  2. Arman
    June 12, 2013

    Incredible photos! I am so completely blown away and rendered speechless!!

    Oh… congrats on the honeymoon and that it went so well on the connections 😉

    • mullberrywhine
      June 13, 2013

      No matter how small one’s snapping skills, a place like AK allows for some big, beautiful shots. And thanks much, we are so very lucky to have had this lovely time together!

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This entry was posted on June 11, 2013 by in Amazing, Art, Beginnings, Blogging, Career Choices, Drama, Family, Favorite Things, Finding Humor, Graduation, Gratitude, Greiving, Life, Long Nights, Love, Marriage, Med School Musings, Memories, Mornings, Outdoors, Photography, Romance, Sharing, Sleep, Taking Care, Vacation, Weddings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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The views expressed on "Mullberry Whine" are NOT intended to diagnose or treat disease.
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The med-ed related stories described here are based on real events. Details have been changed in accordance with HIPAA de-identification guidelines to protect confidentiality.
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Mullberry Whine can be enjoyed daily; there is no unsafe quantity. Real wine, though, should be enjoyed in moderation. At-Risk Drinking for males under 65 is defined as >14 alcoholic beverages per week or >4/day, with >7 drinks a week or >3/day being the cut-off for females under 65 and for anyone, male or female, who has graced this planet for 65 years for more. Drink Mullberry Whine like there are no consequences. But drink alcohol responsibly. Your friends, your family, your health-care provider, and your liver - heck, ALL of the organs in your body - will thank you.
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