Sunday, December 20, 2015

Geo Art

Geo art is when geocaches form a shape to make a picture. They're more common in the lower 48, but have recently started making an appearance in the rugged landscape here in south central Alaska as well.

Recently, a local cacher known as li1gray, put out a piece of geo art in honor of the Iditarod. His artwork, when looked at on one's GPS is in the shape of a dog sled. It's also a ? cache, so when the puzzles are all completed, turns into a 40 cache power trail.

Until today, I had never done a power trail or a piece of geo art, so myself and two friends, Cally & Ray, set off down the highway to complete the finds after solving the puzzles earlier this week.

Cally made her 100th find while out on the trail!

At the end of the trail, we attempted to take a group photo of us jumping in the air to rejoice the end of the trial, but it turned out to be a series of bloopers, including this one, where Bosco decided to take out my feet mid air.

Having completed the power trail much quicker than anticipated, we set our sights on finding 50 caches each before the end of the day. Normally, this wouldn't be much of an issue, but when the sun is only out for about 5 hours each day right now, we knew our time was quickly -and quite literally-fading.

So we drove down the highway in hopes of finding a few more winter friendly caches, but the further north we drove, the deeper the snow. None of us seemed to mind tho, as we had the Talkeetna Brewery in our sights, which also meant pulling out the JetBoil to heat up some homemade tomato basil soup I'd made just that morning.

After we'd had our fill of warm soup and cold beer, we were back in the car (don't worry mom, everyone was sober). Daylight was completely gone at this point, but it didn't matter anyways. The sky was clear and the stars were out in full force to light our paths.

We had just parked the Subaru in front of the ITC headquarters in Wasilla, when I looked up and saw the northern lights were just starting to flicker above us. We moved to a more suitable spot to view the show, and I witnessed one of the better aurora shows I've seen to date.

When we'd had our fill... actually, it was more like when the numbness became to great in our limbs, we got back in the car and headed to a nearby neighborhood that was decked out in Christmas lights and in sync to a short wave radio. There's something magical and truly un-describable about driving through a neighborhood, listening to your favorite Christmas carols and watching the lights flicker in sync while the northern lights dance across the sky above you.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Queen(ie) of Hearts

     I lost two puppies due to very different illnesses when I was early in my high school career. Both were unexpected losses and I vowed that I'd never own another dog ever again.

     As my eyes gazed her picture on the website, I knew two things. One, she was the most beautiful dog I had ever seen, and two, she had to be mine. I printed out the photo, convinced my sister to take me by the shelter to meet her. He name was Queenie and she was roughly three years old. At dinner that night I sheepishly showed my dad her picture and pleaded my case. We were sitting in their parking lot a full thirty minutes before they opened the next day b/c he said "there's no way someone wouldn't adopt her right away." (Thanks Dad, still one of the coolest things you've ever done).

     We were a perfect match for each other. She was prone to seizures and we decided it best that she stay in Pennsylvania w/ my mom (whom she had become fiercely attached) when I moved to Montana. Earlier today she passed away... She will be greatly missed...

Sunday, December 06, 2015

O Christmas Tree

I spent the day in the Chugach National Forest outside of Hope, Alaska searching for the perfect Christmas tree.

It was 3 degrees.

Sunrise was at 9:57 and sunset at 3:44. I spent all 5 hours and 44 minutes outside trying to soak up as much vitamin D in the sliver of exposed skin that was above my face mask but below my hat.

By the end of the day I had not only found the perfect Christmas tree but spent some quality time in the woods.

Another good day in Alaska in the book.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Bad Mood Rising

Standing at a trailhead in -6 degree weather last night when a group of about ten fatbikers roll through. I immediately thought to myself 'Whoa!#SquadGoals.' But then, as I stood there talking to Cally & Ray, I quickly realized that I talked these two, without any convincing at all, to come out and walk around the woods with me in the dark after work in -6 degree weather. In that moment I realized #SquadGoalsAlreadyReached.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

I miss my husband dearly, but I have much to be thankful for as 2015 comes to a close. The darkness is beginning to take it's toll, but in a few short weeks her time will be up and the daylight will start winning the battle once again. I'm looking forward to new adventures in 2016, but am grateful for everything that 2015 has given me thus far.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Close Calls

Bosco & I spent the majority of our Monday out in the woods meandering about and playing in the snow. We even took some time to build a snowman at one point, but Bosco enjoys eating snowmen more than he enjoys building them, so that didn't last long.

We happily spent the day tromping through the fresh snowfall in the woods, before picking up a trail back to the car just in time to meet up with a friend for dinner at my new favorite Thai restaurant in town. After eating more than my fair share of curry I hopped back in the car and headed the direction of home. We were halfway home before I realized I just wasn't quite ready to call it a day just yet. It had been a long, stressful week and I wasn't ready to give up the cold, fresh mountain air for the comfort of my couch. I turned the car down a side street and headed for a local park. Bosco, who has also been cooped up inside all week, did not seem to mind my decision as he whined with anticipation as we pulled into a parking space.

As I was walking down the trail tonight, I spotted a moose about thirty feet ahead of us just next to the trail. It was dark out, but the combination of snow and moonlight were enough to guide the way. I dig out my flashlight to get a better look at said moose to see if she's going to let us go by without incident. Bosco is standing patiently about ten feet out in front of me waiting for a command on what he should do next, when out of nowhere a second moose rushes out of the woods and charges Bosco. In a moment like that, I am grateful for the time and energy I have invested in training/raising my dog. He obeyed my commands precisely and we were both able to walk away from a pissed off momma moose without much incident.
Bosco pretty much loves everyone and everything he meets. Minus Bucket when we first brought her home. That 3 lb kitten was scary as shit, but I digress. Bosco has no problem walking under horses because they're his friends and last night, with the moose, he was waiting for me to release him from his 'stay' so that he could go sniff it's bum and be 
instant friends. Tuesday night, just one day after our near miss with the moose, Bosco learned the hard way that while he loves pretty much everything, not everything loves him.

After removing most of the porcupine quills from his face and paws, I discovered more inside his mouth, including one under his tongue, and took him into the emergency vet to be put under to have them pull out the rest and check for any more that we had missed. Thankfully, while they were in his mouth they also discovered a problem with one of his back teeth they were able to quickly correct before it became a major issue that would have resulted in his losing a tooth.
This is him back at home, still doped up on anesthesia and being tended to by nurse Bucket. Never a dull

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Sleepless in Alaska

The northern lights are one of those amazing phenomenons that exist in the dark nights of Alaska. They alone can almost completely make up for the long, cold dark nights that can sometimes start to feel overwhelming here.

Words cannot begin to describe the feeling of watching them dance across the night sky. Or seeing the millions of stars shining brightly behind them. Or the feeling of electricity in the air. Or the crisp, usually ridiculously cold night air filling your lungs. Or the numbness that slowly starts to creep up in your fingers and toes from standing in one place for too long.

But every day I check the local reports, and my work schedule for the next day to see if it's worth losing a little, well okay a lot, sleep for the night on the hunt for something so unpredictable. 

Some nights there's nothing but darkness. The other nights tho... well they make it so worth it.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Duck ... Duck ... Moose!

I've had several run in with moose since moving to Anchorage. They existed in Montana as well but up here moose are more equivalent to the deer population in the lower 48. While out meandering through the woods (literally, trails are often overrated, especially in the winter) on my only day off this week, I rounded a tree and almost stepped on this little lady. She was thankfully in good spirits and didn't seem to mind the intrusion, so after I carefully backed off, I stopped to snap a few photos before continuing on my way. Mind you, my longest lense is a 55-200mm, so Bosco & I are not far away form her at all, but she had such a pleasant demeanor I couldn't help but take advantage of it, as the local moose are usually less than pleasant to be around.

After posting this particular snap on Instagram, it was picked up by a local but popular account & spread like wildfire (for my audience size), being liked over 2,500 times on both Instagram & Facebook and over 300 shares on Facebook alone. Cool.

Monday, October 26, 2015


Just when the overwhelming cold & darkness start to get me down, you throw little gems at me like this.
Well played Alaska, well played.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Gold Chord Trail

Sometimes this all feels like a dream. This kind of view doesn't make it feel any more real.

If I am dreaming, please don't wake me.

Bosco & I were out today doing some testing for a new Ruffwear jacket coming out soon. We can't show any other pictures from the hike today as this is a prototype jacket we're working with, but I did snap this one that doesn't have the beauceron in it. Sorry if it's a little grainy. I forgot to upload it from my computer at home and am writing this @ work so I had to steal the one from Facebook.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

GeocacheAlaska!, Inc.

I recently joined a local geocaching club after attending many of their events locally. In honor of that, I thought I'd share some of my photos from geocaching over the last few months.

Thanks for making this an action shot Bosco

Monday, October 05, 2015

Bucket's List

How cool is this?! Bucket's picture has recently been getting some features on Instagram. Apparently, taking your kitteh hiking is kind of a novel idea...

We never knew.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Autumn in Alaska

Summer is fading
Fall is fleeing
And winter is quickly approaching.
This might just be my favorite time of the year in Alaska.