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.