Saturday, May 28, 2016

I've Moved

As life continues to progress forward, so do I. My blog is evolving.

You can now follow me at

Friday, April 29, 2016

Take a Chance on Me

I was a young college student at the University of Montana when I contacted Nanrox Beauceron about getting put on a waiting list for one of their beauceron puppies.

Bosco's breeder had some reservations about handing over one of her beloved puppies to me, but I must have said all the right things to earn enough of her trust to put this guy on a plane in Quebec, Canada that was bound for Missoula, Montana.

I've spent every day since then proving to her why I deserve him. Thanks for taking a chance on me.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Jeep Sleepin

Much to the protests of those who care about me most (Hi Mom!), I've been traveling the country and sleeping in my car for years. For a cash strapped (read: poor) college student, it meant still being able to explore the country on a tight budget. It was also the perfect solution for the wandering soul in me.

If I was lucky, this meant a tent at a campsite, but usually it just meant the back seat of my vehicle in a random parking lot. Even now, in a better place financially, I tend to prefer this method of rest when traveling. It's ingrained in my head now and opens up a lot more adventures. So when buying Clif nearly two weeks ago, it dawned on me how comfortable it was going to be to sleep in my new Jeep. (I had even asked the salesperson if he minded my putting the seats down and stretching out. He thought I was joking, until he walked out of the dealership and found me stretched out across the back. Despite being a friend of Brian's, he clearly doesn't know me.)

So my first free night, Bosco & I took off for Denali National Park, equipped with all the goods for a quick overnight adventure. We drove as close to the park as we could manage before the lack of sleep started winning, and pulled into a turnout in my favorite valley in all of Alaska for the night. Never have I slept so safely, comfortably, or soundly in my car travels. I drifted away to the sound of rain gently falling on the roof of the Jeep while the stars and northern lights occasionally peeked through above.

I awoke to the sunrise starting to come up at 5:30 the next morning. It was 20 degrees out, which of course meant that despite wanting to get my day started, I did not want to leave the warmth of my sleeping bag. I begrudgingly lifted my arm out of my cocoon of warmth and snatched up my keys from their safe spot. From there I laid my head back down and relaxed for another few minutes. Before long, my car was toasty warm and I was feeling incredibly spoiled by my new auto start. Before the sun crested the Alaska range, Bosco and I were back on the road.

Unless you're lucky enough to win a pass for the fall road lottery, you usually have to take a bus down the road into the park. However, for just a few days each spring (the exact dates depends on the snowpack that winter) the road opens up for a few extra miles before the busses start running. During that window, you are able to drive further into the park than normal. The entire purpose of this trip was to take advantage of that window.

We were driving down the part road by 6am; just as the sun was starting to creep over the tops of the mountains. We had the park to ourselves the entire length of the drive, which ended at about mile 30 on the Teklanika River.

I never saw another person until driving out the second time. Yes, it was so awesome to have the 'whole park' to myself that I drove the 60 some odd miles in and out.


As the weather starts warming in Alaska, I can't help but get excited for the upcoming adventures to be had...

Thursday, April 14, 2016


First there was Log My Dog, but now, thanks to the help of a friend, there's Track My Cat!

Sometime back in December, my friend Ray presented me with a custom trackable geocaching tag for Bucket. He knew I occasionally took her out hiking and caching with me and thought it was a good idea to make her an official trackable.

I snapped this picture last night after we found our first official cache as a trackable.

When I initially posted this photo on GeocacheAlaska!'s Facebook page, I never expected the reaction I got. I knew it was unusual to be out hiking with your kittay, as we always get stopped on the trail, but it's even more unusual to be out caching with your cat. I was contacted by a member from Geocaching HQ for permission to use my photo. I obliged and before long Bucket's photo was getting hit after hit on their Instagram page. In 24 hours the caching kitty had over 2,400 likes and nearly 75 comments.
Only the next day her photo was then picked up and featured by another organization - AdventureCatsOrg - where nearly identical results were achieved.

Next, Bucket would like to try and break the internet.

Monday, April 04, 2016

O | | | | | | | | O

Today I joined a new family and after years of being a dedicated Subaru owner, I bought my very first Jeep.

Meet Clif.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bosco's Turns 7

In dog years that is. Even though I don't miss the hazards of owning a puppy, there are plenty of days I wish I could turn back the clock on my aging boy.

Considering some of the adventures we've been through, I'm pretty impressed we've both made it to see him hit 7. Happy Birthday Bosco!

Saturday, March 26, 2016


Two years seems like nothing when you get to hang out with your best friend every day [that the Army doesn't take him away].

Here's to many more adventure love!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring Equinox

Happy first day of Spring from Alaska!

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Ceremonial Starts & Taco Trucks

My day went nothing like I had it planned, but that's not always a bad thing. I was up early and once again running dogs for the ceremonial start of the 2016 Iditarod.
Thanks to the less than stellar volunteer coordinators I found myself having a downright terrible time as a volunteer this year. So when Brian called to ask if I wanted to meet him for lunch, I turned in my badges and headed to our meeting point. When I got there, I was searching for Brian in one of our vehicles, but found him waiting in a fancy new Toyota. While I had been running with Iditadogs all morning, he had been out test driving new trucks. Given the issues his 10 year old truck had been giving us in the last few months I wasn't upset to see the look on Brian's face that tells me he's about to make an expensive purchase. We spent the rest of the day at the dealership before coming home with a brand new Toyota Tacoma.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Post Deployment Leave

As soon as Brian was home and we were free to go, we hopped on a plane for a much needed jam packed vacation on the east coast.

I can't tell you the last time I've spent a birthday with either of my parents, but was fortunate enough that this trip stretched over both their special days. We landed on what happened to be my dad's 63rd birthday. As we descended the escalator into the baggage claim at the Pittsburgh airport, my dad was standing there with his arms outstretched. After nearly a year apart and 12+ hours in airports and airplanes, he was a sight for sore eyes. After snagging our checked bag, we called for our driver, aka my brother, to pick us up outside. After a quick lunch at Primanti Bros. - where Brian and I were excited for the cheapest meal we'd had in months while my brother was disgusted with how expensive it was to eat in the city -  we were on our way back to my parents house. 

The next 36 hours were spent hanging out and enjoying time with my family, most of whom I hadn't seen in over 2 years.

On Wednesday morning, we packed up mom's car - which she had lent to us for the trip - and headed out for a special side trip to New York City. It had been years since I'd been to the Big Apple and Brian had never been, so we planned this special side trip to celebrate our upcoming 2nd wedding anniversary. Driving into and through NYC is always a combination of Frogger and Tetris, but we were staying half a block off of Times Square and I was able to park the car in a parking garage until it was time to leave.

We checked into our (amazing) hotel and were back out the door before our bags landed on the bed. It was pouring down rain, but our stomachs were grumbling and we were on a tight schedule. After a quick meal at a nearby Japanese restaurant we were back off and walking to find Grand Central Station and, more specifically, The Campbell Apartment. My friend Matthew (usually called Kiwi by me) -  who is from New Zealand but we all had gone to college together at the U of M and lived in Pantzer Hall - was in town visiting family and extended his stay by an extra day so that our trips overlapped and we were able to catch up. The drinks were delicious but the stories were even better. Before I knew it, we were saying goodnight. Kiwi had an early morning plan to catch and we had a lot of things to accomplish in a short amount of time.

Thursday morning meant sleeping in a bit (we were still on Alaska time after all) and then hitting the shops of NYC before lunch with another friend from college, JenDel, and finally taking the subway to Battery Park for a tour of Wall Street and the Statue of Liberty.

Thursday night meant a long awaited date night to The Book of Mormon on Broadway and an after show cheesecake at Junior's. I was also hoping for a late night trip to the top of the Empire State Building, but the rain hadn't let up all day and was still coming down, so we opted for skipping this til Brian can actually see all that the view has to offer.

Friday morning we loaded up the car once again and took off for the Bronx. My awesome friend Ty is a keeper at the Zoo there and had a tour planned for us. After hugs were exchanged he surprised us with all access passes to the zoo and gave us a personal tour.

Before heading out of town, Ty had one last surprise up his sleeve and allowed us to go feed some of the animals in the petting zoo (which was shut down to the public for the season), including the porcupines I'd been seeing pictures of for years!

Getting to feed the goats might have been the highlight of Brian's trip, as he has a love affair with the screaming goat videos online.

If it weren't for my family waiting patiently for our return back in Pennsylvania, I could have easily spent our entire trip in NYC. But alas, the time came for us to head back and before I knew it, we were back in the car for another long drive. Plus, my Seester was finally in and would be waiting for us when we got there!

The weekend was spent hiking, shopping, eating, spending time with friends & family, eating some more (omg there was SO. MUCH. FOOD.), and even a little basketball.

Early Monday morning I hosted my very first geocaching event for Leap Year where both myself, Charlie and two cachers from Pittsburgh were in attendance for breakfast at Sister's. Afterwards we cached out the rest of the town (all 3 of them!).

Mom's 15th birthday (she's 1 of 2 Leap Year babies in our family) was also on Monday, so we had a family dinner Monday night at one of our favorite Italian restaurants in Johnstown. It's been a long time since my entire family was together, and it felt good to see all of us sitting at a table.

Tuesday morning Brian and I were back on the road for a blitz trip to Baltimore, MD to meet up with Brian's uncle Tommy and aunt Tina. I'd not met them before, but suggested we tour the National Aquarium before a nice dinner after. The National Aquarium never disappoints and was stunning as always. It was also great to hang out with some of Brian's family too!

We even got to catch a dolphin show before chowing down on the best steak I've ever had in my life.

Wednesday came entirely too soon. It meant squeezing in as much family time as possible before our early morning departure on Thursday.

Trips like these mean so much more now that we're spread out all over the place. Until next time family... xoxo.