Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Nomad

Just beside a portion of the historic Iditarod Trail sits an old boat. Although seemingly out of place, the boat makes for an interesting trek with a picturesque backdrop.

The Nomad belonged to Joe Reddington, Sr (the Father of the Iditarod). He purchased the boat, which was specifically designed to endure the harsh waterscape of the Knik Arm mudflats, to use as a fishing vessel. It was grounded near Reddington's cabin in the 1960's and has remained there ever since.

It couldn't have picked a better, more picturesque spot to run aground if it we're Noah's Ark itself. By way of the crow, the boat sits just outside of Anchorage, but across the Knik Arm and therefor requires a more extensive drive to get to. I'm hoping to venture out this way more during different times of the year to capture this magnificent vessel.


Mr. Sechler, my middle school PE teacher was known in our school for often quoting the following:

In fact, when one (not me Mom) found themselves in trouble during his class, you could usually count on having to repeatedly write this phrase over and over while the rest of the class partook in whatever activity we were learning that week (perhaps you should talk to Charlie though). This basic phrase is one of those annoying little life lessons that sticks with you through the years.

I wrecked my car this past week. Thankfully it was only a minor mash-up, but up until this point I've had a pretty perfect driving record.

My friend failed a pretty important test last week. She can retake it in a couple of months, but she missed the national cut off by only a few points.

We went out for a sushi dinner last night and afterwards we spent the entire night popping bottles of champagne and celebrating. The DJ took notice of our celebration and, in between sets, asked us what all the champagne was for. When we told him, he laughed ridiculously hard and decided to announce it to the entire place. Nothing like the entire occupancy of the Whale's Tale to stop what they're doing and cheer for your losses with you. In that moment, all I could think of was: Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90%...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

To Celebrate Twenty Eight

Brian is still deployed and it's his 28th birthday today...

Normally, to celebrate his life, I would have planned an adventure for him but it's a little hard to do that when you're thousands of miles apart and one of you isn't allowed to leave the base you're stationed on. So this year I bought him what he asked for, two custom tailored suits and a subscription to the Dollar Shave Club, along with the promise for a couple dates out on the town to wear said suits when he returns home. 
I have a hard time accepting the idea of Brian only getting gifts for his birthday so I decided to make a list of 28 new [and hopefully amazing] adventures to go on in the upcoming months to celebrate his birth throughout the year entire.

1. Hike to South Fork Falls
2. Backpacking trip
3. Bike the Stampede Trail
4. Whale watching
5. Deep sea fishing
6. Take in a Broadway show on Broadway
7. Walk around the Statue of Liberty
8. See the lights of Times Square
9. Go skiing
10. Set lanterns free is a Festival of Light
11. Take a handsome carriage ride
12. Get away on a weekend mini-vacation
13. Fish for king salmon
14. Eat cheesecake at Junior's
15. Hike the Harding Ice Field
16. Get a drink at the Ice Museum
17. Take a dip in the Chena Hot Springs
18. Try not to scream on zip lines
19. Kayaking
20. Pan for gold
21. Catch a close up glimpse of an Alaskan brown bear
22. Take a road trip somewhere new
23. Photograph the inside of an ice cave
24. Watch the northern lights
25. Tell Santa if we've been naughty or nice
26. Eat fresh Alaskan king crab
27. Spend an afternoon at Chuck E Cheese
28. Surprise!


I celebrated by treating myself to an ice cream cone!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

You Shook Me All Night Long

There's nothing quite like being woken from a deep slumber by the movement of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake (with an epicenter only about 150 miles away) to get your blood pumping! Thankfully all is well in our humble abode. Others nearby cannot say the same. 

Friday, January 22, 2016


For all my friends in the lower 48 complaining about the impending snowstorm Jonas, I say this to you:

Sunday, January 17, 2016

South Fork Falls

It was cold -like single digits cold- but otherwise a fairweather winter day in southcentral Alaska. The  riverside portion of the trail was flat and fast with enough trees to block the bone chilling breeze that was following the path of the river through the canyon. My partners in crime for the day, Bosco & Ray, and I made quick time through this part of the trail and were crossing over the South Fork Eagle River via a natural ice bridge before we knew it. After that, the trail begins to make slight, but continual elevation gains over the next mile until the final short climb to the falls overlook.

Once at the overlook, I made my way over the railing and down a rope to a steep, icy path that led to the bottom of the falls. At the end of the rope, but still 40 feet above the canyon floor, I started sliding down the steep 'trail' I was standing on. As soon as I got myself stopped, I dropped down onto my bum figuring I would eventually end up there anyways if I tried to proceed any further on the cliff. Knowing at this point, with the severity of the ice and coupled with the pitch and remaining height of the cliff I was traversing, that I wasn't going to be able to do down this way any further, I sat there and took a few photos before heading back up to the overlook.

Bosco, who had been worried about my safety since I crawled over the railing, was impatiently waiting at the overlook for me to return. He was not impressed with my adventuring so close to such a cliff. I imagine he was giving me about the same look my own mother would if she had been there with me.

We meandered around the woods for a while, tackling some nearby geocaches, which took us down a side trail where my day was completely made (as if spending the day in the woods and seeing a stunning, half frozen over waterfall hadn't already done that) when I walked down a quarter mile corridor of beautifully decorated Christmas trees alongside the trail.

Around this time we discovered a side path through the woods along the South Fork that seemed to be going back in the direction of the falls. Still wanting to get some pictures from the bottom, we followed this random trail through the woods and were happily surprised when we found ourselves standing at the bottom of the falls.

I stopped here for a long while, sitting to finish off my lunch I had packed along with me, take some pictures, and relax for a bit before heading back into the woods after a few more nearby geocaches. All in all we turned a 6 mile round trip hike into nearly 10 and a half miles. The short winter sun had long set when we made it back to the car so I readily welcomed the warmth of the little Subaru as we drove back to Anchorage. I can't always say I love living in Anchorage, Alaska, but today was one of those days that made up for all the darkness we endure.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Hello 2016

2015 has been an interesting year to say the least. Interesting is probably an understatement, but it's the best that's going to flow from my sleepy brain today. Although today doesn't feel much different than the distant past of yesterday, there's a lot to come in the upcoming year.

Walking into 2016 I feel a lot of anticipation and hope for the BIG changes we have coming our way this year - Brian's finally coming home from his current deployment(!!!), we're doing a bit of traveling while also scratching and clawing our way out of debt as quickly as we can at the same time, I'm going to be turning the big 3-0 this year, and who know, perhaps a little Bennett will make its way into the world this year? Or we could just get another cat! I want a puppy, but Brian wants a baby, so we'll call it compromise and get another kitten. Calm down future grandparents! We'll probably just get another cat. I wouldn't want the next epic cat name to go to waste. Unless you want your future grandchild to be named Captain Fuzz-Fuzz?!

New kitten or no new kitten, here's to hoping for many new adventures, smiles, laughs, and memories in the upcoming year.