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Alaska Outdoors & Living  2011

Well this year is going to be full of change! We found out on December 30th that our family would be growing come August!  Lots of anticipation and anxiety, time to be responsible I guess!


Enjoying a hike out my backdoor with Tundra and Jarvis!


Doggie shots!


Our normally busy hiking season was just a busy but cautiously so...on our over night camping trips I carried about 20lbs and Aaron carried the rest of camp.  It sure felt different trucking around the hills with precious cargo onboard.

Spring sunsets in June are incredible from our deck!


Aaron's folks came to visit in June.  We had a great time eating delicious meals and enjoying the company! 

Aaron and I feel so blessed having the wonderful family we do! Easily entertained with moose watching and drinking wine on the deck!


Aaron and I went for an afternoon walk one day and saw this guy walking toward the trail we were on.  He was determined to cross the trail exactly where we were standing!  I was long gone before he got this close, but Aaron stayed around for pictures! 





36 weeks...but who is counting anyway! So excited to meet Baby Boy Bork!


Aaron and I woke morning early to hear some rustling around upstairs. He went outside to see what was making the rattle when he looked around the corner on our deck and saw a sow black bear with two little cubs trying to get some birdseed.  Aaron ran back in the house, Momma bear ran around the deck the other way and down the walkway. Little cubs stayed behind.  Not often you can get this close to little black bears. One of the cubs climbed from our deck over to the tree. The other I had to lure with bread crumbs down the walkway to get him off the deck. They hung out in the tree for about twenty minutes before Momma bear came back to rescue them!



D Day.....August 21, 2011 and still no baby!  We walked about four miles enjoying some local moose.  I guess Baby Boy isn't ready yet!



FINALLY!!!! Luke Aaron Bork was born on August 24, 2011 at 07:01...a whopping 9lb 5oz.  Welcome to the world little Bork...we have SO many adventures planned!


Our first SMALL hike with Luke.  He travels well in his little carrier! Feels good to stretch the legs!

Jarvis has no idea what to think of the new addition to the family! They will be buddies soon enough!


Happily we so far have a baby that loves moving. I suppose that is because of the months of hiking I did while pregnant. He is used to the motion! :)

Falls in Alaska are spectacular.  Hiking in Powerline Pass with Grandma Robin!


Luke's first trip north to our cabin.  Eight days old and already in the tundra.

We really have no idea what we are doing yet!

Life is totally different...including cabin life! :)  The dogs aren't quite sure what to make of this new little family member.  He did sleep in his own bed most of the time, but I couldn't help but snuggle him whenever he fussed!


No shortage of love for this little guy!

Lots of nap time these days! Kodi likes naps, Luke likes naps, and of course Aaron LOVES naps!

We don't nap all the time...we've been enjoying how portable Luke is too! Did a little exploring and found some blueberries and some other boney treasures!

Little baby boy in huge wilderness Alaska!!!! We've been hiking quite a bit with Luke lately.  I am constantly checking on him to make sure he's breathing.  A few times he was sleeping so deeply I really scared myself...of course he wasn't happy as I stuck my fingers in his mouth and rudely awoke him! I am a new mother I suppose! He is quite durable, but seems so fragile!

Some of our local moose!

Near Summit Lake, AK....caribou migration! An incredible event to witness...the hills were alive with movement as the caribou moved to the wintering grounds.


When Luke was one month old we went hiking behind the house. When we crested the ridgeline, I spotted these four just below us.  They continued feeding on berries, but momma was very aware of our presence, as was I of hers!

Hiking in Alaska in the fall is spectacular and I felt so blessed to be able to be out with Aaron and Luke breathing in the cool fall area and taking in all the colors.  My sense of protection was on high alert though and I was trying to learn how to have a crying newborn in bear country.  On this particular hike we saw the four black bears and then saw two different large lone brown bears.  Luke only woke once shrieking; I quickly whisked him out of his pack and nursed him! Praise the Lord for breast feeding :). 

Jarvis is very aware of Luke's small and fragile presence. Soon enough these two are going to be best buddies! 

Aaron and I have been practicing diaper changes while the temperatures are still above freezing.  We are getting faster and Luke doesn't seem to mind the cool air! 

Man do I love this little guy!



It feels really good to be doing more hiking! I'm still carrying around an extra 10lbs on my front, but I'm used to it!  We've been doing more exploring since learning the quirks of Luke on these hikes. He is pretty much happy if he is warm and if I'm moving!  We went and explored near old Nike Missile Site one evening! 

The views into Eagle River Valley were breathtaking...winter is on the way!


Our first hike in the snow!Sorry for all the baby pictures for those used to our normal outdoor shots! We are obviously smitten and find ourselves taking pictures of Luke more than anything else!   Winter came early this year...there were many days of hiking that I almost turned around because I felt like the worst mother ever! I didn't see other women out hiking their two month olds around the hills in the snow...but almost was as close as I got to turning around.

There were a number of hikes I found myself in tears, struggling with my old self - independent and free to hike wherever and whenever, and the new self - a responsible mother.   I started learning how to merge the two and found great joy in doing so!

Learning how to dress a two month old and keep him warm without roasting him was another project.  I generally felt like he was plenty warm as he snuggled against me but I was always checking on him.  I had a friend who's baby got frostbite on her cheeks from wind blowing in around the infant carrier.  I would slather his cheeks with vasoline to protect him from any wind and dressed him in a fleece onesie with a little hat on.  If it was really cold, I wore one of my puffy jackets backwards to keep him insulated.


We did an afternoon hike up Bird Ridge on a clear day in October.  Here I am fumbling around trying to figure out how to make my traveler happy! Having a crying baby on your front as you truck up hills is a challenge in itself. Luke and I are still learning about each other though! 





Aaron is always present on our hiking adventures.

My boys!


Aaron sewed this fox tail ruff on my Ergo baby carrier.  It definitely blocked the wind when his face was exposed.


On this particular fall day, Aaron and I went on a walk from the house to stretch our legs and perhaps see some critters.  We were on our way back to the house, when we decided to take a break, apparently Jarvis was feeling left out and needed to sit on my lap....We looked back from where we'd just been and saw a nice bull moose. We decided to go back to get a closer look and maybe snap a few pictures.  We got just above the little draw we'd spotted him in and Aaron went in closer while I stayed back with the dogs.  Things got interesting in then...Aaron was sneaking down around the bedded bull.  I was watching him, and then noticed a runner coming toward the bull from the other side through the thick brush. I could just see a disaster happening...The moose had stood up out of his bed hearing Aaron approaching, neither had any idea the runner was coming from the other side. I started waving and yelling at the runner hoping to warn him before he entered the trees but he was oblivious.  The bull started down the trail in the direction of the runner...this trail is narrow and tight. The runner came around a corner and the bull was just feet from him. He quickly stopped and started backing up, but the bull kept advancing. The runner had to veer off into the woods so the bull could go around.  I spoke to the runner as he came past me...he was shaken and appreciated that I'd tried to warn him. I told him he was brave to be running silently along the trail, with no bear mace to boot! He laughed and continued on his way, dropping into a little draw.  I looked in the direction he was going, where we'd just come from, and saw a large sow brown bear with two large cubs. I started yelling at the runner again! This time he heard me and looked back! I hollered bear and he nodded and started walking. Meanwhile, I was panicking with a very awake baby on my front looking like he was ready to wail!  I hurried the dogs in Aaron's direction deciding we would find another way home! 


Continue more 2011 Winter Baby adventures.....



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