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August 2008

Aaron and I finally were able to pack up our trailer and head back to Alaska. We had spent months on our deck dreaming about the day we headed north.  Everything fell into place almost too easily with the whole move, which made it clear to me that God had his hand in this.  The next chapter in our lives will start back in Alaska, and we hope this will be HOME.


We had most of our belongings shipped via container back to AK, and used our trailer to put our bed, grill, and some clothes for the next two weeks.   We decided to use our trailer as our little mobile home for the roadtrip.

The drive from MT to AK isn't too bad other than the first 1500 miles.  We decided to skip going through Banff to safe our truck a little of the extra work, so it wasn't really until we reached the Yukon did the drive become more enjoyable.  The weather was great, just a little too hot and gas was too expensive.  We were spending around 5.50/gal to 6.00 in some areas. Northern B.C. and the Yukon are by far the most beautiful areas on the drive.

We spotted a large group of Bison off the road just past Muncho Lake.   This little guy was full of energy.

We drove for three solid days by the time we reached AK.  It was 42 degrees when we arrived in AK around 11:00am and pretty rainy.

We arrived at our log cabin, the first time anyone visited it in nearly two years, and it was still standing tall. It was so exciting and scary all at the same time. We finally were where we'd dreamed of being for the last few years.  Our cabin was in perfect condition. There was no dust inside amazingly, and no signs of any shrew visitors.  See some pictures from these first days on our cabin page.

 

 

We did spend a week or so at the cabin and then headed south to Anchorage, we picked up a few groceries, filled up on gas, and then headed toward Homer.  We spent the night in Turnagain Pass in our little castle (trailer). We glassed four black bears in the hills. 

 

Homer was beautiful as usual.  We were told the summer hadn't been so good for the most part, so we felt lucky to have a relatively calm and clear day.  We camped on the Homer Spit on the beach. 

The dogs were thrilled to run and play on the sand.  Aaron and I spent some time visiting the local art shops and then kicked back to read a book on the beach.

The next morning was pretty gray and rainy. We ate breakfast at a local breakfast place that has always been a nice stop. Good food, good coffee, and good atmosphere.  We started back toward Anchorage, not sure what our next plan was. We were expecting to meet our trailer with belongings in town in a few days.  Time to get settled in to Anchorage.

 

It was a real pain getting moved in, but at least it was feeling more like home.  We finally took a break for ourselves and decided to explore a little of the Anchorage hillside. It is so nice to be back in this big country. 

Kodi, Tundra, Aaron, and I take a break during a hike in the Chugach Mountains.


We stole a picture of this moose in Anchorage.  We are still in the habit of snapping pictures of every moose we see. We only saw three in MT in the two years we were there.  It is nice to be among such creatures again!  We've seen lots of cows and calves, and a handful of bulls. Most bulls still have their velvet. 

 

The blueberries were poor at the cabin this year so I was hopeful for the hillside in Anchorage. Aaron and I decided to explore another trail into Chugach Park with hopes of finding some bumper blueberry crops.  We were thrilled to find just that, but a lot weren't quite ripe yet.  Lots of bear sign, but no bears this hike.

Once we were settled into our home, we headed north to the cabin.  The colors change fast in Alaska and I was excited to see the tundra blazing with reds, greens, oranges, and yellows.  On the way north, we saw this cow and calf near Summit Lake.   Just across the road I couldn't resist this picture of the pipeline contrast with the tundra.

Went on a morning drive to find some photo opportunities. This bald eagle was in an unlikely spot where we've never seen any eagles. He was patient enough to let us shoot from a number of angles.

The eyes of a dog, that is how she gets treats.  Tundra was acting board at the cabin in this picture.


Some fun time for the dogs. I took Tundra on a run down to this little lake not far from the cabin.  Aaron drove Kodi (he -Kodi- wasn't in the mood to run) down to have a little water play too.  Our dogs love water.  We captured some fun pictures of the water play, see more on our Alaska malamute page.

The cabin glowing as darkness falls in interior Alaska.  We heard a Great Horned Owl on our trek into the cabin and saw fresh moose tracks on the trail. 

A goofy black n white picture we took. We were sitting our drinking wine and playing with the camera.

We went for an afternoon hike by the cabin just to learn some new country.  With all the contours to the land, it's fun to see what is over the next hill.  The reds are getting pretty lively.

Our first view of the mountains on this trip. 

The clear skies deserved a morning drive to see what critters were out and about and to capture some pictures of the scenery.  This is a view of some mountains of the Alaska Range.  Mt Hayes is at the right of the picture. 

I'm sure we have a hundred pictures like this...they are just spectacular.



A clear day we must take advantage of. We headed to Rainbow Ridge for a hike to look for berries.  A few berries were ripe, but a lot were pretty dried.  We saw lots of caribou hunters, but no caribou. 





The view down to the Richardson Highway as it runs along Rainbow Ridge.  Pretty rugged country.


After our hike we had to take the dogs to the river for some water.  Kodi couldn't resist chasing sticks into the current.  Apparently the walk wasn't tiring enough for the old boy.  He acts like he's nine years old whenever he's not outside, but put him on the river or in the hills and the puppy returns.





Some more moose hikes for pictures. 

September & October 2008

Being back in Alaska is so refreshing! We've been working a lot and getting used to the new schedule, but work is that much easier when you love where your living.  I feel so blessed every time I look out the window at my hospital and see the alpine glow on the mountains, or the snow falling in October.   I don't know a better hospital with a better view!

Snow came early this year in October, and we are not complaining! I'd rather the temperature be 20 or 30 than 70 or 80.   We have been spending our spare time photographing local moose. In all the years we lived in Anchorage in the past, we never knew about the local moose that put on quite a show during the rut.   Here are just a few of the pictures we've captured...

 

Being in the midst of moose is pretty awesome. We have a decent lens so we aren't as close as it looks, but close enough.

 
 

 

This is a dandy bull; we waited for at least an hour hoping he would stand up, but never did.  I love the way we captured the white of his eye.

 

 

This bull got carried away with thrashing in the brush.  Definitely in the rut.

 

 

This is one tough bull. We saw him charge a photographer earlier in the day, and then watched as chased numerous bulls off as well.

 


A few other bulls we found.  The hint of winter with a dash of snow.

 

 

Winter is definitely in the air! Photographing was hard with the falling snow, but made the pictures unique.  This bull seemed to be plumb worn out from the rutting activity. 

 

Some mating activity!

 

 


And...winter is here to stay I think.

 

Just hanging out with moose. The dogs are quiet as long as the moose aren't running.

 

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