Angel Creek Trail

 Just a few miles from Chena Hot Springs is the Angel Creek Trail.  It takes you back to two recreation cabins.  We hiked back to the first one, 3miles out, that was just completed about a month ago.  The second cabin, another 3 miles up creek, has been there for some time. The trail was nice and packed from snow machines (as they are called here in Alaska).  It was a beautiful day, the weekend before solstice.

The next few pictures were taken the day after the two of us went out together.  Andrew went out by himself, and went up a trail that spurs off the Angel Creek Trail towards the ridgeline.


Out on an afternoon hike at 10 below a few weeks ago.  The frost build up is so crazy.  I love the i-lash-cicles! :)

Trip to Healy

A couple of weekends ago we made a trip down to our cabin. Isn't it so lovely with the snow?!?! the little wood stove heats it up amazingly fast. It goes from 20s inside to 70s in an hour and a half. We actually have to leave the windows open while the stove is going so it doesn't get too hot!

A few mountain pics from nearby our house.

The Healy ridgeline from the Parks Highway.

The Nenana River

My Dogs

Ok, so everyone knows they are not actually my dogs. These are just some of the dogs I work with. I finally attempted to snap a few photos while out on a short run...35 miles. Definitely some blurriness in some of them but you get the gist.

After leaving the dog yard, we connect with the Yukon Quest trail, aka Baseline in the neighborhood, and follow that down to a logging road (above),

Then, we go up and over Jenny M Hill while dodging lots of low hanging alder branches in the trail.

Next we go out a trail towards North Pole.

This first stand of birch trees (one of my favorite parts) is right before one of our turn-arounds. On a longer run we go past this, the trail splits and we go both directions (to the dyke and to the ag fields). Once we connected with the Chena River and rode that for a bunch of miles and made a loop with our two turn-around spots.

This trail connects us back to the logging road.

And there's the hill that we rode up and over at the beginning of the day.

Now we've gone past the house and the dog yard and we are riding through "the field."

This is the other side of the field. We are headed back home now!


I love my job soooo much! It is just perfect for me! Being outside everyday and working with these amazing animals is almost too good to be true! The only scary thing is that it is making me want to get about a dozen sled dogs of my own! Not anytime soon though :(

Solstice Sled Dog Race

The weekend before Christmas the Solstice Sled Dog Race started at the local Two Rivers Store. It was a 100 mile race and the first and second place winners, a husband and wife team, arrived back in 10 hours from when they started.

Dog teams waiting for their time to start.

So excited!!!

At the start line.

The excitement is almost too much.

This is a typical truck for hauling dogs.

It's hard to see but there is a dog in every seat in this car! :)

A Christmas Walk

Well, I am pretty far behind on blog posts, so I figured I'd start with the most recent outing. Christmas morning after a wonderful stuffed french toast breakfast and phone chats with missed loved one we gathered for a walk around the neighborhood. Twas a beautiful day for a walk...ten below with light snow flurries falling. We are so fortunate to have numerous trails literally out our backdoor. At the end of the street is a huge network of trails that takes you far out into this winter wonderland. If we were traveling by snow mobile or dog team we could go for hundreds of miles! But, by foot is one excellent way to experience to the magnificence of this scenery.

Diane and Ben headed back home.

Enjoying the snow piles at our place.

Love this picture! Giddy Leslie! :)

Happy Solstice!

Our first winter solstice in Alaska! So many people have made the lack of daylight up here in the winter sound so awful, but they have failed to mention how amazingly beautiful the little bit of daylight is. This last week has been indescribable. The colors, the tone, the light has been incredible and the coming week should be the same! With the sun barely peaking above the horizon the light that we have is one long transition between sunrise and sunset. With a few clouds in the sky you get pinks, oranges, and yellows with a backdrop of the softest, but most brilliant blue I have ever seen. The actual daylight hours for today are 3 hours and 43 minutes with the sunrise being at 10:56 am and the sunset being at 2:39 pm. But, the length of visible light recorded is 6 hours and 33 minutes. Even though the sun is below the horizon the sky is lit up for quite some time, so it doesn't seem as bad as everyone has made it sound. I wish I had some pictures to show (not like they would do it justice anyway), but the dogs I work with do not allow me the time to stop and take the pictures. I just have to make lots of mental notes. We went on a six mile hike (made it to the top of Twin Bears Mountain) today to celebrate the solstice but it was snowing so hard we had no views and saw to light really. Oh well! I was remembering our first summer solstice in Alaska today, we hiked 28 miles in 22 hours starting at 1:30 am and ending at 11:30 pm. We drove a few hours north of Fairbanks to do the hike so we could watch the sun travel in a circle around us during the entire hike! Love Alaska! Wishing everyone peace, love and joy this winter season!

Alaska's Stonehenge

The Granite Tors...rocky outcrops that formed millions of years ago and stick up out of the hills in the Chena River Recreation Area (aka our backdoor). Andrew made a trip up to see these ancient rock pinnacles last weekend while I was working. He ended up spending the night under the stars and the northern lights at around -30! He took these photos the next morning on his way back down.

A wildfire swept through the area several years ago and has left many standing dead trees.

The Alaska Range dominates the background.

The morning light breaks the chill and warms the granite.

Andrew towing his sled with camping gear for practice.