Sugarloaf Peak

We bagged our first peak for the summer! It's been months since either one of us has done anything physically due to Andrew's back injury and it felt GREAT! We started the day out by playing things by ear because this a serious, butt-kicking hike. Sugarloaf Peak is just outside DNP across the river from Mt. Healy. It was the first peak in Alaska we conquered while working here in 2007. The straight up trail climbs almost 3,000 feet in about 3.5 miles.

The peak is just to the left of Andrew's shoulder.

View looking south towards Anchorage.

View looking north towards Healy and Fairbanks.

Across the Nenana River is Mt. Healy and down below is the tourist area known as Glitter Gulch. By the time we got above treeline we knew we were going all the way.

Going up via the ridgeline.

The wildflowers were beautiful. We must have seen at least 20 different kinds.

I love the funky rock formations.
The state flower and my favorite, the forget-me-not.

These arctic poppies were incredible. I don't recall seeing these in the past.

Almost there...just a little more calf burning.

We did it! And it is SO worth it! Talk about feeling good! I wish everyone could see this view firsthand.

The first time we did this hike, it was early May and all the peaks, including Sugarloaf, were covered in snow.

Another awesome day! I feel like I say that a lot, but actually, I think it even more than I say it.

Dry Creek to the Nenana

Every few days Andrew and I take a long four-wheeler ride somewhere new. These rides normally don't depart until after 9 or 10 pm and we don't return home until after midnight. During that time a gorgeous rose color baths the mountains around us and it seems to last forever. It is a very special time of day in Alaska.

Between our place and town there is a creek or creek bed called Dry Creek. We have passed by here many days and there will be water running down the gravel bed, then the next day it will be dry...that's the beauty of melting snow and glaciers. Anyways, we have gone up the creek before so this evening we decided to go downstream towards the Nenana River.

When we entered the creek bed this evening there was no water running. Then on downstream a bit it seeps up out of the ground and becomes a decent little creek.

The silty Nenana River with Mt. Healy behind it.

Now the best part of the night...on our way to the river Andrew spotted something in a hole on the steep river bank. He said it might be an owl or some bird. Sure enough it was a Great Horned Owl. We rode a little closer and it flew away, so we continued heading towards the river. We figured the hole in the wall was its nest because there were poop streaks on the rock wall at the hole and several places near it.

Owl in the hole

Not far from there the mate flew up from the creek bed and landed in a tree near us. After watching it for a moment it flew upstream in the direction of the nest.

Later, on our way back by, both owls were at the nest and it looks like the one on the left is nesting. What an awesome thing to find! We plan on returning soon to see if there are indeed chicks at the nest.

The New Throne

There she be! The new throne! Up and working well over a six foot hole.

We plan on building a screen door for it and screening the walls up to the roof. And these pictures were taken before we made it more homey with decorations, so it has some character now.

The outhouse is not new to us but new to our land in Healy, and has been passed down from family. Probably only in Alaska, does someone give you an outhouse as a housewarming gift! Thanks cousins, George and Leslie! We told them a few weeks back that we liked the design of their outhouse and were going to duplicate it. To our surprise, they said, "Please, take it then!" They have been wanting to fill their hole because the outhouse was no longer needed with three indoor toilets at their place now. So, we gladly accepted and took it apart piece by piece (except one big piece) and loaded it on the trailer to bring home.

We took the walls and roof off and loaded them on the trailer first, so this is the one big piece, the floor, seat, and back wall, that stayed together for the ride home.

What or who is that in our hole???

That might be the last time Leslie looks through that hole.

Andrew thinks this is going to work out very well.

YEA!!! A new outhouse!

G&L also gave us the magnificent gift of several spruce poles to use for our pole barn.

What a great load! You don't see this going down the road everyday. But, it's not the first time a wooden john has been hauled around this great state. Seat up and all!!! :)