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.

Snowshoeing in Healy

We went down to Healy a few weeks ago to visit our cabin. When we first arrived we had to drive out to the mountain view on the Stampede Road for a glimpse of Denali in the evening light. The next day we went out for a little cross-country snowshoe walk.

Thanksgiving Day

It was so delightful to be off work and sharing the day with such wonderful friends and family! It was the first time in five years we were off work for Thanksgiving, but also the first time in five years we didn't make amazing amounts of money on Thanksgiving....pros and cons. It was a much welcome change indeed though. I hope everyone enjoyed their Day of Thanksgiving.

49 Degrees Below Zero

Record temps for the interior of Alaska were set the week before Thanksgiving. It was said to be coldest week during November in the last 100 years! This was the coldest day of the week. Our thermometer read -49 when we first woke up. By the time the sun came up and this picture was taken it had risen a couple of degrees.

Chena Hot Springs

What else do you do when the thermometer reads -45! Go soak at Chena Hot Springs! It actually wasn't that cold by the time we drove 35 miles down the road. We must have been in a colder air pocket here, but it was still way below zero!

Camping Out

At -25! That's what the temp was when we fell asleep in the tent set up in the backyard. It dropped to -30 just before the sun came up! We were testing out our new -30 sleeping bags that we'll use on Denali next year. They worked! We slept warm as could be!

Winter Fun

I mean winter work! Welcome to an inside look at my winter sled dogs! This is definitely one of those dream jobs that would normally stay a dream for many people but not for me! I lucked in to working for one of Alaska's finest dog mushers, Sonny Lindner. I will be helping run dog teams throughout the next few months until the racing season begins. One of the REALLY fun things we'll be doing is traveling to some amazingly beautiful parts of the state to train. Last week we went down to the Denali Highway and ran 22 miles out then 22 miles back with a break in the middle.

The weather was too perfect for a first trip. Sunny days with temps from a low of 0 to a high of 30 degrees. Right now there is not enough snow to use sleds (actually not enough snow for the sled brake to work), so we used one four-wheeler and one snowmobile.

The dogs are trained to take advantage of rest stops. We brought some hay out to the turn around spot and let them bed down for a bit after a snack and a drink.

Some know the gig better than others.

Such awesome scenery all around.

What an exciting winter I have in store. More fun awaits!

Stuck Again

I forgot I had these pictures so I wanted to share them because again I got the biggest laugh out of them when I saw them. This happened the day after we returned to Alaska from our Teton trip. The first lasting snow fell, it was in the mid-20s, so we went for a four-wheeler ride. We went to an area that is only winter accessible because it is so swampy in the summer. In a couple places we crashed through the ice but kept on going, then one time we broke through the ice and came to a dead stop. The more the tires spun the deeper we sank. We ended up winching out using the biggest spruce tree we could find (which is hard to do because none of them are very big).

It was a muddy mess. The ice was about three inches thick already and we still broke through.

I find it so funny that on the first day Andrew has this four-wheeler (in the summer) he got it stuck and then on the first winter ride he gets it stuck! LOL!


The first recorded negative temperature! November 1st with 10 actually wasn't that bad, just as we'd imagined. For all our desert dwelling friends, it's a dry cold! Ha! Ha! We both stayed warm while working outside today though. Welcome winter. Life is good!