A couple of weekends ago Andrew got to take an extraordinary trip out into the Alaska wilderness on the east side of the Alaska range. A neighbor friend in Healy asked Andrew if he would accompany him to his cabin in the bush, which is about 100 trail miles from the nearest road access. A trip like this can be risky business, so the safety of a second machine is a huge peace of mind to all involved.
As Andrew leaves Fairbanks the sunlight is just starting to shine on the valley he will be entering.
The first fifty miles is pretty smooth riding....the next fifty not so much. Route finding and trail breaking is quite the battle mentally and physically.
2 machines, 2 sleds, and 2 guys......ready for a good time!
Rays of light crest the ridgeline
Finally to the river ice. You can never be 100% sure that the ice will be solid all the way across, a weak spot could be anywhere, so you choose your path cautiously and hope for the best (or when in doubt go really, really fast).
It's normal for rivers to have open water spots in places all winter long. Also, it's safe to assume that you will encounter some overflow (water that has surfaced due to pressure below the ice forcing the water upward through a fracture) while traveling on rivers and creeks. So you always have to be highly alert for what lies ahead.
In the picture above, you can kind of see the different heights of the ice. That is from the river freezing, overflow water bursting through, flowing to a different channel, freezing again, then the process continues to repeat itself all winter long.
A water ouzel!
A beautiful time to be out in such peaceful country!
Finally at the homestead, this is one of the original cabins first homesteaded here.
The cabin our friends have spent most of their time in for the last 15 years. Nine months a year here...what a life!
Guest cabin...how cute!
The homemade doors and lumber are beautiful! Definitely something for us to aspire too!
I love this outside corner post. What a cool idea!
This door is incredible!
An evening on the ice...almost a full moon.
These pics are from the ride out. Check out the above picture...notice anything interesting??? Tracks on each side of the river and a big open channel in the middle??? On the way in they crossed this spot on a snow bridge, and it gave way sometime afterwards leaving them to find a new way across!
What awesome country! True wilderness here...no roads, no people, no nothing for miles.
Crossing a snow bridge
Greenish, oozing overflow they nicknamed the snot-cicle.
Being the first to greet you or the last to bid you farewell, the forest wizard wishes safe travels to all the passers-by.