Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Alyeska and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Overlooking Turnagainarm at high tide, while watching Dahl sheep along the Seward Highway.
We first spotted the sheep high up on the hills, but later found these pretty close to the road.

The Alyeska Resort is an elegant place at the base of several glaciers.  Essentially a ski resort - the tram is open year round for a trip up the mountain.  Several restaurants, access to trails, and amazing views wait at the top.
On our way up, we look down on the hotel.
 We briefly thought about taking the trail down - but this sign
discouraged us, so we had lunch at the top of the world and took the tram back down.
 On to the game farm - where we saw musk ox,
black bears,
 brown bears,
 wood bison (due to be released to the wild in 2015),
 moose, of course,
and reindeer.
Another great day in Alaska.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Alaskan Adventures

We set off in four vehicles to look for gold!  Scott led with Jesse and the two dogs,
We did our best to keep up in our vans as the road deteriorated with every mile.  One area reminded all of us of the Oso slide area - where our road was perched on the edge of a mountain with slide material on both sides of the road and about an 85% slope on both sides of us.  Lots of beautiful scenery, waterfalls, and even peeks at Denali when the clouds broke to give us sunshine.
We stopped to pick some of the beautiful wild flowers - these purple iris covered one whole swampy meadow.
Even Scott, the eternal optimist, decided we should stop when passing goldminers told us how the road deteriorated further on...Oh my, we were thinking we might not make it through some of the places we had already gone through!  So we stopped at a wider place in the road, set up our picnic table, and made a picnic lunch.

The boys set up targets, ands we all had a chance to try to hit them, using up all the ammo Scott had brought along.
Sara and Jesse found a large gold nugget for a photo op as we neared the town of Talkeetna on our way back.
A fellow tourist (from New Jersey) took a picture of all of us.  Denali lurks behind us - its top hidden by clouds, but majestic nonetheless!
Final stop - One of the many micro-breweries in Talkeetna, where we had dinner and a brewski.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Family Gathering in Alaska

This big guy was grazing right next to the road as we approached my sister and brother-in-law's off the grid homes.

We all took turns holding the baby,
Riding horses,
taking trail rides through the amazing cottonwood forest,
swinging in the couples swing,

and playing with Whisky the miniature donkey.
We had a feast fit for a king, with BBQ'd steak and salmon, followed by birthday cake to celebrate Dick's 88th birthday.
A wonderful family day in sunshine in Alaska in July.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July Deck Project

After nearly 30 years in this old log house, we've replaced the front deck twice.  Now we're replacing a board here and another there, but it does show some wear.  We saw an ad for this deck cover paint and decided to go to Home Depot and check it out.
Although expensive - $137 for five gallons - we decided it was something we should do. 
It looked so good, we decided to do the cabin deck too.  That meant I had to severely prune back the hop vine and assorted other plants that surround it.
Definitely worth the effort - moving all the deck furniture, pruning shrubs, painting, etc.  And one coat did a really great job of covering, so we only used around four gallons - for both decks, and
including steps for both decks.  The main deck has eight twelve foot steps.  We also covered four long benches on the main deck, so we were very pleased with the product.