Thursday, June 28, 2012

Loopy in Anchorage

5:30 AM in Kincaid Park for the start for 42 miles of fun with my bud Aimee. She turned 40 and I 42, so off we went for a loopy tour of Anchorage. We started the day with a black bear sighting 
(from the safety of the car) and proceeded to run around Kincaid for 5 hours.

We toured the sand dunes,

rested on the bluff

and enjoyed some serious moose viewing. We saw 8 moose in total between Moose Hill and Sleeping Moose Ridge. (We made up the names.)

We laughed and laughed and talked and talked, but the miles didn't fly by. Sometimes they did and other seemed to go on forever. One highlight of the day was our first arrival at the Nelson's after 30 miles. We both felt yucky and very ready to be done. Noel served up some bubbly water bread and cheese and Steve threw down the gauntlet..." You're done? That's it?" And out we went for another 12 miles. Such a good lesson to feel bad and start again and feel better. We CAN keep going! Aimee smiled and laughed all day- the positive attitude on this one!!! Her longest run prior was 22 miles. She is TOUGH!

"Last loop!" We ran so many loops around town, piling on the miles and the minutes. Here I announced last loop before we head home!

Waiting for us at the finish line were our super supportive families and pizza and beer. Thank you to the Nelson's for hosting an aid station and a finish line. Thank you so much for having my girls ALL DAY!!! Thanks to David for providing the delicious home brew and as always making things like this happen for me. Another confidence-boosting, super hard training day. Yippee!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sunday Saddle Slide

Liz and David contemplate sliding routes...

Maren slides...

Sadie slides

Family slide

Sadie and I slide and eventually crash into rock. Ouch!

David on his long super slide!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Being Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Today I followed three super strong females up 6,911 ft. Matanuska Peak.

The trek was 14 miles roundtrip with 9,000 feet of elevation gain.

There was LOTS of climbing and scrambling to be had.

Getting to the top was a real achievement.

The mountains went on forever.

It was like I had climbed into the sky.

I was so happy to switch gears from climbing up to scooting down, but it was grueling.

Looking back at Matanuska peak. Looks like a wee little knob from far away. 
But I was up there on top.

The day was glorious. The colors amazing. the sun HOT. The sunburn ouchie.

Matanuska Peak on the left. I climbed it.

On top of Lazy Mountain (again).  You climb it twice. Mat Peak in the background.
It was all down from here and we were happy!

Matanuska Peak Flowers

Alaska poppy


Jacob's Ladder

Lapland Diapensia

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Arctic Valley Flowers


Frigid Coltsfoot

False Hellebore


The backside of windflower, which I just learned has quite bluish sepals on the underside and blooms very early.

Western Buttercup

Arctic Valley Bear Hike

Our hiking crew up in Arctic Valley in the fog. It is just early spring up high in the mountains and conditions were snowy and wet with little foliage.

Trickster kids rubbed last year's crowberries on their hands and feigned injury.

We crossed streams and snow patches and parts of trails that turned into little creeks.

We unknowingly hiked right past this bear den and kept moving quickly.
The girls and I saw a black bear on the side of the road on the way down from the safety of the car.

Kids in the mountains!

Monday, June 18, 2012


Prickly rose

Wild strawberry

42 years and 26 miles

To celebrate 42 years I ran 26 miles down to Seward on the highway. Was not so excited on the road, but between the snow and the bears I thought it may be my best option.

Sunny, warm day. Snow-capped mountains surrounded me. Green leaves everywhere. BRIGHT!

Then I started spotting bear tracks along the highway. 
And then I spotted the brown bear just below me.
It sniffed the air and made its way up to the road.
Bear spray in hand I flagged down a car and hopped a ride a 1/2 mile down the road.

Getting closer to Seward and looking forward to meeting the family for the birthday beach party!

26 miles down to Seward. Happy to be off the road and on the beach. Good, hot training run. Sunburn on arms and legs! Continued to celebrate with rhubarb margaritas and my wonderful family.

The Joys of Camping

We took a family overnight near Seward this past weekend. David and I realized how big, independent and adventuresome the girls are getting. We spent hours relaxing and enjoying the girls in all their play. It was just last summer that Sadie needed support in climbing and finding and wanted more company from us. Now both girls explore their surroundings with little input from us.

We were entertained by their curiosity, bravery, ingenuity, imagination and general silliness. Above, sadie found a caterpillar in the truck and named him Fred. She talked to him all the way to Seward.

The girls collected snails and limpets on the beach.

They climbed washed up trees and cliff faces.

Back at the campsite they made fairy food. Fairy roll-ups were on the menu.

Sadie mastered tree climbing at camp.

The warm, sunny weather allowed for topless beach time and

dashing into the chilly water.

What good friends they are.

Maren found a large piece of kelp and tugged it around for awhile.
We were completely entertained (and relaxed) this weekend!