Friday, July 05, 2013

Mt. Marathon

After years of wanting to, I finally got down to watch the Mount Marathon Race. I was inspired to get there by my many friends that take on the 3.1 mile, 3022 ft of elevation course. The run out to the trail head looks challenging enough, but the steep, slick, crowded trail provides a serious challenge. It was amazing to watch the juniors, women and men compete. We stood along the finish line on Fourth and the determination and pain is evident on many of the racers. Racers range from  young, strong, highly-trained racers to competitors in their 60's and 70's that take on the mountain with amazing strength.

Sadie stepped up to the start line on the kid's mini-marathon. 
She jumped at the chance to get involved.

And they're off!

Proud Mount Marathon mini-marathoners.

Mount Marathon looms behind. We watched the action on the hill from town. The mountain was dotted with people making their way up, but the runner's  movement coming down was visible from town.

If you are patient, and listen to your Mother scream and cheer and carry get cotton candy.

Sadie wasn't the only one inspired to step up to the starting line!

Seward Fun

 Girls exploring beach at the end of Miller's Landing.

 Beach Cinquefoil

Beach Greens

Beach babe

Perfect kite-flying conditions

We checked out the Sea Life Center. the girls waited for Woody, the Steller Sea Lion...

...and he came!

We had a parade back from the beach.

AK beach girls...Callie




Mark's first s'more EVER!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Inaugural Van Trip

With the new van in possession, we packed up and headed north. The trip started late on Friday and kids were tired ( adults too) and we soon realized that we forgot some essential gear. Without a place to stay, we debated turning back and starting again Saturday morning. We wound up crashing at a friend's cabin and borrowing essential gear from the cabin. The mosquitoes were bloodthirsty and relentless...and we slept,

we drove all the way to Cantwell, and hopped on the Denali Highway towards Paxson. We had never been on the Denali Highway as a family and so the girls each got a turn to drive.

We found a great campground 30 miles in at Brushkana Creek and Sadie immediately got to work on Berry cakes. The campground was covered with cranberry and blueberry plants.

Maren hit the river in hopes of grayling.

Bugs were pretty thick and so David had the brilliant idea to set up the screen house along the river so we could enjoy some riverside chill out time. Charlie immediately hopped in to find respite from the mosquitoes.

Screenhouse was the place to be.

The girls preferred the river. 
Upon arriving at the campground, the skies cleared, the sun did its thing and it got HOT!

Our little spot on the Brushkana

The girls made rocks.

Uh, sticks please!

Fairy mud cakes

The little forest fairy herself gathering cake ingredients.

If she wasn't eating rose petals, she was concocting a fairy snack.

After dinner, we hiked up to the flat tundra above the campground.

The tundra's alive with fields of Alaska cotton!

Looking down on Brushkana Creek

We actually hiked caribou trails above the creek.

More post-hike screen house time for a freshie beer and family wind down.

Our view from the screen house.

The river keeps the beer cold.

Denali Highway tired them out.

Well, we love the new van. It was fun to get in the van without a destination and see where we wound up. It brought back memories of our original trip to AK...long hours on the road with not much around. Van = more adventures to come!

Denali Highway Flora

Alaska Cotton

Bog rosemary

Frigid Shooting Star

Setchell's Willow

Tundra Rose