Lynx Lake Cabin.

Hike 21/52 was out to Lynx Lake Cabin #1. We planned on skiing, but the beautiful weather meant more ice than snow. The cold temperatures at night made for quite an uneven surface. Walking was more productive. So we walked.IMG_4444.jpgIMG_4458.jpgIMG_4435-EFFECTS.jpgIMG_4421.jpg

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The biggest adventure.

It started innocently enough. We skied to a cabin outside of town. We drove a couple of hours, strapped on our skis and backpacks, and followed the signs.Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 2.20.21 PMWe arrived at the cabin with the sun shining brightly.Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 2.21.58 PM.pngInside, there was a fire still smoldering from the people that had left before we arrived. It gave us a very welcoming feeling.Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 2.23.47 PM.pngDropping our packs, we headed back out.Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 2.24.39 PM.png

There was even a wood fired sauna!Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 2.24.49 PMObligatory wood burning stove shot.Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 2.34.54 PM.pngWhy wouldn’t we have smores?Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 2.35.10 PM.png

We built a fire, made dinner, and had some wine. At some point, I went to put another log on the fire. I noticed this. Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 1.44.38 PM.pngAdmittedly, I was a little tipsy and slightly confused. When I opened it, I found a ring. I put it on and did not disappear, so I was snapped back to reality. We were going to get married. The next day, we celebrated by playing outside some more.Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 2.42.34 PM.png

We are not the type to waste time, so the following day, we submitted an application for marriage. A week or so later, we headed to the courthouse.Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 1.32.48 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-01-26 at 1.33.08 PM.pngIt was after this adventure that we headed up to Hatcher Pass.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

One of my favorite things about travelling is meeting new people. On our drive from Seattle to Anchorage we met quite a few people. Most are adventurous types. We tried to stay off the most popular roads and the like minded people were camped nearby. They were always friendly, but liked to give us the solitude that they assumed we were looking for.

Somewhere along the way, we saw a car pulled over. Usually, this means that there is wildlife nearby. This time did not disappoint. Our first grizzly bear. Close to the road and did not seem to care at all about what the cars were doing.

The car in front of us had a couple of guys taking pictures. These two guys were very excited to see a bear. It was their first bear they had seen on their trip. They were visiting from Italy and were driving through Canada to Alaska. I just got an email from them with some of their bear pictures.

I hope that they had a good trip and saw many more bears (from a safe distance). Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 10.40.58 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-09 at 10.41.06 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-09 at 10.41.12 PM

Moving to Alaska – Day 12.

We headed into Alaska. They did not build a wall here, but they did cut down all of the trees.

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We uneventfully crossed the border and stopped at the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. That is when we realized how much empty space exists in Alaska.

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 12.04.08 PMWe stopped in Tok because we saw a purple food truck selling Thai food with a line of people in front. It was as good as we thought it would be.

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We stayed in Glenallen at the Ranch House Lodge. By now, we were completely spoiled with real beds. We also needed wifi to starting looking for places to live in Anchorage. We enjoyed homemade brownies and Craigslist.

Moving to Alaska – Day 9.

Happy Birthday Dad. We packed it up from Babine Lake and thought that we would really get started on our adventure. Our first stop was a place we saw First Nations using a dipnet to catch fish.

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It was time to get onto the Cassiar highway. This is where we turned north from Kitwanga and headed in towards the Yukon Territory. There are very few towns, no cell phone service, no wifi, and gas stations are only open during the day.

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This is one of the places where we saw black bears close to the road.

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There were lots of time where we didn’t see another person, but lots of beautiful scenery.

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Don’t worry, we were totally safe. Notice the bear spray on the belt loop at all times. We also found tall Fireweed. I don’t remember ever seeing Fireweed, but it is everywhere as you go north.

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There are different accommodation options all along the way. We found “resorts” for $150 a night, but opted for the free Bonus Lake Forest Recreation Site.

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I can’t get over how great these recreation sites can be. We are steps from Bonus Lake (which has many trout eager to take a fly).

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There is a composting toilet, picnic tables, and fire rings. There are only 3 campsites. When we arrived we were alone. It was starting to rain, so we set up our tent quickly. I met a nice dutch guy who stopped with his truck, camper, and three kids just to make coffee. He says that he stays in recreation sites 6 days a week while on vacation. He left after chatting for a while. He was headed to Smithers to stock up on Dutch things. He said that 1/3 of the town is of Dutch heritage so there are shops that sell Dutch candies and things imported from the Netherlands that remind him of his childhood.

The weather got worse and a nice Canadian couple showed up and sat in the pouring rain with us. They had a camper, but had a couple of beers at our table and discussed life. It was interesting to meet all kinds of people on this trip. The man was a hunter. Well he shot things. He told us stories of shooting animals that he never intended to eat that he would get a permit for after killing it and report it even after that. Seemed a bit like a “if it has eyes it dies” kind of hunter. He lived in his camper as he worked construction for things like oil and gas pipelines. He would be away from home for months at a time chasing work. Rough life up here.

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Moving to Alaska – Day 3.

We swam, we found waterfalls, we fished. We paddled around in our canoe and swam when we felt like it. We found leeches. We found rainbow trout. We found it relaxing. We stayed another night.

Here is the sunset before my battery died.

Lando in panorama mode.

Appropriately name Turquoise Lake just up the road.

Amanda at Turquoise Lake.

There were a few fish rising every evening.

Good night!

Long, beautiful sunsets every night.

Obi Wan vs squirrel.

Everyone loved this campsite.

Amanda's new bikini.

Swimming every day.

The family in the canoe.

The canoe was a great thing to bring on this trip.

Suns out...

Fun fooling fish.

Moving to Alaska – Day 2.

We woke up without an alarm and saw our campsite for the first time since we had arrived at night. Sorry to our neighbors that had to deal with us inflating our air bed as soon as we arrived. The spot was nice enough and we decided to stay for another couple of nights. The person in charge of the campground informed us that every spot was booked for the whole weekend. We decided to head north. I guess we wouldn’t be climbing at the world famous Chief after all. Oh well. This was a fun vacation with only loose plans so we couldn’t be too disappointed when things didn’t work out perfectly.

The town of Squamish was cool and looked like very other town that had a big time outdoor feel. We stopped at a bakery (probably vegan, gluten free, fair trade, overpriced) for lunch and I saw a guy in a Mountain Sun t-shirt. I started to realize that the thing that makes these towns (Boulder, CO) feel so fun/cool/outdoorsy is actually replicated in quite a few places in the world. We stopped at the fly shop in town and it seemed to be geared more towards people taking guided trips than DIYers like us. We picked up some unnecessary flies and headed north.

We stopped at Brandywine Falls because our guide book told us it was beautiful. The Milepost is the bible. (Sorry Kim Davis.) Anyone driving to Alaska will hear this over and over again. It is very useful. Stopping at visitor centers turned out be pretty good as well.

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The next stop was the Disney like “town” of Whistler. Giant dirt lots of pay to park areas combined with the fact that I knew everything was over priced and nothing special helped me convince Amanda that we didn’t need to see anything there. It felt like Vail, Aspen, or any other ski town except that Wanderlust was about to happen. I kinda wanted to check out their bike park and see the place, but we left there and moved on.

Don’t stop in Pemberton unless you have to. We stopped for lunch. It was hot and uneventful.Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 3.08.52 PM

We were getting sick of driving and decided that the next campground is where we would stop for the night. Just off the main road was a campground between two lakes. Now here is where I should mention the weather. It was hot in Seattle. You know like upper 80s. In Seattle, that is hot enough where people start getting whiny. We didn’t think that it would be getting hotter we went north. Turns out, we were headed inland as well. We were close to a small town called Lillooet, in British Columbia. This area has the record for being the hottest place in Canada. We were trudging uphill in our decade old car and the thermometer read 103 degrees. That was about the time the thermostat starting moving up. The one that never moves. The gauge in the car that normally stays as still as the horizon was pointing up higher and higher. This wasn’t good. We pulled over to let the engine cool down. Unfortunately, it was over 100 and wasn’t cooling down. We poured a little water in the engine coolant container, turned on the heat, and proceeded to the campground. The check engine light came on and my patience was gone. I figured that this would be the beginning of the end. But whatever, we found a campsite between two lakes. We limped in, set up our amazing tent, our jumped in the water. The old crusty sweat turned into a slime and slowly came off of us. I tried to forget that the car might be dead and just enjoy the water.

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