Eklutna Hiking.

Hike 11/52. There is something awesome about being on a frozen lake. It can be slightly terrifying. I felt confident that we wouldn’t fall through the ice, but then you see a big crack running the length of the lake and your mind starts to think, “what if?”Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 12.02.05 PMWe headed out down the middle of the lake with the wind in our faces. It was sunny, but not very warm. Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 12.01.46 PM

The mountains don’t seem very far away when you are hiking here. It is only because they are enormous. You walk for hours and the things in the distance don’t seem to get much closer. Alaskan scale is different than other places I have visited.Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 12.02.17 PM.png

After a few miles, there is a cabin on the left side of the lake. There is a road that you can walk on to access to the cabin. We returned on the road.Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 12.02.30 PMIt has a bit of a higher vantage point. We saw cyclists, dog sleds, and skiers out on the lake.

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Seward Getaway.

Seward is just far away enough to feel like you are on vacation, but close enough to spend just a couple of day there. We took off for a couple of days and found the place deserted. Winter here is great! Don’t tell anyone.

The tides are incredible. Leaving lots of places to explore.

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The view from our cabin. Loft upstairs with a bed below.

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The view from the bedroom was pretty amazing.screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-2-47-04-pmWhen we first arrived, we loved the sunshine and snow combination.screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-2-43-47-pmWe found an old railroad car near our cabin.screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-2-44-22-pmscreen-shot-2016-12-08-at-2-44-41-pmWith so many places to explore, it is hard to return to the same place twice. Seward keeps calling us back.

Winner Creek, Girdwood, AK.

Hike 8/52 was one that we had done before. Based at the fancy Alyeska Resort there is no shortage of places to stop and warm up before or after hiking in Girdwood.screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-7-31-14-pm

We set off on our short hike after brunch at The Bake Shop. We drove one car to the the end of the trail and started from the far end of the trail. Our plan was foiled when we found out that the hand tram was no longer operating for the winter. There was hardly any snow, so we sighed and muttered, but continued on.

We had to stop and build a snowman as it was still early in the season and we haven’t had a lot of snow, yet.

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The Winner Creek and the snowman.screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-7-33-53-pmDeciding how to cross when the tram is closed.screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-7-30-43-pmWe somehow still had a lot of fun and wore ourselves out.screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-7-31-01-pmWhen we got home, this happened. I would call it a success.

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Steelhead Fishing in Alaska.

This was my first attempt at steelhead fishing since moving to Alaska. I have been talking about it and hearing stories for a while. I was told that we should have pumpkin pie for breakfast to keep the fish gods happy.

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Finally, it was time to make the four hour drive to the place I have been hearing all about, Anchor Point. Ninilchik River, Deep Creek, and the Anchor River are all on the road system and have great access. This means nothing if you don’t know anything about the area. The first stop was the world famous Fly Box.Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.06.26 AM.pngOnce we had the hand drawn map (it costs extra) and the magic flies, we were on our way. The first stop was the Anchor River. Mark and I took a lot of selfies.Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.06.59 AM.pngWe both caught some fish right off the bat and felt pretty good about the trip we had made. They were not however, the Steelhead that we had come looking for.Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.07.38 AM.pngScreen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.08.15 AM.pngScreen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.11.31 AM.pngNow we were in an area that they apparently don’t like people getting too close.Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.11.59 AM.pngI know why they don’t want you around. Because they really do have big fish in Anchor Point! My very first Steelhead and I could not be happier.Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.10.12 AM.pngOf course we kept fishing and kept getting luckier and luckier.Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.12.59 AM.png

I was feeling pretty chuffed by the time #3 grabbed a hold of this magic fly.

The next day, we got up feeling like we might know what we were doing. The lack of pumpkin pie for breakfast proved us wrong. The next day, all of the fish were gone. So we left. Ready to return next year. I am starting to feel like the fish themselves. I will be returning to the same rivers around the same time each year.

Wine in Wisconsin?

When you are in Wisconsin, there seems to be a bit of drinking going on. When you are on vacation, there seems to be a bit of drinking going on. When you combine the two, it gets fun. We stopped at Wollersheim Winery and Distillery for a tasting and tour. It was fantastic. The grounds were beautiful.screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-6-23-01-pmThe history of the place was fascinating to me. From their website, “In the 1840s, the Hungarian nobleman Agoston Haraszthy discovered the sloped land where the winery sits today, and planted it with grapevines. During his short time in Wisconsin, Haraszthy also incorporated the state’s first town, Sauk City.” What a busy guy. I also like where his head was. He eventually gave up Wisconsin for a different wine growing area, California. Turns out, it was a good move.

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We made it out of the winery, even if we wanted to stay, and found our way (barely) to a farm. It was a beautiful space with chickens, a cat, a dog, some kind of farmers, and an old farmhouse. It was a great way to be introduced to the next part of our adventure, the Wisconsin Dells.

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