21 September 2007 Flowering Mint

Fall colors adorn the highbush cranberry and birch trees, but some of the flowers are still blooming.

9 September 2007 Eklutna Valley

One of my biking friends reserved the Serenity Cabin near the head of the Eklutna Valley for a night. Eight of us in two groups biked the gravel trail 12 miles to the cabin in a driving rain. The first group were able to get a small fire going with the limited amount of dry fire wood on hand. Three daytrippers ate some food and changed clothes before heading back in slightly drier conditions. The rest of us spent the evening moving clothes around to dry, munching chocolate and smoked salmon, sipping wine, cutting fire wood, and talking and laughing. Our return trip on Sunday was almost entirely dry until the last few miles. Coffee and quiche in Eagle River warmed us for the drive home.

1 September 2007 Big Lake

The Governor's Cup Regatta occurs every Labor Day weekend at the Alaska Sailing Club on Big Lake. Despite cool and cloudy weather, the racing was spirited and the related festivities dry under an elaborate system of tarps and tents. The sun broke through as it set on Saturday evening, bathing the shoreline in orange tones. The regatta saw a record number of boats this year. We were pleased to finish sixth overall in the small boat division.

31 August 2007 State Fair

I'm not even sure what vegetable marrow is, but this prize-winning specimen weighs 82.7 pounds! I chose this photo over one of Paul next to the record-setting 105 pound kale. The largest cabbage was 87.7 pounds -- not even close to the record.

Picking my state fair photo for the blog was tough. I wanted to post this year's newborn piglets, but realized that was the subject of last year's State Fair posting. And last year I went on and on about someone being obsessed with bunnies. So I had to wonder if I'm slightly preoccupied with piglets. Are they really that fascinating a photography subject? Do their little snouts and piled bodies create a pleasing repetitive form? Or am I just a softie for small baby animals? I'll let you decide ...

26 August 2007 Palmer Creek

Half a dozen of my biking compatriots decided to have a retreat in Hope, Alaska, to talk about the future of our women's mountain biking club. Lynn volunteered to let her cabin be headquarters and reserved a cabin-for-rent down the street for extra sleeping room. On Saturday we biked 12 miles up the Resurrection Pass trail, a premier backcountry trail in southcentral Alaska. That evening we took a sauna and stuffed tortillas with halibut and moose burger. Full bellies, good wine, and the warmth of the sauna and good friends brought us to consensus early about the next steps for the club.

On Sunday we went in search of berries. Lynn suggested going up the Palmer Creek drainage. Those of us in a motor home had to park at the campground and hike the four-wheel drive road. We found no berries ... but beautiful views and sunny skies.