28 jan 2012 happiness in alaska

The good people of Kaktovik might have been disappointed in the weather this weekend in Talkeetna but I was perfectly satisfied that the thermometer only got 7 degrees colder than this.

22 jan 2012 pushing for fun

Paul and I have been riding packed snowy trails with our mountain bikes the past 2 or 3 winters. This winter I have a long-term loan of a fat tire bike. I wanted Paul to experience a 'snow bike' so I bought him a rental of one for Christmas. Yesterday we cashed in the gift certificate and loaded the Salsa Mukluks into the truck.

A week or so ago someone had mentioned that the new singletrack trails at Kincaid were in great riding condition. We hadn't had any snow all week so I thought it would be fun to take a new bike on a new trail. At the bike shop they said that parts of the trail were 'soft' and 'challenging' but they thought the parts that we would ride had seen regular use.

I won't go into the blow-by-blow of our ride. Let's just say that I was reminded of a phrase I heard when I first started mountain biking. If you aren't walking, you aren't mountain biking. Yesterday that became If you aren't pushing a fat bike, you aren't snow biking. The softest area was the farthest from the parking lot so as we completed the loop and headed back to the trailhead, the riding got better and better.

In the end, we rode a beautiful network of trails on a beautiful winter day. My snow biking skills improved and we got a great workout. Paul may not be ready to buy a snowbike but I'm ready to take the mukluk out again and see if I can make some of those hills that I couldn't before.

13 jan 12 mount snowmore

Towns around Prince William Sound are making the national news for the amount of snowfall they've received this winter. Here in Anchorage, we're on our way to setting records, too. As of today, snowfall is more than twice the normal amount for this date (89"). Almost 2' of that fell in the last two weeks. Those are the official numbers that are measured at the airport, which is about 8 miles west as the raven flies from our house. The airport is by the inlet; we are on the hillside of the Chugach Mountains and typically get more snow here than there. Paul is getting a little tired of firing up the snowblower and is having trouble getting the snow up and over the berms around our driveway and walkways. He's named the pile in the corner of the driveway and below the deck: Mount Snowmore.

Here are a few photos of our yard from June and from yesterday.
The vegetable garden ~

Paul's Torii gate

Paul's pagoda

8 jan 12 wood for the stove

Out biweekly trips to Talkeetna have found us snug and warm in our cabin while the thermometer struggles to top zero and the snow piles up outside.

1 jan 12 more snowy singletrack meditation

2012 begins snowy and cold in Anchorage this year. I resisted the urge to break one resolution on the first day and didn't let the cold stop me from joining a few Divas for a New Year's Day ride. I was glad I started the year with a two hour bike ride on snowy singletrack. I'm pleasantly tired this evening and feel less intimidated by the cold, which is good because winter isn't even half over. And with views like this, who wouldn't rather be outside than inside watching football?