Ray in PA

Ray in PA - 3Ray in PA - 7I’ve not even moved to my final destination in the southwest yet & I’ve got friends from Alaska already making a point to visit. Having the full luxury of retirement at his disposal, and needing to spend some time in PA anyways, I convinced Ray to meet me at my parents house in southwestern Pennsylvania.

We immediately hit the road for photo opps at some of my favorite local places.Ray in PA - 9Ray in PA - 8

It also just happened to be Ray’s birthday, so my mom whipped up a birthday cake for the occasion & a special dinner (that may or may not have coincidentally been my favorite meal).
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After dinner, and with daylight quickly fading, we hurriedly picked up my brother and headed off to Mt. Davis – the tallest point in Pennsylvania. We arrived in the parking lot to find a man with the hood of his car popped scratching his head. My brother, knowing a bit about cars himself, stopped to help the guy out while Ray & I wandered off to snag a few quick photos and pick up a couple nearby geocaches. When we returned to the parking lot my brother was loading stuff from the stranded car into his. Turns out, it was going to need a tow back to New Jersey so my brother was kind enough to open his home up to a total stranger and his traveling companion: a full grown mastiff. (We grew up in a very small town in a more remote part of the state – getting a hotel for the guy wasn’t an option and getting him to one would mean driving a few hours round trip for us). This brought back strong memories to a time when I was stranded in the middle of nowhere Canada and a strangers kindness saved me from disaster. Or at least further disaster. So I wanted to take a paragraph and humble brag about my brother & him proving that there are still good people out there in the world. Also, what are the odds that there would be two serial killers in one car?Ray in PA - 14Ray in PA - 15
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Before Ray left on Sunday afternoon we biked a 15+ mile section of the Allegheny Passage in order to eat some ice cream cones and not feel quite as bad about it. Worth it. Thanks for stopping by Raymonzelle!  I look forward to adventuring with you again in the south west!
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Ferncliff Trail

Ferncliff Trail presides in Ohiopyle State Park near where I grew up in southwestern PA. My dad shocked me one morning by letting me in on the secret that he had never hiked the short two-mile loop so we set off for a quick morning hike along it’s dirt path. Kratos and I got to stretch our legs before another long car ride and Dad got to put another check mark on his bucket list.Ferncliff Trail - 11Ferncliff Trail - 10Ferncliff Trail - 9Ferncliff Trail - 5Ferncliff Trail - 7

Mommy to Be

It seems as though everyone I know is having a baby. One of my very best friends clued me in a few weeks ago to her upcoming little one, several other friends just welcomed a small sibling to their respected line-ups and my co-worker, Malissa, is due mid-October with her first child – a boy. Months ago, Malissa came to me with the idea of doing a maternity shoot with her at one of my favorite Alaskan locations. I reluctantly agreed, but only after making sure she was fully aware that this would be a learning curve for both her and I.

We wanted to do the shoot in August for the colors, as well as the full, round pregnant belly Malissa would be sporting around that time. Unlike the rest of the country, August in Alaska is a cold, rainy month. It took over two weeks into the month to finally catch a break in the rain long enough that we could make the 45 minute drive south to Virgin Creek Falls in Girdwood. After a short hike and a quick wardrobe change, here are the results of our adventure.

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While the maternity shoot was lots of fun, we decided to add a lot more laughter to the mix by having friend/assistant for the day – Cally – don my dino suite for her very own photo shoot. Dino Falls - 1

I Love Anchorage

I had the pleasure of taking over the I Love Anchorage Instagram account over the past weekend. The account was created by the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation in an attempt to make Anchorage the #1 city to Live, Work, & Play in by 2025. The account is handed over to a resident of Anchorage every Monday and Thursday to showcase to the IG world how they live, work and play in and around the city.  For my friends & family on here that don’t have Instagram (IG), I thought I’d share my journey with you.

On Thursday I was given my password for login and quickly got to work.


Good morning IG! My name is Holly & I will be hosting leading up to the 4th of July. This photo of my husband & I is a #TBT from last month in front of Barbara Falls. It’s a short but stunning hike we enjoy throughout the year. I’m looking forward to showing you how I #LiveWorkPlay in beautiful Anchorage! Until my next post! @camerae

The rules are simple; 1. you’ve got to sign off on every post, 2. keep it clean, 3. and post at least once a day. Hating when people over post on their social media accounts (I’ll never understand nor want Twitter for this exact reason), I settled on trying to make 2 posts a day for my time in control.


There are only a few weeks of King salmon fishing left at Ship Creek before siver salmon season begins. Have you caught your freezer full yet? Despite eating salmon several nights a week, our freezer is filled to the brim with King salmon caught fresh this year & that’s okay with me! It also helps when we haven’t yet started to get all the rain they’ve predicted for today. Tag me in your fishing photos around Anchorage! Until my next post, @ camerae

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Although I work with a stellar group of people at Frontier Therapy, I am more than happy to have today off as part of a 4-day 4th of July weekend. The rain this morning has kept me close to home enjoying a short walk through the lush Alaska Botanical Garden. Now it’s time to head home to dry off before finding a new adventure to get into this afternoon. What’s your favorite rany summer day activity? Until my next post, @ camerae


Just coming in from a hike with Bucket (more on that later). One of my favorite post hike foods when I don’t feel like cooking the the Beef Panang at Lahn Pad Thai on Abbot. It’s so good I haven’t even looked at a menu since discovering it! OmNomNom… Until my next post, @camerae


Spent the morning with several members of @GeocacheAlaska doing a CITO event at the Prospect Heights trailhead. For those of you who don’t know their geocaching slang yet, CITO stands for cache in trash out and is a pivotal part of cleaning up the geocaching game board – Earth! GeocacheAlaska! hosts numerous CITO events around Anchorage every year to give back to a community that provides so many great places that allow us to play our game. Do I have any fellow geocachers on here today? Until my next post, @camerae

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My favorite geocache in Anchorage has got to be Battery (GC17YMY) It’s a clever container on a well executed hide near Campbell Airstrip. Do you have a favorite cache? Or questions about geocaching? Until my next post, @ camerae

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A few of you might have already met her at one time or another out on the trail, but I’d like to formally introduce you to my hiking partner, Bucket. Yes, you’re seeing this right, Bucket is indeed a cat. She is a 2 year old Lynx Point to be exact that came into our lives as a tiny kitten with a lot of spirit. Who’s your hiking partner? Until my next post, @camerae

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If you haven’t made it down to the Girdwood Forest Fair there’s still time! I walked away with a housewarming gift for a freind in the lower 48 as well as a few other goodies for myself. Please drive safe if you’re heading out of town today! Until my next post, @camerae

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No trip to Girdwood would be complete without a visit to Virgin Creek Falls. This short trek has become one of my favorite places in Alaska & just so happens to be easily accessible. Where’s your favorite place in Alaska? Until my next post, @camerae

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Thank you so much for letting me take you around the last few days for a little piece of how I #LiveWorkPlay in Anchorage, Alaska. I hope you enjoyed adventuring with me as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you. Feel free to head on over to my personal account and give it a follow if you’d like. Take care! @camerae

I have no idea how people post to their social media accounts multiple times a day (or even once a day for that matter) unless it’s part of their full time job. It was a mental workout to be constantly thinking about the posts; how to set them up & execute them to my ideals. Thanks for those of you who followed along. Now on to my next adventure – filling the freezer with halibut!

Montana Creek Falls

Took off down the ‘trail’ earlier today for this spectacular gem. I use the term trail loosely as it was nearly 14 miles of bushwhacking through dense forest, fighting through loads of devil’s club, and multiple freezing cold water crossings on an overgrown and often nonexistent path.


Montana Creek Falls


How exactly does one hug a porcupine?


Those teeth!


The moment when you finally see the porcupine mom has been shooting for the last 20 minutes.


Foreground: Bosco in all his glory. Background: Denali in all hers.


What bushwhacking in Alaska looks like. It wouldn’t be so bad if Devil’s club wasn’t a real thing.


The King.


Montana Creek Falls


Follow the path your heart leads you on… or the cute bums in front of you… follow those too.

Although my human companions for the day may not agree with me, it was worth it all in the end, and, depending on how much time we have left here in Alaska, I might find myself at the base of this beauty for an overnighter in the future because this is what hiking in the Last Frontier is all about.