Gilman Tunnels

Just a few miles up FS Road 376, in the Jemez Mountains sits two tunnels, carved out of rocks. The original purpose of these tunnels was to assist the former Santa Fe Northwestern Railroad safe passage through the canyon hauling lumber out of the heart of the Jemez.

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This also happened to be the scene of Yago’s first off-leash adventure since he was adopted into the Bennett family. I do believe he enjoyed his first day of freedom.

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Montana Memories

Load the car & write the note.
Grab your bag & grab your coat.
Tell the ones that need to know.
We are headed East.

The time has come to once again say my goodbyes to Montana. It’s always such a bittersweet moment when we part, but it’s time to step forward into the next adventure. We’ve yet again had some good times my old friend. I’m already looking forward to my next visit. Xoxo.Montana Memories - 4Montana Memories - 6Montana Memories - 8Montana Memories - 9Montana Memories - 11Montana Memories - 12Montana Memories - 14Montana Memories - 15Montana Memories - 16Montana Memories - 18Montana Memories - 19Montana Memories - 23Montana Memories - 24Montana Memories - 28Montana Memories - 29Montana Memories - 30Montana Memories - 31Processed with VSCO with fs1 presetMontana Memories - 33Montana Memories - 38Montana Memories - 39Montana Memories - 40Montana Memories - 41Montana Memories - 43Montana Memories - 45Montana Memories - 49Montana Memories - 50Montana Memories - 51

Becky & Nate

Becky is one of those friends who never seems to turn me down for an adventure, or in some cases a grand misadventure; which is precisely why I like her. She has many, many other charming qualities but the fact that she loves a good adventure as much as I do easily tops the list.

Not seeing her while I was in Montana was simply not an option so the first free weekend that we both had, I packed up the Jeep & headed south to her ranch just south of Missoula for some quality time between our two families. We’d both added some new members to our pack since last time we’d hung out and were excited for everyone – new and old – to enjoy each other’s company. As expected, the weekend didn’t disappoint.

Thanks for the great weekend Becky & Nate! We’re already looking forward to our next adventure with ya’ll. Weekend With Becky And Nate -1Weekend With Becky And Nate -2Weekend With Becky And Nate -3Weekend With Becky And Nate -4Weekend With Becky And Nate -5Weekend With Becky And Nate -6Weekend With Becky And Nate -7Weekend With Becky And Nate -8Weekend With Becky And Nate -9Weekend With Becky And Nate -10Weekend With Becky And Nate -11

Woodland Park

There is a park in my husband’s hometown that is FULL of ducks. It’s the stuff nightmares are made of – if you’re afraid of ducks that is. If you don’t believe me, just watch this:

 

Brian had taken me to this park once before.  We had a surplus of buns left over from the Super Bowl party we were at and wanted rid of the carbs so we set off for Woodland Park and the gaggle of geese and flock ducks.
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Dog Sled Adventures

Knowing we were heading out of Alaska and into Montana for at least a month or so in the New Year my in-laws postponed Christmas until we got to their house. We arrived in Montana precisely three days after leaving our home in Anchorage & unable to wait any longer, my father-in-law declared that night to be Christmas. Although we were exhausted, we happily exchanged Christmas gifts with the family. My father-in-law surprised my mother-in-law and myself with a 12-mile loop through the Stillwater State Forest in the basket of a dog sled. Due to circumstances beyond our control it was nearly a month later that we cashed in our unique gift certificates, but the time spent with my mother-in-law and the dogs was completely worth the wait.

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www.dogsledadventuresmontana.com

Goodbye Alaska

I knew this day would come eventually. It’s been pretty much written into our story since before we even got to Alaska. Eve as the years ticked by here the inevitable goodbyes always seemed so far away.

The day after New Years the movers came and packed up our host. The took most of our belongings to port and shipped them back to the lower 48. Three days ago we packed up the Jeep, hugged our friends goodbye, and set our sights on a place far, far away.

We managed to knock out the trip in less than 72 hours – a feat I would not again recommend – but I also wouldn’t recommend driving in -35 degree temps either.

A few snaps from our last few days in the house and our travels through Canada.
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I’m going to miss you Alaska… but damn it feels good to be home.
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Baby Beluga

Shall we sing Baby Beluga together?

What’s that? You’ve never heard Baby Beluga?

Well then, it’s time you turn on your speakers, crank up the volume, and give Raffi a few minutes of your time. You can thank me later.

Go on. I’ll wait.

Mind blown, right?!

Okay, perhaps if you’re not a wide-eyed, animal loving youth sitting in Mrs. Ruppel’s second grade classroom, hearing Baby Beluga for the first time wasn’t as life changing for you as it was for me. There was a lot of magic in that classroom. Mrs. Ruppel had a way with kids and making learning fun. I wish there were more teachers like her in the world.

Moving to Alaska has more often than once reduced me back to the blonde haired, blue-eyes-full-of-wonder girl that sat in that classroom. Building snowmen in Denali, running sled dogs to the starting line of Iditarod, watching wild orcas from the back of a vessel, scaling the face of a glacier, and most recently; singing Baby Beluga to Tyonek the baby beluga.

How Tyonek came to the Alaska Sealife Center is a story in itself. You can read more about that BY CLICKING HERE or follow his upcoming adventures and move to the San Antonio, Texas BY CLICKING HERE.
Baby Beluga - 1I’d been following the story of this little guy since his discovery and transfer to the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward, which is only about 3 hours south of Anchorage. The Cook inlet beluga population is in critical danger of being wiped out and Tyonek was initially kept out of the public view; a rule set by NOAA standards to protect the precious case. I was beginning to feel like he wouldn’t be released for public viewing before our scheduled move out of Alaska when I finally heard the news.

Three days after Christmas I drove to Seward and spent the afternoon sitting in front of the big windows overlooking the pool containing Tyonek.
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Of course, I made two laps around the aquarium while I was there, needing to stretch my legs after they’d fallen asleep.

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I’m going to miss you Seward, you’ve been good to me.
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Gold Mint Trail

At the base of Hatcher’s Pass, just at the bend in the road that takes you up, up, up the winding trail to the top of the pass, is a trail head to a valley known as Gold Mint Trail. Despite having spent numerous days exploring Hatcher’s Pass, this trail has eluded me up until now – on a perfect bluebird day.Gold Mint Trail - 2Gold Mint Trail - 3Gold Mint Trail - 5Gold Mint Trail - 7Gold Mint Trail - 9Gold Mint Trail - 10Gold Mint Trail - 12Gold Mint Trail - 13

First Day of Spring

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Happy first day of spring ya’ll! In Alaska’s defense, this photo was technically taken yesterday which was also the last day of winter. Our caravan of adventure seekers was turned away from our original destination by whiteout conditions &
gross amounts of fresh snow near (but not near enough) the trailhead.