sommerblog

I Got the Blues

Every year, I swear that I’ll spend the entire month of August picking blueberries, but every year, of course, life intervenes. I make time for a short drive or hike to a favorite spot and pick with both hands—my friends are impressed with my speed. Still, as soon as I find a good rhythm, I...
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Kesugi Dreaming

Kesugi Ridge, in Denali State Park, is a trail system that delivers—but probably not what you expect. Everyone hopes for the quintessential Denali views, but more often fog shrouds the ridge, leaving only rock cairns guiding the way, or a raging storm spits cold, wet hikers back out at a...
Boat

What’s the Name of Your Boat?

When my husband and I decided last summer to take a massive leap and buy a sailboat, we were more than green. We hadn’t even sailed a boat before. While I’d spent some time on the water, the last thing I would call myself was a mariner. Instead of spending a few weeks and a few thousand dollars...
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Make Way for the Moose – Alaska’s Omnipresent Ungulate

The evening sun shone brightly in Anchorage’s Kincaid Park as I crested a hill, on my way to photograph the sunset over Cook Inlet. Walking directly into the sunshine, I heard something rustle in the brush close to the trail but couldn’t make out what it was.
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Clutching Gold- Working a Homemade Gold Mine

The historic Ester Gold Camp was built in 1936 by the F.E. Company to house hundreds of workers needed for gold mining operations in the area. The abandoned gold camp includes a hotel, restaurant, mercantile, saloon and ticket office.
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Kodiak by Kayak – A Birding Experience Explored From the Water

Of Alaska’s 6,640 miles of coastline, some of the most ruggedly beautiful encircle Kodiak Island. Clusters of islands and rock outcroppings rise up from just beyond its jagged shoreline, while massive cliff faces with their craggy-ledged complexions share the island’s coarse coastline with...
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Job Interview, Alaska-style

Many years back, when I was suddenly laid off from a job, I realized with delight that I was free to visit our family fish camp on an island in Cook Inlet. I’d spent all of my summers growing up there, but hadn’t, as an adult, visited very often. I missed its serenity, its tides, its beach-side...
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Paddle boarding – My New Love

The first time I went paddle boarding was in the warm water off the Big Island. Dolphins played in the distance as I soaked up the sun on the water with my husband. From that point on, I was hooked. I needed to bring this feeling home to Alaska with me. After lots of research, I finally picked the...
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Momma Grizzly – A Close Call with a Charging Bear

I started back toward camp in lengthening shadows. With the slippery going along that narrow, loose-cobbled beach near the Hubbard Glacier, I was focused more on my feet than the brushy cut bank a few yards to my right. Weaving toward the bank to get around a scattering of boulders, I glanced...