It Was A Hot One

Steve has been working around the clock lately, in town and out of town.  He was thankfully able to take the 4th of July off, so we packed up the trailer and headed out to our newly acquired property.  We were looking forward to getting away from Anchorage and all the Pongo-frightening, firework mayhem that comes with the 4th of July.

The day before we headed up, we had our driveway improved: cleared of brush, leveled and a circular drive built around the dry cabin for easy in and out of the trailer.  There’s a lot of dirt right now but that just means more planting fun!

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What is so nice about spending time at the property is Pongo gets to romp and roam (within eye-sight).  He loves it and all the ball playing that comes with having more space.

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What we weren’t expecting though was the HEAT.  I LOVE the heat but unfortunately, my boys don’t tolerate it very well.

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There was a lot of shade seeking…

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…and trips to the creek to cool off.

DSC_0047 DSC_0044 DSC_0054 DSC_0059 DSC_0062We were lucky enough to have Mt. McKinley out in its majestic glory two out of our three days up at the property.

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We had an amazing time, and Pongo and I feel very fortunate to have some Papa time before he gets really busy again!

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Savage River

What Steve and I are slowly realizing is that there aren’t many more weekends available to get out and camp.  Summer is quickly flying by and before we know it, our trailer will need to be Winterized and put back into storage (sigh).  Alaska’s camping season is so darn short, and we are trying our best to make the most out of the time we have to enjoy our trailer and explore the great outdoors.

This past weekend Steve and I went camping in Denali National Park at the Savage River Campground, with some friends of ours and their two girls.  We left Friday evening, after Steve got off of work, for the four and a half hour drive up North.  We hit rush hour.  We hit construction.  We drove through a torrential downpour that had the possibilities of hail but thankfully the storm did not release it’s full fury on us.  We were really pushing it as check-in at Riley Creek Mercantile is no later than 11:00 PM.  We pulled in at 10:30 PM to this beautiful scene.

After we checked-in, we had another 13 miles to drive to reach Savage River Campground.  We found the last two spots available, set-up, got the girls to bed, and poured a much needed drink after the stress of driving.  I am always amazed by the differences in light as you travel through Alaska; the farther North you go, the lighter it stays.  This picture was taken around 1:00 AM (with no flash).

It ended up being a late night for all of us, especially Pongo who had spent all day at daycare while Mama prepared the trailer and food for our trip.  He was overly tired and beyond CRAZY!

The next day we explored down by the Savage River.

Here’s Steve photo-bombing Jenn and Matt’s family photo (don’t worry-I got the perfect Christmas card photo for them, minus my goofy husband).

We knew that it might be a little difficult for Pongo when we made reservations, as there are some pretty strict rules pet owners must follow when bringing their pets into the park: dogs are not allowed on any of the trails.  You can walk your pets around the campground loops and along the road.  He adapted though and enjoyed the places he could go.

Walking along the main park road, which was heaven…no other dogs for miles.

Pongo enjoyed using the well more than his bowl.

What we found was most of the A campsites (for RVs and tents between 30-40′) at Savage River were uneven and you had to do some leveling.  Our campsite 32A had some pretty incredible views and had some great sun exposure, when it was shining.

We were excited to see our campground host living in an Airstream.

A sight-seeing plane taking off near the park entrance.

As always, the weekend went by way too fast but it was great to get out with friends who we hadn’t seen for awhile.   We will definitely be visiting Savage River Campground again next year to do some more exploring.

Bringing Her Home

It’s been seven long months since we’ve last seen her.  I’ve often thought about her…wondering if she was safe and yearning to have her back in our company because that signals Summer is finally approaching.

Each year, the Alaska State Fairgrounds in Palmer has a Winter Storage Program for campers, RVs, trailers, boats, etc.  It truly is a bargain to store your recreational vehicle at the State Fairgrounds.  The going rate for covered storage here in Anchorage is about $150/month, which is outrageous!  We paid $400 for seven months!  While the buildings are not heated, they do provide cover from the elements and that was most important to us.  I can’t even imagine what it would have been like trying to store the Airstream in our tiny driveway, with the record amounts of snow we had. It would have been a nightmare to say the least!  So, we were very thankful when we received a call from the State Fairgrounds letting us know we had a space reserved, in the Farm Exhibit building, for the Airstream this Winter.

Dropping Off The Airstream In October

(Steve’s incredible parking job)

Friday was the day for us to head out to Palmer to pick up the Airstream.  But before we could bring her home, the driveway and yard needed a good Spring cleaning.  I spent 2 1/2 hours shoveling, sweeping, raking, and bagging old Winter debris.  Reid enjoyed being outside in the sunshine and playing with her ball, while I worked.

And, here’s the Airstream waiting for her ride home.  She was rather dirty but looked like she had fared the Winter well.

(Pongo got to come along for the ride.  Although it doesn’t look like it here, he was a happy boy!)

Road Trip!

It’s been one week since we returned from our road trip down the ALCAN.  We drove from Anchorage to Seattle to Eugene, OR to Seattle and then back to Anchorage.  Over 6,000 miles total and all in 15 1/2 days!  It was a whirlwind of a trip but a fun way to visit family and spend some time exploring.

Pongo came along with us and did surprising well for being in the car so long.  He made himself comfortable in the backseat of the truck and entertained himself for hours looking and most importantly sniffing out the window.

I can’t believe for all the time we spent in the car, and the time we had on our hands while driving, we took very few pictures?!?  Some of the wildlife we saw on our way down and back up included: bears (over 10 black bears and maybe 1 grizzly-hard to tell she was pretty mangy looking), bison herds, elk, caribou, moose, a wolverine, rabbits, coyotes, deer, and Stone Goats.

While in Oregon, it was hot…a lot hotter than us Alaskans are used to: 85+ degrees.  I loved it but both Steve and Pongo were melting.  In order to cool off, Pongo enjoyed some time romping in rivers and in the ocean on the Oregon coast.

We were anxious to get home, once we started back to Alaska but did take some time to stop and enjoy the scenery, stretch our legs, and let the ol’ behinds recuperate.