To Mainland Alaska!

Last weekend and the prior week we were lucky enough to go to Anchorage.
From where we live on Baranof Island in Southeast Alaska, it takes about 2 plus hours of travel time to get there. (Sometimes I wish this state wasn't so big . . . but then it wouldn't be the grandeur that it is . . . )
Trisha called me on Sunday after my plane got in and invited up to Hatcher Pass for sledding & snowshoeing. (And photo-ing, of course)

Karen & Roy are also living in Alaska and brought their 4 kids- they were all having so much fun.

Sisters: above and below (left)

Brrr- it was cold. Nothing we ain't used to, though, being from Minnesota!
In Sitka we are spoiled by typically above zero temps, usually in the 20s-30s in the winter. It was a cold spell in Anchorage- Mat-Su area.

Bradley, Trisha and their adorable girls.

Hatcher Pass and the "valley". I remember being here in the summer over 7 years ago and just absolutely being in awe.

Katie, I was thinking of you! :)
(We spent a summer here back then traveling around in our rusty, bad-tranny, $125, '84 Olds Firenza that we nicknamed the "B.E.A.S.T." {Best Ever Automobile for Sightseeing Tours}).
(Had to try the "Vintage News" action again)

On Tuesday night, after my exam, Trisha and Andrea drove down to Anc for "coffee". Surprisingly no one drank coffee, but we enjoyed soup and (I) enjoyed a 135 gram carb fruit sundae. Couldn't eat more than 1/4 of it . . . but you need a dessert to celebrate anyways!

After the rest of the week and my diabetes conference (which was awesome, by the way) Nate and I went back up to the "valley" to hang out.
We visited til after midnight; it is so wonderful to spend time with people from back home!

Saturday morning, Andrea gave me a massage (I was her first Alaskan client ;) ) It was great. Highly recommended!

The girls were entertaining to watch in themselves! They got some new dress-up clothes and gloves and don't think I saw (Brenna anyways) wear much else the whole weekend! how fun, though.

Later on Saturday (while we still had a couple of daylight hours left) Bradley and Trisha and girls took Nate and I on a drive to try to see a moose. We ended up seeing two. Chatted with a State Trooper who was from close to the area where Nate and Trisha grew up.

On the drive, this hearty Alaskan called out for help-- the dogs were tangled (or something?) and they were dragging the parked 4-wheeler. Nate held the brakes for them and wow- those dogs are born to run that's for sure!

We went down McKenzie Pt Road and saw a great view of Anchorage. It's actually not that big of a city, probably comparable in size to Duluth.

Sunday morning, at the "crack of dawn" ha ha (9:00am) We got up and drove to see the sunrise over the river. (proof!)

It was stunning. Couldn't decide between more sky or more water.

I metered the reflecting water for this shot. It's a small exposure trick I learned from "Understanding Exposure" book by Bryan Peterson. I've read it three times and it's a great tool if you are trying to venture into more manual settings.

We were on such a high from catching the great sunrise so we drove some more . . . got to see this moose up close! Yeehaw!

Later, after homeade caramel rolls and lasagna, we all went to hike "the butte". It's 875 feet high and provides great views and a nice workout. Not to mention it's practically in T & B's backyard.

Nate and Bradley share a laugh on the Butte.

Newlyweds, Tim and Andrea on our little hike :)

Nate, up to some mischief, tries to start a snowball fight with me and HA! . . . gets caught on camera! :)

Beautiful views from the Butte.

The daylight was quickly winding down and we had to visit my uncle still and catch our flight to Sitka.
Why do fun times have to fly by so quickly? :)
Thanks, all, for the great time and fabulous hospitality!

(p.s. I really like p.s. notes. Ev is working with me on my website and thanks to her for the updated logo! I love it!)


hl said...

Awesome pictures! Makes me lonesome...and the kids wishing we could go up there again.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures Jennifer. What is the red in the last picture on the left? Aunt Karen (Katie's Mom)

Anna said...

Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. Noticed the logo and wondered if it was new. I like it!

Tara said...

Stunning pictures, and so much fun to see your weekend story told visually. Thanks for sharing!

Krista said...

I just LOVE the sunrise pictures! Great job! P.S. :)Lindsey and Craigs wedding pictures are amazing too.

Anonymous said...

Really neat pictures Jennifer!


Jan said...

Nice! Looks like a fun weekend. I particularly like the moose photo- I'm always wishing for a glimpse of a moose around here- they're one of my fond memories of Girl Scout camp near Fairbanks!

Pietila Family said...

Come back soon...move here...move here... Sorry - Couldn't resist. : ) We loved having you!

lolly said...

Wow Jen, you outdid yourself!! These pics brought tears to my eye (that, & being lonesome for you all!)

Anonymous said...

Nick warned me that I can't go on your blog. He said that it would make me want to go to AK. I should have listened :)

Great pics!


Amanda Kay said...

BEAUTIFUL pictures! It's so awesome having an Alaskan blogger so we can see what we're missing! Nice for you guys to visit with others too.

Julie said...

These pictures were SO fun! Just gorgeous... Glad you shared them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen!
Ooh these pics are so awesome and make me want to go up there!!!!! You live in such a pretty place! Merry Christmas:) -An

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