Highlights from Our Alaskan Adventure, Part 1

No it’s not Friday, and I’ve got many more than five photos to share, so this is technically not another Friday Five post. However, it’s been a long time since I’ve done one of those anyway. And, it’s high time we share some highlights from our Alaskan Adventure, so far. So, here’s a few scenes from what we’ve seen and enjoyed, so far.

Canoe Trip
Canoeing on South Rolly Lake

We arrived for our winter in Willow back in August. That gave us just enough time to catch a glimpse of Alaskan adventures that don’t involve lots of snow and subzero temperatures. We took Nellie on her first canoe trip around South Rolly Lake in the nearby Nancy Lake State Recreation Area. There are too many lakes to count around here, and anywhere in Alaska. The entire state is one large marsh. Which makes sense considering all the snow melt must go somewhere. Since there’s too much of it to ever all dry up.

windsock trail
Windsock Trail in Autumn

We had a chance to see the seasons change, and Fall fell fast. It was fun exploring all the trail. And a bit scary considering the bears were still out and about getting ready for winter. But if you’ve been following along for a while now, you know how much we believe there’s something to be said about fearvana. Luckily, and unfortunately, we never encountered any bears. As it turns out, you need to be more afraid of the moose.

Alaska Fly Fishing
Alaska Fly Fishing

Come September, I got to do some real Alaska fly fishing on a few occasions. Far too few, and it was far past the peak time to actually catch anything. But I got in some practice and caught some beautiful scenery. I’ve always preferred stream fishing. And in one of the most beautiful locations I’ve ever fished, I saw plenty of fish. These big sad old salmon were ugly and tired from their long journey inland. And they wanted nothing to do with what I had for them. The bears were clearly having much better luck, considering the number of half eaten carcasses along the banks.

Haunted Forest
Haunted Forest at Neuman Park

This year’s hallowed shenanigans turned out much better than expected. I was uncertain how I might spend my birthday this Halloween. But we’ve met a good bunch of friends, and made many cool connections in this tight knit little community.

We volunteered to help the local Lions decorate a stretch of trail with spooky props and lighting. Parents brought kids of all ages, as darkness fell. Rene was rather ghoulish and our neighbor pu on a rather elaborate werewolf scarefest.

It was fun helping out with the Haunted Forest, and I had a blast tromping around the woods scaring kids and adults alike.

halloween 2024
Project M at Night
Byers Lake Boondocking

Finally, our Alaskan adventure continued when we finally had a chance to get out and actually enjoy The Project M Experience! \m/

With winter quickly coming, we only took the rig out a couple times for quick overnight trips. And I look forward to getting back out there off the beaten path again come spring. For now, we’ve removed the RotoPax water tank and lithium battery box. The latter has already come in handy during power outages insider the house.

Alaska Veterans Memorial
Alaska Veterans Memorial

On our trip to Byers Lake, we stopped at the Alaska Veterans Memorial. My dad went to West Point. And, he loved his soapstone collection. So, I felt a particular connection when I saw the giant carving on display in front of the pillars representing all the armed forces.

willow turkey trot
2024 Willow Turkey Trot Fun Run Coordinator

And then: Winter came on like, well…like winter in Alaska. After one light flurry foreshadowing the fun to come, the first snow fell hard. And that will not melt until spring. It’s piling up high, and we’ve already got record snowfall for this time of year. Rene coordinated a fun run along the freshly groomed trails for a Thanksgiving day Turkey Trot. We had nearly 30 people show up who all enjoyed walking, running, skiing, skijouring, and canicross around a 5K loop through the woods in the new snow. We even raised more than $300 for the owner of Toasted Joe’s who created a fund to help local youth after his wife was tragically killed in an accident shortly after opening their coffee shop.

Alaskan Adventure
Grooming Trails with the Willow Trail Committee

And then…We really started to experience why we came to Alaska this time in the first place. Check snowmobile rides off the list. Though up here they are called snow machines. And, this run was actually productive. We were out grooming trails through the tundra for hours in temps that dipped below -25 degrees. yeah, that’s below zero. But Like we said, there is no bad weather, only bad gear. Next, see how we’ve enjoyed using these trails…

Stay tuned for more Alaskan Adventure highlights from our first Winter in Alaska!

To be continued…

3 thoughts on “Highlights from Our Alaskan Adventure, Part 1”

  1. Sounds like you guys are having a blast. I never doubted you would. Thanks for the updates. Since we are stuck at at home for the winter we enjoy reading about other people’s adventures.😁

  2. I love the way you guys show up for it, whatever ‘it’ may be. Making friends wherever you go, volunteering in the community, adapting to whatever comes your way. Reading about your adventures always makes my day!
    Mush on!


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