Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Alaska Bound!

I'll be honest, I've been on the East Coast now for almost 4 years, and I never changed my Alaska drivers license.  I just couldn't do it.....Its still home!  The next few posts will be quick, but I couldn't resist sharing the magic and beauty of this truly amazing place that still feels like home!

Roadtrip to Seward, Alaska!

Going to Seward is one of my favorite Alaska adventures.  We stopped at Beluga Point, and saw Belugas.  We stopped in Girdwood for coffee and treats.  And then a stop in Portage!  I love seeing the glaciers, and the salmon were still running too!   A little rainy, but that didn't stop us!

The Seward harbor close to sunset.
Seward at sunrise.

Tanya and Suresh smiling to be on the boat cruise!  And to have such amazing weather! 
 Andrew and I did a quick hike up to Exit Glacier.  Then it was back to Anchorage for Moose's Tooth pizza!!!  YUMMY!!!

The Snowbird Hut Adventure! Hatcher's Pass, Alaska

Hatcher's Pass, my FAVORITE place on Earth!
Ryan, Sherrie, Milo (the mountain dog), Andrew and I had been planning this overnight before we even arrived!!!

So when we showed up and it was pouring rain....well, we just popped open our umbrellas and headed out!

See, look how much fun we are having!!!

We made it to the hut in fine time....probably because as we got higher the rain turned to snow and it was too cold to stop!  Andrew did an AMAZING job making his way.  Super slippery, very wet, and chilly conditions!

Milo admiring Sherrie's jump shot! 

We had a great night in the hut....we stayed warm and our clothes dried.  We woke up to a serious blizzard, so we decided to hunker down and chill out for a bit before heading out.  Early afternoon we decided to go....just as we did the clouds lifted, the snow stopped, and we had amazing views!  It was back to town for some good warm food!! 

Off the Beaten Track. McCarthy, Alaska

Andrew left on his birthday to head back East.  Ryan took off to the field for work.  So Sherrie, Milo and I headed out to McCarthy.  We stopped at Gun Sight Mountain.  I have driven past this mountain so many times, but had no idea how beautiful the views were from the top.  Definitely fall in Alaska.

You have to drive 60 miles down a dirt road to actually get to McCarthy....but it is certainly worth the drive.  Our first views....AMAZING!  From McCarthy its a five mile road to get to the little town of  Kennecott.  Kennecott was mined for Copper back in the 40's.

Our perfect campsite....I ~heart~ car camping!

We had great weather the next couple of days as we hiked around.  Cooler temps, but not much rain. 

Can you see the building in the upper right?   An old mining building.

Beautiful views!!

Another beautiful view!!

And another!!
And another!!

Local Anchorage Hikes!

Artic Valley!

Mile High!

Hillside...My favorite set of stairs to run!

Mount Baldy!



The Dome!

Alaska comes to an end!

Needless to say Alaska was amazing.  Andrew had an amazing time, as did I.  It was soo good to see friends that I consider family, it was great to feel connected to the mountains, and of course I was completely physically wrecked by the end of it all! Till next time!!
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Team First Soccer Camp

I have a thing for famous people....(Secretly I wish I was famous)....And I have thing for fitness.....(which is obvious to most!).  So when given the opportunity to watch some AMAZING famous athletes do their thing how could I ever say no!!!

 Team First is a soccer camp run by Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, and Tisha Venturini-Hoch (Tisha pictured above, and I promise one day I will get that move dialed!!!!).  They did an amazing job building confidence, teaching respect for the game and each other, and had an incredibly fun time doing it!!! I didn't participate in the camp, but I certainly walked away feeling motivated and inspired!!

As were these girls!!  Up and coming soccer all stars....I am sure of it!!

USA vs Germany Men's Soccer Game


My cousin Stacy had extra tickets to the USA vs Germany men's soccer game, and we quickly swooped them up!!  Always soo much fun and amazing to watch!  I love watching the La Barra Brava (some of the craziest soccer fans I have ever seen!!) and I'm always thankful when we are sitting across from them, and not right in the middle of them!!!!  Although it is pretty cool to feel the seats vibrate from all the jumping!  It was an amazing game with USA winning 4 to 3.  Thank you Stacy for making it happen!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Dolly Sods Wilderness -- A hidden little treasure in West Virginia

The Dolly Sods Wilderness is certainly a little treasure in the Eastern mountains of West Virginia.   I have never been to an area with such diversity.  It was a bit difficult to capture it all in a photo, as it felt it was a melting pot of various eco systems all mixed into one.

Temps were a bit on the colder side....Andrew & I stayed warm in the tent, but our water had ice on it in the morning!!  But that didn't stop us from our 17 ish mile hike!  The trail was pretty rocky, so it was difficult to move fast, but that just added to the beauty of the day.

Parts of the trail reminded me of tundra in AK, while others felt like a birch then pine forest.....The river with its cascading water rocks was just amazing.....Doing this hike as overnight would have been AWESOME.  Lots of really good camping spots along the way....especially down by the river!!  Thanks to those who suggested this area to me!!  Certainly a worthy adventure!

Memorial Day Weekend -- Out of Town We Go!!!

Memorial Day +  DC = ROLLING THUNDER
(not that I don't like motorcycles, but when they come in the 1,000's its a bit overwhelming!)

So out of town Andrew and I went.  We drove south to West Virginia to check out a rock climbing area called Seneca.  We didn't do any climbing, but I had heard the rock was really interesting looking....and it was!  A shark fin sorta piece of rock.  All trad climbing....I hear the grades are sand bagged as well.  We did a quick walk up the tourist views of climbers topping out!

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What's in Kentucky?? Bourbon, Horses, and some AMAZING Climbing!

Tanya and I have been climbing partners for awhile now.....I am sure many people that we have met along the way are not really sure if we climb, or if we just goof off -- often resulting in some awkward situations........

Like this one for example, we had been at the campground for less than hour before Tanya got a citation for drinking in public....How can Kentucky have dry counties with all that bourbon and beer????

But we do actually do some climbing on these trips. It had been years since Tanya had been to the Red River Gorge, and it has been on my tick list for a long time. There is both trad and sport climbing there and we did a little a both.  At one of the larger crags, the routes were labeled which made things really easy!

Kentucky felt like a jungle to me.  I kept waiting for the monkeys to swing down from the trees, but they never did!!  Tons and tons of poison ivy, but we did our best from making contact.

I got a little motivated at the end and acutally led a couple of pitches!  Guess I still got in me!!  Tanya, thanks again for another awesome adventure!!  Looking forward to the next one.....maybe Cuba???  Enjoy the slideshow!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Angela and Chris Just got Hitched!

My friend Angela in short, is one of the most amazing people I know. When she asked me to be in her wedding, it touched me deeply, and I accepted with great honor.

They got married in her home town in Indiana.  The reception was held in a barn that has been converted to a reception hall.  It was a beautiful place inside and out!

Angela was one of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen.  Her mom handmade this incredible dress....!  I loved this photo as it shows it off so well!!!

One of the best parts of the wedding/planning was getting to know Angela's dearest friend.  Each one sooo beautiful, smart, and amazing.....I just hope our paths cross again!
And now these two begin their lives together as husband and wife.....You know when you meet that couple and you think they were meant to be together....That's Chris and Angela!  May your love for each other continue to grow and grow and grow.....! (And I have no doubt that it will!)