Sunday, June 11, 2017

Delta Junction - Alaska Memorial Day Weekend 2017

Ever wonder what Alaska is like in the early spring?  How about the end of May?  Well take a look at our adventure and you will see.  

This trip was taken over Memorial Day Weekend 2017.  We picked Delta Junction.  This is an area close to Ft. Greely Army base and about 100 miles south of Fairbanks.  There are a few really good camping areas and if you want some good old fashioned mud bogging for your Jeep, ATV or UTV there is even a Mud Rally held every year at this time.  There are a lot of great activities and many friendly people to meet.  Just pack for the conditions, meaning pack both winter and summer gear as this time of year the weather can go from 70 deg's to snow in the same day.

Below are the pictures we took of our journey and the 4wheeling adventures we had.

May 25, 2017 -These pictures are of the road leading to Delta Junction as you venture north from Palmer, Alaska

As you can see we encountered some snow.

We set up camp and hit the trail.  A lot less snow at the final destination yet not exactly warm at 45 deg's and the wind was blowing, but in true Alaskan style we set up camp, pulled on our t-shirts and sweatshirts and headed out to see the trails.  The views are amazing and with the wind and cooler temperatures the skies are crisp which makes for better distance views of the surrounding mountains.

This is a public use cabin.  We are planning a trip back in the winter on snowmachines for some northern lights viewing. These cabins are set up with an outhouse, wood stove, platform bed areas and a table.  These are FREE you just need to reserve them through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). You can either hike or drive into them.  They sometimes have boats or canoes that go along with the cabin and firewood is provided.  They have cooking pots and utensils and games in the cabins.  You will need to bring a sleeping mat, sleeping bag and bathroom essentials (Toilet Paper).  Also be aware you bring it in with you, then you are responsible for packing it back out.  

This cabin happened to be right on the lake and there was a canoe

Below are some pictures of other areas around our camp area we explored.

Here is a beaver pond.  There are many of these scattered all over Alaska

If you're lucky you can even find a matching moose shed.
This is actually a Mining claim marker.  It will tell you the location of the active mining claim, when it was founded and who owns it along with what the mine was named. 

This is what we call a "dead glacier"  It is the remnants of an old glacier bed that has only silt remaining.  You can still see portions of the live glacier and glacier lakes in the below pictures.

This is the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline.  It spans an impressive 800 miles from Prudhoe Bay Alaska, which is above the Arctic Circle all the way to Valdez, Alaska.  The oil is then transported by tanker to Oil Refineries in Washington State and California, just to name a few.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures.  Come see us sometime.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Snow Machining - Valdez Alaska

Have you ever thought of Snow Machining in Valdez, Alaska?  No, well you should. 2017 was a lower than normal snow year so the snow looks a bit sparse in the pictures.  Normal snow years the snow is still very good, even in late spring the snow is ridable and the scenery can't be beaten. The temps hover around 20 plus degrees and the sun rises at 7:30 am and sets around 8:30 pm this time of year.  It's a great time of year to get out and do some backcountry riding.  These pictures are of Solomon Lake in Valdez, Alaska and a ridge knows as the "Hogsback". 

Always make sure you ride with someone who is experienced as this area is not for novice riders.  Also, it is always a good idea to bring a locator beacon or the Garmin inReach Explorer+ or Garmin inReach SE+ both have locator capabilities and allow you to broadcast your location and signal an SOS if needed or send a text asking for help. 

If you are lucky this time of year you will run across animal tracks like, bear, wolf, moose and other small animals as they also inhabit the high country and are active in the spring.

Solomon Lake, AK

Solomon Lake is a Reservoir in Valdez-CordovaAlaska. It has an elevation of 709 meters or 2,326 feet.

Degrees Minutes Seconds:
Latitude: 61-04'24'' N Longitude: 146-18'06'' W   

Decimal Degrees: 
Latitude: 61.0733333 Longitude: -146.3016667

Above Valdez looking across the lake
 Along the Hogsback
More from the Hogsback

Alaska has many, many glaciers 1000's of them have no name. You can see a glacier in this picture; it's towards the back of this picture.

Dangerous Dave grabbing a little air with the "Summer Sucks" racing team on his 800 Renegade.  
 Maniac Mike also from the "Summer Sucks" racing team grabbing air on his 900 M1. 

These are some very large wolf tracks.  This goes to show you that even the predators of Alaska will travel the higher routes to hunt for food.  Always be on the lookout for wildlife, and never approach it.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A couple of pictures from the area.

Here is just a quick post to share a couple of pictures from just down the road from our house. We take it for granted sometimes of what a beautiful place we live in.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Snowmaching near Eureka Alaska

What wonderful day to go for a snowmachine ride. Yes I called it a snowmachine. That is what they are called up here in Alaska, if you say snowmobile you might hear a few snickers and people calling you a cheechako (new comer to Alaska).

We started off down in the heavy fog off the Glenn Highway, within minutes the fog created a heavy layer of frost on the goggles and made it almost impossible to see. It took about 4 miles hunkered down behind the windshield just peeking over, with no goggles to get out of the fog. My eyebrows had about a half an inch of frost when we finally stopped. We had decided to go into the Bellanger Pass area that we had explored this summer on the ATV's (see previous post). Wow what a difference a few months and 4-6 feet of snow make. Totally a different place! The best part is with a snowmachine you can go almost any place you want and maybe a few you shouldn't. I guess it depends on what you call safe.

We rode around 45 miles in about 6 hours, snow was a little bare for this time of year but enough to enjoy the ride. We even saw an igloo someone made.

After the photos is a short video before the camera battery died. The good snow was of course after the battery died on my camera.

 Igloo - Yes we do live in them :o)

Fog down in a valley
 Fog down in the valley we rode up from.

Brian doing a little showing off
 Brian doing a little more showing off.

Beautiful views
Love the views

A video of the day before the camera battery ran out.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Eklutna Trailrace

A short afternoon drive over to the Eklutna Trailrace gave us an opportunity for some nice pictures.

Here is a map of the location.

The Eklutna Hydroelectric Project tailrace is located approximately 34 miles northeast of Anchorage near Mile 3.5 of the Old Glenn Highway. The site provides a recreational fishery that was originally supported by coho, sockeye, and chum salmon returning to the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association's (CIAA) hatchery located at the head of the tailrace. The private nonprofit hatchery was operational from 1981 through 1998. The sport fishery is confined to the approximately one-half mile long tailrace which extends from the Old Glenn Highway downstream to its confluence with the Knik River. Currently, the fishery is supported by hatchery coho and chinook salmon that are reared at the ADF&G Fort Richardson Hatchery and released into the tailrace. Coho salmon smolts have been stocked into the tailrace annually since 1998. Chinook salmon smolts were first stocked in May 2002, which has provided a chinook salmon fishery that began in the spring of 2004. Salmon originating from the drainages of the Knik and Matanuska rivers are also harvested at the confluence of the tailrace and the Knik River.

The first Eklutna hydroelectric power plant began servicing Anchorage in 1929. Today, the Eklutna
Power Plant provides approximately three percent of the area’s energy requirements.

Here are some pictures of the area.