Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Denali Park...Take Two.

I just couldn't resist adding a few more photos of the trip. We had so much fun.

Grandpa at the cozy cabin.
Grandma in front of the mountain. It was just the most beautiful day.
Grandpa inside the newly opened visitors center.
The "shopping district" across the street from the Denali Princess Lodge. The Lodge has good cocoa. We sat and watched one of the hurricanes on the TV there. There was a great bike trail from this part of the area to the entrance of the park that crossed some water. Very nice. I think we ate at the Salmon Bake. We have a weakness for restaurants named "Salmon Bake". There is one in Seward as well but way better.
Farewell to fall!

These are a few of my favorite things!

Who wouldn't want to run out and pet one of these cute little guys, or maybe pass them a carrot? Well, anyone who wants to make it home alive, that's who. These moms are bad news.
One of my favorite Alaskan travel destinations (I use that term a bit loosely) is Denali National Park. In the almost 15 years we have lived here, we have visited the park numerous times and are never disappointed. Most people come to see the mountain, but due to the weather conditions, the best views are usually from the road a distance from the mountain. We saw these moose in the park, however.
This is the new visitors center. It's beautiful inside, very nicely done, with many interactive displays and photos. It replaces the old one near the entrance which has been turned into something else, I forget what. Probably a generic Starbucks or something. Anyway, the park has built a small complex here with this center, another large bookstore, which is very awesome and an extremely overpriced cafe. But it's all good. Especially when you are biking, as we were and sort of forgot that it's all uphill, and very steep, from about two miles after you enter the park. So our biking was a bit limited. But the trails are awesome and the cranberries were ripe and Dick and I were able to pick a large bagful in just a few minutes. They are now residing happily in my freezer until it's time for cranberry treats!
The "Great One" from the highway. Top that!

There should be a cute picture of our cabin here, but something went very wrong. Also missing is a very hot photo of Alaska man Cooldad. So just pretend, I guess.

The Perch restaurant, just a short invigorating hike up the hill. Hot breakfast comes with the room. Hot guy is extra.

Kiss the Big Fish!

I came across this picture of post-mission Coolboy and couldn't resist the temptation to let everyone know who is true love really is!
Every July our family goes dipnetting, an Alaska tradition of standing out in near freezing water wearing very tight waders waiting for scores of red salmon to come swimming upstream into your nice big net. Sounds easy? Well, describing it is about where the easy part ends. It gets very cold and when the current is coming in or going out, it can get rather hard on the old arms! But we go anyway because we love fish! As you can see, the scenery is quite nice and standing out in the water you get the opportunity to meet other Alaskans and hear their stories, some of which are very interesting, and get a different perspective on why people love to live here or why they don't. But most of these people are in love with Alaska! And with fish.

And Coolboy is such a good sport to help out Mom and Dad. He said it was definately one of the highlights of his summer vacation!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Anyone For a Christmas Apron?

I gave a friend some cute Christmas fabric last year and she made an adorable apron to wear at our Friday lunches at the Institute. I liked it so much, I made one for myself. It looks better on of course, instead of hanging on the bathroom door, but doesn't exactly match what I am wearing at the moment! I plan on making a few more for gifts. Happy Upcoming Holidays!