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Daily Archives: June 24th, 2013

June 21, last Friday, was the day that we had set aside to ride out to the cabin, for just a day trip, to check the trails and hopefully do a little trail grooming/clearing and playing in the mud. We rode out to the end of the road, unloaded the wheeler, parked the truck and took off for the beach. We rode out on the beach half way to Leif’s Creek and then went up “Jacob’s Ladder” to the trail above. Four wheeling on the beach was fun, but wow, what a muddy, messy ride up Jacob’s ladder. Lots of holes and a really messed up trail from all the rough riders ripping and tearing through there. 😦 Really hard to navigate plus you are right on the edge of the bluff.
Finally made it to the main trail, remember, still have about 5 miles or so to go as Leif’s Creek is the half-way point. Through mud. Some places were so dry that we kicked up some dust, but mostly, it was thick, sticky mud, and water holes covered with stagnant water and mosquitoes.

The first part of the ride “my driver” (ha ha, I sound like Miss Daisy) took it easy on me and went slow through the mud. We got stuck in a deep hole that we just couldn’t get the wheeler out of, so we had to use the wench and pull it out. I fell into the mud bog trying to move around in the middle of that big mud hole, holding the rope tied to a tree and the wench. Muddy pant legs from the knees down. Muddy gloves, mud in the gloves. While stopped there I saw some large wolf tracks in the mud. (that’s for you Makayla!)

We went on up the trail till we met some friends on the way, Tami and Mike. Stopped to visit with them a bit. Mike gave us a good summary of the trail in front of us, told us where to avoid and where to go around the bigger mud bogs. Talked about mosquitoes because they are big news this year, they are so bad! And talked about Dad. Heard more stories about him, I don’t think I’ll ever grow weary of hearing people talk about him.

Then we were off again. We forded a water crossing with water up to mid-calf and away we went. The rest of our trip went well, since we had good instructions from Mike about the bad spots and we made it to the cabin with only a few more “stuck” spots. We saw some bear sign on the trail (that’s the nice way of saying bear poop) and lots of moose tracks.

Checked on the cabin, watered the garden, killed some mosquitoes, ate some lunch that we packed in, smashed sandwiches taste pretty good when you’ve worked up an appetite battling the mud! 😉 After a short break, back to the trail to get out. We had to be back in town by 4 pm, and we were racing the tide, needed to be off the beach by 3:30 or so we thought, so we had to get going.

For some reason, the trip back was a little more muddier than the trip in. Someone decided that it would be more fun to baha through the mud more and although he was right, it was a lot more fun, it was also a lot more muddier and bouncy! I nearly bounced off that wheeler a couple of times. My arms are still sore from holding the rack. It was quite the initiation to the summer Gray Cliffs mud and trail, and 4 wheeling.

Ran into Tami and Mike again, who had a few extra friends with them. I love being introduced to new people as “This is Chuck’s Daughter”. LOL Some of them actually ask MY name, others are just fine with Chuck’s Daughter. I need a name tag that says “Hello, my name is Chuck’s Daughter” and just wear it around town. While we were stopped we saw a cow moose and her twin calves coming down the trail at us. She got pretty close considering the noise the 9 of us were making!

We made it to the beach at 2:10 and the tide was coming in. We probably didn’t have until 3:30. Learning these tides is a whole new experience to be sure. There’s the timing of the tides, and the height or how far in they are coming, and learning where that mark is on the beach, and learning the beach… I feel like I’m cramming for final exams.

I’m glad we went in though, gave me a good understanding of the difficulty of the mud trail, and what all we need to get done before Dad’s memorial in July (which is A LOT!). And the reality of how out of shape that I am! Wowzers! There’s no way we could ride the kids in on wheelers in that mess. Maybe a track rig or a 6 wheeled rig, but not a 4-wheeler!

Next time, with rain gear and taller boots I hope, I will have even more fun. Who knows, pretty soon I’ll be riding in on my own wheeler, then we can race, and eventually I’ll win. 😉

Baptized with mud...

Baptized with mud…


Kids are funny. They are perceptive and observant, they don’t miss much. You can ask them one minute what they like and you’ll get a “eh, I don’t know” but the next minute they are exclaiming how wonderful or awesome this or that is. I asked them what they liked so far about living in Alaska and this is what they said:

Thing 1’s favorites things: Going to the beach and playing in the water, making sand castles, playing with friends, eating (fresh canned) salmon patties, spending time with “Uncle Deano” (who is just a big kid himself), being at Papa’s cabin, and I love 4 wheeling! (she’s quite good on the 4 wheeler too!)

Thing 1 in the loft, reading of course!

Thing 1 in the loft, reading of course!

Thing 2’s favorites things: being at Papa’s cabin, playing with new friends, going to the beach, climbing the bluff, eating salmon and halibut – Yum!

Thing 2 in his "pirate ship"

Thing 2 in his “pirate ship”

Little Bit likes to: go to the park, play at Jake’s house with his kids, going to the beach, watching moose and moose babies.

Little Bit on her teeter totter.

Little Bit on her teeter totter.

The big kid, Mama likes all of those things too, but gazing at the mountains in the early morning or late day sun is my favorite. Being on the beach in the evening with the light reflecting off of the water is a close second. Being at the cabin, where it is so peaceful and relaxing is beyond my wildest dreams. I really get it why Dad lived out there. There are days when I just long to be out there. Unfortunately reality set in and keeps me from spending too much time at the cabin. Hopefully that will change soon. Until then, I’ll enjoy every little minute I get out there.