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Category Archives: Photos

Last Friday we stayed home from work due to Dean being under the weather. So the kids and I used the opportunity to start on the garden plot, do a little barnyard clean up & to get some fresh air. The garden plot was quite the mess.

We enjoyed watching the goats and ducks being released from their winter quarters and go a little wacky on the barely there green grass blades

First thing we did was assess the old derelict greenhouse frame. It needs to be disassembled, repaired and re-sheeted with siding and greenhouse plastic. Lil Bit and I took stock of our materials so we could plan the new structure. As it is currently, about 15 feet long and 8 ish feet wide. We’d like to maintain that size, just move it over to the left about 2-3 feet.

Then we found a couple old pallets that we hauled up to the garden plot to add to our existing compost bin. The original bin was filled up over the winter with kitchen scraps and barn litter. We’ll let that side sit and work this summer to add to our beds next year.

Then we got started on the clean up part. Thing 2, AB and Lil Bit all pitched in. We cut down all the wild raspberry canes, some Willow shrubs and tall grasses down. We raked up dead grass and leaves to fill our new compost bin about half way. The kids hauled barn litter over and dumped into the old bin. I gave some of the raked up dried grass to the goats, they loved it.

I cleared out the strawberry patch of last year’s dead leaves & weeds, cut the runners loose and mulched with fresh straw. We topped off the two beds and all the tire stacks with more soil. And we stretched an old tarp (that we repurposed for ground cover & saved from going to the landfill) out over the area we just cleared to keep regrowth down to a minimum. We will eventually top this with sawdust and wood chips for pathway maintenance after we build the new beds.

This tarped area is where we plan to construct two more raised beds and put additional tire stacks around the fence perimeter.

Lil Bit’s 4H project is gardening so she has been busy tending her starts in the mini greenhouse in our bathroom. And getting more excited by the day to start her outdoors garden & greenhouse.

Lil Bit’s starter garden. She’s got bell peppers tomatoes, squash, cucumber and a big pumpkin on the right.

While raking and checking for signs of new growth we discovered the lilac Thing 1 planted last year has some buds on it!! It’s always a happy day to see your plants made it through the winter!!

Rhubarb patch coming to life!

Besides the greenhouse renewal & new raised beds to build, we have some fencing repairs to make. I’d also like to test our soil this year so we can make amendments based on need. We’ll see how that goes. 🤪So our work isn’t done but we feel good about getting it started.

Snow is melting, spring is here. Come on summer!
All snuggled up!
My avocado tree that I grew from seed the summer of 2013. Needs to be repotted.
I will sleep in mom's shoe,

We enjoyed a nice trail ride today. Our time is limited so we’re trying to get every last ride in that we can. Last weekend we rode out towards Besser Lake, but not all the way out. This time we rode out to the Pig Station and back to the cabin with a side trip through a swamp.

Making new friends on the trail.

We hope to get one more weekend ride in first of April!

When your day didn't go as planned... I'm thankful to have stayed on the road and that the weather isn't too nasty today.

Two weeks ago Today we kicked off our new school year with a ride on the Chugach Express service to Grandview. This ride is always exciting and awe inspiring. This year is extra special as we get to share the experience with some special people. My nephews got to come along with us and Mo brought along her parents (Nana & Papa, honorary grandparents to my kiddos) as well as Mark & Laquita, our special friends! It was their first Alaska train ride experience too!
Sharing Alaska’s beauty with those you love never gets old!!

In the marsh area before Spencer Whistle Stop we saw a swan family. The babies are almost fully grown. We also saw a perched bald eagle a couple trees down from a nest. The train travels through the remnants of
Chugach nat’l Forest, an area 5.5 mil acres with only 90 Miles of road. Most being inaccessible by car. Then we move into the Kenai mountains.

At Spencer Glacier whistle stop, the glacier used to come down to the valley where the railroad camp was. This whole valley forest floor is only been exposed about 100 years old. The cottonwoods are apx 30-40 feet tall next to the train. The glacier has retreated about 2.5 miles but still about 6 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. *P

Copy of a 1914 photograph when the railroad was under construction. The glacier looked large over the camp.

A series of 5 tunnels cuts through the Kenai mountains. Its pretty cool going through them. Seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunel. Some inspiration for the tough days. The creek is about 100 ft below us.
The weather has turned beautiful today. One of the driest days this historically wet August has offered us.

The tunnels are dark, the light is reflection from inside the train.

The RR crews have been doing maintenance alongside the tracks, cutting back foliage. Fireweed fuzz is floating along in the gentle breeze.

We saw a marmot climb up onto the tracks of a parked bulldozer.

According to our onboard USFS Ranger, here was snow up at Grandview until July 4th weekend this year. Grandview, sitting at just over 1000′ elevation, sure has a, wait for it, grand view (Blame it in Alaska Nellie, she said it first!).  Photos do it no justice.

Grandview Whistle Stop

Alaska Nellie ran the roadhouse at Grandview back in it’s hey day. A true Sourdough in every sense. From walking into what became Grandview to manning the station on her own, Nellie was one tough cookie.

Trail Glacier

The sun is shining so brightly!  What a glorious day! We traveled past Grandview Whistle stop for another breathtaking view, Trail glacier. Below the glacier is the remnants of an abandoned beaver lodge and the resulting lack of vegetation. This area would have been underwater due to the beaver dam on the creek, thus the lack of trees.

Trailside waterfall.

We stop our journey south at Trail Glacier and begin the back-track to Grandview. There we disembarked and had about an hour to explore. I headed out to look for some berries!
I hiked up the trail to the waterfall and just beyond it we found some huckleberries and salmon berries, just enough for a taste. And so many mushrooms for my shroom cam!
The tree trunks are so magical with their twists & crooks and moss covered branches. Around every corner I expect to see a fairy fluttering away or a little troll hoping I didn’t see him.
I wish we had more time to explore. This trip needs to be combined with a two day hiking & camping expedition next time!
Back to the train for our return trip to Portage.
Collect memories/experiences instead of things .