Posts Tagged ‘mellow’

Pinnell Mountain Trail, 2016

Friday, May 27th, 2016

On a late Sunday afternoon, Tom and I headed off to hike Pinnell Mountain Trail, planning on a last minute overnighter. I have written about the Pinnell Mountain trail before.. and it is a fantastic hike, truly worth doing.

There was a bit of snow..
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But nothing major, and most of the trail was snow free.

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The trail is a bit wet, but nothing major for this early in the season.

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The dogs had a great time, and enjoyed the mellow, relatively short day.
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The sun set around 11:30pm, and it was beautiful. I want to come back and run or hike the trail in the evening, so I can get the full midnight sun experience.

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BLM has improved both shelters, and they are in fantastic shape. We stayed at the shelter near mile 17…
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In the morning we awoke to a near white out, which came and went for the rest of the hike.
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The trail is well marked though, so we didn’t have issues following the trail.
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I think by memorial day weekend the trail should be snow free. I hope everyone is enjoying the fantastic spring weather!

I have been neglecting the blog a bit… more coming soon!

Hutlinana

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Several years ago Tom and I visited Hutlinana hotsprings, only to find the springs washed out and no hot water. I had been hoping to go back, and with a free Sunday and Monday, and Nancy’s permission, we headed out to check it out. The drive out was slow, due to the unusual freezing rainfall we had been having lately, but uneventful. The hike in was fantastic, and we arrived to a wonderfully not washed out hot springs, and enjoyed a night of soaking and mellowing out around a campfire – hurrah!

The dogs had a blast hiking in, and sleeping in my tent.

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The hot springs was a fantastic temperature, perfect for soaking.

In the evening when we are all soaked out we enjoyed mellowing out around the campfire. I also played with taking slow shutter pictures.. DSC01922

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The steripen turned out to be pretty fun to photograph.. DSC01899

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The hike out was very fast, though a bit icey… DSC01925

.. And the drive home was a bit faster, but still slow.

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A Post Script – for folks looking for the “correct” entrance, take the pull off just before the blue “Adopt A Highway” sign, on the Fairbanks side of the bridge. Follow the atv trail to the river, cross the river, then look around for a big and well defined atv trail. That that upstream, and follow it to the hotsprings.

The whites in reverse..

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

It took a week or so after I was done with the ITI, I was starting to get ancy to get back on the bike. Tom M. suggested that we get do a trip in the whites, and after booking Cache Mountain cabin plans were made for an overnight cabin hopping trip. We ended up being joined by Josh S and Laura G, and of course Remus the Wonder dog. We left town early, and were on the trail in time to appreciate the wonderful early morning sunshine. Josh and I zoomed off, leaving the skiers to enjoy their trip in, and after checking the trail at the junction with the trail creek trail, decided to head in the “long way”, over Cache Mt divide, in the opposite direction from how the Whites 100 race course is run.

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The weather was fantastic – warm and nearly calm. The trail was in great shape, and the riding was fast.

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It was great to see the trail in a direction I don’t normally travel it. It was nice to be on the bike, though parts of my body (mainly my butt) hadn’t really recovered from the ITI, and were not happy to be going for a long ride. Fortunately we were not riding fast because as Remus’s speed was limited by the warmer weather, so I got lots of photo breaks.

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Once we got past Windy Gap cabin there was 20 miles of trail I had never been on heading this direction, and it was fantastic to see the trail from a different perspective.

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The weather was pretty hot, and Remus was overheating, so we biked at a very mellow pace. I felt a bit guilty slowing Josh down, but he seemed to be enjoying all the extra time to snap photos. The ice on the river near Windy Gap cabin a bit gnarly, but there was a nice (but soft) trail around it. The icelakes were wet and in a couple of sections very smooth and slippery. The ice had some fantastic colors, and in one place there were some little icebergs, something I had never seen before.

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A short (and bad) video clip from the icelakes from JayC on Vimeo.

Remus enjoyed the nice long ride up the divide, and got his bounce back for the 10 mile descent to Cache Mt cabin.

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Josh and I arrived at the cabin hours after Laura and Tom, and Tom was super excited, as I had half of his dinner. After a couple of hours of socializing, we hit the sack. In the morning, Laura and Tom headed out a bit before us, while we mellowed out for a bit, then headed out. Overnight it snowed a bit, and the trails had a light dusting of snow for the first 20 miles, but it was still quite fast.

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By the time I reached the parking lot the skies had cleared up, and I was enjoying the sun again.

Thanks to everyone for making the trip happen, it is always fun to escape to the Whites!

PS: Alas, Google seems to be slowly killing off Picasa, and I have now switched to Flickr to host my photos. Hopefully that works out – I would love to hear suggestions as to good replacements for Picasa Web Albums.

PSS: I now have ~200 miles on a 1×10 setup with a Wolf Tooth components 42t cog. I am really loving it so far – if it continues to work as well as it does now this is a great setup for snowbiking.
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Snow!

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Every fall I eagerly await the arrival of snow as I look forward to the huge winter trail system that I have right out my backdoor. On a overcast Monday, Tom and I decided to go check out the Summit Trail in the White Mountains NRA and see if winter has arrived yet.

And it had.

It was wonderful to spend a couple of hours wandering around in the snow..

And it got me thinking about winter adventures..

I love all the seasons, but in particular I love winter, and always look forward to the first snow.

We hiked for about 3 hours, then turned around and headed back.

.. But not before enjoying some hi-jinks.

Ouch!

Yay Winter!

Neverending spring..

Monday, May 6th, 2013

We have been having an very late spring. Its early May now, and the trails are still rideable and skiable around my house, though they are getting a bit soft in the late afternoon. With a Monday free, Remus and I set off to see if the trails in the White Mountains are still in good biking shape.

The biking was in a word – fantastic!

Our long days have been balanced by moderately cold nights, keeping the snowpack intact, and the trails firm. A wonderful combination..

Remus and I headed out to Colorado Creek cabin at a mellow pace, stopping to take pictures, enjoying the sunlight, the views, and in Remus’s case, roll around in the snow to cool off. Life is tough..

The trails had a dusting of fresh snow on them, but still fast going and almost no pushing.

Other trail users were out as well..

We turned around after reaching the cabin, and headed a short ways towards Beaver Creek, but turned around, hoping to make it back before the twins bed time.

This spring has been fantastic and while I have been enjoying it, I know that breakup is just around the corner, with summer fun following soon after. Every season has its own fun, and while I am looking foreword to summer.. meanwhile I am really digging what I have now – yay!

One Last Snow Bike Ride..

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

On a fantastically sunny and warm Monday Remus and I headed out to the White Mountains NRA for one last juant on the snow bike.

After a false start after forgetting my bike shoes, I made it out on the trail in the early afternoon, and enjoyed wonderful trails, clear skys, and a superb trails.

It was a bit hot for Remus, but the pace was mellow enough for him to have fun.

Summer is coming, but right now I am still digging spring.. I have had a lot of snow, but I will still be sad to see it all go.

Tolovana, 2012

Monday, September 24th, 2012

The last three years we have made a family trip to Tolovana Hotsprings. The first year the twins were carried and sledded out there, but the following years they hiked the 10+ miles each way under their own power. It has become a sign of the change of seasons, a marking of the end of fall and the coming of winter. Sometimes there is a bit of colder weather and even a little snow, reminding us of the winter that is coming. We have been joined by the twins friend Anna, her dad Ned and her mom Kristen, as well as Tom, and Ms Marsh.

The twins and Anna really enjoy Tolovana, with its places to explore..

Things to do..

And the wonderful hot tubs to enjoy.

I have fond memories of visiting Takhini Hotsprings and hiking out to cabins as a kid, so it is wonderful to have a chance to share these experiences with my daughters.
The twins and Anna have really grown up in the three years we have been hiking out to Tolovana, and they now hike along like little champions, playing lots of games, enjoying snacks, and generally having a great time.

This year’s hike was a bit earlier than usual, making for some muddy hiking. The sun was nice though, and we enjoyed the warmer temperatures.

There were some mud related moments of sadness as little people slipped and fell, lost boots in the sticky mud, or had muddy splash downs, but these were (thankfully) short.

Besides a bit of mud the hike in was great. The weather was so nice the little hikers didn’t even want to stop at the “marshmallow” , an old water tank converted into a shelter, and kept right on trucking.

Blueberry season was long gone, but the cranberries were out in force.

We made it to the hotsprings with enough time for the little hikers to enjoy a short soak before dinner. The bigger hikers all enjoyed longer soaks after dinner. The next day was wonderfully sunny, and the crew spent it mellowing out enjoying life.

After two days of sun, our final day arrived a bit cooler, with ice on the puddles. Everyone had a good hike out, although the little hikers impressed some disbelieving folks on our hike out. “You guys have a fourwheeler cached somewhere up here, right” .

Everyone made it out, some powered by gummies..

And some with their inner rockstar.

A huge thanks to everyone who joined us for this trip, your company makes these trips the wonderful experiences they are. I hope that this family tradition continues, here’s to fall hikes in the sun, the wind, and the snow!

End of the snow?

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

On a fine Wednesday I found myself with a day off work and no family commitments, and decided to go check out the trails in the Whites. The plan was to see if I could get some late season snow biking in, but I also took skis just in case things were too soft. The trails were in great shape, probably the best all year.

The biking was great, but a bit slow as it was a little hot for Remus the dog.

I ended up doing a 35 mile loop, out to Moose Creek cabin, then across to the Trail Shelter, than back out. It was a beautiful day..

The Wickersham Creek crossing on the Moose Creek trail was all broken up by some snow machines who past me heading out. I attempted to get across without getting wet, but alas no such luck. I ended up just walking across carrying the snowbike, it was knee deep, quite a bit deeper than I expected. The sun was out, and it was very warm (hot even!) so not a big deal. Remus swam across, and was very excited to play in the water.

We stopped at the Trail Shelter to loll around a bit in the sun and have lunch. Lunch was greek yogurt and a bagel.

Remus had a bit, and agreed it was pretty good.

The trail softened up a bit in the late afternoon, but it was still wonderful biking.

It looked like the biking should be good for a couple more days, and the skiing should be good for at least a week or so. Get your last bit of spring fun in now, before its gone!

Moab.

Monday, January 9th, 2012

The day after Christmas the family and I left cold and dark Fairbanks to spend some time in the greater Moab area with my brother Dwight’s family.

Several days were spent with lots of Cables having fun in the warm for us +50f sun..

Silliness abounded..

And rock spires were eaten.

Everyone had a wonderful time exploring a new world of sand, rock, and in the twins’ case, the novelty of a sun beaming down actual warmth.

.. and dino prints!

Arches National Park was explored and enjoyed.

We spent some time in Canyonlands, though without the assistance of Dwight’s clan as they had to head back home for school. They were missed..

I was able to get out for one seven hour ride on Moab’s “Brand” trails, which were in a word – amazing. I had the place to myself, on a sunny windless day. The trails were dry and snow free.

Moab also has the nicest bike path I have ever seen, complete with warning signs for hills, and posted speed limits.

I got several hours of playing on slickrock, which was interesting and fairly rewarding.

The “XC” five inch travel full suspension bikes we rented (almost) cured me of any interest buying a similar bike – way too much bounce. At times it was like riding a pogo stick. I say almost as I might have been able to fix the bounce with adjustments to the pressure and damping, but not having access to a shock pump made this impossible. I was pretty impressed by how much the suspension could soak up though.. only for all the riding I did on it, it was much too much bike. We had tagalongs (thanks Kristin!) and tried to get some biking in each day. Generally the day would start with driving to the general area, then biking to various trailheads with the twins in tow, and then hiking.


The roads outside of Moab, Arches, and Canyonlands are great for biking. We didn’t see very many bikers but it seemed like it would be wonderful off season road biking, with minimal traffic, fantastically smooth asphalt, and wonderful views.

On the way back to Alaska we spent two days in Seattle taking in the sights with Steve and Manish.


(Click the Vimeo button for the full awesome effect)

Now its back to the snow bike, getting in the miles/hours in preparation to the upcoming madness in 6 weeks.

A big thanks to the Cable family of Utah, and Steve and Manish for inviting us to visit, chaos and all.

Thanksgiving..

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

With Nancy and the twins away visiting her parents, I decided to have a nice mellow Thanksgiving safely away from the masses. To that end, Tom, Ms Marsh, and I headed off to Upper Angel Creek cabin in the Chena River State Recreation Area . I took my fat bike while Tom and Marsh decided to ski. The trail into the cabin was in amazing shape, making for effortless biking.

I stopped briefly at the lower cabin which is getting replaced after burning down last winter. The new cabin is huge and looks like it is going to be a great option for short trips. I think this would make a great destination for the twin’s first self powered ski trip.

Remus had a blast on the trip in, though he would have enjoyed a bit more sedate pace with more stopping time to explore and sniff around. On bike we travel fast enough he has to keep his short legs pumping to keep up.

Remus was entranced by all the wolf sign on one section of trail. A small wolf pack appears to use the trail as a corridor and there were lots of tracks and wolf scat.

The trail was so flat and fast it almost felt like I was cheating, gliding along expending almost no effort.

I arrived at the cabin well before the skiers and enjoyed some peaceful quiet time as the cabin warmed up. The arrival of Tom and Marsh was announced by the crunching of their skis on the cold -20f snow.

We spent the evening lounging around and of course eating. In the morning, after pancakes and an immense amount of bacon, we headed back to the trail head and a soak in Chena Hotsprings. Over the night the temperature had risen to a balmy -4f which seemed amazingly warm. I decided to take an alternate route out, and took the new trail routed along the hillside. The views from the new trail are fantastic.

The trail was a bit soft though, and I felt a bit guilty whenever I broke though the thin crust and created a trench with my rear tire. The trail looked like it would be wonderful skiing. There is one creek crossing that was open, but it was possible to sneak across without getting wet.

At about half way I retreated to the lower trail and zoomed out to the parking lot, where I dropped off my overnighting stuff, and then explored the Chena Hotsprings winter trail while waiting for Tom and Marsh to catch up. The winter trail appeared to be in great shape, though there was some large sections of overflow.

Eventually Tom and Marsh caught up and we headed off to soak in the hot water at Chena Hotsprings and a burger at Mia’s – a fantastic way to end a wonderfully quiet Thanksgiving.

A big thanks to Tom and Ms Marsh for making this trip happen!