Birthday Dinner

Brown cooked this amazing Indian feast for my birthday. It was incredible food complete with homemade decorations and garland. Thanks Brown!

We packed my new backpack with a ton of stuff to make sure it could handle it. The packraft is in there too!
The dinner table, Ted Wu took this shot.

Packraft with Pella!

Mark, Mara and Ed on the upper Chena River. Ed wanted to take his nephew Mark and friend Mara out on the packrafts before their big Brooks Range packrafting trip this weekend.
I took the opportunity to take Pella out on the packraft on a mellow river before our next big trip.
She did great and after a mile or so just laid down and took in the beautiful surroundings.


Sea Kayaking from Valdez out to Shoup

This year we had rough seas all the way in and out to Shoup Bay. It was super fun paddling the big swells and a little frustrating on the way in because we were going no where fast up wind. Once in the bay though the waters were calm. Here we are paddling into the cabin.

Kristen and Anthony getting up close and personal with the glacier. Ben even brought his medium format camera and tripod. It is amazing what you can fit in a kayak.

Lena and Mike.Kristen and Anthony.
Ben making some coffee with the jet boil. It was great group and super fun trip as always. I am glad we had rough weather to learn how to paddle in the high seas! I have no pics of that part of course, we had to keep paddling so we did not flip.


Coffee/Pizza Traverse Packraft Trip Part 1

We started out our backpacking/ packraft trip at Carlo Creek pizza place. Check out the map. The hike was supposed to be a 15 miles by the red line Ed drew on the topo map above, and a 16 mile paddle on the Nenana River. You never know what the terrain will be without a trail, or how many times you have to cross creeks and rivers, cliffs and drop-offs. The hike was more like 22 miles, and terrain over the pass was snowy and steep...it was awesome and I was really tired after this one - 3 months, 1 week and 1 day after my kidney transplant.

Ann at the start, overjoyed to be out again.

Ed, John and Ben getting some calories in. Eat and hike - that is the way on these trips. The hike up Carlo Creek was amazing, great skiing back there.
Farther up Carlo Creek there was aufeis , but it was perfect hiking up the valley instead of bush whacking.

Above the brush and starting the ascent to the pass still up in the clouds at this point.

Ben and this sweet waterfall. We only had to cross the creek once or twice, always hiking with wet shoes.

Group shot near an alpine lake. Dea, John, Ann, Ed and Ben and Fernie.

Almost there! A view of our tracks, and the caribou tracks we followed. The caribou knew exactly where to go to avoid the rotten snow.

The ascent was not too bad, but we did not know what lie on the other side. The descent turned out to be steeper than expected and Fernie had be carried down a rock or two. She didn't seem to mind too much.

Ann and John loving the rocky descent and Fernie's cute little head poking around to see what was next.

Ed on the descent way out in front on a ridge.

I skip a few miles of photos, trying hard to keep up with these guys, so no pics and finally the Nenana River!

This steep descent really drops off and the bushwhacking was crazy, but only 1 mile. After this it was really deep and we could not see each other at all, we did lots of doowhooping to keep the bears away. We did see Dall sheep and caribou...bear signs, but no bears. Once we get to the river we pull the packrafts out of our packs and begin to blow them up by capturing the wind in a parachute bag adapter and squeezing it in. It actually does not take that long, I have no pics past this point....so I turn to Ed for part two. Maybe in a few days. All in all it was an amazing trip!


Ben's solo show the Annex

Ben and Dennis observing the pictures just for the opening of Ben's solo show at the Annex. The night was a great success!
Our good friends purchased a group photo of the German's and they are going to pass it from house to house.

A video for family and friends who could not make it! Thanks for everyone that came out to support Ben.


Trevor's Going Away Party

The gang out on the deck one last time(double click pic to see)! Trevor will so be missed. I can not say enough about how great Trevor is! We are all fortunate to have had so many good times with him in Alaska. I still get to see him the last time Sat. before we leave for pack rafting.

Trevor and Kate being silly.

As everyone knows Trevor donated his kidney to me in February and I will be forever grateful. I'll miss you TrevAH!

Finished the Sweater

Here it is finally, the sweater is done. I have not blocked it yet in the picture.
Thanks Brown! Pizza, beer and wine on the deck is the perfect way to seam.