4-Wheel Adventures & An Alaskan Spa Treatment

While my sister was visiting we made arrangements to borrow a couple of extra 4-wheelers and hit the trails, which is one of our favorite things to do during the summer.  The dogs are quite accustomed to riding in our side-by-side and quickly jump in the rig to go.  Apparently, Stoli thought he was driving this time!

Since we went on a weekday there were only a handful of other people out on the trails so we had the area pretty much to ourselves.  It had rained quite a bit the week prior to our outing so there were several areas of standing water to navigate.  The trail from the parking lot is fairly wooded until it opens up near the river.

This particular location has a variety of trails that criss-cross each other so we had many to choose from.  We let the Hubs lead with the goal of getting as close to the glacier as possible.

As we approached the sandy area along the river, Stoli decided that he didn’t want to ride and since we didn’t let him drive, he hopped out and led the caravan at a run.

Along the river the trail opens up to a wide sandy shoreline and vegetated sand dunes off to the left.

There were some larger vehicles up on the dunes, so we opted to stay along the river heading toward the glacier, which we could see in the distance.

My sister got a pretty good shot of her hubby on the 4-wheeler with the glacier in the background when we paused to consider the trails we could take from this point.

We decided to hang out on the shore and let the dogs play a bit before continuing so they could get some energy out, while my sister walked the beach looking for good shots.

Stoli led the way when we decided to head out along the river bank as far as we could go before heading up into the tree line.

You’re probably wondering where the spa treatment part of the title for this post comes in by now.  Well I’m about to tell you.  The trails got pretty muddy once we headed into the trees and we soon realized the river was too high to cross so we started exploring the wooded trails.

While fording a larger puddle my brother-in-law had a little mishap and ended up tipping his rig over right in the deepest part of the puddle, coating his entire right side in silty muddy water.  Once we made sure that both he and the rig were ok, we all enjoyed a good laugh about the moment and I teased him that women pay big money to be shipped glacier mud for facials and he just coated almost his entire body for free! 🙂

My sister was apparently too stunned to get a shot of him in said puddle before we pulled him out, but I’m sure you can imagine the sight.

Once we got the rig running again we made a b-line for the truck so we could get him warmed up and dried out.  We didn’t make it to the glacier but it was a fun outing regardless.  While they didn’t get to take their picture on the glacier I did get some shots of my sister along the beautiful river that’s just minutes from our house in Hatcher Pass.

I tried to take her up to the historic Independence Mine at the top of the pass that day, but the fog had rolled in, hiding the mine.  We made it as far as the red cabins at the main parking lot before calling it and heading back down the river.

I’m glad they both got to experience a bit of the local sights and outdoor adventures this area of Alaska offers.  Plus they went home with several fun stories to share – which is always the sign of a great trip!

The Beauty Around Us

TruckLife has been crazy busy recently.  Tequila had knee surgery which required a change in schedules for the Hubs and I.  Summer is the busy season for my photography business with weddings, seniors and families visiting Alaska.  My department at work is about to move offices and I’ve had a couple new projects assigned to me.  The garden is growing like crazy and in constant need of attention for weeding, pruning and training.  And of course we still have a puppy at home who is learning what is and isn’t acceptable behavior.

With so much going on it’s rare that I get more than 5-6 hours of sleep a night during the week and I feel a bit like I’m burning the candle at both ends.  I had grand ideas about enjoying some down time this summer enjoying our yard and hitting the trails in our side-by-side but schedules and injuries haven’t cooperated and with fall just around the corner I’m realizing there’s not much time left to squeeze those things in.  So rather than have a pity party about it, I’m looking for little pockets of adventure and relaxation in between all the day-to-day stuff.

The first came when I was driving home from a wedding last weekend and spotted this old truck in a field just off the road.  I’d seen it before but am not often in this area of town so despite the rain – which had thankfully held off until just after we finished up at the wedding – I turned around, found a spot to pull over and jumped out to snap a few frames.  There’s something about this simple scene that speaks to me.  Maybe it’s the wildflowers, maybe it’s the rusty old truck that’s similar to my own, maybe it’s the vision of rural life it creates.  Whatever it is I like it and I’m glad I have a visual of that ‘feeling’.

The second opportunity came last weekend when I was again returning home from a photography session.  This time we’d been rained out, but I have other sessions in this area coming up so I decided to scout a few spots as I made my way back.  It was rainy and chilly, but the rushing of the river was amazing.

RIVER

This is one of my favorite local areas and luckily it’s just a few minutes drive from our home, but we often get caught up in other plans and don’t make it over here on a regular basis.  Having a little extra time to explore a few corners of the area was just what I needed.  It recharged my creativity and reminded me how blessed I am to have the life I do.

There’s always room for improvement, but for the afternoon I was content to simply enjoy the beauty around me and have a little adventure.  I hope you find inspiration in these two images to take a few moments here and there to enjoy the beauty in your daily life as well.