New Favorite and Worse Hike... Bear Valley

Bike Training:  first week I have learned the road etiquette and put in 77 miles.  Which is what I will need to be doing in a day (approximately), so I have a long way to go.  *love the fresh swept trail along the Glen Highway and Moose Run golf course.

Late Friday night, after playing a come-back-from nowhere game (which I lost), we decided to drown our sorrows on a morning hike.  I am still new but knew I didn't want Flattop, asked the world-wide-web and two friends chirped in and suggested the same hike

BEAR VALLEY (click on the name for google maps)

So, off we went at 9 am.  During springtime, it is best to hike early because the sun can rapidly thaw the ice which furthers melting and erosion to happen quickly and you could "post-hole".

There suggestion was the best.  Sun and just a slight breeze at one part, but when we crested the ridge it was calm. Just look at it.

*Note, there are only FOUR parking spaces (carpool is a must)

Remarking about my new favorite hike, m…

Anchorage is So Bike Friendly

One of the hardest parts of leaving Palmer is that I had so many opportunities to be outside.  However, a little gem that I didn't realize (born and raised in Alaska with COUNTLESS errands in Anchorage) how bike friendly it is.  There is the mountain bike trails and the multi-use paved trails.  Even some of the major roads have bike lanes.

I am trying to train for the "Sea to Shining Sea" and I now consult this map before going out and driving around.  I think I am becoming a bike commuter first.  Someday, I will be a bike tourer.  
***Update*** I went out twice and didn't have ANY near death experiences.  I was able to bike 23 miles that were mostly flat.  But, little by little I feel a bit stronger.  When I see the sweeper trucks, I want to hug them and tell them how much I appreciate them.  Anchorage did put an amazing amount of gravel on the roads.  

3 new additions for the Sea to Shining Sea

1) I got a BIKE.
When I decided to do this, I didn't have a bike.  As you might have read yesterday, I still have some learning to do.  Someone who read the challenge just had a bike that was too small for her (she is 5'8) and perfect for me 5'5.  I test and rode it and it was a fit.  So, I will be riding a Surly Long Haul Trucker.  Yeah! 

2) I got a Milepost
Lael used the Milepost to give her some hints and directions about Alaskan Roads.  I have renewed my one from the library.  But yesterday, I got The Milepost at a thrift store.  So, I can take just the pages of information I need for the journey.

3) I got a Lemon bike bell
I am sure all touring bikes have got it wrong.  This is my favorite accessory so far.  James got it and it says, "Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy".  Every time I ring the bell, it feels like James love is spreading all over.  I get this huge grin on my face.  I am so loved. 

Not dead...Yet. Answered prayer

My bookshelf and blogs have been filled with basic biking information.  "The Essential Touring Cyclist" even had a chapter of basic bike skills when on the road.  I have been diving into books.
Well, when my tires hit the payment, today was definitely an adventure.  An adventure of DEATH.  I first misjudged pulling out and crossing the street in front of ongoing traffic because I thought I had the acceleration of a car (not yet anyway).  
Then, as I was trying to stay off the sidewalks (meant for walking) and into the road, I veered a little too much to the right and was stuck in the middle of traffic with cars racing by me on either side.
Finding encouragement in a "Bike Lane" sign posted ahead, I lost my proper tire placement and rammed into a bike curb nearly jolting me off the bike.  However, I am finding my little green machine being able to handle jarring and it thankfully lopped unto the sidewalk.  
So, a dear friend of mine who read about my upcoming bike j…

Sea to Shining Sea : Ella's 1000 mile Bike Adventure Across Alaska

Spurred on by the challenge of the 1000 mile bike across Alaska by Lael Adventure, I caught the burning desire to do this myself.  I have never biked more than 25 miles, but I have enjoyed riding with James on our tandem.  Life was full of challenges last year, as most of you know.  So, I am taking this opportunity to reconnect with James (I will be doing the Homer Portion on the tandem-life is better together).  I also need to bond with my new church family and I am excited to have two or more people join me on the Valdez portion.

During the long route, I know that my appreciation and trust in God will grow.  I am looking to unplug and connect with Him through prayer. He is my guide and my shelter.  I LOVE PEOPLE.  I can't wait to see and encourage others all around the state. 

The Plan: 
Homer to Anchorage   237 miles  Tandem with James
Anchorage to Palmer   56 miles
Palmer to Glacier View   65 miles
Glacier View to Valdez    210 miles  Clear Water Church friends joining me

Why I workout outdoors?

Why I workout outdoors?
When I was a mother of preschoolers (3. Under the age 4) I was horrified at a simple gesture my eldest daughter made. She popped on the scale and asked if she was fat?  "What??"  This was totally caught by being in the locker rooms at a gym.  The little ladies and guys that come up after us are listening and mimicking everything we do (the good and the bad).  I thankfully found a running partner and traded sleep for a good workout.  Tag-team parenting when I couldn't have a babysitter.

Life is different now.  I could just jump to a gym not carrying the little ones in tow.  But, my attitude is so different.  Surrounded by the nature, I am drawn into a peace that is not mandated by the mirrors in a gym.  I can hear, smell, and experience life as it happens.  Not watching TV that is removed.  Being engaged in the natural world, I not only get a workout to promote a healthy body, but I can see the delicate handiwork of nature.  For example, the snow …

Palmer-Moose Creek Railroad trail

So, if you missed the group hike, this post will tell you all about our Moose Creek-Palmer Railroad trail.
Park at the Moose Creek Campground heading down the Glenn Hwy a few miles out of Palmer, Alaska.

**newly updated thanks Google but the trailhead has a point now on google maps.

They have an outhouse but the gates are locked until the summer.

The craziest thing is that there are two well worn 4 wheel trails to the Moose Creek.  However, DO NOT GO TO THE BRIDGE OR THE RIVER.

Carefully cross the Glenn Hwy and you will see blue electrical tape around the birch trees and further down the trail will have the brown trail marker.

Once you cross the Glen Highway looking back you can see the trail marker.

The trail is unique and follows where the old railroad used to go to Sutton.  It is clearly marked until you get to a place when you look up and see some train tracks dangling from the cliff.

At that point, our model Juli points the way down a little gravel slide and then you connect back…