Showing posts from May, 2016

Treasures Everywhere: The outside is your actual GAME BOARD!

Five times this week, I have engaged in geocaching.  Each one is different, and gives a different insight into the joy of this treasure hunt.  Here are some of the benefits I found hunting geocaches this week:

1) Found a different part of the Butte (that I have climbed regularly for the past 5 years)
2) Remembered the fallen soldiers on the top of Lazy.
3) Had a few minutes to kill, and my daughter found a tricky one in downtown Palmer.
4) Sparked an interest in a huge group of toddlers on a casual walk which became a driven hunt for treasures (Reflections Lake)

The main website for this sport is which is owned and operated by Groundspeak Inc.  To start on this treasure hunt you need to do just a few steps.

1.  Set up your account *You can use the app on most phones
     -I found that the free account was insufficient because it limits the type of caches based on the terrain and difficulty.  So, I paid the $9.99 for THREE months unlimited.  Much better.


Government Peak Trails

Surrounded by mountains, one can be very intimidated because of the shear height.  But, today after exploring Government Peak with an elevation of 4,781 feet, I saw four distinct stopping points that make it enjoyable for all levels of climbing ability.  Also, you can use this trail as a nice training trail and challenge yourself to each level.

Trailhead:  Government Peak Chalet or Mountain Streams Bed and Breakfast both will take you to all four levels.  

Level one.  A casual hike from the Chalet that starts at the stadium and head west toward Matanuska trail then after crossing the bridge and up a little hill, you will see a sign to the right to begin up the Government Peak Trail.  Continue on until you see a trail that goes to the right and at the top you will see a picnic table and two nice chairs.  Enjoy a nice break and head back.  From the Mountain Stream Bed and Breakfast you can head the trail and find the same break with chairs.
Level two.  Keep up the Government Peak Race T…

Edmonds Lake

Loving to explore new to me trails, on Mother's Day the moms went out and scouted this fun easy hiking trail.  It is maintained and groomed in the winter months for skiing but make it for a nice forrest hike with a great lake view.

Trailhead: Park at Mirror Lake Day use off the Parks Hwy.  If you park close to the toilets, the trail takes off away toward Edwards Lake behind the toilets.

There is three major loops and thankfully they are marked (once you start on the trail) with signs that keep you on the right trail.  However, as you can see the one that goes over the lake is for "winter frozen lake only".

The trail even crosses a road.  Super easy to follow.

We made it to the lake.

As you can see the trail is muddy, but there is no motorized vehicles allowed on the trail.  We saw a Varied Thrush on the hike and many water birds!

It was also nice to go wander around Mirror Lake which has playground equipment and picnic tables.  Fun for everyone.

What's that up ahead? A BEAR!! How to be prepared and stay safe.

I have done alot of hiking and never had a bad bear encounters even if I have spotted many bears while hiking/biking.  However, it is better to be safe and wise to educate yourself and be prepared if ever in a scary situation.  
 Top Ten Bear Safety Tips
Here's some of the top things this Alaska Chick thought were interesting and good advice regarding bears.
1) Give kids a whistle to blow every 100 feet in dense/low visibility areas to not surprise a bear.  (adults too)
2) "Bear bells" are not effective unless running or biking because they are not loud enough when you're just walking.
3) Loose dogs often brings bears back to you.
4) Practice using your Bear Spray.  Use old expired cans to get used to how far they spray, etc. Cabelas' sells an inert cans to practice with.  Use short bursts until the bear retreats. You don't want to use it all too quickly because you might need to use it again. Bass Pro Shop has them on sale $29.97
5) Multiple people in your …

Thrive Outside Thursday

Thanks to Alaska Chicks, you will be seeing outdoor advice and tips here every THURSDAY.  Since I will be posting and encouraging you to GET OUTSIDE, you might want to know a bit about me.  This is my bio from the latest Thrive Outside hiking guide (it is in the process of being printed and will be available soon).
"Born and raised here in Alaska, Ella Embree, a happily married mom with three children, would rather hike, bike, or ski than be confined to  the interior of a house.  She feels like the mountains all around her hometown of Palmer call our her name, beckoning her to come and see the beauty.  Returning to Alaska after three years in grad school in Chicago and a ten year stay in South Africa, knowing where to go on an adventure was an obstacle that she had to overcome.  So, she started researching and dragging her friends on a variety of different hikes.  Ella's enthusiasm for the outdoor is contagious and she wants others to enjoy this stunning God-given place that …