Some Talkeetnas bliss with Sherrie

Well, after spending so much time in the rain last summer with Sherrie in the Talkeetnas, we got our redemption this year . . . although it was a quick overnighter of the Bomber traverse with a return via the Snowbird Hut, it was so wonderful to be out, and so wonderful to spend a long day walking with one of my favorite people in the world!!!

From the Mint Trail parking lot
I just had to lay in the sun - I was exhausted from a super stressful hitch at work!!  Sherrie was so kind to let me relax and enjoy the time chatting and listening to the water pass by :-)
Was this really my first time at the Mint Hut?!?!

Ummm, holy beautiful place!!  I was amazed at how big and stunning this area is!!
Looking down on the hut as we ascended over Backdoor Gap
It wouldn't be the Talkeetnas without some scree :-)

Looking over at the Mint Glacier
Descending the Penniroyal Glacier
Ever a good samaritan, Sherrie recovers some old balloon trash!
Stunning on the other side as well, although doesn't look too kind to travel much further up valley
Looking down toward the Bomber Hut 

At the base of the climb to the Snowbird Hut . . . starting to sprinkle, but we didn't have much to complain about after such a stunning day of sunshine!!!!
View from the Snowbird

Heading up the Snowbird Glacier in the morning

And the clouds continued to part as we walked into them, with sun illuminating us all the way home!!

Soltis wins the fashion award
We're so cute!!  So great to get out with Sherrie, even if only for a night!

Alyeska headwall traverse

Although I didn't get out to explore as much as I would have liked to this summer, I did have a chance to do some of my favorite classic Girdwood things, like the Alyeska headwall traverse - we did it a little early in the season (late July), which meant we had some snow-based technical tennis shoe downclimbing, but we made it through and celebrated with some 7G fancy drinks!

Bobby nearing the "extreme" section 
Ummm, I'd really like to come back this winter and re-explore the lines behind me!!!

My lovely Girdwood below - I can even see my house!!!  What a wonderful idyllic little valley!!
Nothing like a fancy drink and a tram ride down!
The best part was that, after the hike, I had some inspiration left over and went for a bike ride on the new resort trails . . . hike a bike to the top of chair 4, techy downhill, and then a good dinner . . . not a bad way to spend a last day before going back to work!!!  This was definitely a great two weeks off!!!

Lake Clark National Park - exploration on SUP

Bobby and I decided to take his plane out to Lake Clark to use our new SUPs and explore a little . . . we found some stunning country, plentiful ideas for future trips, a little adrenaline, some peace and tranquility, and had a great trip overall :-)

Cook Inlet mud flats from the air - super awesome!

Twin Lakes - we had hoped to land here, but the only cub strip we could find was not suitable for the winds we had

Idyllic Port Allsworth

SUP exploring on Lake Kontrashibuna - about 3-4 mi from town up a super nice trail, with Tanalian Falls on the way!
Idyllic sunny day SUPping!
After our lake SUP, we decided to head down Tanalian River to Lake Clark . . . some folks had told us that "the kids raft it every summer" so we figured, how bad could it be?!?
Tanalian Falls - hence the portage :-)
Nearing Lake Clark, after the "harrowing" section of Tanalian River - glad to know we made it through alive!!

Headed for the lake, calm enough to stop for pictures!
Whew!  Relief :-)
Happily lake-side, adding the larger fin for flatwater efficiency

We flew over Tanalian River the next day - I think this was the roughest bit - a little intense for our 3rd time on SUP!!

Overview of Tanalian River - such a cool day!

Next stop: Telaquana Lake

We hiked a few miles upriver to SUP down Telaquana River down to the lake
Bobby, with a view toward the lake
Me headed down Telaquana River

Me on Telaquana Lake - super beautiful night - we totally nailed the weather!

Our super beautiful camp site!  Was a great place for a big fire later that night :-)

View of the section of Telaquana River that we SUPped, as well as our flight path toward home - stunning area!

Tordrillo views did not suck!
Looking down on the Triumverate Glacier - badass!!!

Summer SUP adventures

. . . and when I came back, it was summer.  It was time to run in Prudhoe Bay, time to wear flip flops, sit on the porch with smoothies and coffee, time to ride bikes, time to sleep in with the knowledge that there is no hurry for the day is long . . .

Probably the most random and fun thing of the summer was buying inflatable SUP and trying them out on a few Alaskan rivers . . . the first was Portage Creek - near home, mellow, gorgeous day, and a good river to get my sister out on a packraft for her first time!

From there, we stepped it up to Placer River, accessed by the Alaska Railroad.  We went with Rebecca, Tim, and Yuki in packrafts, and had a good time practicing with Yuki on the SUP for a bit more balance practice!  The rapids up by the bridge were pretty fun, and we had yet another great day!!!

Overall, a fun few days of exploring with a new toy!!!