Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chester Creek Trail from Tikishla Park

25 + = perfect temperature for a winter walk this morning. I'm really liking the 10:30 start time. Just that half hour during the winter gives us so much more light. There were 6 moms and 8 kiddos out today, with a combination of carrying in ergos, pushing stollers and pulling sleds. Some of the toddlers did their own trekking as usual. Mine fell asleep in the Chariot so I got in a good workout.

We were out for almost and hour and a half. Those of us who were moving faster probably covered about 4 miles. Not bad for walking in snow pushing strollers. We followed the Chester Creek trail, a paved multi-use bike trail that is groomed for x-country skiers during the winter. The group trekked from Tikishla Park and turned around before we hit the tunnel under Ingra. This section of the trail is flat, parallels Chester Creek and is lined with many little playgrounds and parks along the way. Some of the toddler trekkers stopped at one of them to get in a little play time.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


With this freezing rain comes the absolute need for parents to wear shoes with proper traction. Your child is only as safe as you are. Ice grippers, cleats, crampons or studs are all ways to keep yourself and your little ones out of harm's way. Weather your on the trail, walking your neighborhood or simply carrying you child out to the car they are a necessity. If you fall, so does your kid. It is also important if you are pregnant.

Many stores around town offer reasonably priced gripper/cleats that you can attach right to your shoes or boots. While other shoes you can buy locally or online, such as Icebugs, already have built in studs. Skinny Raven will put studs in the shoes of your choice for free if you purchase a pair from them or they will charge you a reasonable $10 (at least that was the fee last year) to put studs in a pair you bring from home. If you know a senior citizen, they will do their's for free.

I love my Icebugs. I just wore them on super slick sidewalks walking or should I say being walked by my big lab who pulls like heck and I felt totally secure. The only downside is the cleats are permanent. I need to be totally prepared to leave the house when I put them on or otherwise they would do some damage to my wood floors if I walked around the house with them on. They do have rubber around the studs though so that if you were to go into a grocery store with them you won't slip and fall once you hit the tile floor which is the downside of cleats/grippers.

Friday, December 2, 2011

RE-Post by Popular Demand - A Family Tradition

Many have asked for this information again lately. Here's the post from last year:


A New Family Tradition

Our family hit the trails today, but our goal was different than usual... we were hunting for the perfect Christmas Tree. Yes you can cut your own Charlie Brown Christmas tree for free in the Chugach National Forest. Here are there rules for harvesting from their website:
  • All areas of the Chugach National Forest on the Kenai Peninsula are open, with the exceptions of Portage Valley and Turnagain Pass. The Portage closure extends from the Seward Highway to Portage Lake. The Turnagain Pass closure extends from just north of the Turnagain Pass Rest Area (at MP 57 from Anchorage; MP 70 from Seward) to the Bertha Creek Campground (MP 61.5 from Anchorage; MP 65.5 from Seward).
  • Each household or organization is allowed one tree from the Forest. No permits are required to cut trees for personal use. However, permits are required to cut trees for commercial purposes. The free trees cannot be sold, bartered or used in any commercial-type exchange for goods.
  • Be certain you are on land managed by the Forest Service.
  • Cut trees at least 150 yards (450 feet) away from main roads, picnic and campground units, administrative facilities, trails, and bodies of water.
  • Do not fell trees into streams or other bodies of water. Cut trees as close to the ground as possible.
  • Do not lop off the tops of trees higher than 20 feet in order to get the good parts.
  • Follow off-road zoning regulations. Select your tree thoughtfully, to avoid unsightly bare spots.
We went to the Johnson Pass area and on the way down and back saw dozens of Dahl sheep. We didn't have snow shoes with us, but would suggest it. Don't forget the camera!

For closer tree cutting, we've heard you can go to Fort Richardson. You do not need to be military, but as with the Chugach National Forest, have to follow their rules. The military does require you to get a permit, which can only be obtained during regular office hours M-F. More info can be found by clicking here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Coyote Trail from Abbott Loop Community Park

After an early winter cold snap, today's above freezing temps were a welcome treat! 2 dads, 13 moms and 17 kids hit the Coyote Trail. We started at Abbott Community Park off of Elmore. As you can see from the trail marker there are a myriad of trail options out there as it is tied in with the Campbell Tract, Bicentennial Park and the Hilltop ski trails. With the exception for the hill at the very beginning of the trail the rest of the terrain is completely flat. As we trekked the sun rose higher and higher over the trees. Some babes were worn, while many were pulled in sleds and still others pushed in chariots or jogging strollers on this wide trail. We encountered many a dog walker and saw a group of snow bikers heading out before us, a true multi-use trail. 

Through a typo on the meetup page we started at 10:30 this morning instead of our usual in-town 10 am start time. It seemed to work better and give us a little more sunshine on these short winter days. It looks like we might make this our permanent start time for the rest of the winter season.