Thursday, July 26, 2012

Our Cousins Across the Pond

Jamie on the Symphony Lake Trail 2010
Many of you may remember Jamie from our first year of trekking together. She and her family moved to Scotland and their presence has been missed. She told us they'll be back though... they didn't sell their house here in Anchorage.

Since their move, their family has grown with the addition of a second son and for the past year she's been running a family walking group similar to Trekkers. She also recently started an outdoor playgroup like Skedaddle. Here are some pictures she's sent of our cousin group's adventures from the other side of the world... what Trekkers might look like in the UK. I love the one her son took from the seat of their chariot and the idea for a Teddy Bear Picnic is a grand one!

Looking for slugs

View of the trail from the Chariot

Snack time

Teddy bear picnic

Spencer Loop

It was another positively phenomenal day for hiking; great times for all! 14 families set out to do part or all of the Spencer Loop trail, which is a 5k ski trail.


 I don't know what it is about this area, but I think that doing these trails in the summer is fun and a different challenge. Things look so completely different without tracks and snow and it affords a different perspective on the landscape. Nothing looks the same when there is grass taller than you are on either side of the trail!

There are two main ways to get to Spencer Loop--- the Hillside Ski Area or the South Blvouac trailhead. We started at Hillside as it is a short jaunt to get there.

 You have many options here on multi-use trails. Given the number of strollers in our group, we stayed on the Gasline trail and then turned into the upper Spencer Loop. The group quickly broke up into a few subgroups of mostly strollers and those with toddler walkers.

 Instead of heading straight to the South Bvlouac trailhead (over the bridge) we bore right to stay on Spencer Loop. The kiddos were excited to see the south fork of Campbell creek either way!

Most of the hike is on heavily wooded trails with tall grasses and trees on either side. There are trail markers along the way, though none definitively say that you are at a specific point. Most of the group went a little over 2 miles. Others decided to use the cut off trail to complete a smaller loop.

Many puddles and mud were romped in along the way. Thank goodness this was right before the cars.

Post hike, many parents and kiddos stayed in the parking area for a mini-picnic. The sunshine made everyone want to stay as long as possible. Let's hope this weather streak continues.

Please join us next week. Check meetup for details.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Arctic Valley- Rendezvous Peak

Hiking in Alaska on a sunny day is amazing. Hiking above the treeline on a sunny day? Beyond measure. Today, four families hiked in Arctic Valley on the Rendezvous Peak trail. Across the small gorge we were spotted by one AOFN Mother and her Mother hiking sans kiddos. We even ran into the Eagle River Dad's group, which was quite fun for all. We discussed some trail action in Eagle River in the future as all the kiddos got along so well. Hiking in Alaska forges connections wherever you go!

Arctic Valley is always a favorite of mine, particularly on a day like today. From Anchorage it is a fairly short drive off of Arctic Valley Road and on up to the Arctic Valley ski area. Plants and flowers are abundant as is wildlife, streams and a plethora of hiking options.

 The only way to go is up-- so up we went. The kiddos took turns riding versus hiking,  stopping for snacks and to throw rocks and to take in scenery.

There is a bridge that crosses over the main stream at the beginning of the hike; there is also a cross over later in the trail. We turned around before this point to ensure we had smooth sailing the rest of the way down.

After hiking up past a large area to stop for a break, we decided to hike back down for lunch. The kids had a ball watching some older kids running up and down the hill and enjoying some lovely sugar snap peas!

After heading back down it was a must to stop at the stream yet again and dip our toes in (and throw some rocks).

Sitting on rocks in the gentle stream while basking in sunshine is my idea of a wonderful morning.

Obviously, this person was taking advantage of the nice weather and wind as well.

Please join us again next week. Hopefully we will have another "scorcher" of a day!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Russian Jack Trails

 About 20 of us set out from East High School on this Thursday's Trek.  It was quite grey and overcast, but everyone seemed to have a smile on their face.  It was a sort of "choose your own adventure" walk as there are so many trail options in Russian Jack.  I left little chalk markers, just in case anyone got lost on the way back!

It seems that we have many more boys than girls in the group right now.  Two babies in utero joined us and one of those is a confirmed girl!  

 Some children rode in the their strollers to avoid the rain and mosquitoes.  Other kiddos ran, walked, rode on shoulders or biked. 

This trail system wanders through the trees and crosses over little streams.  It is a wonderful place to explore with children.  Bring bug spray and stay to the right on the trails as this is a place frequented by bikers.  

 I hope you join us next week.  We always have all speeds and levels of fitness on these hikes and walks.  If you have a favorite trail, please email us through the site or our facebook page.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Powerline Pass to the German Bridge

We were all a bit shocked to see that it was a mere 44 degrees F at the Glen Alps parking lot. Many were discussing the irony of it being summer but wearing a lot of winter gear. Many Chariots and other strollers were utilized to keep the wee ones snug and warm.

13 families set out on the hike this morning, which quickly broke up into small groups. It always seems like the kiddos being carried or in the stroller tend to move a little faster than toddler pace. As such, 4 families made it to the German Bridge. The rest of the families had a blast exploring the trail and watching for wildlife.

The trail was in great condition, with only a handful of places that were water-filled or muddy. Rain boots and gortex shoes were well placed.

From the parking lot, it is a 5 mile round trip hike to the bridge. Powerline pass is open with many views of a creek, wildlife spotting, trees and mountains galore. While it is so close, I often forget just how gorgeous it is to be there. As one Mama put it, we are so lucky to be able to go on a hike like this! Well said.

At the bridge, the kiddos stretched their legs (the two that walked the whole way seemed still energized), threw rocks into the river,  and ran around exploring. It was a great sight to see how much they loved the water.

The walk back was uneventful and gorgeous. Many wee ones fell asleep in the stroller affording parents the ability to take in the sights.

 Thank you for all who braved the 'cold' to join us!