Life In Alaska

The Last Frontier. Alaska holds a special place in my heart–I spent four years in college in Anchorage, seven summers in Bettles and one winter in Fairbanks. I shared my adventures on my blog so that friends and family could stay connected and I left them here so you could see a small part of Alaska.


Autumn arrives early in the Arctic

As I walked towards the water-filled gravel pit early one morning last week, a sound filled the air that I hadn’t heard since spring–the honking of Canada geese. Canada geese don’t spend the summer in Bettles, Alaska, they only pass through on their way to the North Slope in the…

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Arctic Tern Egg

Arctic tern eggs are camouflaged extremely well. I spent nearly twenty minutes searching for this egg that I knew was in this area and was extra careful not to accidentally step on it. The nest did contain two eggs a few days before but was now abandoned. Can you find…

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Transit of Venus

Today I witnessed an incredible event that will not occur again in my lifetime–the transit of Venus across the face of the sun. The next time this rare astronomical event will occur is 2117. Venus was a small dot barely visible to the naked eye (through a welder’s helmet) as…

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Arctic Grown Salad

Tonight the first salad of the summer completely grown above the Arctic Circle graced the table. The vegetables were planted the beginning of May in my greenhouse. Arctic grown lettuce, spinach and radishes With almost 24 hour sunlight and near 80 degree temperatures, my vegetables are growing rapidly. Soon the…

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Signs of Spring

The last few days have been filled with signs of spring. The first rain shower of the year allowed the creation of the first rainbow–a complete half circle. Migratory birds are starting to make an appearance but only a few–a handful of Canada geese, one sandhill crane and a couple…

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Twilight encroaching on northern lights

The northern lights danced across the star-studded sky last week but this time twilight was encroaching–even at 2 a.m. Outlines of trees on the northern horizon were visible against the midnight-blue sky that only permitted the brightest stars to shine. Northern Lights with glow of twilight on northern horizon Pure darkness will not…

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Life in a Dry Cabin

When was the last time you were thankful you had a flush toilet? A shower in your house? How about running water? Showers, flush toilets, dishwashers and running water are often taken for granted. We don’t think about them until they stop working and we have to go without. Living…

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Bettles: A small town north of the Arctic Circle

Tis the season of spring migration and as birds return to their northern summering grounds, I return to my summering grounds in Bettles, Alaska. Located almost 30 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Bettles is a small town on the banks of the Koyukuk River south of the central Brooks…

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Snow dominates in Bettles

Snow. Snow. And more snow. Over 100 inches of snow fell in Bettles over the winter and has settled into about four feet of snow. All the buildings are capped in several feet of snow while yards look amazingly clean with everything buried under the snow. The snow is hiding…

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Old Bettles Ski

Located downriver about six miles from Bettles is Old Bettles—orginally called Bettles until the new Bettles was built and after that it was referred to as Old Bettles. We decided to ski down there on the winter trail instead of the river. A well-established mushing trail made for fast skiing on the 11.5-mile round…

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