Category Archives: camping

Hunting, what really happened

My boys went hunting last weekend and, because I wanted to aid in the successful stuffing of our freezer for the winter (without having to actually do anything), I decided to help them pack.

My job was food. As I wish to see them happy, I asked what they wanted.

They said:

“Shredded beef, roast beef, turkey, ham…”

“Hamburgers, hot dogs…”


“That’s it? You aren’t forgetting anything”

“Oh right. And cheese. Thanks Mom”

“What are you going to eat for breakfast?”

“Can we have Poptarts?”

I have not been so happy to not be on a camping trip in a while. Think about it. The lot of them in an 11 x 12 foot camper on a diet of protein and sugar.

good times
good times

Anyway, I packed what they asked for and, because I love them, included condiments, a loaf of bread, and a selection from the popular food groups “chips” and “dips”.

I’m just caring like that.

(I also tossed in some food from the lesser known – more nutrient dense and life sustaining – groups, but that was only so I could unpack those same foods, untouched, a few days later.)

(I’m just ridiculous like that.)

Then, I sent them on their merry way and for the next 72 hours wallowed in the misery of my empty home pining for their return…


I sent them on their merry way and for the next 72 hours I did whatever the hell I felt like.

(I won’t go into wild details but suffice it to say Wine and Pinterest were involved.)

(It was awesome)

And then it was over. Waaaaaay too soon. My beloved family returned a day early.

Rained out, they said and wet they were.

But…funny thing…

I cooked vegetarian that night and, for the first time ever, guess what was missing.

Complaints and leftovers.


For those wondering, the weekend wasn’t a total bust. They came back with a grouse.

And ate it. Wrapped in bacon.


Reboot 2017

If you didn’t see it on my FB page, here is my husband’s explanation for my lack of blog last Monday:

Jolie is off grid. She and K took the pickup and camper Friday morning and went berry picking at Tangle lakes between Glennallen and Fairbanks. No mobile signal. They took 4 boxes of wine and assorted bottles of spirits. Wonder if they will come back with berries?

Anyway #alaskagirlskickass

For the record: We did get berries. GALLONS of berries.

What it means to be rich
This is wealth.
Fat Heaven
Fat Heaven
Berry Blood
The blood of our enemies…or berries.

We even found mushrooms.

"baby" King Bolete. They get MUCH bigger.
“baby” King Bolete. They get BIGGER. O.O

And the only booze we used up completely was the beer. (So there Mowgli.)

Yes. #alaskagirlskickass

For those wondering, beautiful Tangle lakes is 269.6 miles from my front door. It takes about five and a half hours to drive there (in summer) if you do it in one shot which, of course, requires:

A super-efficient car with a massive fuel tank (F350 carrying 4000lbs of camper? Yeah, no.)


A berry picking partner happy with 5.5 hours in a car (mine was not. In fact she made it clear that if I don’t promise to stop A LOT MORE next trip, there won’t be one.)

One of the rare occasions the travel natzi (me) allowed us to stop.
Sheep Mountain. One of the rare occasions the travel Nazi (aka me) permitted stopping.
Chugach Mountains (home)

Anyway, we made it in about six hours (can you guess who was pleased with that and who was not?)

6 hours.

270 miles.

Divided thusly:

90 miles of: hairpin turns, steep drop offs, impressive grades and stunning scenery you’re too scared to take your eyes off the road to enjoy.

90 miles of: reasonable roads that, from your perspective, are nectar of the gods and mind-blowing landscape you can appreciate without penalty of death.

90 miles of: a white-knuckle frost heaved roller coaster carved through more countryside that’s probably amazing but you are, again, too focused on not crashing to really take in.

I know. You have just now decided you are NEVER visiting Tangle lakes EVER.

But wait… it’s totally worth it. Just look:


It was still summer at my house. We literally drove into a change of season.
Woke up to a little termination dust Sunday
Woke up to a little termination dust (aka snow) Sunday. Far left mountain top.

What’s more, it’s fun.

No kids, no husbands (we love you family! But…) all the berries you could want (we wanted GALLONS evidently), hiking trails forever, fire, wine, stars (Aurora one night) and (because we are complete princesses) a generator, heater, TV and Mama Mia DVD.

This is the Alaskan equivalent of a spa weekend.

(For the record: Actual spa weekends are a thing here as well)

And to top it all off, NOT ONE BEAR. Which is weird because they aren’t called “Ber-ries“ for nothing.

It goes to show you that in Alaska, if you’re willing to work for it, there is plenty for everyone. No need to get in each other’s way.

(Yes Mr. Bear, you who trampled and robbed my raspberries last week, I’m talking to YOU. Lazy thief…)

And to my berry partner – please, please, please take me here again! I promise to drive slow, stop, smell roses…


Minding my head


Yes, this is why we camp. It’s good for the head. Though they probably meant something else here…


When it comes to camping the way I see it there are two ways a trip can go down: 1 as a restorative retreat and 2 as a surprising misadventure.

Type 1 weekends leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. This is good, very good.

Type 2, on the other hand, send you home a little shaken and a lot wiser (what does not kill me makes me stronger) but with one heck of a great story. And that, in it’s own way, is kind of good too. 

Can  you guess which type of outdoor experience this family is a magnet for? Here’s a clue: 


Good times for sure but not exactly relaxing and certainly events I always thought we could do with less of.

In fact, some summers I found myself thinking that a lot.

And out loud. 

Well, it took a massive move but it looks as though I’ve gotten my wish. Last weekend we went camping and it was completely *gasp* uneventful. It was even restful. In fact I think I would go as far as to call it peaceful. This trip was a quintessential type 1 outing. Possibly our first type 1 ever.


Everything went according to plan, the weather cooperated and all activities were tame and safe.

There was not one heart stopping moment the entire weekend.

Unless of course we count the night we went out for dinner. At a fancy little restaurant in the town nearest our campsite we discovered that our son, who trips over his tongue ordering fast food, turns into a foodie Cyrano de Bergerac if the restaurant has linen napkins and a maitre d’.

The chicken appetizer, if you please, and the special is intriguing would you tell me more about it?

I may ask him to order for me next time. Oh and yes, you read that correctly, we went out for dinner. Every night. I told you it was relaxing. 

And therein lies the problem, my weekend was very… nice.

Wild accidents are funny, shenanigans make good press. What am I to share with you this week? A contented sigh?

I’m sorry. Give me time. I’m sure all this normalcy is just a phase we’re going through… it will pass. Chaos will return…   

Until then….ahhhhh…


Papa Duck


No blog this week. Instead of writing, I spent the weekend watching Mowgli play Papa Duck:

Aren’t they adorable? While Mowgli keeps the ducklings in line, it’s my job is to take up the rear and make sure we return with the same number of riders we left with. It’s not so bad. I’m never expected to know the way and am rarely in the position to pull anyone out of the mud. The only task I’m shackled with is counting heads and as long as we keep it under 20, at that I’m a star.

So, sorry for the empty post.

But, in the immortal word of a druggie I once knew – at least I shared my trip.

Hope everyone has a beautiful week!