Friday, March 9, 2012

Aurora Borealis Winter Train Trip

So before we make the big move back down to Texas in May, we decided to take a great Alaskan adventure in the interior. We flew up to Anchorage the day before the ceremonial start of the iditarod and were lucky enough to see a few mushers setting up before we hopped the Alaskan Railroad to Fairbanks. Our train trip was amazing. The winter setting was beautiful with so much snow and ice. We were also lucky enough to see quite a few moose, a herd of caribou and some Dall sheep. After spending a night in Fairbanks, where we walked to a delish Italian restaurant in the -20F weather, we headed 60 miles out of town to Chena Hot Springs Resort. This place was supposed to be a great place to see the lights. It did not disappoint! We were lucky enough to see a short but wonderful Aurora display the first night we were there (while standing outside in the -28 degree weather!). The next day it began snowing and proceeded to dump about 26 inches of snow the next two nights, so no visibility = no lights to see. While we were at Chena we enjoyed the natural hot springs, took a dog sled ride, checked out the ice museum/ice bar, and took a snow coach to check out the lights at a better vantage point up the mountain. Was such a cool trip! Here are just a few pictures of our adventure.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Winter Updates

It's been a while since we have posted about our Alaskan goings on! We have had a long but nice winter. Lots of snow. Great Christmas parties and lots of fun over the Winter break. It was nice to have a White Christmas for our last year here. These are a few of my favorite pics from the last couple of months.

In other news we have orders for Corpus Christi. MC is able to retire after this next unit, so we are buying a house and finally settling down for good. It will seem weird after moving around, but we are excited! House hunting begins on Spring Break, so hopefully we will be able to find what we want while we are down visiting and enjoying the sun. Right before Spring Break we have a trip to the interior planned to see the Northern Lights. Hopefully we will have a lot of great pictures to show!

Leaving Sitka on May 20th and planning on documenting our Canadian/American road trip on the blog. Stay tuned for details!

Monday, August 22, 2011

August updates

This summer is just flying by. We've been busy hiking and enjoying the rain (HA!). Girls camping weekend called off this past weekend due to weather. Boo! MC was able to go down to Texas for a few days. Did some fishing so I thought I would post a few pics of that too. MC enjoying Texas!
The guys with some tilefish they caught.
View from a part-way hike up Verstovia
Me up on Harbor Ridge
View from top of Gavin Hill

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Busy July

Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau
MC standing in front of glacier
The "Million Dollar Bridge" in Cordova
The family during an ATV tour on Kruzof

So July has really flown by. I spent the first few weeks in Corpus Christi working for Dr. Mott (which was a nice little break from Sitka even if I was working most of the time!). While I was gone, MC went to Cordova for work, which is north of here. Got to see a glacier pretty close up. Very cool. My parents are here now, and we are doing the tourist thing. Here are a few pictures of what we've been up to.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Back from Camping

A few land otters hanging out on the rock. There were about 5 or 6 more in the water.

Checking out my grilled cheese. The maiden voyage for our little camp cooker. Very handy and very delicious!

About to set out on our hiking/fishing adventure. It was super gorgeous. I had my bathing suit on underneath just in case we could catch some rays! By time we finished fishing and pulled up for our picnic the sun had gone away and the temp was back to low 50s...

So we are back from camping, and it was a huge success for my first time. We stayed at a beautiful cabin. Ventured over to some hot springs, boated around and fished. Saw lots of wildlife, including a whale breaching and a baby seal crying (which sounds like a devil baby-it was really crazy!). Thanks to our friend, Bert, who is a hunting guide, we hiked across another little island that I would never have thought to do by ourselves! I felt like a true Alaskan! This morning a group of otters swam by while we were sitting outside, so I took the kayak out for a closer look and got a few pics before I turned back (didn't want to disturb them too much!). Lots of fun and can't wait to do it again. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Smith Update

So I have been pretty bad at updating the blog! We've been keeping pretty busy here in Sitka. Had an awesome getaway in California Wine Country with my sister in May. MC and I also just got back from Vegas. It was really cool because MC's parents were able to meet us there!

Time really just seems to fly by. I cannot believe we will be leaving here in less than a year. So much still to see and do! Sitka is an amazing place with so many cool activities I never would have thought would be here. A couple of weeks ago they had a Texas Country concert with Kyle Park and Cory Morrow for a fundraiser for Autism Speaks. Who would have thought that would be happening up here? We definitely stay busy on this little island. Just wanted to post a few pics of what's been happening lately here. We are going camping this weekend, so I'll have lots of cool pics to post!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

March in Sitka

The weather here in Sitka has been cold but beautiful for the past few weeks. It's been sunny almost every day (which is why our city power is about to switch to emergency generators because our source of hydropower is at dangerously low levels due to no rain!), which has been super nice but has been threatening to end any day now (which is fine with me at this point because I highly value my electricity!).
We were lucky enough to enjoy at least one last nice weekend before the next round of liquid sunshine. MC went out camping on Friday at one of the cabins off of the island and had a great time. I didn't go because I already had tickets for a whale watch cruise for Saturday morning, which was awesome. Perfect time of year because the herring fishery is about to kick off here in Sitka, which brings in a lot of whales. Weather was nice, waters were calm. Saw lots of whales (none breaching unfortunately), tons of sea otters and sea lions. Very cool. Here are a few pics from our weekend adventures. MC went out fishing with some friends last weekend and they caught lots of rockfish and halibut so I had to throw a pic of that in too.