Saturday, February 23, 2008

Soaring on Thermals

When I drove into Anchorage yesterday, at one spot along the mountains, there were one-two-three-four-five bald eagles soaring around in a tall cylindrical type of pattern, one "above" the other. Our warm weather (in the 40's for day-time highs) is creating thermal air drafts against the base of the mountains and near drop-offs like cliffs. We've lost almost all of our snow from the warm weather and we've got sloppy ice all over. What a bummer, only one week before the start of the Iditarod.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hello mooses!

It's been a couple weeks since I've seen the mooses. Their hoofprints are all over the snow on the lawn, in the brush, and in the woods, but I have had tons of catering work these past few weeks and haven't been around much. This morning, when I let Little Girl outside, she caught sight of them right away. They were in their usual spot, nibbling on the apple tree over by the tennis court.

Little Girl ran out with her tail wagging and barked and pranced from about 20 yards away. Clearly, she had missed them, too! I was glad to see mom and Junior, the bull calf. It'll be his birthday in about 6 weeks--he's almost out of short pants! He looks good--he's put on a lot of weight, which is great for late winter. This summer he had thin hips and narrow rump. Now his belly and hips have filled out and his chest is broader, too. It was grey light on snow and brush, so I couldn't make out if he'd lost his small rack. I assume so.

They put up with Little Girl approaching, sniffing their tracks, then leaping back, for about 10 minutes, then they decided to mosey on and walked back into the woods.

After I finished catering the weekly luncheon for the Palmer Lions club, Little Girl and I went for a walk, back on our trails in the woods. We saw lots of movement of all kinds of critters --moose tracks, bunny tracks, bird hop tracks, neighbor dogs on their rounds, and also a couple of snow-white ptarmigan on the ground.

Frosted trees, a world of whiteness

Last night we hit -26 at the B&B--Or should I say B&Brrrr ?! I think that's the coldest it's been since I moved here 5 years ago. Usually our overnight lows might dip to negative ten or so, but this was just really dang cold! I know, it's nothing like Fairbanks' low temps, but we're nearly sea-side and are supposed to be temperate!

Our clear, cold temps have created a lot of beautiful hoarfrost, so everything outside is coated in whiteness. So gorgeous to look at from inside, next to the fire!

In this photo, coming up the driveway which is perfectly clean and white, Little Girl is hunting mice or rabbits off to the side.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Do you like the new website for Alaska Garden Gate B&B?

Yay! This past week, we just completed a huge overhaul of my new website, --Thanks to my old friend, Dave, and his snappy team at for all the great work! My pastor's son, Nick Hand ( ), is responsible for the new videos of all the rooms and the young-genius know-how to make all those web images and videos rotate and play.

New features include activities and excursions information for our area, recipes, a blog on Tips & Itinerary ideas, as well as this blog. There are many new ways for you to share your comments, whether about the B&B or about things to do in the Mat-Su Valley that will help other guests with their travel plans. Alaska can still be a bit of a mystery and a somewhat hard place to plan a trip to, so it's my goal to take as many headaches out of it for you as possible, by putting a lot of the info and tools you need in one place, on my website.

What do you think? Is it user-friendly for you? Can you find what you need? Does it tell you what you want to know about the B&B and what there is to do in our area? Did you encounter any problems or gliches? Don't hesitate to let me know--you can post a reply here or e-mail me at