Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Winter cabin camping

I am not a cold weather person. I suppose that's odd, seeing that I live in Alaska, but I do the best I can.

So when MM reserved the Dale Clemens cabin for Nov. 12, I wasn't worried. It was September at the time, and warm, and the Lost Lake Trail leading up to the cabin was in perfect running condition.

Fast forward a couple of months and I suddenly found myself dressed in winter running gear, a pack on my back, Yaktraxs strapped over my hiking boots and heading up a snowy trail for a night of winter cabin camping.

My goal: To make it up to the cabin (uphill the WHOLE way) without picking a fight with MM.

I thought it was a rather lofty goal, and I almost made it, too.

But the last hundred yards or so, when the trail became slick and MM placed his hand on my butt and literally pushed me up the last hill, well, the humiliation was too much--and I snarled.


The Dale Clemens cabin was recently remodeled and the interior sports new wood. It even smells new. We did our best to mess is up, scattering our gear all over and tracking snow over the clean floor.

Poor MM struggled with the obstinate stove while I ate pretzels and watched. This is why I like camping with MM: He does all the work and I daydream and read books, hee, hee.

The views from the cabin at sunset were awesome, and I mean totally and truly awesome.

We took a walk in the moonlight and the snow was silver, the mountains rising up so white and solemn that it was like looking at the face of God. It was silent and still, except for the wind; no one else existed but us.

The night was SO beautiful and magical except when I had to use the outhouse, which was ridiculously far (or so it seemed during that cold, cold time) from the cabin, so I drank as little fluids as possible and refused to brush me teeth (sorry, MM).

The next morning, more beauty:

Me and The Beebs ready to trek back to the trailhead (downhill the whole way--delicious!).

Notice how much heavier MM's pack is? I made him carry my laptop, hee, hee.

And the last view from the cabin door: Friggin' amazing.

Running: Seven miles in 25 mph winds yesterday--not a pretty picture

Writing: My book! Is moving over to copy editing down in New York. That's pre-publication stage--scary!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Running with bears

Last week I ran Exit Glacier Road, which is closed off from traffic for the winter.

About two miles up the road we came across these:

Bear prints. They followed the road for miles, and it was SO cool to run along the same path as a bear.

The tracks were fairly fresh, and when I turned around at the five mile mark, there were new tracks on the way back, too.

I loved that while I was running in one direction following one bear's prints, another, smaller bear was walking in the other direction following MY prints. It felt magaical, as if I were connecting with some wild and primal part of myself and the world.

The next day we got hit with a heavy snowfall, and I'm pretty sure that all the bears are tucked away in their cozy dens for the next few months.

Running: 1048 so far this year
Reading: "Anywhere But Here," by Mona Simpson. I've read this book at least five times and still love it.