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Eagle & Symphony Lakes: Final Hike in Alaska

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Last Tuesday was our final day in Anchorage on this trip so before we packed up our belongings for the long looong flights home, we needed to get outside one final time.

So a 12-mile hike was obviously in the books!

Betsy took a day off work to hike with us (She told us that when she told her boss she was going to take a day off for hiking, they were like “Why are you telling us? Just go.” which reminds me of how amazing it is to live in a state where it is expected to be outside when there is good weather and hiking to do)  and we drove to the South Fork Valley Trailhead in Eagle River – about a 30 minute drive from downtown Anchorage.

The day called for a bit of rain, but we ended up with a slightly overcast hike in the beginning, and incredibly warm sunshine for the way back. I was regretting a long sleeve shirt almost immediately, and ended up taking off my hiking pants and finishing the hike in yoga pants.

While out on the trail, we came across 3 other people. Three. On a 12 mile, 4.5 hour journey. I absolutely love how you can find peace and alone-time anywhere, when Anchorage is such a big and crowded city.

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Back in Alaska: Honey Bear Hike

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Currently, I am back home in Anchorage for Anchorage RunFest. I say back home, even though I am not an Alaska native, because it’s been my most favourite place that I have ever lived. We made awesome friends up here, and got to explore and grow our love of the outdoors. Matt got to downhill ski, rock climb, and mountain bike. I got to cross-country ski and snowshoe. We both got to hike and backpack and experience true wilderness. It’s where I am the happiest.

So being back in Alaska for the first time in almost a year (11 months and 2 weeks but I didn’t keep a countdown or anything), I was desperate to get out on a mountain again. Luckily, Betsy (a fellow Carolinian who has made Alaska her home) is a great hiking buddy and she took me to a trail I never climbed in Bear Valley – only a 30 minute drive out of Anchorage during rush hour traffic.

The weather was incredibly sunny – the second evening of sun after weeks of rain – and would have been warm if it weren’t for the wind. We laughed at how our hair was blown around, and how our ears were so cold from the wind. Our hike was incredibly steep, and among catching up on life, we questioned why we’ve never acclimated enough to be hikers who don’t get out of breath.

Hiking to Williwaw Lake & Moose’s Adopt-a-versary!

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July 3 marked our 2 year anniversary of owning Moose Eleanor. At times, she is a pain-in-the-butt, but mostly she’s a wonderful addition to our family. She never fails to provide cuddles, play wrestling games, she’s always up for a hike or a backpacking trip, and she does a super job of protecting our porch. (No dog shall get within a 10 ft. radius without us being made aware!)

Rescuing an animal is such a rewarding feeling, because you give a dog a second chance at life. All of ours have been rescues (We got Sasha when she was 4 from a shelter in SC), and I couldn’t imagine them not being a part of our family or the possibility that they could be put down.

To celebrate her anniversary as a Stewart, Moose & I decided to hike to Williwaw Lake in the Chugach Mountain Range just outside of Anchorage.

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Celebrating the Summer Solstice: Hiking to Hidden Lake

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For Solstice Eve, we really wanted the chance to experience and maximize the long daylight. We had a lot of friends choose to go to the downtown celebration, which had a live band and is a big block party. We did that last year, but weren’t feeling up to it.

So, while we were Trailgating the Mayor’s Marathon (Our friend Alex ran), we came up with a gameplay with our friends Ryan & KK to go hike to Hidden Lake.

It was the perfect celebration of the longest day of the year.

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Hiking to the O’Malley Ridgeline

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Saturday, June 6th was National Trails Day, a day to celebrate our trail systems! There are so many amazing trails in Alaska, and all across the USA that I have loved exploring and hiking on.

To celebrate the day, Matt & I decided to take Moose on a more technical hike up to the O’Malley Ridgeline. The weather was in the 50s, just a little bit overcast. Perfect hiking weather, in my opinion.

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