We have had a long mild fall with a lot of rain. It's brought on a leaky roof, a lot of mud and some good times. Here is Kaya after winning 2 medals at a recent cross-country race.
The dogs have been enjoying some pull time. Here are Sunny and Taxi after a nice muddy run.
Here is a closer look at Leo the Mud Monster.
Federico has been hard to capture on film lately with his busy football and school schedule. His team is in the state finals this weekend and he's pretty excited.
I went on my first moose hunting trip. We didn't see many live moose, but we came upon a few already dead ones.
An early snowfall lead to some unexpected fun. The kids just couldn't wait to go play in it when we they woke up in the morning.
The still golden leaves led to some cool trees with interesting color combinations.
I got to go on my earliest season ski day ever and made some pretty fun tundra turns.
All this fun eventually melted away and now we're in a holding pattern for more. Cross your fingers.
The leaves are falling and the weather is wet, wet, wet. Looks like the end of summer is here. We managed to fit in 2 more camping trips: one to Spencer Glacier and one to Denali National Park. Federico, our Italian exchange student has arrived for the year, was able to join us for both trips. Here he is at Spencer Glacier getting his feet wet for the first time in Alaska.
Here is Kaya collecting some fresh glacier water.
The kids had a lot of fun flying kites with the almost constant wind coming off the glacier. Leo.
Federico is a kicker for the high school football team. He never wasted a moment practicing his kicks.
The whole gang with the glacier in the background.
Federico showing off his new American life: Football, soccer, skiing, dog mushing, and card playing.
Enjoying the fire at Denali.
Leo communing with one of the Denali sled dogs.
Unfortunately for Federico, the kids have really warmed up to him. Fortunately for me, he is their new jungle gym.
There is snow on the mountain tops and in the next couple of months we'll hopefully have skis on our feet and dogs pulling us down the trail. In the mean time we have lots of house projects, to finish puzzles to make. and football games to watch.
Alaskan Summers can sometimes seem very short. Packing in as many activities into these warmer months brings out the manic side of our personalities. Biking, hiking, rafting, and fishing have been the name of the game lately.
We found a new board walk and bike path to ride out by Portage.
Leo decided that he wanted to pull the chariot for a mobile lemonade stand. That idea was quickly forgotten and turned into chariot rides for Kaya
The bike gang just finishing a ride out Eklutna Lake road.
When the sun is shining, cooling off out at the mud flats offers a bit of relief. The flats out past reflections lake in towards Palmer are a great one. As Kaya demonstrates how muddy you can get.
The kiddos sitting on top of Harp during our annual trek up that mountain.
We continue to get as much time on the raft as possible. Kaya snuggles with Nisha on the boat during another rafting/camping trip on Eagle River.
We went to the Kasilof River to get our salmon for the year. Nicki got to come this time and did pretty well netting those fish.
We packed into Hanging Valley lake and spent a few nights. We hiked above it and got the kids to cooperate for a nice family photo.
We dusted off the raft a few weeks ago. Traditionally we take it out on Mirror Lake first to make sure everything is in working order. Here is Leo rowing his sister and a couple of friends around. Goggles are a must.
Leo is also here to demonstrate proper raft-propelled water skiing.
Taking other families down rivers is one of the highlights of owning a boat. The Taygans are one of our regulars. Will and I are here enjoying a selfie on a sunny day in Alaska.
We did our first rafting/camping trip on Eagle River. The always ready to go Gorskis were our guests on this trip. There are a lot of great gravel bars on this river and this camping spot is about 8 miles from our house.
Here is Kaya accusing a guilty Tristan of something. Probably splashing to much water with that paddle.
Nicki and Tristan moving gear at the take out. There can be a lot of logistics getting 4 adults and 5 kids down a river, but it's always worth it!
Leo and I had a great time finishing our first Triathlons. Kaya and Nicki say they want to do it next year. What a great sport and good excuse for exercise and family fun.
Summer is in full swing here now. We are loving Nicki's new part time schedule and are getting out as much as possible. Nicki has had some time to pursue her art work again. Here are a couple of paintings she made for her mom on Mother's Day.
It's getting more difficult to get the dogs out because of the warmer temperatures we have been experiencing. Every once in awhile the mornings are cool enough for them to pull the scooter around for a couple of miles.
Leo finished another year of scouts and is excited to be moving into his Bear year in the fall.
We've been hiking a lot already. Here is Kaya on top of Mt Baldy.
I'm still squeaking in ski trips, though they are getting more difficult as the snow dwindles. I snuck in this bowl (to the right of the tallest peak, Round Top) which I've been staring at from Leo's School yard for the past 3 years.
Oma and Opa are here for awhile. We went on an epic bike ride with them that included stops at parks, restaurants, ice cream shops and 25 miles of riding.
Kaya finally managed to get the training wheels off. Here favorite thing to do is leave skid marks on the road in front of the house.
Wow! It's been almost a year since I posted anything here. I guess Facebook kind of took over during that time, but now that I've deactivated my account it is time to do some occasional posts on the family Blog. Here is a little photographic synopsis of the highlights from the past 11 months.
Leo and Kaya are now hiking some bigger mountains. Here we are on top of Harp which is a 2,600 foot climb over a mile and a half. Nice work little guys
Kaya participated in her first backpacking trip. Here she is walking the 6 miles out and carrying her sleeping bag, water, and stuffed animal.
We also did our first overnight rafting trip with our own gear and the kids. Oma and Opa were great mentors for putting together this sort of trip.
Nicki's brother and sister in-law came out for a trip and we made it out to a new spot called Reed Lakes. It's a fabulous hike out by Hatcher Pass if you ever get the chance.
Both kids learned to swim this year. Leo's having a great time looking at things under water.
Leo continues to be a voracious reader.
Despite the poor snow conditions this past winter we still got out quite a bit. Both kids entered junior dog mushing events, this is Kaya.
We were able to do our, now annual, Manitoba Mountain Ski trip with 4 other families. It was once again a fun and crazy kid fest with some back-country skiing mixed in.
My parents came up for spring break and for the fisrt time did not put them to work building something. We had a lovely but cold time in Seward.
We also were fortunate enough to get a trip to Hawaii and enjoy all the things a warm sea has to offer.
The highlight for Leo and me was the opportunity to do a Night snorkel with manta rays.
I'll try and post here a little more often as fun things happen up here in Alaska. I hope all is well with you.