A few weeks ago, we met up with some friends to explore the tide pools at Ft Abercrombie. Hopping around on those crazy jagged rock edges that collect the tide water into tide pools while wearing Allison in the Ergo was rather precarious, but we all survived and Rachel had a great time. It was pretty neat, actually, to see all those creatures up close. The naturalist there had buckets, nets, and guidebooks for us all to use. Rachel was incredibly disappointed that I was unable to help her catch a fish (a little sculpin; they were everywhere except in my net). Thankfully, the friend’s cousin was an instant pro at sculpin catching, so she helped Rachel procure one for the bucket.
A few weeks ago we set out for another one-night camping trip. Eventually, we will go on a real two night sojourn in the woods, but at least we are getting outside. We even went on a short gentle hike that accommodated my healing ankle.
All of the trailers from MWR were reserved for the long 4th of July weekend, so we ventured forth in our tent. Actually, Ft Abercrombie is “tents only” camping, so that worked out rather well. You can’t reserve camping sites in any of the Alaska state parks; they are all first come, first served. We didn’t know if there were even going to be spots open, but there were!
At Ft Abercrombie, there is one section near Monashka Beach that you can drive up right to and pitch your tent on a wooden platform. It would be a fantastic site for a group trip, but it is unshaded (read: lots of light at 11 pm). We instead camped at the walk-in sites near Lake Gertrude that are literally in the woods. There is no running water, and the Biffy (bathroom in forest for you) is across the parking lot, but the seclusion is amazing.
Rachel had a hard time falling asleep with the abundant light, despite the overcast skies and the canopy cover, but slept till 8:30 am. Allison fell asleep somewhat more easily, but awoke at 6 am (and, let’s be honest, a few times before that) and refused to sleep after her 6 am nursing session. All in all, camping in the tent went better than we had imagined, but we totally lucked out…overcast but no rain, very shaded site, etc., so we still want that trailer!
Allison usually takes 2 naps per day. This is wonderful, except when it is grocery shopping day, and you don’t leave for Safeway till 11:15. The weather was beautiful, so I packed us a picnic, complete with Allison’s booster seat, and we headed to a beach picnic spot in town. It was a brilliant idea. It would have been more brilliant if I hadn’t stepped into a hole hidden by long grass and sprained my ankle.
So a word to the wise: if you are headed to the picnic tables at Mill Bay Beach, step gingerly. And bring arnica cream and an ice pack.
Two weeks ago, we made our first Alaskan camping trip! It was also our first camping trip just the 4 of us. We rented a 13 ft travel trailer from MWR and hauled it approximately 7 minutes down the road to Buskin River State Recreation Site. There wasn’t a lot of hiking to be had, which is our preferred camping activity, but we did meander down to the beach and watch people fishing for salmon.
It was a good “shake down” trip which prompted me and Steve to compose a Camping Pack List while we sat around the campfire after the girls went to bed. We did, however, remember the crucial items of s’mores material (Rachel calls them Mores) and tortellini. Tortellini has become a traditional camping dinner for us, and we gave Allison her first tortellini ever, thus formally acknowledging her as a full member of our camping-loving (pasta-loving) family.
The Scamp was pretty bare bones, but had two amazing features. 1: Waterproof 2: Dark. We brought our extra blackout curtains and situated them over all the windows of the trailer, and slept snugly and happily in the dark. This is quite a feat when the sun sets at 11:15 pm and rises at 5 am, with lots of twilight time in the middle; true darkness is achieved for only a few hours each night.
While we acknowledge that camping isn’t quite as camping-ish in a trailer, we are in the market! So if anyone happens to be looking to offload a 13 foot Livnlite all aluminum trailer with bedspace to sleep 4…please let us know.
Here is an account of this summer’s gardening attempt
1 pot each of oregano, rosemary, thyme, and basil (basil inside)
1 SunGold tomato (inside)
1 hanging strawberry plant (not hanging; being eaten by magpies)
1 row of lettuces (bought as starts)
2 rows of kale
2 rows of carrots
1 row of peas
3 broccoli (bought as starts)
2 red cabbages (bought as starts)
8 marigolds planted around the lettuces to deter rabbits
Thus far, the lettuces as growing well, the kale has sprouted, the broccolis are barely hanging on, the cabbages are growing like mad, the magpies steal all of the even barely ripe strawberries, the tomato is growing well but slowly, and the basil has a second lease on life now that I moved it inside.
I didn’t get the garden in the ground till June 23, which is 23 days later than recommended around here, and I don’t have a hoop house built yet, either. I’m hoping for a late summer harvest, but if we have an early, cold fall, we may not get anything. This year is just an experiment; next year I intend to get serious!