Category: Activities

Up Up and Away

We are at the beginning of a new adventure season here in Alaska, travel has opened up and people are getting out. Breakup is happening all around and we are up about 15 hours of daylight.

With all that being said, Mr. and Mrs. have been out and about trying to find more fun things for you to know about a do while visiting us and staying here at @ouralaskandream. Here are a few of the fun things we have found as the dark time sipped away.

Williams Reindeer Farm @williamsreindeerfarm, was such a fun day, walking about the farm and meeting the Reindeer, feeding and posing with them, not to mention Rocky the moose. We highly recommend you take a few hours on one of your days here and visit. They reopen May 1st, they close in April for all the new babies to arrive, take a look at their website and learn all about them https://www.reindeerfarm.com/

What is Alaska Known for, besides the cold, and dark, Fishing, we are coming out of the dark time and fishing is on everyone’s mind. Did you know that the Matanuska Valley has great fishing? So many people head to the Kenai for fishing, but you pass by our little secret. There is amazing lake, river and drift fishing here in the valley just a short drive (Alaska style) from Our Alaska Dream. We had the honor of meeting Sonia and Dan from Drill Team 6 https://dt6fishingexcursions.com/, @dt6fishingexcursions and team up with them, with their help you can fish 365 days a year. Both Retired Veterans and such delightful people. I tell you when you stay with us, ask us to help you get hooked up and off for an adventure with them you won’t be sorry at all. Then back to the property and cook up your fish on the grill.

Glaciers, and sled dogs, how could the two things possibly go together? Take a flight with Alaska Helicopter tours alaskaheiloptertours.com @alaskaheiloptertoursand find out. We went out with them this month for an early morning sunrise ride, and landing on the Knik Glacier, and I can say it was one of the best adventures I have had here in Alaska. Now I mentioned sled dogs, do you know who won the Iditarod in 2021? If you are from Alaska you do Dallas Seavey, dallasseavey.com. Now the fun part, when you stay at Our Alaskan Dream, we can help you book a flight or even better a trip to see the mushing training camp for the wonderful dogs that help Dallas Seavey win the Iditarod 5 times. I really encourage you to take advantage of this adventure just minutes from the property

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Those are a few of the wonderful adventures we have found out about and recommend to you, Keep in mind we can help you get these booked.

Iditarod, What it takes

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One of the many things Alaska is known for is the Iditarod race, I want to share a bit of different view of the race, but first a bit of history. Dog mushers and dog teams have been part of Alaska’s history since it became a US territory. Early on patrolling and keeping the vast wilderness known as Alaska safe during WWII, this changed with the introduction of the “Iron Dog” snowmobile, which lead to the loss of the dog teams and mushing in general. In 1950’s at the centennial anniversary of Alaska being a US territory, the concept of a dog race sprung to life, hoping to keep the history of the gold rush and mail routes alive. In 1967 the first race occured being a two heat 56 mile race around Big Lake, interest was lost again after 1969. Until 1973 when a long distance race was envisioned one from Seward to Nome, all to safe dog sled history and Alaskan Husky’s the race taking almost three weeks to complete.

Nearly 100 years ago, the famous mission to deliver lifesaving serum from Nenana to Nome led by Leonhard Seppala, saved an entire community. Since March 2020, communities throughout Alaska have been faced with the COVID 19 Coronavirus pandemic. Today, Iditarod (the race) and the 1925  Serum Run have many things in common. Now, more than ever, it’s important to channel the grit and determination that allowed teams of mushers to complete this herculean effort and deliver diphtheria serum that saved countless children’s’ lives. That spirit lives on in Alaska today, and should be celebrated! 

The race is really a reconstruction of the freight route to Nome and commemorates the part that sled dogs played in the settlement of Alaska. The mushers travel from checkpoint to checkpoint much as the early freight mushers did. Although some modern dog drivers move at a pace that would have been incomprehensible to their old-time counterparts, making the trip to Nome in under ten days.

But to get to the race a musher and his team has, many hurdles to overcome and qualifications to make. Not unlike any other monumental event you may want to undertake be it run in the Boston Marathon or Climb Mt Everest, you have to show your worth and in the case of the Iditarod your dog’s worth. Mushers and teams start years in advance and have to put in their application a year in advance to even bid for the race.

Mushers must:

The Iditarod Trail International Sled Dog Race shall be a race for dog mushers meeting the entry qualifications as set forth by the Board of Directors of the Iditarod Trail Committee.

Recognizing the aptitude and experience necessary and the varying degrees of monetary support and residence locations of mushers, with due regard to the safety of mushers, the humane care and treatment of dogs and the orderly conduct of the race, the Iditarod Trail Committee shall encourage and maintain the philosophy that the race be constructed to permit as many qualified mushers as possible who wish to enter and contest the race to do so.

The object of the race is to determine which musher and dogs can cover the race in the shortest time under their own power and without aid of others. That is determined by the nose of the first dog to cross the finish line. To that end, the Iditarod Trail Committee has established these rules and policies to govern the race.

A musher is qualified to submit an entry to the Iditarod if:
• Any Iditarod or Yukon Quest Veteran with three or more consecutive scratches or withdrawals must re-qualify to the same standards as a rookie before entry will be accepted. This shall include completion of required finish standards in approved qualifier races within the past three years and a new musher reference. The musher may only use one Iditarod or Yukon Quest attempt counting as a qualifier race”
• he/she is 18 years of age as of the starting date of the Race;
• he/she has completed a prior Iditarod Race; or
• he/she has completed the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race prior to signing up for the Iditarod Race,or;
• he/she must complete two (2) 300-mile qualifiers and another approved qualifier for a total of 750 miles to be qualified. The completion requirements are that a musher must finish either within the top 75% of the field or in an elapsed time of no more than twice the time of the winner;and
• he/she during such approved qualifying races demonstrated the necessary physical and mental aptitude and preparedness, as well as the necessary wilderness and mushing skills.
• If a rookie musher completed the Iditarod as far as the Yukon River within the top 75% of the field or in an elapsed time of no more than twice the elapsed time of the lead musher at the time, he/she will be considered to have completed a 300 mile qualifier.
• Mushers must exemplify the spirit and principles of the Iditarod Trail Committee asset forth in the rules, policies, bylaws and mission statement.
Proof of Qualification:
• Except for a prior Iditarod, it is the musher’s responsibility to provide written proof of completion of qualifiers to the Iditarod prior to submitting an entry.
• Rookie mushers are also required to furnish a reference, on the form furnished by the ITC, at the time of submitting an entry. The reference must be from an Iditarod musher who is familiar with the rookie, must certify that the rookie has been informed about and
understands the physical and mental aspects of the Iditarod, as well as the wilderness and mushing skills necessary for contesting the race. The reference must be available for candid consultation by race officials and the qualifying board.

This is a partial list, (only the first page of an 18 page list of requirements and expectations, as you can see the Iditarod is for dedicated mushers and athletes, it is no wonder that it draws teams and persons from all over the world to participate and watch the race. The teams train year round and put countless hours and dedication into the race.

Our Alaskan dream is blessed to count a musher as friend and can say he has the dedication to be able to run in this race. He was a judge at a recent qualifying race and shared this video

https://www.facebook.com/1082986223/videos/10224369929850841/

It has been fun getting to know him, see his dedication and watch him follow his dream of racing, as well as his love for his team. One of the perks in staying with us, is we can arrange for you to meet up with Matt and his team and you can go home saying that you met a real mushing team and perhaps even go mushing.


Six Months

New year, here at Our Alaskan Dream we survived 2020, it was our first full year open, and what a year it was. We are excited to start our second year here in Alaska, even with the crazy that 2020 was we were able to make a lot of positive changes.

Our Alaskan Dream stepped up and have met all the new safety and cleanliness and requirements, we have opened up room service for our guests who do not feel comfortable in dining in the dining room. We have embraced the mask and hand sanitizer concepts, as well and extra cleaning between guests. Several of our rooms can be contact free with their own entrances, based on bookings we may close rooms to accommodate space and safety.

On the funner side of things, the Dream has added many new activities here on the property, including an Archery target, as well as an Axe throwing target. We have horseshoes and the firepit, as well as many lounge areas for guest to enjoy. Add that with the decks all around the house, giving guest quiet time to reflect, or just sit and chat while the kids play in the yard. In the evening you can watch the animals as they stroll through the property.

From Our Alaskan Dream you have so much to choose from that is just minutes away from the Dream. You have Government Peak with all its activities https://www.matsugov.us/trails including bike ridding, skiing, skate skiing, snowshoeing, hiking. There is Hatcher Pass, https://www.alaska.org/detail/hatcher-pass with skiing, hiking, the scenic drive, trails including Reed Lakes https://www.alaska.org/detail/reed-lakes-trail, if you are really adventurous this is the jumping off point for the extensive hike to the Bomber Glacier https://alaskahikesearch.com/hikes/mint-bomber-traverse. There is always a relaxing ride on the Alaskan Railroad, that always promises adventure and fun https://www.alaskarailroad.com/ Our Alaskan Dream has most of why you will need to take these adventures. We would love to give you information if you want to add any of these to your Alaskan holiday.

We would love to direct you to any on the wonderful activities. We work closely with https://alaskahorseadventures.com which offer both summer and winter adventures. We highly recommend K2 Aviation for all things flight and Denali, https://www.flyk2.com, For local fishing excursions and such we recommend Drill Team Six, https://dt6fishingexcursions.com, we look forward to using them ourselves in the near future. Fishing on the great expanse of the ocean we suggest you use Black Magic Tours.

So as you can see there have been so much growth and learning here at the Dream, we cannot wait to see what 2021 brings for us, and hope to see you all soon. Remember Peak vacation time is just 6 months away and now is the time to book.

Northern Lights

Aurora Borealis is defined in the dictionary as a natural electrical phenomenon characterized by the appearance of streamers of reddish or greenish light in the sky, usually near the northern or southern magnetic pole.

When we set our dream on Alaska we have been hopeful to see the Aurora (Northern Lights), all of last winter when we would see a glow in the night sky, (there is a lot of night sky to watch) we would eagerly look for the Aurora. Some mornings as I drove home from my normal job, at the hospital I would watch the horizon and wonder is that glow the lights or just city glow.

This month we were able to catch the beauty of the Aurora just a few miles from the house, and can honestly say now that when you visit us in the winter months, (dark time) you can see the Aurora, from one of decks here at Our Alaskan Dream, when the night is dark enough and the sky is clear.

With the excitement of finally being able to see the Aurora myself, I thought I would share a bit of history related to the Aurora:

The bright dancing lights of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. They are known as ‘Aurora borealis’ in the north and ‘Aurora australis’ in the south..
Auroral displays appear in many colours although pale green and pink are the most common. https://www.northernlightscentre.ca

The connection between the Northern Lights and sunspot activity has been suspected since about 1880. Thanks to research conducted since the 1950’s, we now know that electrons and protons from the sun are blown towards the earth on the ‘solar wind’. (Note: 1957-58 was International Geophysical Year and the atmosphere was studied extensively with balloons, radar, rockets and satellites. Rocket research is still conducted by scientists at Poker Flats, a facility under the direction of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks – see web page http://www.gi.alaska.edu/

Aurora borealis’, the lights of the northern hemisphere, means ‘dawn of the north’. ‘Aurora australis’ means ‘dawn of the south’. In Roman myths, Aurora was the goddess of the dawn. \par Many cultural groups have legends about the lights. In medieval times, the occurrences of auroral displays were seen as harbingers of war or famine. The Maori of New Zealand shared a belief with many northern people of Europe and North America that the lights were reflections from torches or campfires.

The Menominee Indians of Wisconsin believed that the lights indicated the location of manabai’wok (giants) who were the spirits of great hunters and fishermen. The Inuit of Alaska believed that the lights were the spirits of the animals they hunted: the seals, salmon, deer and beluga whales. Other aboriginal peoples believed that the lights were the spirits of their people.

During the dark time, here in Alaska I often seen a soft hue of green in the wee hours of night, I am glad to understand the history of the beauty that I see now. We will continue to try to catch the Aurora while it is dancing across that norther sky, in all its glory, until then when I look up as I drive home in the middle of the night will follow the lead of the Inuit and smile as the spirits of the animals are smiling down on me, guiding me home to Our Alaskan Dream

Total Darkness

When we moved to Alaska, there were many questions from friends and family, we still get many questions, about weather, but usually about how do you handle it being dark all the time. We try to explain that only a small part of Alaska experiences the total darkness, and total daylight, Based on the season.

We have both worked shift work and were not concerned about the long dark hours, that we were sure to experience, as with many people there was uncertainty about what it would be like to live through it. As it stands right now sunrise is just after 8am and sunset about 5 pm, we lose about 5 minutes a day.

This week we marked the end of daylight in the most northern part of Alaska, for the next 65 days, for the town of UtqiaÄ¡vik, (Barrow). According to an update by the US Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, Alaska, one of the largest states in the US, is renowned as strange and mysterious as it now enters into 24-hour darkness throughout the winters. Alaska’s north and south poles are geographically located as such that the arctic community had their last sunset at 1:29 pm AKST (5:29 pm ET) on November 15 and will now see the sunrise at 1:16 pm AKST (5:16 pm ET) straight on January 22.

On the flip side, what is it like to have 24 hours of daylight, as with the darkness, to land of the midnight sun exists in the far reaching parts of Alaska, not the entire state, although it is an odd experience to be able to hike and explore at 1am during the summer.

According to a report by The Weather Channel, the Alaskans in UtqiaÄ¡vik (Barrow) experience two months of prolonged daylights during the summer solstice. The sun in the mysterious town is overhead for 24 hours, all through the day, including in the nights. This happens due to the location of the Arctic region on the globe towards the extreme northern pole, which sets the sun at only 6 degrees below the horizon. This gives rise to a civil twilight, the phenomenon that gives the impression of daytime in the town round the clock.

The adventures of Alaska are unending, and with each season we experience here, we continue to find things that astound us and give cause to believe that Alaska has something for everyone. Be it during the never ending night, or the days of the midnight sun. Plan your visit soon, #OurAlaskanDream @ouralaskandream would love to direct you in a perfect adventure to meet your needs.

Unique Activities

When you think of Alaska, you think of mountains, hiking, hunting, fishing and remote wilderness. There is so much more to Alaska than common believes.

One of the activities few realize is Alaskan, is Skiing, Skeetawk is a newly renovated winter activity mecca as it butts up to Government Peak Ski area, and Hatcher Pass. Skeetawk has just completed their chair lift, and are uniquely handicapped accessible.

Skeetawk as a whole

Skiing the meadows

In 2015, a group of local volunteers and ski enthusiasts formed the nonprofit Hatcher Alpine Xperience (HAX). We want to develop and maintain a small community alpine ski area in Hatcher Pass as a way to promote safe outdoor recreation, healthy lifestyles and bring lift-access skiing and snowboarding to one of the great mountain passes of all time – Hatcher Pass.

Small child skiing with parent
History

A downhill ski area at Hatcher Pass (Government Peak area) has been a dream for the valley for over 30 years. There’s been infrastructure development, impact reports and development plans invested in this venture but no successful development due to the size and scale of the proposed ski area and the lack of private investors.

Location

We are located at mile 10.6 of Hatcher Pass Road (coming from Palmer).  There is a 1/4 mile access road that you take on the left hand side of the road to get up into our parking lot.  We are a few miles before Gold mint Parking lot/trail-head.

Location

We are located at mile 10.6 of Hatcher Pass Road (coming from Palmer).  There is a 1/4 mile access road that you take on the left hand side of the road to get up into our parking lot.  We are a few miles before Goldmint Parking lot/trailhead.

As you plan your adventures in Alaska, Our Alaskan Dream B&B has unique covered in as much we are handicapped accessible, no need to stay at a hotel, or in Anchorage, you can stay right here at the base of Hatcher Pass, just 10 minutes away from all the snow and winter fun, weather you are fully able bodied, or have some uniqueness that might make you question the adventures you could have here in Alaska, no need to set limits on adventure.

Adventure Awaits

At its peak, the Independence hard-rock gold mine was home to 206 workers and 16 families who lived high above tree line. Digging and blasting, these workers recovered 140,000 ounces of gold before the mine shut down in the wake of World War II. Designated a state historical site in 1982, the state has worked to preserve the 22 buildings that remain. Learn about government gold-price policies in the 1930s, visit a room in the bunkhouse and hear about life at the mine, and see the difference between placer and hard-rock gold mining.

There are 1.5 miles of paved walkways throughout the site, with informational placards for a self-guided tour. Standing in the rugged environment near 4,000 feet, the mine is surrounded by rocky peaks and alpine tundra. It’s a spectacular setting, so bring your camera and warm clothes. (It’s only one hour from Palmer, but the temperature here can be much colder). Several hiking trails from the mine lead to alpine lakes and panoramic views. Between the scenic drive and time at the mine, it’s easy to pass an entire day, but plan at least 4 hours, including the drive from Palmer

Hatcher Pass is a hidden gem tucked away in the Talkeetna Mountains. It’s an awesome recreation area in Alaska with a ton of trails for hiking, biking and skiing. The drive itself is beautiful! Lace up your hiking boots for these hiking trails in Hatcher Pass.

  1. Independence Mine Trail
  2. April Bowl Loop via Hatch Peak
  3. Skyscraper Mountain
  4. Marmot Mountain
  5. Reed Lakes Trail
  6. Gold Mint Trail to Mint Hut
  7. Bomber Traverse

Snowfall

Winter will be here before you know, time to plan your winter adventure, cone visit #ouralaskandream, have a healthy breakfast, then off to hit the slopes, be it downhill, cross country, snow shoeing. Whatever your pleasure you can find all within 5 minutes of our beautiful bed and breakfast. After a day of chilly fun, come back relax enjoy the hot chocolate bar, and watch a Christmas classic in the media room.

The ski area sits at mile 10.6 of the Palmer-Fishhook Road, going up to Hatcher pass. The existing parking lot sits at about 1,450 feet above sea level. The proposed beginner chair (triple chair) for phase 1a would run about 1,250′ long and have a vertical gain of about 300 feet. The proposed main chair (high speed quad), phase 1b, would be about a mile long and have a vertical gain of over 1,200′ (to approximately 2,650′ above sea level). 

map 6-19-01.jpg

Skeetawk is derived from the Dena’ina word Shk’ituk’t, which means “where we slide down,” and was the original Dena’ina name for the village before it was later renamed Kenai.

Things to Do

Good afternoon, It has been beautiful weather here in Alaska, Perfect sunny days, temperatures in the 70’s, evening breeze and night time rain. As we are approaching vacation (holiday) season, I wanted to give a few shout out’s to some of the wonderful adventures you can have while visting with us here at Our Alaskan Dream.

K2 Aviation, in Talkeetna, will take you on a flight tour over and around Denali National Park. Your pilot will be your own personal tour guide with to enlighten you not only about the beautiful scenery but also about the history of Denali, Talkeetna and just some interesting facts you may want to learn. You won’t regret taking a flight with K2, it will be a perfect memory from your vacation. http://flyk2.com

Alaska Horse Adventures, Right here in Palmer Alaska, provide a year round adventure be it a Day at the Ranch, a trail ride on one of their horses, Kayak tour around Jim Lake, or a Winter Horse Sleigh Ride, you won’t regret this adventure, and might even find us there along beside you on one of the tours, http://Alaskahorseadventures.com

We Love our guests and visitors here at Our Alaskan Dream, we support small, and are active in our community, when you visit we will be glad to direct you in any adventure you might want to experience, we know many great shops locally that can help you find that perfect treasure to take home, and have even more friends who support us, who you can place an order from to get a perfect keepsake from your trip and say with us.

Have a great day, we look forward to hearing from you and helping you schedule a stay, and adventure.

#OurAlaskanDream.com

#OurAlaskandreamB&B