Tag: OuralaskandreamB&B

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.

Alaska Day

October 18 is considered Alaska Day. Alaska was only considered a territory of the United States after the United States purchased it from the Russian Empire in 1867. It was not recognized as a state until 1959, remaining in the territorial status all along. Alaska was officially recognized as a state on January 3, 1959 after long struggles that lasted for decades.

When thinking of Alaska you have many thoughts, 24 hour darkness, 24 hours sunshine, Snow Snow and more snow, freezing temperatures, are among all of the thoughts. I wanted to share some fun facts about Alaska, in honor of Alaska Day.

  • Alaska’s coastline, 6,640 miles, is longer than all the other states’ coastlines combined. It is the United State’s largest state, measuring 1,400 miles long and 2,700 miles wide; Rhode Island could fit into Alaska 425 times.
  • Alaska has more inland water than any other state, 20,171 square miles.
  • Alaska’s most important revenue source is the oil and natural gas industry.
  • Alaska accounts for 25% of the oil produced in the United States.
  • State of Rhode Island could fit into Alaska 425 times.
  • Prudhoe Bay, on the northern Alaskan coast, is North America’s largest oil field.
  • The Trans-Alaska Pipeline moves up to 88,000 barrels of oil per hour on its 800 mile journey to Valdez.
  • The fishing and seafood industry is the state’s largest private industry employer.
  • Most of America’s salmon, crab, halibut, and herring come from Alaska.
  • The term Alaska native refers to Alaska’s original inhabitants including Aleut, Eskimo and Indian groups.
  • The state motto is North to the Future.
  • Alaska has been called America’s Last Frontier.
  • Every four years Alaskans elect a Governor and a Lieutenant Governor to four-year terms.
  • The Alaska State Legislature is made up of a Senate and a House of Representatives.
  • Twenty senators are elected to four-year terms; forty representatives serve two-year terms.
  • Nearly one-third of Alaska lies within the Arctic Circle.
  • Alaska Highway was originally built as a military supply road during World War II.
  • State boasts the lowest population density in the nation.
  • Alaska is a geographical marvel. When a scale map of Alaska is superimposed on a map of the 48 lower states, Alaska extends from coast to coast.
  • The state’s coastline extends over 6,600 miles.
  • Alaska is the United State’s largest state and is over twice the size of Texas. Measuring from north to south the state is approximately 1,400 miles long and measuring from east to west it is 2,700 miles wide.
  • Agattu, Attu, and Kiska are the only parts of North America occupied by Japanese troops during World War II.
  • Oil is the state’s most valuable natural resource. The area includes what is thought to be the largest oil field in North America.
  • Alaska’s geographic center is 60 miles northwest of Mount McKinley.
  • Tongass National Forest is the largest national forest in the United States.
  • 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the United States are located in Alaska.
  • At 20,320 feet above sea level, Mt. McKinley, located in Alaska’s interior, is the highest point in North America.
  • Juneau is the only capital city in the United States accessible only by boat or plane.
  • The state’s largest city is Anchorage; the second largest is Fairbanks.
  • Alaska Range is the largest mountain chain in the state. It covers from the Alaska Peninsula to the Yukon Territory.
  • Juneau is the only capital city in the United States accessible only by boat or plane. It is also the largest US city covering 3,108 square miles. Los Angeles covers only 458.2 square miles.
  • More bald eagles gather along the Chilkat River than at any other place in the world.
  • There are more than 100,000 glaciers in Alaska and about 75% of all the fresh water in the state is stored as glacial ice.
  • Alaska accounts for 25% of the oil produced in the United States. Daily average yield of an oil well at full production in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay is 10,000 barrels. In the other 48 states, the average is only 11 barrels.
  • Alaska has the 16 highest peaks in the United States. Mount McKinley is the highest mountain peak in all of North America.
  • Trans-Alaska Pipeline moves up to 88,000 barrels of oil per hour on a 800 mile journey to Valdez.
  • Alaska’s name comes from the Eskimo word Alakshak, meaning great lands or peninsula.
  • There are over three million lakes in Alaska. The largest, Lake Iliamna, is the size of Connecticut.
  • Of the 20 highest mountains in the United States, 17 are in Alaska. Mount McKinley, North America’s largest mountain at 6194 m (20,320 ft), is a highlight of Denali National Park and Preserve.
  • Malaspina Glacier, at the foot of Mount Saint Elias, covers an area larger than Rhoade Island

Blueberries and Such

Adding berry picking to your fall visit to Alaska, will give you stories to take home as well as a sweet treat to enjoy. During your stay with Our Alaskan Dream, you will find that there are many, sweet treats made from the local berries. Which include fresh made Jams and Jellies added to your breakfast choices, as well as made from scratch breads for an afternoon pick me up.

Alaska berry picking is akin to beach combing. It is very addictive. If you’ve ever had a blueberry pie made with fresh blueberries than you know what I mean. Blueberries, Salmonberries, Raspberries and many other berries are all over Alaska. With nearly 50 types of berries in Alaska, most of which are edible, it is no wonder that the fruit has been a mainstay of the Alaska Native  diet for centuries. Alaska berry picking brings out Alaskans in droves to their favorite spots. In Alaska there are plenty of berries to go around and you can go picking all you want. Remember, bears also love berries and they have the right-of-way. Sing, make noise or wear bear bells so they hear you coming!

The edibility of some depends upon the maturity of the plant. Highbush cranberries are tastier before maturity, while others, like northern red currant, are tastier afterward.

Crowberries and alpine bearberries are among the berries that look tasty all the time, but, in fact, never are — at least not off the plant. Keep in mind that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t good to eat.

Crowberries, for instance, are good for pies and jellies, and bearberries can be mixed with other berries as an ‘extender’ in pies. This is worth noting because crowberries, which grow on a low, green, shrub-like plant, are often plentiful and untouched in the Anchorage area. They are also said to be best when picked after a good frost.

The Alaska berry picking season is anywhere from late August to late September. Very sweet in taste they are far superior to their cultivated cousins. Wild blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, niacin, manganese, carbohydrates, and dietary fibre. They also contain little sodium or fat. Generally higher elevation produce sweeter berries. Blueberries get very dark (near black) when they are ripe and about to fall. That is the best time to pick due to taste and sweetness.

Salmonberries ripen in early August. On moist, sunny slopes in Alaska, the Salmonberry plants can form impenetrable thickets. They are a close cousin of the raspberry. The juicy fruit, which looks like a yellow or orange blackberry, is a welcome trailside snack, though too bland for some tastes. Native Alaskans ate not only the berries but also the tender young shoots. Numerous birds and animals also feast on the fruits, which may be abundant in good years. The deep pink flowers are distinctive and may occur along with the fruits

The Raspberry is a plant that produces a tart, sweet, red composite fruit in late summer or early autumn. The fruit is not a true berry but a cluster of drupelets around a central core. Very small, but very tasty. An Alaska Berry Picking favorite.

Crowberries are common in bogs and alpine meadows. Very bland raw, but sweetened in a pie, incredible! The crowberry is similar in appearance to a blueberry. It is a light green, mat forming shrub which grows in areas similar to that of the partridgeberry. The Inuit, of which these berries are a staple, call them, “Fruit of the North”. Their flowers, male, female, or both sexes are purple-crimson, inconspicuous, and appear May to June. The season usually begins in July and lasts until the first snow. They are almost completely devoid of natural acid and their sweet flavor generally peaks after frost. Crowberries are extremely high in vitamin C, approximately twice that of blueberries.

If berry picking is on your agenda, ask us, we can direct you to some places to find the berries, (as well as beautiful hike), the books needed to make safe choices of berries, as the bells, so announce your intention while out sharing the mountain side with what is there.

alaskatrekker.com

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.

What is for Breakfast

Our Alaskan Dream provides breakfast every morning, if you need to be up early and dash off for a hike or an adventure let us know, we will have something for you to warm, grab or a protein shake to dash off with.

If you want to chill a bit before you start your day there will be a breakfast set out to enjoy, you can eat in the dining room and socialize, or take a plate to your room as you prepare for your day.

Breakfast is served around 8 am normally but can be adjusted based on your needs. We make breakfast choices so that you can try new things or stay with the basic options. We do try to honor all dietary needs and choices you just need to let us know what your needs are.

There is something new everyday of your stay, well we try, recipes are always shared if you love what we make, so you can make it once you are home. Mrs. makes homemade peanut butter, jams, and syrups for those who are interested.

Every afternoon you will find a home made treat for social hour, as well as a cool drink to grab as you sit on the deck, out in the gazebo or rest in your room.

When you visit with us you will never go away hungry, just like home.

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