“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.” – Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
This kind of love is evident in this couple, and I have been lucky enough to witness this love from its beginning. You see, the bride is one of my very best friends, and I couldn’t have picked a better partner for her. Jason and Kristin are amazing friends, and amazing together. These two, with their beautiful daughter, are capable of conquering any of life’s obstacles, and will always emerge stronger.
I am honored to have stood by Kristin’s side as a bridesmaid, and to also have been trusted to capture such a pivotal moment in their lives.
Special thanks to my husband, Daniel, for being so amazing and doing the majority of the work for this wedding. Playing double duty was made possible solely because of him. Additional thanks to my brother, Spenser, for assisting during the ceremony. I appreciate and love you both!
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
– Maya Angelou
Jason, Kristin, and Addy, I wish you a lifetime of love and happiness. I love you guys <3
We got to hike on a glacier! That’s right, not near. Not next to. Not up to. ON. WE HIKED ON A GLACIER! This was the most amazing thing! I’m so thankful for a friend like Ashley, and that we were able to go on this adventure. This was soooo much fun! We packed not having any idea what to expect! We had hats, gloves, extra layers, the expectation to freeze… Do you know what we needed? Our t-shirts (and pants, of course!). Yup, it was that warm out! Now don’t get me wrong, the glacier was cold, but we couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous day! In fact, Ashley couldn’t have come on a better weekend. Hands down, the nicest weather we have had our entire time here, meaning, of course, that I got burnt with 70 spf. **Sigh.
Anyway, Matanuska Glacier did NOT disappoint! With the help of MICA Guides and our amazing guide Axel, we had an amazing evening. I highly recommend this guide service; they (especially Axel) were courteous, comedic, knowledgeable, and put our safety above all else. What a spectacular way to spend Ashley’s last night here!
We drove up to the Matanuska Glacier, which is about 2 hours NE of Anchorage following a day spent about an hour South of Anchorage. We definitely put on some miles this weekend! We checked in and got our gear, which consisted of a helmet and crampons. Of course I picked the teal helmet! We ventured out in a big van (They offered us candy to get in…is that weird? Haha. Kidding.) and headed across some private lands (which of course we paid to cross), making our way to the glacier. What a spectacular sight she is! We immediately pulled out our cameras, and they were never put away!
We ventured on a short hike to the glacier, and continued to hike on it. We learned about crevasses, moulins, calving, and glacier formation. We learned a little about ice climbing, and how to secure your line when you climb. We learned that there were places we could drink the water, and it was delicious! We learned that the glacier isn’t just the beautiful blue ice that we see from afar, but extends way beyond! We were walking on the glacier long before we came to what appeared to be the glacier; it just so happens that much of the ice has a layer of dirt/mud/all sorts of things covering it. We learned that Axel is from Colorado, is working in Alaska for the summer, and happened to be hiking to Reed Lakes at the same time as us. Great minds think alike!
I will quit boring you with my rambling, and get to the pictures. But one last thing…Thank you, Ashley, for coming to visit me, and for adventuring with me. I had such a wonderful time, and cannot WAIT for our next adventure!
#alaska #SharingAlaska #adventureawaits #gypsysoul #krystleclearphotos #ilovemybackyard #ilivehere #thecaricaburucaravan #thegypsylife #wanderlusters #caricaburuthenomad #nomadlife #vanlife #ourwanderlusterways #fifthwheelfreedom #lifeisbetterinacamper #happycampers #homelessvanlife #homeiswhereyouparkit #notallwhowanderarelost #myhappyplace #friends #matanuska #matsu #matanuskaglacier #glacier #hike #crampon #micaguides #mica
We had one day left with Ashley being here, and were determined to make the most of it. We got a little bit of a late start because we were slow moving in the morning, and then stopped at this super cute little cafe on the way out of town. We ventured South down to the Byron Glacier, and I was sooo bummed that it was gloomy and super cloudy out. The drive down the Seward Highway is one of my favorites, and it didn’t show off it’s glory very well on this particular day. When we got to the Glacier, it was still pretty cloudy but we could see the Glacier! Yay!
We had plans for Sunday evening, and didn’t have much time to linger in the Portage area. We had just enough time to swing by the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center on our way back; I wanted to make sure that Ashley was able to see all of the Alaskan animals that she wouldn’t normally see. They all behaved perfectly for us! I already posted many pictures from both the AWCC and Byron Glacier, but enjoy a few more! Both are spectacular places to visit <3
Stay tuned for our next adventure: Hiking Matanuska!
#alaska #SharingAlaska #adventureawaits #gypsysoul #krystleclearphotos #ilovemybackyard #ilivehere #thecaricaburucaravan #thegypsylife #wanderlusters #caricaburuthenomad #nomadlife #vanlife #ourwanderlusterways #fifthwheelfreedom #lifeisbetterinacamper #happycampers #homelessvanlife #homeiswhereyouparkit #notallwhowanderarelost #myhappyplace #friends #byron #byronglacier #portage #awcc #alaskawildlifeconservationcenter #grizzly #bear #moose
So in all the moving around the country we have done, I have been very blessed to have some formed some amazing friendships. One of these friends is Ashley, whom I met while working in Virginia. Ashley has moved around as much as we have, and just recently relocated to Osh Kosh, WI! It has been somewhere between 3 and 4 years since we saw each other last. Well, Ashley had intended to come visit me in Portland this summer, but instead came to see me in Alaska when our life plans suddenly changed! Yahoo! I’m not sure which of us was more excited (spoiler alert, it was me)! She arrived just after my birthday, and we celebrated all weekend! Another friend of ours from Virginia wasn’t able to make this trip, and we were very bummed about it. We took matters in to our own hands, and brought her along everywhere with us.
We had only a very short weekend to fit in as much as humanly possible, and that we did! Friday night we took a bike ride along the Coastal Trail, and then…then Saturday the magic happened! We joined some fabulous ladies, the Alaskan Wild Women Hiking and Backpacking Group, on a hike to Reed Lakes in the Talkeetna Mountain Range. I also had some friends on the same hike, so we spent some time with both groups and had an amazing time.
This hike was magical. I seriously have no better word to describe it! It was reminiscent of Lord Of The Rings, and was the most incredible landscape I have ever seen. I will be hard-pressed to find a hike I enjoy more than this one! Ashley was a trooper, and we ventured out on this 10 mile hike not knowing if either of us was in the necessary shape to complete this hike; it turns out we were! I can’t even pick my favorite part, as the entire hike was magnificent. So many colors of green, so many rocks, incredible mountains, an insane boulder field, waterfalls, and two incredible teal lakes. Soooo amazing!
I had just received a new camera for my birthday so I didn’t have to bring my big heavy camera along on hiking trips like this one, a Sony A6000. It is such and amazing, lightweight, mirrorless camera. I barely had time to turn it on before this trip, as I received it the night prior and had to charge the battery. I didn’t have time to learn much about it, and didn’t have the settings quite right on this trip. The pictures still were able to capture some of the magic this hike had to offer, however; enjoy! And yes, I did edit these; however, the colors really were this vibrant!
#alaska #SharingAlaska #adventureawaits #gypsysoul #krystleclearphotos #ilovemybackyard #ilivehere #thecaricaburucaravan #thegypsylife #wanderlusters #caricaburuthenomad #nomadlife #vanlife #ourwanderlusterways #fifthwheelfreedom #lifeisbetterinacamper #happycampers #homelessvanlife #homeiswhereyouparkit #notallwhowanderarelost #myhappyplace #happybirthdaytome #reedlakes #talkeetnamountainrange #lordoftherings #friends
I only wanted to do one thing for my birthday-backpack in somewhere beautiful and camp in the backcountry for the first time ever! I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect place. After much back and forth, deciding the hike I had picked was a little overzealous, bad weather, running late finishing up some last minute things, and a last minute run to the store, we finally headed out around 6 pm. Way later than we had hoped! And then, of course, bad traffic. Are we back in Portland? For those unfamiliar with the area, the Seward Highway is only 2 lanes, and any incident will turn it quickly into a parking lot. After sitting at a standstill for approximately 2 hours, we were again on our way.
At this point, still being an hour or so away, we were really second guessing our plan. We were so late, and still had to hike in, set up camp, and eat dinner. Oh, and hopefully not get eaten by a bear! Obviously, we didn’t. It was a real threat, however; black bears specifically in Alaska have been abnormally aggressive this year, causing multiple deaths by mauling. It is terrifying, but to quote “my” generation, you only live once. We decided to just go for it! Never have I been more thankful to be in the land of the midnight sun!
We arrived at the trailhead for Carter and Crescent Lakes around 9 P.M. and began our journey. We checked the registration book (they are at many trailheads, and many people write information about what wildlife they saw during their hike), and saw that there were two moose spotted that day, and 4 bears the day prior. Oy Vey. We had our bear protection at the ready! We hiked up to Carter Lake and considered staying there due to the time, but I was pretty persistent that I wanted to camp at Crescent Lake, and Daniel obliged. The hike to Crescent Lake was approximately 3.5 miles, so thankfully not too far. We set up camp around 10 P.M., cooked our Mountain House Beef Stroganoff, and slept…all in complete daylight! A little sidenote about the stroganoff…when you are that hungry and don’t really pay attention when preparing it, you put double the water in and have stroganoff soup! It was still delicious, and the hot “soup” was nice to warm us up.
We were seemingly alone in this magnificent place, and I could not have asked for more. We awoke in the morning to an amazing peacefulness, looking out over Crescent Lake, and let Bruzer run free. We made a nice breakfast scramble (Mountain House again, yum!), and took our time packing up camp. Daniel did some fishing while I enjoyed being in the middle of nowhere, my happy place.
Hiking out, we ran into one couple coming up, who asked if that was our truck in the parking lot. Our nerves were on high alert, but quickly calmed when we were told that ours was the only other vehicle there. We truly had had the place to ourselves! It was the best birthday ever, especially having my two favorite boys to share it with <3
#alaska #SharingAlaska #adventureawaits #gypsysoul #krystleclearphotos #ilovemybackyard #ilivehere #thecaricaburucaravan #thegypsylife #wanderlusters #caricaburuthenomad #nomadlife #vanlife #ourwanderlusterways #fifthwheelfreedom #lifeisbetterinacamper #happycampers #homelessvanlife #homeiswhereyouparkit #notallwhowanderarelost #mountainhouse #beefstroganoff #jetboil #crescentlake #carterlake #cooperlanding #sharingalaska #myhappyplace #happybirthdaytome
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