Palmer, Alaska

Have you ever heard of the Matanuska Colony Project? In 1935, the US government transported 200 families from the Midwest to the Matanuska Valley in beautiful Alaska. It was a social experiment funding by the government to escape the Great Depression and begin a new life. Each family homestead constructed a barn 32 feet square and 32 feet tall. That explains many of the barns that are found in and around Palmer, Alaska. I believe this “barn” was actually a sign for a giftshop that was in operation for some time on one of the original farms.

If you are interested in more of this fascinating history, you might want to check out the book “The Matanuska Colony Barns: The Enduring Legacy of the 1935 Matanuska Colony Project”,” by Helen Hegener.

Did you know that we have a new online store? This is just one of the items that we feature. You can find the store here. We have great items that reflect a love for Alaska for men, women, and children! If you can’t find what you are looking for, feel free to email me for suggestions at

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When flying back and forth to the cabin, I keep my eyes toward the north, looking for Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America. Did you know Denali, previously known as Mount McKinley, measures 18,000 feet from base to peak? The summit elevation is 20,310 feet above sea level. Denali is about 135 miles from Anchorage as the crow flies but is visible there when the weather is clear. From Cub Lake, Denali is approximately 70 miles or so. We can’t see the “Great One” from the cabin, but when we can when we get out in the muskeg nearby. I love it when we are snow machining and come out of the forest into the muskeg to see her in all of her glory. I think of all the people who make the trek to Alaska to get a glimpse of her and know that I am blessed beyond measure to see her on a regular basis.

What about you? Have you seen this magnificent mountain?

Shon and I took a drive on the Parks Highway a few days ago when we had a little bit of sunshine, and we had a break in the snow. I wanted to share a few pictures I captured while we were out and about. These were all taken a few miles north of Willow. I never tire of the beautiful views.

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One of my favorite things to do when we were snow machining from our cabin to town was to look for dog booties along the Iditarod Trail. The brightly colored pieces of cloth really stood out against the white snow. I don’t know how many I picked up over the years, but I have a pretty good collection.

During the month of February of this year, I am including one dog bootie with each of the first 15 orders of an autographed copy of my book, either paperback or hardback. When 15 books are sold, that will be it, so hurry and order your copy today!

Last year around this time, we were traveling from our cabin to Deshka Landing by snow machine. We broke out into a clearing, and this is what I saw. I had to stop for a picture because this view took my breath away.

Have you ever been to Hagley’s Store in Talkeetna?

Talkeetna is a bustling little town in the summer, but quiet in the winter.

Unknown Flower

I cleaned out my flowerbed awhile back and found this plant. I was hoping it was a flower and kept it. Now that I have moved all of my irises, it has had room to grow and bloom. I would love for someone to help me identify it!

This may be the most beautiful moose I have ever seen. We spotted her on the way to McCarthy. My husband, Shon, stopped the truck, I rolled down the window, and I talked softly to the pretty girl. I was amazed at her coloring and muscles. At one point, she dipped her head to the water to get a drink, keeping those big eyes fixed on me as I told her how wonderful I thought she was. “Oh, I know I’m magnificent!” she seemed to tell me as she batted those eyelashes my direction. Have you ever seen a moose as impressive as this one?

Look at those muscles!
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