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.


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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Frigid Waters

Shon went with me to get some photos not too long ago. As I crept closer and closer to the edge of the river to get that perfect shot, I heard Shon say, “I don’t want to have to pull you out of there when the ice breaks under you.” I was hoping to get to that black spot right in the middle of the picture close to the bottom. As you can see, I didn’t go any further. Sometimes what looks like the shore isn’t really the shore. It is ice covered with snow.

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.

Come along with us on an epic snow machine trip. We left our cabin and headed over to a lodge across the river.

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Iditarod 2020 on the Yentna River

We live about 3 miles from the Iditarod Trail between the start in Willow and the second checkpoint in Skwentna. All up and down the river people come out to cheer for the dogs and mushers on their 1000-mile journey. We like to go to the Northwoods Lodge gathering every year where Eric does a great job building a terrific bonfire. He’s even upped his game with Swedish Candles.

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