Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mtn Bike Pump Track - Oh Ya!

I find myself posting this one due to my lack of self control. I cannot stop thinking about mountain biking and getting a pump track going this spring. I have finally convinced Amy that I NEED this bike you see here. It is a Giant STP 1 dirt jumper and I have been scoping them out and dreaming of getting one for the last two years now or pretty much since meeting Kirk. He is the cause of many of my addictions and bad habits now. It has actually become so bad that when I am being a bum and not wanting to go outside, Amy will just turn to me and say "WWKD", that is to say what would Kirk do? Anyway, I finally got this bike ordered the other day, so it is on its way at least. It will take a few weeks to get in, because I ordered thru the local bike shop and had them include it in their orders, which will take longer but cost me nothing for shipping. I am so close to uniting with the mistress that has dominated my dreams as of late.

I have also been working on Chuck to get his okay for building a pump track somewhere on his property. Between him and Grandpa Oberg there should be plenty of space to put one in. I have yet to determine where I can put the track itself, but I did get the okay to build a dirt jump line down the hill by the shed. It is a perfect little hill to have probably four or five jumps on the downward slope and have some fun.

Also, I have been wanting to post some pumptrack videos on here for your viewing pleasure and they're just rad, so check out couple of these quick flicks.

This pump track with Mark Weir is similar to what I will build.

1st '09 Flight in Alaska

We finally had what could be considered a nice day even for standards other than Alaska. It was nice enough to be outside doing some spring cleaning in a t-shirt and jeans. Amy, the boys and I went outside just to get out. It was such an amazing day, unlike any that we have had thus far in Alaska's so called "spring", literally the first day that has felt like real spring time.

Anyway, we made sure to get outside and enjoy as much as we can of it. Dane has been on his bike like a little psycho. We are going to have to get some pictures of how crazy he is. There are plenty of hills here at the Kenley's and he had absolutely no fear when bombing down them on his bike. It cracks me up how fearless both Dane and Ty are. Ty has become the little grasshoppa, he is jumping down four or five stairs to the landing or leaping of couches and anything else he can jump from. Even when they wreck it doesn't deter them from doing it five minutes later, they are nutz.

Well back to our beautiful spring night. Chuck finally got home around seven, and asked if I could take him over to his airplane. He wanted to get it over to the shop for his mechanic to put his floats on. The lakes are melting quick and within the next couple of weeks he will be able to fly in and out of most lakes here in Alaska. Well, I thought it would be much better to get somebody else to take us over, that way I could ride with him. So, we got Richard to take us over to the plane and of course brought Dane along too. As you can see from some of these pictures, Dane was incredibly excited to go flying in Grandpa's airplane. Chuck seemed to think that Dane has been in this airplane before, but I am not so sure. I haven't even been in this plane for two or three years, I can't remember, but either way its been far too long.

When we took off Dane's smile just kept getting bigger and bigger. He kept wanting to stand up more so he could see everything around and wanted to where the headset so he could talk to Grandpa. I tried to get some decent photos of Dane in the airplane and how excited he was, I think some of them turned out alright, but don't exactly transfer his excitement.

We did not fly much at all, but it was enough to fly over the house and see it from above and Dane sure liked it. I think all of us are pretty excited for summer to come. There is so much to do here in Alaska, and we look forward to getting in as much as we can. The sunlight sure helps in doing a lot of fun stuff in the summer as well, its already staying light until after 10:30 and is only getting more each day. Chuck has been working on getting his big ocean boat ready for this spring as well. I believe that in the next couple of weeks we will be able to take it out and go shrimping at least.

If you will post a comment at the end of this blog entry to let me know you were on and to make fun of Richard as well.
This last photo as you can see is a dandy! When we got out of the truck I handed Richard the camera and asked if he could take a picture of Dane and I by the airplane, little did I know that he quickly snapped one off of his ugly mug before he took our picture. I did not see it until we were looking at the pictures afterward. So, I thought that I would get the last laugh and post it on my blog for all the family and friends to see.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

4 x 4 and Guns

These pictures were taken recently on our excursion to the river banks on the mighty Matanuska River here in Alaska. They were taken with my iPhone and by my wife who has been known for producing less than stellar photos when she is behind the lens. As you can see in a couple of them, she has her finger in the way and it shows up in the bottom of the photo.

However low quality the photos may be from the phone or due to Amy's talents it still show's our little diggin adventure we had over one of our last weekends. It was still a bit cold, but we didn't let that stop us from getting outside and having some fun.

My buddy Ryan has an old 1980 CJ Jeep that he has been dying to take us out in for a few weeks now, so we finally hooked up with him and his wife Tisha and got out on the river banks. We also took our little twenty-two rifles to shoot at some targets and plink around a little bit while we were out. I hate to admit it, but I think Amy came away as the victor in our friendly shooting contest. She doesn't shoot much but when she does it is seems to be on target for the most part.

Ryan took us boggin down thru the river and into some pretty tight trees that wipped you in the face a little bit if you weren't careful. Ty wasn't so much a fan of the trees and the bouncing around in the back seat of that jeep with Ryan at the healm, but Dane absolutely loved it. Dane did not want to get out, but instead wanted to keep riding in the back and go through as much water and mud as he could get Ryan to find.

This trip we did not have the Trooper, because it was still in the shop for its extensive mechanic work that it has recently undergone. Some of you may know the happy times that we have had with this vehicle, but needless to say we are keeping that thing for the rest of my life. That thing will be what my boys drive to school when they get their licenses. Anyway, its good I guess because Amy really loves that Trooper

Well whoever reads this if you wouldn't mind leave me a quick comment by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post and simply letting me know that you were on here, if not no big deal, thanks.

I can't wait to get out more this summer as Alaska finally warms up a little bit, you should get out too.

Trek On

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Winter Chaos in Alaska

Being my first winter in Alaska I am experiencing a myriad of events that I have either been unfortunate or fortunate to not have had to deal with previously in life. One major item would be the extreme terrain Alaska is made of, which includes plenty of active volcanoes. Many of you may be familiar with the activity that has been reported concerning the recent eruptions from Mt. Redoubt here in Alaska, but it sure is one thing to learn about it from the news and quite another to experience the effects first hand. One aspect of my life that has been majorly impacted by this volcano is my work. I travel each week to Ketchikan Alaska, which I can't tell yet if the travel is a good or bad thing for myself and my family yet, but when the Anchorage airport completely shuts down due to the volcanic ash thousands of feet in the air, as well as blanketing the towns, cities and mountains it does make my job impossible to accomplish. The link above is to Anchorage Daily News and they usually have good info on the latest eruptions, because the mountain is not just a blow once and done kind of volcano.

Once I do make it to Ketchikan it works our fairly well. The town is located in the southern most part of Alaska, towards the Vancouver British Columbia area. The weather is like what you would expect from the Seattle area, but when the sun shines it is quite an incredible place. I have ventured out a little while in the area, and plan on hitting a few hikes and trails before I leave or maybe even a fishing charter for some halibut.

This weekend while I was home I was able to get out snowboarding again. It was not quite as epic as the trip before, but good to get out anyway. I went again with my buddy Ryan and we got a little assitance from his brother-in-law and sled, so I did not have to hike the entire way up. There was a nasty fog that kept rolling in and out of the bowl and mountains we were on, so we would try to time our runs to match the sun. When the mists would clear we tried to ride hard and make use of being able to see the mountain, but it would quickly tighten back in and we would be left trying to ride almost blind.