Blog

Trent Lewis and Clark Clawson

By Evan Swensen| 06/20/2022
Matanuska River Park Trail system can rightly claim the shortest hiking trail in the largest state in the union. This trail system includes recently constructed paths as short as 45 yards. Cleared paths begin at four trailheads in the park camping ar...

Winter Trails

By Evan Swensen| 06/13/2022
Winter hikes in the far north demand a different attitude than conventional hikes elsewhere. Hikers must adapt their mental makeup to cope with darkness and cold that can drive a person over the brink. This is winter wilderness Alaska right out of th...

Hiking and Wildlife

By Evan Swensen| 06/07/2022
In the early 1970s, there was a renewed interest in placer gold exploration and mining in the Nelchina area and the old trails north of Sheep Mountain were used again. Early users of the Chickaloon-Knik-Nelchina Trail began their trek at Knik on the ...

Speechless Brothers

By Evan Swensen| 05/30/2022
Our wait at the Homer small boat harbor was not unpleasant while we waited for the arrival of our guide, Kevin Sidelinger. Lars and I witnessed boats of all shapes and sizes being backed down the ramp and launched to ports who knows where. Some were ...

Bird Creek Trail

By Evan Swensen| 05/23/2022
Bird Creek Trail begins in a birch forest and climbs into an alpine area above Turnagain Arm. It is one of the first hikes open to sufferers of cabin fever. In early spring, warm Chinook winds blowing from Prince William Sound over Portage Pass into ...

Anchorage is only 30 Minutes From Alaska

By Evan Swensen| 05/16/2022
It has been said that Anchorage is only 30 minutes from Alaska. Alaska is not in the city or along the Highway. Alaska, the real Alaska, is only 30 minutes away from these. Alaska is wilderness. It is hiking the wild, fishing in unpolluted water, sig...

Hiking Alaska

By Evan Swensen| 05/09/2022
Which trail is the best trail in Alaska to hike? The one you’re hiking on, of course! Pick out a trail and gear up! Hiking Alaska is like hiking an area the size of thirteen states. It’s as big as Texas times two. Alaska has the largest N...

Charlie’s Last Flight

By Evan Swensen| 05/02/2022
Eight-five-seven Charlie was a 1948 Stinson model 108-3. She was born red. In the last year of her life, she changed her dress, and she became metallic blue, with a white stripe running the entire length of her somewhat pudgy fuselage. Before becomin...

Charlie’s Last Freedom Flight

By Evan Swensen| 04/25/2022
Charlie’s pilot’s son Jesse’s first sheep hunt took place on Mt. Gordon among other snow-capped peaks of the Wrangells. It was in the days before the National Park Service entered the scene and stopped hunters from hunting and flyer...

Charlie’s Prince or Pauper

By Evan Swensen| 04/18/2022
Charlie’s pilot traveled to Southwest Alaska in the old 1948 Stinson Voyager, 857 Charlie. Charlie’s pilot’s daughter, her friend, and her friend’s father completed the party. They flew through scenic Lake Clark Pass and lande...

Charlie’s Ghost Moose

By Evan Swensen| 04/11/2022
“Ted,” said Charlie’s pilot, as Charlie pointed her faded red nose north, “I know a place where an old, woods-wise moose hangs out. Let’s motor over there and take a look.” Ted and Charlie’s pilot were on their way to rendezvous with on...

Charlie’s Missing Moose

By Evan Swensen| 04/04/2022
Gravel sprayed off the big tires of 857 Charlie and peppered her horizontal stabilizer. Her aeronautical designers back in 1947 never envisioned her landing on a gravel bar off the Big Susitna River in Alaska. She was made to fly from airport to airp...