Boys and their long hair!

Long Hair Without Water

The knots in his fine baby hair seemed to create a bird nest and at any moment the dreads would hatch baby birds. Taking a fist full of his hair I tugged at his head with the boar brush only to receive  a cry of pain, he just has too much hair. The dreads seem...
Drinking coffee in the morning by lamp light

The Lamps That Light Our Way

As afternoon light slipped into darkness I poured the lamp oil into the glass bowl, I pushed the cotton wick into the bowl to soak up the lamp oil so that it may burn a sturdy flame. I trimmed the wick with scissors so that it is even and not jagged, I put it'...
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Mitten Madness

Pink turns to red. Red threatens with white. My fingers once responsive begin to fail. They could each be felt moments ago, or has it been longer? I can't exactly remember. Warming them up is gonna hurt. Maybe I should finish what I'm doing first? I keep track...
Firewood day

Firewood: It Keeps You Warm Twice

  Two-stroke and the sweet smell of fresh cut birch and spruce permeated the air as branches snapped and trees fell to their knees. Felling trees in the woods Humming, I collected the logs dad cut and filled the sled to be brought out of the woo...
Sunny day in Hatchers Pass

Outdoorsy Vs. Living the Outdoors

My summer sausage smothered with two slices of onion bagel sat atop a stone so I could fill my filtered water bottle in the stagnant puddle on the side of the trail.  Scanning the elevation and the increasing incline I ate my lunch, there was still much trail ...
Mountains overlooking the water

A “Dry” Cabin

Water gushed from the faucet into a pink plastic tub and I watched the water level drop within the clear jug. Pulling the jug upright to stop the flow, I washed my face from the light of a flashlight. The meaning of a "dry" cabin is more real in the morning, w...
Turnagain Arm View

Quest for a Yurt

The young rays of sun stretched over the inlet grasping for a hold over the winter darkness that engulfed Turnagain Arm. We stood beside the parked car and awaited it's victory. The drive would resume when the light could make safer the ice road through the Ke...
Hatchers Pass

Mountainside of Blueberries

When winter creeps down in the late evening from the mountain peaks and frost sweetens the tart berries after dusk, we come to the hillsides to pick. You can find my mother and I on the hills early to late August, hunting for blueberries for our jams and jelli...
Mountains overlooking the water

Dream of Fish

We soared over great volcanoes in the Aleutian Range. From my peephole, I watched the land ripple off into grassy tundra. I took a breath. I could do this. I could live, survive, on my own. We landed on the runway in King Salmon. I walked out on the tarmac ...
mountains

Catching Mountains Glow

Aurora sleeps nearly the whole trip. My memory failed me. The climbing roads along the mountain side, the glacial roads, and the lack of guardrails to save me from plummeting toward the lake below all escaped somehow.  The thought of the two children sleep...
Breakfast in cast iron

Cooking in Cast Iron

I’m a lazy foodie, someone who would rather skip the work of cooking and make it in time for dessert. I can’t seem to always get out of work. When I can’t, I jump right to the cast iron in the house. Not that we own much else other than cast iron, it just make...
Dinner at the Baker house

What “Dinner” Means for This Family

"Dinner" for this family is the act of sitting with one another, catching up on the hours we have been apart and enjoying our company over a home cooked meal. Seeing all their faces around the table, safe and sound at home brings me peace. Often times, dinner ...
Paleo Cooking

Paleo Cooking

Red sauce from scratch, all Paleo ingredients I'm not going to lie, I hate it. I most hate it when I bake, the ingredients stick, don't behave, fall apart and the result looks hideous. Rolling out pie crust makes me want to scream as it falls apart like sp...
Smoking Salmon

Smoking Salmon

Summer is filled with preparation for the coming winter, with the suns rays leading strongly through day and night we are able to accomplish much more. Smoking our Salmon that we catch on the shores of the Kenia is one that is simply a freezer space saver and ...
The finished yurt

What to Expect from People Who Live in a Yurt

In Homer, yurt pieces packed and ready for travel back north Life in the round is not much different than that in a square. The white walls and ceilings are quilted from polypropylene and made to keep heat from escaping the yurt. The wood stove stands bold...
Outhouse in winter

Don’t poop on the toilet seat in winter

OK really? I can’t believe I actually articulated this. Not once, but at least once a week sometimes several times a day. It’s all because they just drop and run. Perhaps some of them are afraid of the dark? Maybe it’s the burning cold seat, the one that feels...
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Then freeze to death

The majority of the time our life together in a tiny cabin and yurt with 12 people is beautiful. It might come as a surprise that conflict does indeed happen in this idyllic frontier environment. It comes as a winter storm with -50F language, with icy glares, ...
Painting the cabin

Just a cabin, 3 tents, and 10 kids!

Wow, what happened to the summer? We have been too busy to post and share anything and have a lot of catching up to do. We are well on the path of our latest adventure. This time things are simpler. For the past 3 1/2 months we've lived without power or run...
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Nomad Shelter 24′ Yurt Assembly: Day One

The first day assembling our yurt from Nomad Shelter was exciting! I'll have to admit, we all shared a few moments of panic when lifting the giant center ring in place, then later the top cover! Both were quite heavy and we could have used a little more help. ...
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Picking up our new yurt from Nomad Shelters

Life is about to change. Nope, not a new baby. Well, sort of. We purchased a Yurt from Nomad Shelters in Homer, Alaska! The plan is simple. We have a tiny cabin, just large enough for a kitchen, dining room, nursery, and master bedroom. The yurt will be div...
ATV at sunset near Knik River

Adventure & frostnip…it’s starting again

Hey kids, Our first big adventure of the new year – a dash to Knik Glacier by ATV. An almost snowless winter with open water and clear trails has kept the snowmachines at home all season. Without the protection of a windshield we took the full force of Janu...
Little girl sits on a rock in a river

Unsupervised Doritos

My weakness or rather my biggest distraction from dad responsibilities is a good conversation with friends combined with Doritos - the best snack food ever. I can easily consume vast quantities of the crunchy delicacy while talking and listening. My competi...
ae

Arctic Entries

With a lot of pressure from the kids I accepted an opportunity to tell a story at Arctic Entries, an Alaska storytelling event. The theme was Thicker Than Water Stories of Family, Patriotism, and the Ties That Bind. I guess I had a few things to say about fami...
Overlook in Maine

My Parents Daughter

My parents “ruined my social life” almost every weekend.  They stuffed me into  wheels and carried me away from town, arms crossed I was blindly ignorant to the person I was unfolding to be, shaped by silent lessons and experiences. Now 4,654 miles from hom...
Tag

Best Material for an Outdoors Man: Pendleton Wool

With the collar upturned on my coat the fabric scratched my cheek, I pulled the turtleneck collar of my sweater underneath up and close to my chin. The soft loved worn wool sweater no longer had the new scratchiness. The wonderful thing about wool, with enough...
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Sleep better in a tent

I woke up at noon…. Again. I looked around the room, no one was there. I got up got dressed and went upstairs. I ate… um… breakfast? And started working on whatever seemed like the least amount of work. At nightfall I entered my room and remembered that eve...
GusMud

Truth About Alaska

We need to set some things straight. Alaska is 2,291 miles north of the U.S. border. Alaska is not next to Hawaii. Just because Alaska shows up on a map in a box next to Hawaii doesn't mean that's where it actually is. If I had a penny every time I had to a...