Oct 30, 2012

Reflection Lake ~ Palmer Hay Flats

One of my favorite walks is the one mile loop around Reflection Lake on the Palmer Hay Flats. You can access from the Glenn Highway exit just north of the Knik River bridge. There's a small parking area with signage for Reflection Lake.
I waddle pretty slowly and I can do the loop in under an hour. I've seen moose, beaver, eagles and squirrels along this trail. The pictures below were taking in late October, 2012. The temperatures have been below freezing, but no snow. This is sometimes the best time of year to be out. It doesn't take too many layers to stay warm and there's no mosquitoes. Those little blood suckers were horrible this summer, so it's a nice to not have to deal with them.
I like to walk the trail in the counter clockwise direction, going to your right as you start the loop.
For more info on the Palmer Hay Flats, you can visit the Alaskans for Palmer Hay Flats groups website here.
 There's a restrooms and trash bins right near the parking area... Well, by restroom I mean an outhouse. But they were clean and readily accessible.
 The Rotary Club and Alaskans for Palmer Hay Flats were in the process of putting up a covered pavilion. This will be a great place for having picnics.
 The side trails are clearly marked along the loop. Getting lose would take some effort....
 The overlook located between the parking area and the bridge. Sitting on these benches gives you a great view of Pioneer Peak & the Chugach Mountains to the south.
 The sun peeking over the Chugach Mountains. This picture was taken at about 12:20pm. The sun this time of year stays low in the southern sky.
 The bridge over a side channel. From this bridge we've seen beavers working in the channel below during the summer.
 Evidence of the beaver's activities.
 The lake and the mountains beyond.
 The trail is very well maintained. Parts of it are graveled and the rest of it is packed soiled. This makes for very easy walking.
 I love the frost on the trees.
 Looking towards the north over the Hay Flats at the Talkeetna Mountains.
 The lake is frozen over.

 2/3 of the way around going counter-clockwise is a bench overlooking the Knik River, looking south towards the Chugach Mountains.
 The Knik River. The other day I was here just after high tide as the tide was going out. The ice was grinding along the edge.
 Mt. Sustina, also know as the Sleeping Lady in the distance.
 The trail.
 Looking to the north over the lake with the Talkeenta Mountains in the distance. The sun was warming up the lake and the ice was popping and creaking. I tried to getting a recording of the noise, but it wasn't anything like being there....
 Another bench. This is why I recommend traveling counter clockwise along the trail. If you are getting tired by this point, you have a place to relax. But even if you don't need a break, it's a great spot to stop and enjoy the view.
 Pioneer Peak to the south.
 More beaver activity. This was quite a while ago and the bark has grown back around the wound.
 As the trail wraps back around towards the beginning, there's a board walk to keep you up out of the marshy area.
 The board walk.
I've always loved how this type of frost looks.

Oct 27, 2012

Our House From the Air

Just before summer gave way to fall, my brother-in-law got a chance to take some pictures of our house from the air. For clarity, I've circled our house in red. You can see the grass that we planted earlier in the year. And by a strange coincidence at the exact moment he was flying over, I had my garage door open. You can click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Looking from the south to the north. Lake Lucille is at the top of the picture.
Looking from the west to the east. The Chugiak and Talkeetna Mountains are in the distance.
You can see our green grass!
Looking from the north to the south. The Knik Arm is at the top of the picture.

Oct 23, 2012

Things You Can Do When You Aren't Broke, Part 2

We all say we support our military. But when you aren't broke and living beyond your means, you can really support the men & women who protect & defend our freedom. Give this video a watch, and for more on the I Like Giving campaign, go here...

Oct 20, 2012

Stuff You Can Do When You Aren't Broke, Pt. 1

When you have a written budget in place and live on less than you make, you get the chance to do some really cool stuff. Christy & I have never given anyone a car, but we have gotten to do a few generous giving things. And it's a ton of fun...
Give this video a watch.... For more on the I Like Giving campaign, go here...

Oct 16, 2012

Update on the $1 Coin

A week ago I reported that I took out $50 in $1 coins to see what it would be like to use those instead of $1 bills. You can read that post here....
I've spent about $30 worth of them at several fast food places and a couple of grocery stores. I'm kinda disappointed... For the most part none of the cashiers have batted an eye at the coins. I had spent a $1 coin a while back and the cashier didn't know what to do with it. This experience is what prompted my little experiment.
But I haven't had any unusual encounters this time around. The cashiers have taken the coins just like it was cash.
I think I'm going to keep going with the $1 coins. As part of our budget, each pay period I take out $32 for my our ending money. For a while I'm going to take that out in $1 coins.
In Canada they don't have $1 bills, just coins. There's been several attempts to do that in America, but experience with the metric shows Americans aren't big on change...

Oct 13, 2012

Northern' Lights, 10-12-12

We have a decent camera, but I'm pretty clueless on how to use it. So these photos don't even begin to do them justice.
The full album can be found here...

Oct 9, 2012

3000 were killed, 3000 were saved...

I was listing to a message from Steve Furtick today and he pointed out something amazing that I had never seen before. The link to the message is here and the action starts at the 5:50 mark...

In Exodus 32, Moses goes up on the mountain and comes back down with the laws of God written upon stone tablets. As he comes back into the camp, he discovered that in his absence the people had turned from God and was worshiping that which was not God. In his anger, Moses smashed the tablets and commanded the Levites to take up their swords and slay those who were in rebellion and 3000 were killed that day.

If you skip ahead to Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit is poured out on the believers as part of the new convenant, Peter stands up and preaches the message of the great gospel of Christ. After Peter spoke, the book of Acts tells us that 3000 people were saved that day.

The law which brings death has been fully canceled by Spirit, which brings life.

Oct 6, 2012

The $1 Coin

So a few weeks ago I need to spray some gunk out of the bed of my truck. I swung by the coin operated car wash place and stuck my $10 bill into the change machine. It spit out ten $1 coins. I only used six of them, so I threw the rest in my change holder in my truck.
A few days later I was at a drive thru and paid using those dollar coins... The young lady taking my money was complete confused by them. She asked if they were real money...
So I decided to do an experiment. I took out $50 in one dollar coins from the bank this morning. Some are the presidential one dollar coins, some are the Sacagawea dollar coins and a few are the old Susan B. Anthony dollar coins. I'm going to spend them over the next little bit and see what sort of reactions I get.
I've already spent $5 worth, but it was in a self-checkout line at the store...

Here's how they came from the bank:

Here's how they look in a pile:

 And here they are lined up across my dash:

Oct 1, 2012

Sunset Moonrise

These photos were taken on September 30th, 2012 at 8pm. Gone are the summer days of the midnight sun and not yet are the winter days of dark. To the west the sun sets and to the east the harvest moon rises. The air is crisp with promises of colder weather to come.