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2012  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

 

   
 
             Runtrails' Journal Topics
 
                             Home
 
                                           TOPIC or DESTINATION DATE
   
Life Is Full of Transitions: Welcome to Our Morphing Website! May 6
Two Nomads: More About Our RV Lifestyle May 7
Synopsis of Our 2011-2012 Winter Trip to the Desert Southwest May 10
   
                    Virginia (April 1-May 12)  
Spring Break (?) at Our House Near Roanoke May 11
Critter Tales & A Practical Joke May 11
Photos From Our Hikes & Bike Rides May 11
Prepping the Cameo and Truck for Our Alaska Trip May 12
   
                    Colorado & Montana (May 15-June 2)  
The Grand Summer Trip Plan: Explore Alaska in Our RV May 14
The First Leg of Our Summer Trip: Roanoke, VA to Colorado Springs, CO + A Serendipitous Find in Columbia, MO May 15
Synopsis of Our Visit to Colorado Springs May 27
Summary: Our Visit to Great Falls, MT June 1
                     
                     Canada  (June 2-13)  
Oh, Canada! Summary of Our Trek Through Alberta June 4
Summary of Our First Three Days on the Alaska Hwy. Through British Columbia June 7
Our Alaska Adventure Really Begins: An Unprecedented Delay in Watson Lake, Yukon Territory June 12
More Photos from Wye Lake's Boreal Forest & Wetlands June 12
Journey Through the Yukon: Watson Lake to Whitehorse June 13
     Whitehorse to Kluane Lake, YT June 13
     Congdon Creek Provincial Park Campground & Hike at Kluane Lake June 13
     Kluane Lake, YT to the Alaska Border June 13
   
                    ALASKA: Exploring the Last Frontier (June 13 to Sept. 6)                 
   
                              Valdez & More  (June 14-17)  
We Made It to Alaska! Photos & Notes from the Border to Valdez (border crossing, Tok, glaciers, mountain views, a canyon, rivers, lakes, etc.) June 14
Valdez, The Switzerland of Alaska: An Overview & A Bit of History  June 16
101 Fun Things to Do In Valdez  June 16
On the Waterfront: More Photos Along the Harbor in Valdez June 16
Scenes From the Trails & Bike Path in Valdez June 16
Valdez Glacier Campground & Nearby Glaciers + Other Camping Options June 16
Trip Notes from Valdez to Sutton-Alpine:  Lots of Scenic Glaciated Mountains June 17
Full of Superlatives:  Wrangell-St. Elias, Our Nation's Largest National Park June 17
Alpine Historical Park:  Some Mining, Native, & Pioneer History June 17
The Palmer Musk Ox Cooperative:  Shaggy Ice Age Survivors & Their Prized Qiviut Fiber June 18
Trip Notes Along the Glenn Hwy. from Sutton-Alpine to Anchorage June 18
   
                              Anchorage Area  (June 18-July 2)  
Forested RV Retreat in the City: Black Spruce Campground at JBER (Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage)  June 19
Our First Two Busy Days in Anchorage June 19
The Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum & Watching Float Planes at Lake Hood June 20
Earthquake Park & the City of Anchorage Greenhouses  June 20
Alaska Heritage Museum Showcasing Native Alaskan History, Art, & Culture  June 20
Moose & More on Anchorage's Popular Tony Knowles Coastal Trail  June 21
The Ulu Factory & Historic Ship Creek Area in Anchorage June 21
Panoramic Views from Flattop Mountain, Alaska's Most-Climbed Summit, + Summer Solstice Photos June 22
More Panoramic Views from Rendezvous Peak & Ridge June 23
Weather or Not: Just Get Out & Do It! June 26
Day Trip Along Turnagain Arm, Part 1: Scenic Seward Hwy. & Portage Valley June 27
Turnagain Arm, Part 2: Potter Marsh Wildlife Refuge  June 27
Turnagain Arm, Part 3: Begich, Boggs Visitor Center at Portage Lake & Our Hike to Byron Glacier  June 27
Our Bear & Moose Sightings in Urban Anchorage  June 29
Rendezvous Re-Do:  What a Difference One Week Makes in the Chugach Mountains  June 30
Jim's Bike Ride Downtown, Including the Vietnam Moving Wall & Alaska Veterans' Memorial Service June 30
Lots to Learn About Living in Alaska! Other Anchorage Activities & Observations July 1
   
                               The Kenai Peninsula (July 2-16)  
Trip Notes: Anchorage to Cooper Landing on the Kenai Peninsula  July 2
Camping at the Russian River NFS Campground  July 2
Russian River Fish Walk: A Rainforest Delight Even for Non-Anglers July 3
Bears, Birds, & Salmon at Russian River Falls  July 4
Russian Lakes Trail to Lower Russian Lake (includes information about the Resurrection Trail from Hope to Seward) July 4
Celebrating Independence Day Our Way  July 4
Six Days in Seward: Definitely No Folly!  July 5
Seward Scenes, Part 1  July 5
Seward Scenes, Part 2  July 6
Exploring Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park  July 6
It's Lonely at the Top: An Awesome Hike to Harding Icefield in Kenai Fjords National Park July 7
Seward Scenes, Part 3  July 8
Seward Scenes, Part 4: Colorful Outdoor Murals  July 8
Kenai Fjords National Park Catamaran Tour: Sensational Seascapes and Lots  of Wildlife  July 9
Alaska SeaLife Center: Windows to the Sea  July 10
Hiking on Mt. Marathon, An Update on the Missing Runner, & Adapting to More Campground Challenges July 10
Trip Notes from Seward to Kasilof  July 11
Camping at Kasilof RV Park by Johnson Lake July 11
Day-Tripping in Soldotna at the Visitor Center, Kenai River Fishwalk, & Kenai National Wildlife Refuge HQ  July 12
Mid-1900s Alaskan History Showcased at the Soldotna Homestead Museum  July 12
Further Exploration of Kasilof  July 13
From Russia With Love:  Historic Buildings in Old Town Kenai + the Salmon Dipnet Fishing Frenzy  July 13
Kenai & Beyond:  Leif Hansen Memorial Park, Nikiski, Captain Cook State Rec. Area, & a Hike at the National Wildlife Refuge  July 13
A Busy Day Trip From Kasilof to Homer, Part 1:  Coastal Scenes & the Historic Town of Ninilchik  July 14
Day Trip to Homer, Part 2:  Lunch at the Saturday Farmers' Market & Exploring the Homer Spit  July 14
Day Trip to Homer, Part 3:  Expansive Views of Kachemak Bay + Visiting Bear Creek Winery, Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center, and Beluga Slough   July 14
Trip Notes:  Kasilof RV Park to Williwaw USFS Campground in the Portage Valley  July 15
Portage Valley: Scenes from Williwaw USFS Campground, Middle Glacier, Portage Lake, & the Begich, Boggs USFS Visitor Center July 15
Hiking on the Scenic Trail of Blue Ice & the Williwaw Nature Trail   July 15
Cycling on the Rest of the Trail of Blue Ice, Moose Flats, & the Williwaw Nature Trail  July 16
   
                              Anchorage & Beyond, Take 2  (July 16-August 2)  
Back in Anchorage at the Black Spruce FamCamp  July 17
Cycling on the Chester Creek & Coastal Trails + A Documentary About Denali National Park July 18
Rendezvous Ridge Hike #3 and a Bike Ride Down Arctic Valley Rd.  July 19
Cycling the Eklutna Lakeside Trail July 20
Miscellaneous Activities & Thoughts About Life in Alaska on a Rainy Weekend in Anchorage July 22
Impressed by the Anchorage Museum  July 23
Day-Tripping in the Mat-Su Valley:  Campground Reviews, Visitor Center, & the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Museum  July 24
Thunderbird Falls Hike & Other Activities  July 25
Another Chugach Mountain High:  Twin Peaks Hike  July 25
Eklutna Historical Park:  Spirit Houses & Another Old Russian Orthodox Church  July 25
Cycling on the Coastal Trail, With Views of Mt. McKinley AKA Denali  July 26
Tour de Town, Part 1:  Arctic Thunder Air Show Preview & Visiting the Z. J. Loussac Library July 27
Tour de Town, Part 2:  The City of Flowers (Colorful Public Flower Displays & More) July 27
Tour de Town, Part 3:  The Alaska Botanical Garden  July 27
Mat-Su Day Trip to Hatcher Pass & Independence Mine July 28
Mt. Gordon Lyon-Rendezvous Peak Loop Hike July 29
The Arctic Thunder Air Show from Two Different Perspectives  July 29
Touring Two State Fish Hatcheries & A Bald Eagle Display July 30
Scenic Gold Mint Trail Hike  July 31
Celebrating Jim's Birthday on Our Last Full Day in Anchorage August 1
   
                     Parks Hwy.: Denali State & National Parks  (Aug. 2-16)                    
Road Trip:  Anchorage to Byers Lake Campground at Denali State Park  August 2
Side Trip to Artsy Talkeetna, Required Staging Area for Denali Climbs & a Popular Place to Hang Out  August 2
Denali State Park & Byers Lake Campground  August 4
Scenes from the Trails at Byers Lake  August 4
The Impressive Alaska Veterans' Memorial, POW_MIA Rest Area, and Visitor Center at Denali State Park  August 4
Wonder of Wonders: There's Denali!! Trip Notes & Photos from Byers Lake to Denali National Park  August 5
Our First Day in Denali National Park, Part 1:  Campground & Front Country Visitor Services Information (shuttle buses, etc.) August 5
First Day in Denali NP, Part 2:  General Hiking & Cycling Information +  Photos from Today's Hike & Ride August 5
A Nice Finale to Our First Day at Denali National Park:  An Evening Drive Out to Savage River at Mile 15 on the Park Road  August 5
Day Two at Denali National Park  August 6
Mt. Healy Overlook & Taiga Trails: I Wonder How Far I Can Hike Along that Ridge??  August 6
Horseshoe Lake Trail Hike  August 6
Summit Fever: Our Flight-Seeing Trip Over Denali, N. America's Highest Peak, with Jim as "Co-Pilot"  August 7
The Rest of Day Three in Denali National Park, Featuring the Park's Sled Dog Kennels & Demonstration  August 7
Day Four:  Teklanika River Campground AKA "Tek"  August 8
Exploring the Teklanika Riverbed & Park Road from Tek to Igloo August 8
Day Five:  An Introduction to the Bus System at Denali NP  August 9
Our First Shuttle Bus Ride Into the Park, Part 1: Teklanika River CG (Mile 29) to the Toklat River Rest Area (Mile 53)   August 9
Denali Shuttle Bus Ride, Part 2:  Toklat River to Eielson Visitor Center (Mile 53 to 66) August 9
Denali Shuttle Bus Ride, Part 3:  I Could Spend Days at the Eielson Visitor Center & Nearby Trails!  August 9
Denali Shuttle Bus Ride, Part 4:  Eielson Visitor Center (Mile 66) to Wonder Lake (Mile 85)  August 9
Denali Shuttle Bus Ride, Part 5:  Wonder Lake Back to Toklat River (Miles 85 to 53)  August 9
Shuttle Bus Ride, Part 6:  Toklat River Back to Polychrome & Teklanika CG (Miles 53 to 29)   August 9
Day Six at Denali:  Teklanika River Hike & Bike Ride  August 10
Day Seven at Denali:  Sue's Eielson Alpine Hike & Shuttle Ride + Jim's Bike Ride from Teklanika River to Sable Pass & Back  August 11
Day Eight at Denali:  Miscellaneous Activities in the "Front Country" August 12
Day Nine at Denali, Part 1:  Savage River Alpine Hike  August 13
Day Nine, Part 2:  Savage Canyon Hike (includes several caribou photos) August 13
Day Ten at Denali:  Seasons of the Park  August 14
Day Eleven at Denali:  A Memorable Hike on Mt. Margaret-Primrose Ridge + Jim's Bike Ride on the Park Road (includes wildlife close-ups of three of the Big Five + a lynx)  August 15
   
                    Anchorage & Beyond, Take 3  (August 16-26)  
Back at JBER:  Sunsets, Moose, and More  August 17
Cycling on the Campbell Creek Greenway  August 18
Hiking the Wolverine Peak Trail August 21
City Moose, Beluga Whales, and Jim's Long Bike Ride  August 22
Rendezvous & Gordon Lyon Ridge Hike:  Variation on a Theme  August 22
More Photos from the Coastal Trail + An Update of Our Activities & Plans  August 24
Day Trip to Portage Valley: Byron Glacier, Portage Lake, Trail of Blue Ice, & Salmon Viewing August 25
   
                     Denali National Park, Take 2  (August 26-Sept. 3)  
Back at Denali:  Road Trip and First-Day Activities  August 26
The Murie Science Center, Fall Scenes in the Front Country, & More About the Park's First Fatal Bear Attack in 95 Years  August 27
Brilliant Fall Colors Along the Denali Park Road & "Bear Necessities" Presentation at the Murie Science Center  August 28
"Loopy" Hike on Taiga, Rock Creek, Meadow View, Roadside, & McKinley Station Trails August 28
Jim's Long Bike Ride on the Park Road Between the Entrance & Teklanika River Campground  August 29
Sue's Eielson Alpine Hike & Bus Ride: Learning the Extent to Which "Bears Rule" at Denali   August 29
Savage Rock & River Canyon Hike August 30
A Selection of Alaska Photos from June to August (100+ pictures on four pages)  September 1
What to Do When It Rains at Denali? Musings from the Last Two Days September 1
Awesome Autumn Colors on Healy Ridge + Our Last Drive Out to the Savage River September 2
   
                    Fairbanks (Sept. 3-6)  
Trip Notes:  Denali National Park to Fairbanks + Information About Camping at Ft. Wainwright  September 3
Two Visits to the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center:  Because It's Special!  Sept. 3-4
Scenes Along the Chena Riverwalk (includes Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race HQ)  Sept. 3-4
Birdwatching & Hiking at Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge (lots of migrating sandhill cranes and Canada geese) September 4
It's a Wrap:  Miscellaneous Activities on Our Last Days in Alaska September 5
Farewell to Alaska -- the Journey South, Day 1: Fairbanks, AK to Snag Junction CG, Yukon Territory  September 6
Tour of Rika's Roadhouse & Landing at Big Delta State Historical Site, AK  September 6
   
                    CANADA  (Sept. 6-12)  
The Journey South, Day 2:  Snag Jct. Provincial CG to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory  September 7
Day 3:  Whitehorse to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory September 8
Day 4:  Watson Lake, YT to Fort Nelson, BC  September 9
Visiting Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park, BC  September 9
A Banner Day for Wildlife on the Alaska Hwy.  September 9
Day 5:  Fort Nelson, BC to Hythe, AB  September 10
Day 6:  Hythe to Olds, AB  September 11
Day 7:  Olds, AB to Great Falls, MT -- Back in the USA!!  September 12
   
                    Across the Lower 48 (Sept. 12-Oct. 8)  
Great Falls, MT:  Activities at Gateway FamCamp, Malmstrom AFB  September 16
Great Falls, MT:  Scenes from River's Edge Multi-Use Trail Above the Missouri River September 17
Great Falls, MT:  Scenes from the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Trail and Giant Springs Heritage Park  September 18
Rapid City, SD:  Enjoying Summer's Last Hurrah at Ellsworth AFB  September 23
Spearfish Canyon Fall Leaf Tour by Bike & Truck  September 24
"Striking More Gold" at Roughlock Falls in the Black Hills September 24
Cycling Tour Through the Black Hills:  Mickelson Trail, Stockade Lake, & Custer State Park September 26
More Fun at Custer State Park:  Hiking the Sylvan Lake & Harney Peak Trails + Scenes from the Needles Hwy. September 26
Black Hills Cycling Tour #2:  More Photos from the Mickelson Trail & Stockade Lake + A Visit to Prairie Berry Winery  September 28
Exploring More Trails at Custer State Park  October 1
Bison & More In Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park  October 1
Other Activities We've Enjoyed in Rapid City & Our Travel Plans for This Week  October 2
The Rest of Our Journey Back to Virginia  October 8
   
                  Final Thoughts about Our Adventure to the Far North  
Traveling To Alaska: Observations & Tips for Other Intrepid Travelers  
   Part 1:  Introduction to the Series & Great Reasons to Head to Alaska October 9
   Part 2:  Pack Your Sense of Adventure + Plenty of Time and $$$ October 9
   Part 3:  Getting There & Getting Around + An Itinerary from Hell October 9
   Part 4:  Research & Planning, Routing & Road Conditions (+ wildlife photos) October 9
   Part 5:  Timing a Visit to Alaska (peak season, weather, roads, etc.) October 9
   Part 6:  In Defense of Spontaneity + Some Challenges We Faced October 9
   Part 7:  Vehicle Considerations If You Drive to Alaska (condition of vehicle,  type & size of RV, etc.)  October 9
   Part 8:  Some Tips re: Communication & Border Crossings October 9
   Part 9:  The Next Time We Visit Alaska -- What We Might Do Differently October 9
The Final Numbers on Our Road Trip to Alaska  (includes a comparison with our previous RV trips) October 10
   
                    Virginia (Oct. 8-Dec. 31)  
Now What?? Our Tentative Winter Travel Plans  October 24
Cody Finally Got a Puppy!! Why and How We Chose Her November 2
Happiness is a Warm Puppy: Watching Casey Grow & Introducing Her to Her New Home November 2
Busy, Busy, Busy: Life With a Puppy is Harder (& More Fun) Than We Remembered! November 2
Forest Therapy: Sue's Version of Japanese Shinrin-Yoku, Illustrated with Scenes from Recent Hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains December 15
   
Happy New Year!!  
   

You can find additional photos of our travels and recreational pursuits from previous years on our Picasa site.      

 
   
 

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, and Cody the ultra Lab

 2012  Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil