The Little Susitna Lodge after it was expanded and a second story added.

Growing Up In Hatcher Pass

Some might think growing up as the only child in a remote lodge in the Talkeetna Mountains would be a lonely experience—for me, it certainly was not. My childhood home was in the middle of one of Southcentral Alaska’s favorite playgrounds, Hatcher Pass, at the Little Susitna Lodge. […]

A $7,000 shipment of mink at the Wasilla train station. Heinie holding two crates at far right.

The Snider Mink Farm

One of my greatest pleasures, since giving up the daily commute to Anchorage, is having time to organize and read through my family’s history. My family is lucky because in addition to my great-grandfather, Gerrit “Heinie” Snider, we had another writer in the family, Mike Dekker, Heinie’s brother-in-law. […]

Children gather in the streets of Kibera, outside of Nairobi.

Creating a Better Tomorrow

Recently, you may have watched an episode of The Tonight Show with its host, Jimmy Fallon, interviewing the co-founder of Microsoft, generous philanthropist and household name, Bill Gates. The topic of conversation was an unexpected one—poop water. Though the name sounds repulsive, the fluid in question is anything […]


The Cabin Life

    Winter twilight, absolute peace. Every cabin has a story of origin. Some are glamorous, some just seem to happen, and all are worthwhile as a cabin is one of the few places where people really live in the here and now. In Alaska, cabins take on […]


The Reluctant Sled Dog

As I stand on the runners of the dog sled trying to catch my breath, I look down at my dog sitting in his harness, facing the sled, just staring at me. There is no jumping enthusiasm, no barking, or straining—in fact, he looks annoyed. Somewhere along this […]


Mystery Solved?

  When Richard Benner contributed his flying rescue story for our book, Alaska Air Tales, he probably didn’t realize his mystery would linger for decades. His story, “Stopping the Dogs One Mid-winter Afternoon,” alludes to his obsession with flying from childhood and relates leaving the school bus and […]


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