Backpacking with Mike

A little back story before I get started… I met Mike and Pam Nickols back in 2000. My oldest brother spent a year living in Alaska and was fortunate enough to become close friends with their son, Aaron. So, on his regular Sunday afternoon phone calls home, he […]

Forgetting Disneyland

“There are at least twelve things that can go horribly wrong in this section. I don’t have time to describe them now so just listen to me closely: lean in, stroke hard, and don’t stop until I tell you to! If we hit the left cliff face sideways, […]


By Heinie Snider – From his book, Centennial – 100 Stories of Alaska, published in 1967.   We often read in our papers that a Sourdough has moved to the Pioneer Home in Sitka. As newly elected historian of Igloo No. 31, my main duty is to record not […]

Rhubarb – “The story of that alien plant.”

When I lived in Washington, I had a huge garden. I loved that garden. It brought me much pleasure. I looked forward to spring to see what would pop up from last year’s seeds that I had just let drop anywhere. The standing rule in my garden was […]

Alaska’s Clown Prince

“Ya hear that noise? Christ, that ain’t static; that’s a bear! Yeah, I gotta bear in the plane with me, and he’s broke loose! He’s climbin’ right up here beside me, growlin’ an’ showin’ his teeth — big sharp teeth! Oh Jeezus, he’s tryin’ ta eat up the […]

Tales of an Alaskan Realtor – A Chick Alone in Chickaloon

The morning sun shone brightly through my cracked windshield as I headed out of Wasilla, through Palmer, on my way to show a property to a client in Chickaloon. New. So many new experiences. I marveled at the sights that each bend in the road brought into view; […]

Underneath the Cottonwood Tree – Part 1

It was an exciting time in Alaska. The war was over, my dad, Al, had been released from the army, and we were moving to Wasilla where my mom, Pat Hjellen, had grown up-the eldest daughter of Heinie and Alice Snider. Us six kids were stuffed into the […]

On The Edge Of The In Between

As humans, we all look for our own ways of expressing ourselves. We need to communicate our struggles and triumphs. To internalize our emotions, our thoughts, our ideas, would leave a flavorless existence to life. Expressions are elevated from our hearts & minds through the stroke of a […]

Lost in Peters Hills

“Where is the trail?” Thirty minutes into our Peters Hills backcountry camping adventure found the three of us at a fork in the trail, unsure of which path to take. The directions in our guide book were vague so after some discussion we all agreed to choose the […]

Wild Country / Strange People

Our “neighbor” Ed and I talk a lot. He’s a couple of days on foot from our place, but we still manage to talk often. I can always tell when he calls as I hear the static from his radio phone long before I hear the click of […]

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