My Alaska Bucket (or Moose Charge) List

“The road ahead lies within.”

Smack-dab in the middle of the land of superlatives, I am dreaming big!

A few things (listed in no particular order) I’m wishin’ on a Northern Star I get to experience while residing in the Great White North, (some require striking gold, all require a little luck):

* Survive (I understand the biggest threat to this is 1. the cold; and 2. a moose charge).


Photo Credit: Patrick Endres


*  Enjoy our happy, cozy, WARM little igloo with my cabinmates, Alaskafella and the cubs (in a non “The Shining” kind of way).


Photo Credit: Patrick Endres


* Host a few Great North adventure-seekers in our state-of-the-art igloo guest quarters! (Now accepting reservations through August 2013.  Unless I’ve never met you and somehow you stumbled across my little blog, which I appreciate, I’m just not sure I can let you stay overnight at our house.)

* Experience The Northern Lights (October and March are “the most active” Aurora seasons, but I’m told the lights make appearances throughout the long winter nights.)

* Look (but don’t touch) WILD(!)life including: Alaska’s three bears (polar, grizzly, black); whales (humpback & killer); bald eagles; foxes (in their red and white phase); moose; seals; salmon; muskox; Santa’s reindeer.  (Bonus points for mom & baby sightings  – that just kills me. BUT hopefully not literally.)  Please note, my arctic safari hit list does NOT include a lynx or a mouse.


I'm looking for you buddy! Photo Credit: Patrick Endres


Kayak through a sea of icebergs and seals around the coast of Kenai Fjords National Park (summer)

Catch a bear catching a wild salmon in a waterfall from a safe viewing distance. (August)

* Catch a wild Salmon / Halibut with my bare hands (well, maybe not with my bare hands).

*  Polar Bears / Northern Lights photography tour! I’m on the waitlist for the 2011 trip (it runs in Octoburrr) anyone want to go with me?!

photo credit: Patrick Endres

* Drive through the remote Yukon in the midst of Autumn. (check!)

* “Mush”


My favorite mushers preparing for the season


* Dip a toe in the arctic ocean. (mmmm, balmy!)

* Go NORTH, all the way NORTH, as far NORTH as possibly possible (within Alaska) to actually cross into The Arctic Circle and be as close to the top of the world as possibly possible.

* Cruise

* Blow bubbles that freeze mid-air, fall to the ground, and roll around like glass Christmas tree ornaments (because it is that cold outside)

* Actively cultivate my photography / story telling skills so I can record this experience; and in doing so create an Alaskan anthology for my family and share it with others – hence, the blog!

* Keep in touch with my friends and family who are everywhere but here (hence, the blog).  Thank you for checking on us, and thank you for your comments!  It makes me feel not so far removed. 🙂

* Spend a night at the Chena ice hotel (I think it is no longer taking reservations, so I just want to see it).


Doesn't it look cozy?


* Celebrate something special (I don’t know what yet) with drinks at the Chena ice bar.




Soak in Chena Hot Springs Healing Waters under a meteor shower (Fall / Winter / Spring). – well, you can do this in the summer too … but the midnight sun might make it hard to see the shooting stars.

* Spend a night (the whole entire night) in “Circle” — a haunted ghost town – and take a dip in the abandoned hot spring.  (I double dare myself to actually do this.)


Abandoned Haunted Hot Springs


* Shoot (photographs) from a hunting platform high up in a tree.

* Climb to the top of Denali  (or to the top of a place with a nice view of it.)


My little ones looking to "The Great One"


* Ride the Rails!

* Make some turns in AK snow (locally and Alyeska), maybe even * Heli Ski (Hell, I’m not sure I really want to do this, I just wanted to sound cool)


swoooosh, swoooosh


* Glaciers (I’m not sure what you do with them, but I want to do something glacial).

* Judge (or peruse) the World Ice-Art Championships!

* Cheer on the dog racers!

* Experience the longest day and the longest night of the year, and enjoy a host of sunrises and sunsets and pink skies at all hours in between.  (It is so great to see the sunrise without having to wake up early!)


It is such a treat to see the sunrise without having to wake up early!


* Become a sourdough (local) without becoming sour.

* Learn about the native culture (I’d love to learn to read totem poles!)


Photo Credit: Patrick Endres


* Visit the Iñupiat Heritage Center in Barrow

* Love living on “College Hill” a minute away from the University! Get involved with the U: attend community lectures; teach some classes like I did at Hawaii Pacific University; take some classes; visit the museum and pretend to be an intellectual!


I attended Patch Adams' lecture at UAF last week. I didn't tell you about it, because he is so hot I don't even know what to say.


* Ensure my cubs have a happy pretty school (and age 1-5) experience.


Happy Pretty Schoolers Photo By: Patrick Endres


* Hit the road for a few Roadtrips! (Barrow, Kenai, Prudhoe Bay, Denali, Talkeetna, Sitka …)

* Meet a few “true” Alaskans

* Make a few friends (host a few game nights and playdates at our house; enjoy child-free nights OUT and about in the big city of Fairbanks!; and have some local adventure partners!)

* Learn to build / maintain a fire, dip the water, drive through ice fog, and get in and out of car with children in below zero temperatures.  (This is all part of the top priority, survival).

* Enjoy cozy Alaskan nights in front of the fire reading; playing boggle or bananagrams; drinking wine or hot chocolate; watching movies  … livin’ the life!

* Master a handful of YUMMY (and easy!) crock pot delights!

* Gather some great stories and live to tell the tales!

* My Moose Charge list is intentionally open-ended (ideas are welcome!), this is just the tip of the iceberg!  And, I am looking for partners in adventure, let’s plan your visit!




Anyone want to join me?

If you can’t get out of it, get into it!,


Bottom Line: This is GONNA be FUN!

**  In the spirit of recording great adventures and sharing them with others, I bet this Antarctica Year On Ice video is fascinating.

** In creating this list I stumbled across Patrick Endres Photography Blog, a-ma-zing Alaskan landscapes and WILDlife images


8 responses to “My Alaska Bucket (or Moose Charge) List

  1. I want to be the first to comment on this beautiful post. I’m still checking out all of the links, but Patrick Enders photography is beautiful….I would be happy to be just 1/100th as good as he is. The Antarctica Year on Ice was a neat video. And what a thrill to have seen Patch Adams…Did Alaskafella get to go to? Honestly most of us will never even have the opportunity to make a bucket list like yours…and I for one am jealous. Maybe I can do the short list when we come to visit (multiple times)! Hey, you put the invitation in your blog & we have met you…

  2. Helloooo Doll……. I LOVE your list (& the whole blog idea). I feel like we’re distant neighbors-getting a distance glimpse of your life(speaking of which, I did not think that was funny of the Fella to lock you out….boy humor…I tell ya!)…..the pictures of the girls are just too much! I love the one of Georgie & Luc checking out the view. So many things to do in Alaska, you’ve really put a lot of thought in your list. I love how you’re putting such a positive spin on your tour of duty-nice! Mark & I can’t wait to come up & hang out. Now that you’ve put such a list of “to-do’s” together, the hard part is figuring out what to DO with you guys. I love all of the opportunities. I must say, Bananagrams is high on the list as I, 1) like a nice fire, 2) like wine, 3) never have played Bananagrams (even though we have the game, it came without directions…yes, we’ve googled it, but haven’t gone any further). Please put us down for 2011 reservations..I think spring is the time to go? Love to you-the Fella & the Cubs.xoXo J&M
    P.s., Can one ever get enough of the song “Baby its cold outside”?? I’m hoping you haven’t had your fill of the little ditty. As with our visit to Bali (“Bali High”), Mark will be signing it endlessly during our visit! If the girls don’t know it, they will after our visit… ; )

  3. Love Love Love!!!

  4. A friend turned me on to your blog… thanks.

    I love the “list” …keep adding to it, it will only get better.

  5. Love your list and so wish I could help you cross some of those things off the list!!! Your list sounds like a dream to me…so exciting!

  6. This is the post I’ve been waiting to see! Now get to work because the blog posts that document this epic tale should be very entertaining.

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