Reed Lakes to Bomber Pass

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Hold on to the center and make up your mind to rejoice in this paradise called life. – Lao Tzu

This weekend, paradise was: Adam waking up a little early and serving me a hot cup of coffee in my sleeping bag, while blue skies tried to poke through clouds overhead. And that night paradise was discovering our sleeping bag zippers synced up perfectly to make one big warm bag, while it started pouring rain and howling wind outside the tent.

We hiked to Upper Reed Lake Friday night, a generally easy and direct hike up-up-up into Hatcher Pass’ backcountry. There was only one other tent at the lake and we found a nice niche for our tent with plenty of room to spread out.

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I don’t run away from challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your foot. – Nadia Comaneci

The gnarliest part of this entire weekend (for me) was our push to Bomber Pass on Saturday. According to the internet and a guy on the trail, Bomber Pass is between 5,300 and 5,600′ high – not the highest elevation I’ve hiked to. But from Upper Reed Lake, the path to the top (and back down again) is a boulder scramble and that was completely new to me. This trip blog has the best image and information to describe the route. The climb up and down was definitely out of my experience level and challenged my comfort zone. I feel great about it now, but vaguely remember shaking and cursing a lot under my breath.

After a post-hike whiskey toddy and delicious backcountry taco dinner, we hopped into our tent and Adam set our sleeping bags up into one. It wasn’t a moment too soon – the wind picked up and it started pouring and rained throughout the night. We slept the better part of 12 hours in a warm and cozy tent… Life is good!

Glamping at Manitoba Cabin

Located an hour and a half south of Anchorage, Manitoba Cabin is a hike-in/ski-in cabin just 3/4 mile off of the Seward Highway. The main cabin is one floor, originally built in 1936 as a mining cabin, and renovated by the Alaska Huts Association in 2012. The cabin has a wood stove for heat, a standard four-burner stove for cooking, solar powered lights, all kitchenware, as well as books and games. There are two 16′ yurts for sleeping, each with 4 single bunks and 2 double bunks. Toba’s Yurt has a wood stove for heat and allows dogs, while the Spirit Walker Yurt has a propane heater and is pet free. (Copy from the Alaska Hut Association website)

Our friend Hannah is having a baby! Luckily, her family took care of a formal baby-shower on the east coast. We showered her with love and food at Manitoba Cabin. The short hike and luxurious back-country amenities made it a perfect destination for a woman with less than two weeks to her due date. It’s fair to say we’re all excited to go back with Baby once it makes a grand entrance.

Commuter Chronicles: Dress to Impress

I’ve blogged here and here about the #firstworldproblems I have finding the right outfits to meld bicycle commuting with my professional life. Obviously I’m making it work or I wouldn’t be riding my bicycle as frequently as I do.

But as the kids say, the struggle is real: I sweat, it rains, practical footwear, new bangs and a handful of other things are frequent hurdles to getting dressed and getting out on my bicycle. And so goes life as a bicycle commuter in the realm of business development and relationship building.

Alas! Progress has been made and I’m a little closer than ever to my utopian, athleisure, trendy, bicycle-friendly wardrobe!

Months ago, I backed the Vetta Capsule on Kickstarter. The collection’s entire being lies in it being sustainable fashion that can support any wardrobe, be worn a variety of ways and lend itself to an enduring style. No more reliance on fast fashion, seasonal trends or cheaply made clothing. This philosophy speaks to me and I happily backed at early-adopter prices for two key pieces: a blouse and tunic.

My tunic just arrived and I love it. It’s so soft and such a flattering cut.

Here’s why I love it from a bicycle commuter POV:

  • The arms/back/chest are well cut, and it’s not restrictive to lean over my handlebars.
  • It has generous slits up the side, so I can easily swing a leg over my bike seat.
  • Those same generous slits mean I can tie the tunic up around my waste and tuck it under my raincoat on a rainy day, instead of catching water in a little pool in my lap, as I’ve done before.

It’s wet and grey today and I took my new threads out for a tester spin, to and from a meeting about a mile from my office. No wet lap… No splatter… And thanks to the material, hardly a wrinkle from tying it up. Yes, yes and yes. Thank you, Vetta!