5 Years of Alaska

As of last Friday, we have lived in Alaska for five years. So crazy! One of the reasons I love blogging so much – it is so neat to look back on where I was. I found this post that I wrote days after we moved here when I was having a rough time.  We didn’t know a single soul before moving here. We didn’t know what Alaska was like at all, having never visited before moving day. We lived in (thankfully very normal and amazing) strangers basement for 3.5 months with our 10 month old before we found a place of our own. It was so ridiculously crazy and maybe even slightly stupid on our part. But it all worked out for the better and truthfully, I am so glad we made the crazy decision to move here. I thought I would do a little reflection on (some of) my favorite places and memories from living in Alaska the last 5 years. So grateful I get to live in this beautiful adventurous outdoor state!!

Ice Climbing on the Matanuska Glacier.  When my dad visited this past summer we made a spur of the moment decision to go ice climbing. I thank my dad for his adventure, because I probably wouldn’t have done this on my own. It was amazingly beautiful and crazy cool. (That picture of the glacier is no filter – taken straight from my iphone.) We walked all around the glacier and learned how to ice climb. If you’re interested, we used Mica Guides and I would highly recommend them.

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And then after ice climbing we went on a zip line – this one. My first zip line, so fun!!

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Eklutna Lake:: One of my favorite places. Winter or summer it is amazing.

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So how does Oregon (where I’m from) compare to Alaska? Well…. it’s hard to compare them, really. Because they are both so beautiful and wonderful! When we were visiting family in Oregon last week I kept saying, “wow this is so pretty.” There is so much green. Then when I got back to Alaska I found myself saying the same thing. They are both really beautiful states, just a little different I guess. Alaska has more mountains, Oregon has more trees. One thing I will say is that in Oregon it rains a lot. I actually love the rain, however I have learned that with having kids it’s harder to go out in the rain than it is the cold or snow. In the rain, you get wet. If it’s snowing or cold, you just put on warm snow gear.

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I would say the main thing – and probably one of the only things – I don’t like about living in Alaska is that I have to take a plane to go anywhere. I wish I could drive 5 hours to grandma’s house or to another state. We have no family here. Sometimes I feel stuck. Traveling by plane is not cheap or easy. Honestly that is really my only complaint. I love the weather for the most part,  the summers are WAY amazing, oh the summers….the best. I love the snow, I love all the outdoor things there are to do here.  In the summer my family and I hike, climb, walk, run, bike, park visit, camping, fish, hunt … in the winter we downhill ski, ice skate, cross country ski, sled, hike, snow shoe, snow machine if we’re lucky enough to borrow one, ice fish…. so.much.fun.  The outdoor family community here is fantastic.

This was last winter when Lucas and I went up the chairlift for the first time! I was so proud of him, he did such a great job speeding down the mountain. I love this little ski mountain – Hilltop Ski-  it’s just up the road from our house.  This year I am going to get both kids on downhill skis. I also want to start doing cross country skiing with them, because that’s free! 🙂

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Sometimes I still can’t believe I live here. Overall we really love it here and are happy to call it home!

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

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