Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hilltop and Goose Lake

Last Sunday we went skiing for the first time at Hilltop Ski Area (#25 on the list). It is just about 3 miles away from our condo, but it is an easy and smaller ski area. There are maybe 3-4 runs all parallel to each other, but it is a good place to get your feet under you. We were practicing and getting ready for our soon to be trip to Alyeska (the major ski resort in the area).

We had a lot of fun, and did really well in my opinion. I only fell a few times, mostly from cutting my corners to sharply, but never when I was moving real fast. Rebekah fell once, but she was going pretty fast. It was her first attempt at the black diamond and her skis got tangled up and she went flying. But, she got it on the next attempt.

Earlier today we did the Polar Bear Plunge in Goose Lake (new item #95) to raise money for Special Olympics Alaska. In order to jump you have to raise $100 each (Thanks to all those who donated to help us raise money!).

It was about 4 degrees outside, and we stripped down to our bathing suits (the girls also wore pajama pants and a t-shirt).

They cut a hole in the ice of Goose Lake so you could jump into the 32 degree water.

The water is only about 4 feet deep, and there are divers and paramedics standing by in case anyone needs them. When you hit the water it knocks the breath out of you for a few seconds.

There are two ladders to help you climb out of the water, but Rebekah didn't want to wait and just heaved herself out! The water is 24 degrees warmer then the air, so other than taking your breath away it really wasn't that cold while in the is when you get out of the water that you are freezing!

Afterwards you run up the shore to get in the hot tubs and to recover. It was a lot of fun and we got interviewed by the Anchorage Daily News, so we might be in the paper tomorrow!

And of course the main reason to do this is because it helps a good cause. In total there were over 300 plungers and they raised over $85,000 in their first annual event. Next year we are planning on going down to Seward and doing the Polar Bear Plunge into the ocean (it is colder since it is salt water). That event is run by Relay for Life, and in order to participate for that one you have to raise $750.

Hope everyone has a great Holiday Season!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sledding on Flat Top

Just the other weekend, we decided to go sledding up on Flattop (new item #96). First, we needed a sled. We ended up finding an inflatable inner tube that has some handles (that you can use to hold on to for dear life!). We thought that it would be PERFECT for sledding, and it was! Then, we set out on our adventure. Here is Steven, posing with our sled and the warm and cozy winter hat from his Mom.

If you remember, we hiked up Flattop back in the summer. Do not get confused- we did not make the loooong hike all the way to the top. We walked up the steep trail for about 10 minutes and we happened upon a very nice hill that was perfect for our sledding adventures! At the bottom of the hill (before you get to the trees) was a lot of fluffy, deep snow. Perfect for stopping your sled before you crash into the scraggly Alaskan pine trees. Then we got to sledding! Here I am riding down the hill on Brittany and Jason's sled...

After a little while of sledding, Steven decided to get creative. He built a "jump". He was thinking that when he would hit the jump on your sled, you would fly into the air and have so much more fun. Unfortunately, he could not get the snow packed down enough on the jump and each time the sled would hit it, a bunch of snow would fly into your face. Good thing Jason brought some ski goggles!!! Here is a picture of Steven narrowly missing the pine trees.

Finally, here I am riding the sled. As you can tell I am a little airborne!!! Oh my! The inner tube sled was scary because it would spin around while we were riding on it. Then, we were not able to see where we were going.

Here is a picture of us at the end of the adventure! We are alive! We were also able to see Denali from up on the mountain! I tried to take a picture, but it didn't come out very well. Oh well!!