Thunder Mountain

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My favorite place on this Earth!  The bowl of Thunder Mountain always amazes me … this is the part you never ever see unless you are on top.  The vast expanse of wildness that is hidden from our view.  We are all familiar with the front view of the mountain, but only a few are lucky enough to explore the country that lies on top of and behind the face of one of Juneau’s most prominent landmarks!

Past photos of experiences of this mountain:

February snow shoe adventure –

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Thunder Mtn bowl and Heintzleman Ridge with sweet Glenn and Hannah –

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Waaaaayyy far back on Heintzleman Ridge with Geoff and Guy –

taking a quick break on Heintzleman Ridge

taking a quick break on Heintzleman Ridge

Geoff Roes, Guy Thibedeau, myself

Geoff Roes, Guy Thibedeau, myself

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And last but not least … one of Lee and I’s dating hiking trips of Thunder.  🙂

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Elephant for Scarlett

I knitted this little guy for our niece Scarlett for her b-day!  Scarlett (i.e. her Mom) loves elephants.  The pattern was “Bloomsbury Elephant” from Fluff and Fuzz etsy shop.

(insert advertisement:  I LOVE ETSY!!)

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Each piece was knitted flat then sewn together and stuffed … the little bow was my own creation! 🙂

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Happy Birthday Scarlett!

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Thunder Mtn & Steep Creek Winter Adventure

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3 friends and 2 dogs started out with the plan to only climb Thunder Mtn.  *Insert Lee’s comment at dinner:  “That is how all your runs start out.”  Yes, dear. *  Friend Jon informed us that he was not going to go back down the incredibly steep mountain and was instead going to drop down into the bowl of Thunder and come out Steep Creek and end on East Glacier trail … which would connect to the Under-Thunder trail which he/we would just run back to the Jennifer Drive trailhead where we started.  Easy-peasy.  Hmmm… friend Houston called up the person he was supposed to meet at noon and took a “sun-check” and rescheduled his meeting for a rainy day (another reason why I love Juneau so much – it is perfectly acceptable to reschedule plans simply because the sun is shining and you want to be up a mountain.) and all of us went into the bowl after Jon for another amazing adventure in amazing snow with the amazing sunshine above us.   🙂

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Thunder Mtn and Heintzleman Ridge might be my most favorite place in all of Juneau.  I have had so many good hikes and runs in this area, both by myself and with lots of fun people.

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Neka can be incredibly un-photogenic: a good pic none-the-less.

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Foggy Sunday Afternoon

It has been strangely foggy in town for the past 3 days … the planes have been unable to land for 3 days, that is how thick the pea soup has been.

We went for a walk out at Auc Rec Sunday afternoon to try to find the sun, you could see it shining above the white haze and occasionally you would see a patch of blue sky.  At first it was super foggy on the beach then the sun finally started to burn though, it view was breath-taking and awesome.

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Sun is starting to shine through:

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a panoramic view of Auc Rec:

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We hit the beach at a moderately low tide, a good day for sea glass!

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Thanksgiving and Christmas

Thanksgiving and Christmas …

Thanksgiving was spent with my family in Pennsylvania, a sweet time of reunion!

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Aaron & Kate, Sarah (“Zimm” an amazing friend from college), me & Lee, Mimi Helen, Adrienne and Andres – the newest member of the family!  Adrienne and Andres got engaged right after Thanksgiving!  🙂

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Christmas … a very relaxed holiday and fun time with friends and loved ones.  Lee and I did our Christmas together Christmas Eve, then got together with Shawn and Rachel and kids Christmas Day for a sourdough brunch.  Later that evening, we joined up with friends from church for dinner.

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Neka knows she has presents in her stocking and she wants them SO bad, she kept starring at them and then looking at us, waiting patiently for them.  🙂

We tried a continuous picture shoot with the camera to try to get a good family photo.  The sequence of photos is hilarious:

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… we tried a Christmas kiss, Neka decided she wanted in on the kiss too!

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… Happy New Year’s from the Phelps!

 

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Winter Is Here!

Pretty much the first snow of the year was a full blown winter storm! 10 – 14 inches!

I had the day off today so I stayed put and enjoyed the snow.  Neka did not like the snow … she absolutely LOVED the snow!  She went out by herself and played for over an hour first thing this morning.  🙂  After lunch we went out to play … she was so excited that she kept biting at my snow boots.  Still not sure if she was trying to help me or hurry me along.  🙂

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Finally outside, she ran and dug and ran and dug and ran and dug her ball out of the snow over and over again …

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Snow on the fence posts …

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Lee’s truck …

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Home Sweet Home …

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Cow parsnips with a crown of snow …

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and more pictures of Neka … sweet, crazy kid!

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The man and his best friend …

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Fiddlehead Mittens

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I finally finished this beautiful pair of mittens last weekend and this week got to learn the semi-stressful process of felting.   The finished mittens were about 16 inches long.   I sent them through 2 full cycles of a hot water wash and then the dryer.  I read and read and read the how-to’s of felting and all the articles ended with “Felting is irreversible, there is no way possible to undo the shrinkage.”  Yikes!  Pressure was on to make theses mittens wearable and functional with the goal of NOT making baby mittens!

These mittens turned out great!  They are thick and warm, perfect with a pair of liner gloves underneath.

The mittens worked up pretty fast.  I used Paton’s wool for the grey color and Cascade Heathers 220 for the green color.  I misread the pattern the first time around and it was not til after the thumb gusset that I realized my mistake … the mitten was turning out huge by knitting each round twice instead of once:

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I had a 20-hour ferry ride to tear out the wrong mitten and restart.  I actually made one complete mitten during the entire moose hunt and subsequent ferry rides.   I took a bit longer to knock out the second one, but as I said before they knit up pretty fast.

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Fiddlehead ferns are a hardy plant that grows well in Southeast, the pattern was a fun one to see evolve.

Ravelry has the complete pattern:  Fiddlehead Mittens by Adrian Bizilia.  Many people have made these mittens in a huge variety of colors.  It was an easy pattern to follow, just remember only to knit each round ONCE!

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