Adventures below zero

Instead of traveling across country for a stressful trip we didn’t really want to take, my husband opted for a staycation the week of Thanksgiving. The temps happened to drop at the same time, but we didn’t let it slow us down. We started our staycation off with a beer tasting at The UAF Pub Annual 40 Below Beer Tasting. Most people know we have also been casually house shopping, since it’s winter and the market is not really ‘hopping.’ But surprisingly, we came across a house we decided to look at with our realtor that we loved.

Mid staycation, we took a couple of days and ventured off to try some of our wedding presents out, which included some great camping gear. I also got a great Osprey backpack at an REI garage sale that needed testing. So the 3.3 mile trek to the Angel Creek Lower Cabin was the perfect opportunity. We left the trailhead at a hovering 0 F and arrived at the cabin at -18 F. The cabin was 0 inside and we finally got the wood stove to warm us up to well into the 80s.

We tested out of camping meals, ate snacks, drank cocoa, and played games. I taught my husband how to play rummy and by the end of the night, he had beat me at my own game. The clear skies showed us no aurora, sadly, but there were more stars than I can even describe. I can tell you, we slept like crap on the platforms and I blame my toss and turn husband for that.

We awoke and make pancakes on the wood stove, enjoys eggs out of a bag, and tea in our camp cups. We packed out bags, refilled the wood box, and played a game of rummy before hitting the trail to trek out. As we headed out, we took in the crisp and quiet air while peering across the frozen creek. We set up the camera to snap a photo of us – our first cabin trip together. Somehow we managed to layer just right and stay warm the whole time. The trails were in good shape for needing only hiking boots, but weren’t ski ready yet – which would have allowed us to pull more gear behind us and less backpack on us. We enjoyed the sun peering onto Angel Rocks as we headed back. The trees and dead plants have frozen crystals and snow that had remained untouched. Over two days, the cold air kept away any signs of wildlife – not even a bird. We reached the trail head excited to enjoy our sandwiches for lunch. Much a great way to spend two days of our staycation!

spent a relaxing Thanksgiving making one dish to take over to a friends house and had a true Friends-giving, as they call it. We were, however, truly thankful for the friendships. We enjoyed great food, and pie (which of course is its own category), wine, and games before retiring for the night.

As staycation came to an end, we ended up making an offer on the house we looked at and fell in love with. We are now in escrow! Look at us – adulting and shit. Had we not opted for a staycation, we may not have found our soon to be home!

A How-To for Homemade Trail-mix

I recently discovered the joy of making my own trail mix! I’m still working with different ingredients, and the right mix of each, but it’s great having a trail mix you love and know you’ll eat all of!

To top, I add a similar mix to my morning oatmeal (usually dried berries such as cranberries or cherries, flax seed, walnuts and almonds).

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I started by hitting up the bulk section. My local grocery store has one, and we have an organic co-op that has a larger one. I picked out and bagged all of the things I wanted that just happened to be packed with the right nutrients that you need to keep going (see why this is double great?)

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Stick it in a gallon size bag and shake. Divide how you want in whatever containers you want. I like keeping it in the bag for traveling on the road, but also love using mason jars for smaller portions and to keep at my desk.

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So tell me, what goes in your trail mix?