Architectural Bike Tour, Downtown Anchorage 

Bike Anchorage hosted an architectural tour of downtown Anchorage. I met Jon and  Clark at Westchester Lagoon, had a popsicle and an IZZE grapefruit soda (note: I’ll never drink another one – I prefer La Croix waters). While waiting for the ride to start, I was adored by a Vizsla that wanted to stand by me and give me kisses and hugs (hugging my knees).  I’ve had Vizslas on my “dog wish list” on Pinterest for a while, as I find them adorable and loving and the perfect size for an outside, active, dog. This definitely has me more persuaded to get one in the future (hopefully a rescue).

The ride was interesting in that I saw new buildings I’ve never, ever seen before – some with and some without, interesting architecture. Government Hill was probably the best part of the ride, in regards to interesting buildings and old-time Anchorage buildings.  There’s so much history up there and the shake-shingle house that I’ve always loved still looks fabulous.  I enjoyed living up there through college, but after riding through that area last night, I found that it smelled like diesel fuel and I’m not sure I would want to smell that day-in and day-out. It can’t be healthy for the body, either.

Afterwards, we stopped for dinner and margaritas and palmoas at La Cabana. The palmoas were way better than the margaritas and I think I’m going to avoid that pre-made margarita mix for the remainder of my life and only order a paloma when I’m at a Mexican eatery.

I ended up riding almost 30 miles last night, 27.33 to be exact, then got home and walked the dogs.  It was a great night of sunshine, bikes, drinks and friends. What could be better?


4th of July. Seward, Alaska. Mount Marathon Runners and Just Enough Rain to Cool the Joint Down

The day started rainy  and gloomy which is perfect weather for the Mount Marathon racers. And there were records broken this year because  the Europeans kicked ass in the men and women’s races — breaking both previous records.

This year Luke Jager won the juniors race — we missed him coming down but we did see Brian Durr who broke his own record.

brian beat his own record !
muddy bottoms

After the juniors, we headed back to the cabin and chilled the rest of the day, reading books, editing video and talking with Genevieve. This also included which included eating  s’mores, lots of otter pops, beach walks, biking through Lowell Point and kite flying in the rain! Yes, it was windy enough to fly in the rain.

beach detritus
baby sea urchin found by Genevieve
my sea kelp art – it keeps the tourists off the logs
rainy daisies
Lowell Point and the Giant and the clean sewage pond.

Read about the stinkiness on the Seward Paper’s website.

Lowell Point volunteer fire department: BINGO!
yearly photo of my bike by the Lowell Point VFD
Ken’s 4th of July fancy kabob, corn-on-the-cob and salad.
T, R & Vieve: we talked like hillbillies the whole night and had massive amounts of laughs.
Jumping at a super low tide
Genevieve found her largest sea shell ever
4th of July salute

Friday. Seward. 

We missed the horrible traffic accident which put a damper on the beginning of the weekend.  I’m so thankful it wasn’t anybody we knew and that we were all safe and sound in Seward.

The day started out warm and gorgeous just like Thursday so we kept up hanging  outside and working on our tans.

We met Corrine for coffee / tea at 3pm at resurection art and coffee house and  downtown Seward was already hopping with gobs of runners and tourists. I’m glad we rode or bikes because parking was already getting dufficult.

After chatting with Corrine we stopped off for a few gallons of water at Safeway, and for one quick beer at Chinooks.

When we got home we were covered with dust and grit from riding bikes on Lowell Point Road twice. We were both so gritty that I kind of dared Jon  to jump in the ocean. I’m not sure what the temperature was outside but it was probably closer to 80°f and the ocean water was warmer than the fresh water coming from the creeks. Just when we thought nobody had seen us, people came down to ask where we were from and how the water was. Lol. Apparently they watched our freezing dip in Resurrection Bay.

Genevieve recorded us but she was laughing so hard that the video mostly points at the ground and all you can hear is her laughing and the waves.

organic coffee on the beach
Bentley getting ready to kill the frisbee
Bentley expecting us to cater to his old bones and we did
warm salt water
beautiful starfish
kelp in the morning sunshine
the starfish Genevieve collected
the beat up frisbee held the starfish
flying kites in pajamas
ready to ride
a bike older than two generations
my artist friend Corrine
resurrect art
10+ bike miles

Madeleine was off on her own adventure for the fourth of July, so we repeated fun stuff we used to do just with her as her five years as an only child but instead with Genevieve.

Thursday. Seward. 💖  4th of July weekend 

I adore being in Seward. I’ve created friendships down there, know the places to hike and eat, and always love a long walk on the beach at low tide. 

We left anchorage around 3:45 and arrived down in Seward around 6pm. We tried eating at Steve’s but it was slammed so we went down to Apollos and had a great pizza. 

The weather was beyond perfect and we missed the most of the traffic. 

dinner at apollos
new gorgeous cork floors
cork and bamboo upstairs and downstairs
sun and love at first step on the beach
skipping rocks on South Beach
Jon is a master
hippies with daisies
recreation of a shot i made with madeleine about 11 years ago
whimpy bike ride
south beach love
kelp hair

Little Free Library from Pay it Forward Anchorage

On Friday, I was shocked with a brand new Purple Door Little Free Library. It’s gorgeous. It’s HEAVY — the base of the new LFL is at least 200 pound of steel with reinforced concrete. And it has flower boxes. I’m so in love with it! She’s so beautiful. And, sadly, chained to my mailbox.

The back story can be found in my previous post about my LFL being stolen, thrown in the dumpster and then finding a note in my mailbox which forced me to chase just-emptied dumpsters to no avail.

On a very momentous Friday night, Jon and I were headed out for a Friday night bike & bear ride. He was late and I wasn’t too happy about it because Resolution Brewing Co. only stays open until 8pm and getting home at 6pm, then riding over there really cuts off the time we can taste the new beers on tap.

As I was waiting for him to get organized, I looked out the front window and saw about five or six cars come screaming down Shamrock Street then stopped on the opposite side of the street, all facing south. Then a huge truck and trailer pulled up and blocked my entire driveway. Everybody got out of their cars and walked towards the trailer. I was a little freaked out and ran outside. The first thing I saw was Rachel’s cute little puppy and her gorgeous daughter.

Rachel had tears in her eyes … I asked if she was OK and then it all happened so FAST: the stand came out, the top came out, they bolted everything together, planted flowers and loaded me up with boxes and bags of books.

It all happened so fast and it was a little mind blowing but fabulous! It was so beautiful to have that much love coming from all of them — people I didn’t know, other than Rachel and her family.

IMG_3215 IMG_3219 IMG_3230-2 IMG_3231 IMG_3232-2  IMG_3237 small for internet sharing-2-2 small for internet sharing-2-3

Our first book delivery arrived on this kick ass Vespa :) More book love from Mountain View!

small for internet sharing-2

KTVA did come visit and showed a quick blurb about it on their station – Saturday or Sunday, I’m not sure which, but I cannot find any video of it. The story was a “feel good story” about me being back in business. It was pretty neat because Jacquie, the reporter, was in on the entire Pay it Forward building of the new LFL.  It really was a very awesome community love project. There’s nothing but good vibes from this library!

If you’re looking to find a LFL in your neck of the woods, check out the very cool map that’s found on the website for LFLs. Spread the literacy love with free books: take one, leave one! 

Yes, I did get some beer that night, too: Resolution’s second batch of amazing coffee porter. If you missed it, I feel sorry for you. Amazing!


Purple Door Free Little Library / Stolen / Redeemed and Getting Reinstalled

We installed the Purple Door Little Free Library on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11th, 2015.

Sadly, after months of working on our Little Free Library, setting up the charter account, getting the neighborhood involved and getting everything in place, our Little Free Library was stolen Friday night between 11pm and 6:30am June 5th – 6th, 2015 (Friday/Saturday). The thieves took the huge stump that the library was bolted onto, which was from a neighbor’s old 30+ year tree that was removed, every single book and the entire library!

I received gobs of media attention: KTVA, KTUU, Alaska Dispatch News and the many radio stations picked it up for Monday morning news. There was also some National attention and Twitter about this awful thievery. I put an advert on Craigslist as well and had some lovely responses to it – but no good hook-ups to collect donations from those who were so invested in helping after seeing the news.

Lemons out of Lemonade:  

Monday 6/8/15, I received a telephone call from an older man whose mother read my story in the newspaper on Monday morning. She had a library that she wanted to donate to me. Her husband started it three or four years ago, but he died and did not get to finish it, so she wanted to donate it to us because she knew we could complete the roof and put it to use. She’s 92! How awesome is Anchorage! I just love it!

The saga continued with friends reaching out from all over the USA! I received lots of love and support from the Little Free Library Stewards Facebook page, including lots of books from all over the USA.

Thursday night 6/11/15: we received a somewhat anonymous letter (in that nobody can find this person’s name anywhere in Alaska) stuck in one part of our mailbox.

Little Free Library Stewards

Letter about our stolen Free Little LIbrary

The worst part about this: we didn’t know which dumpster and the dumpsters we did check were all cleaned out Friday :(  Therefore, it’s believed that our Purple Door Little Free Library is in the Anchorage Municipal Landfill so we will never see it again. BOO!

I’ve spend a few miles riding around the neighborhood talking to the gangs of kids walking and playing in the parks, trying to find out who Zoe Brayloke is, but there is not one single kid in our entire neighborhood who knows her, or will fess up to knowing her. In the end, it doesn’t matter because she was kind enough to leave us a letter so we know the library was thrown in the dumpster.

Saturday, 6/13/15: I received a package of children’s books from the Little Free Library on Olive Road.  Great books and very nice donation to our new library.

Little Free Library on Olive Rd
Little Free Library on Olive Rd
Little Free Library on Olive Rd
Little Free Library on Olive Rd
Little Free Library on Olive Rd
Little Free Library on Olive Rd


On Saturday 6/13/15, Madeleine and I finished up moving the mailbox and grass and creating a wonderful concrete pad for new, upcoming, Little Free Library installation.  At this point we need to figure out a way to secure it so it won’t be stolen again, keep it safer than last time and possibly make it known that it is under good coverage with cameras.

Yes, I am discouraged by the loss of my Purple Door Library, especially given that it meant so much to me, but I am not letting those jerks win.  I’ll keep installing and reinstalling libraries if I have to.

The next thieves should be aware of the hidden cameras in our neighborhood now … not just my house, but the many other neighbor’s as well. This thievery has really pushed buttons with our neighbors.

But the Little Free Library wins!!