Tuesday, December 20, 2011


 Merry Christmas
From our house to yours!

The Lodge is decorated for Christmas!

With all this new snow we have, we are expecting a banner snow machine season.
We went to Fairbanks to do some Christmas shopping and broke trail all the way.
Coming home, we once again had to break trail.  From 3 - 4 mile we were lead by 2 moose that I am sure believed the trail was theirs!  Finally they decided they would get off the trail and let us pass.  Past Rock Creek, once again, there were fresh moose tracks right down the old trail.  In High Valley, the wind had blown just enough to disguise our old tracks but not put giant drifts across the trail.  Once we crested the Maclaren Summit, we had to side hill about 20 feet, then it flattened out and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way in.

Alan plans on getting some grooming completed once it quits snowing.  The trail from Paxson to Maclaren will be groomed for the Christmas rush and then for the New Year's celebration.

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
Alan & Susie

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Maclaren Snow

We have been loving this warmer weather with all the snow.  The wind could stay away though. 
Since I last posted we have gotten about 2 feet of fresh snow.  The first foot of snow was blown around and then it warmed up and in one day we had....snow/sleet/rain/sleet/snow and topped that off with 25 mph wind.  What a slick mess that was! Alan did get out and groom a bit, only to have another snow storm come through with some more wind.
Yesterday it started snowing again and really dumped the snow on us, we got over a foot of the most beautiful snow you have ever seen!!!!! The warm weather put a nice crust on the snow and now with this fresh powder, WOW the riding will be awesome! 
Alan & Megan went out snow machining last night, went to the West Fork of the Maclaren, they were only gone for 45 minutes to an hour, no trail left on their way home......it was really snowing that hard, and a bit of wind (4-5 mph). 
Bandit and Jackson are loving this, they went out with Megan skiing.  Of course they put on 2 miles to her one. 

Several trail breakers for mushers are here, breaking trail for the dogs.  We have 3 teams coming in this morning to spend a couple of days training.  According to the trail breakers, they have been pushing snow all night long.  I bet they are exausted, but that is ok, I have a big pot of chili going and home made bread made.  They will not go hungry! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cold Thanksgiving

The temperatures are finally beginning to climb a bit.  When I came in the lodge this morning, it was already up to -7.  We are supposed to get a warming trend by Wednesday with a possible 40 degree rise in temperatures.......Yah, right!  If that happens we certainly hope we get a lot of snow with that!
                                                  Jackson on his -22 degree walk

                                                              Megan enjoying the winter

                                                          Frosty Bandit

Thanksgiving was pretty quiet, well at -30 we did not really expect a lot of folks to show.  Friday the temperatures here were clear up to +10 then dropped drastically back to -22 where it stayed until last night.  At least I will not have to cook for the next week (or two) because of all the leftovers. 

Alan has the trail groomed from Tangle Lakes to Maclaren, all those nasty wind drifts are gone now.


Friday, November 18, 2011

News from Maclaren

Sitting here in the Lodge, looking at the mountains glowing pink with the sunrise.  It is not windy today which is a good thing today since it is -30!  We rode in last night from Paxson and the "trail" is back to bare pavement from the wind.  Once we got past Tangle Lakes there was snow on the trail, however the drifts became a challenge.  Alan will be out grooming tomorrow to smooth out the trail and you can get fresh trail reports on the Denali Highway Trail Club facebook page. 
I just spent 15 days in West Virginia and went from +70 to -30, burrrrrr!  Only a 100 degree temperature change!  But from seeing the temps from around the state, we are apparently lucky it is not -54 like in Manley Hot Springs or -49 like in North Pole!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


The temperatures are beginning to drop to the winter level....today it is 0 degrees.  We have not gotten more snow, but the weather looks like we will get some more by the end of the weekend....let's just see how that works out!  As of now, the snow is deep enough to cover the old ruts and there is just a set of ruts in the Denali Highway.  A nice wind storm will fill these ruts in.  If there is one more good snowfall the Denali Highway will be closed.
 Although from Paxson the road is bare the wind can be terrible in the 9-15 mile area.  This year, the Denali Highway Trail Club has placed an Emergency Shelter at the pull out at 13 mile.  A place to get out of the wind for a bit and regroup physically and mentally or to us in an Emergency situation to "hole up" in through the storm.
We are so excited to see what the winter season holds. Winter is definitely our favorite time of year, and although it can be hard at times, there is something  special about this country and all the changes it goes through during the winter. Of coarse we're hoping for a good snow year, as that sure helps with the business.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Winter is really here!  This morning we are having 40 MPH winds and 35 degrees.  What this means is the 6 inches of nice fluffy snow we got yesterday is turning to mush. :(   People have been driving the Denali Highway (still), always pushing it to the limit.  The road is slick and rutted out from the traffic, and with a good foot of snow from 36 mile to 26 mile the wind is really going to play havoc.
Now that being said, We are the ones that are pushing it to the end. We still have our pickup in here and will be trying to get it out today.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Beginning of Winter

The quiet of the Maclaren Valley settles in.  A bit of snow on the ground here at the Lodge and more on the Maclaren Summit (about 8 inches or so).  It will not be long now that there will be enough snow to close the highway and then the winter fun begins! 
Today is the first day of the re-opening of caribou season, with only approximately 300 permits to be filled, this should go quickly.  Already there have been several vehicles on the Denali Highway, out for the last hunt of the season.