Saturday, October 20, 2012

Closing For a Break

Well the time has arrived for us to be closing down for a couple of months.
The winter sunrises are beautiful, as always. The new snow quiets and smooths the landscape. 
This has been quiet a challenge for us since this has never been attempted before.  Things you have to think about!  Besides the main things like blowing out water lines, setting up a Caretakers Cottage, Packing what stuff you will need for a couple of months....There is the make sure everything is off the floor incase rodents get in..make sure no canned or bottled goods are left behind or they will explode (includes beer and wine).  Down to the little mayo packets on the tables, freezing will seperate mayo and it cannot be used afterward.  Cleaning supplies, tons of them in spray cans!  Make sure all the sheets and blankets are washed and put up.  Having all the wood hauled in, cut up and stacked for the reopening in February. 
Everything you would do to close your house only Quadrupled!!!!
As most everyone already knows, our email has changed to:
and our phone number has changed to:
(907) 269-4370
While we are out, we will be house sitting a place in Fairbanks.
Alan will be back in a truck for a couple of months and I will be working on the computer and keeping in touch with everyone. 
While in Fairbanks our phone number will be
(907) 322-6632 
When we reopen in February for the Denali Doubles Sled Dog Race.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012


The season is winding down quickly.  Hunting season is over and hopefully the terrible wind storms and more rain are done for a bit.  The flooding did very little if any damage.  The roof has been put back on the Fox Den between wind storms!
All the staff is leaving this week.  Belynda heads out next weekend.
Bre and Meg head to Anchorage on Thursday, from there they are going to check Hawaii (Maui) out.  Who knows where they will go from there?
They have scrubbed the lodge down from top to bottom, all the rooms and cabins have been "super" cleaned and things are ready to pack up.  
Our new Caretaker, Matt will arrive this weekend. 
October will be a work month.  Our firewood has been delivered and the buildings need to be shut down one by one.  Winter clean up of the property, prepare snowmachines, leaving everything set up for the reopening the 1st part of Feb.
We will still be on line, just like always, and will be taking reservations for this spring and next summer.  The phone number will be transfered to our cell phone so we will always be in touch!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fall has arrived in the Maclaren Valley

Along with hunting season and the horses!

And Alan now is a Sport Pilot
His pride and joy!
The season is winding down quickly around here.  Hunting season is in full swing, hunters everywhere!  It is great to see so many friends again.  the weather has been a bit on the chilly side, and rainy.  Today it is clearing and looking like a beautiful day!
Wow the summer went fast!  Thank you to our Great Staff for a job well done!
Just a couple of more weeks and the season will wind down and each will go their own way.  But they will always have this experience of working the summer at Maclaren River Lodge! 
This year, we will be closing down the lodge for the "slow" months.
November, December and January.  We will have a caretaker here to cover everything.  Matt is a wonderful and very capable person...after working the summer season is looking forward to some solitude! 
We will still be around...and keeping everyone up to date.
Susie & Alan

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The summer here at Maclaren is rolling right along.
We are still serving Princess buses for lunch and have plenty of groups that have choosen us for their camping needs.  It is hard to believe hunting season starts this week!  The "summer" has gone by quickly.  I believe we had maybe 10 days of warm weather, the rest is rain and rain and thunderstorms, showers, and just chilly!
Even with the uncooperative weather this summer, the crew here has carried on with stellar performance!


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Start of a new season!
Spring is here and the snow is finally melting.
The Maclaren River finally broke open on the 17th of May.
Now we are in full swing with the Princess/Holland America Tours for lunch.
Our staff decided we would have an impromptu pizza party!
Our wonderful Staff this year consists of:
Megan, our one year Veteran of Lodge work.
Breanne, our Newby, she has been here for a whole week.
Emily, our youngest member is here making some money because she is preparing for her student exchange to Italy in the fall!  How exciting is that!
Belynda, she is a cleaning wiz as well as our "cheerleader". 
All of us are looking forward to a great summer season.

                                   Meg, Bre, Emily & Susie

                                     Meg, Belynda, Emily & Susie

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ride of your Life

Never Ending Fields of Powder!

Everyone that is out riding has found that no matter where you go, no matter how many people you think has already been there:  you can still find unendless fields of the perfect powder for riding. The snow has the perfect base.  As you can see in the photo, they are riding on 10 feet or more of snow. 
Although the temperatures have been chilly in the morning, afternoons are perfect for riding.  Just stay out of the avalanche zones.  The experienced riders are avoiding the mountains this year.  There is plenty of riding without putting anyone's life in danger on the heavy loaded mountains!

“Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their carvings.”
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Time for Spring!

Top of the Drift!

Snow, Snow & more Snow

Looks like it is time for Spring Riding around here!
The snow keeps piling up and laying in folds of white.
Snow machine tracks criss cross the fields of white from the early riders.
Time for Spring Break and the fun begins, there will be riders out everywhere and the occasional dog musher.  Most of the mushers right now are concentrated on the Iditarod. 
Be aware of the moose on the trails.  Moose are having a rough time this year with the amount of snow we have.  They like to be in the trail because it is much easier going for them and at times refuse to give up the trail for the snow machines and mushers.  We have had a couple of incidents already, so just be cautious!
Another danger is avalanche areas!  All this snow is piled layer upon layer creating the perfect scenario for disaster!  Be careful and pay attention to potential avalanche areas.
Trails are being groomed and prepared for influx of riders.
Keep the white below you the blue above you and all the goodies in the middle!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


It is hard to believe it is already the middle of February. Wow, time is flying by. We have gotten past the extreme cold spell, so glad about that. This winter we have had more wind than ever, certainly more than we are used to. It seems every time Alan went out in the groomer, a blizzard would hit and be blowing the trail in behind him. It has been frustrating to say the least. I am not talking about mild little breezes, I am talking about 30 + mph winds. We have plenty of snow which usually softens the landscape rounding out the landscape, but the wind has created harsh edges on the winter landscape.
Now the temperatures are moderate, in the 20's. Last night was the first night that we have had really nice Aurora here, lately it has been too cloudy for us to see them. Even as I strolled around the lodge this morning the lights were still glowing faintly in the star filled sky. Standing outside in the early morning, breathing in the crisp clean air, watching the aurora and sipping a nice cup of is good.
Alpine Glow on the Alaska Range

Sunset over the Maclaren Valley

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Video Clip

Check out the movie clip Alan has made! 
Things have been quiet around here due to the extreme cold weather we have been having.  We have gone from snow, snow, snow to cold, cold, cold!
Having the cold weather sure has made for some beautiful clear days and crystal nights.
The temperatures are beginning to climb a bit today, all the way up to -6 already today!  Clouds are moving in and looks like we might get a bit more snow. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Alaska Weather!

Wow, the weather here has really kept us on our toes this year!  Warm temperatures with a ton of snow, to high winds, to beautiful blue bird days!  Then the temperatures will drop to -39 and immediately climb back to 0. 
We have been digging out, grooming like crazy to turn around and do it all over again.

Here is the latest from the Denali Highway Trail Club:

Hello Everyone,
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. We had a nice quite Christmas and a great New Years with plenty of fireworks, bonfire and lots of good friends.
The groomer has been up and running since late Nov, aand is running like a charm. which is a good thing since we have had our work cut out for us this year.
We are getting more snow out here on the Denali Hwy, then I’ve seen in 11 years. I am loving it.
However with the great snow year that we’re having, we are also getting a lot of wind. Which makes it pretty difficult to keep up with the trails.
80 miles of the Denali Hwy have been groomed at least once, and some of it has been groomed twice to three times.
We have not gone past the Su bridge at 80 mile because the construction crew that is cleaning up the F-22 crash site will be coming in to the Su on the 16th of Jan. As soon as they are done, I will be heading that way to groom that section as well.
Maclaren River Road Trail is in, as well as Seven Mile Lake Trail.
We have received a lot of fresh snow and wind since these two trails were groomed so they will have some drifting on them.
The Maclaren River Trail has some water crossings that you should be looking for but these will all be marked this week.
Seven Mile Trail also has a small water crossing that will be marked as well.
If you are coming in from the Paxson side of the Denali Hwy, we now have a shelter building on top of 13 mile hill. Everyone is welcome to use it to get out of the wind or just warm up for a minute. There is NO heat in this building, just a place to get out of the wind.

For those of you that want to keep up with what’s going on with the Denali Hwy Trail Club, look us up and like us on Facebook. We are adding more pictures and info all the time on there.
Also the Denali Hwy Trail Club is looking for a volunteer to keep up with all of the membership dues each year. I know some of you have asked and we really need a better system for keeping track of this. Anyone interested in helping, please contact Alan at or 907-822-5444

If you own a snowmachine, you really need to make an effort to get out this year and play. The snow really is FANTASTIC!!!!

Remember, please be careful and look out for each other.

Alan Echols

Sunday, January 1, 2012


We had a wonderful time welcoming in the New Year.
2012 is gonna be great and we look forward to good things to come.

We spent the evening with good friends and a really hot bonfire. 
 The temperature was -5 and no wind,
perfect for a bonfire and champange toast at midnight
with fireworks over the valley. 
 Ahh, it just doesn't get better than this!

 A rare shot of the mountains, it has been cloudy and snowy almost every day.
Shadow Dogs...Heidi was able to get this photo when she came in over the holidays.