Thursday, December 12, 2013

P90X Update...

For those of you who care, I just want to post a quick update on my P90X workout status. I'm in week 4, or the 'recovery' week of the first phase and feel amazing! My endurance is at an all time high and I feel a lot stronger, and can definitely tell during each workout that I'm getting stronger. This week has been kind of a flub though. The last workout I did was Sunday. The reason is because my knee has been hurting a bit and I've decided to take it easy a few days since it's the 'recovery' week, which is just a more toned down week of workouts. Lots of yoga, stretching, and a bit of cardio. It's feeling a lot better so I plan on picking back up on the workouts tomorrow. These non-workout days haven't been wasted though... I've hiked out to the ice caves twice (as you know from the previous post) and did some light yoga and stretching on my own.

I'll post another update as the weeks progress!

Back to the Ice Cave

Since Mendenhall Lake is nice and frozen and somewhat 'safe' for venturing across, a few friends and I decided to hike out to the ice caves both Monday and Tuesday. The ice cave, known as Brown's Ice Cave, has been there for a number of years, and let me tell you... it is surreal how amazing it is in there. There is some risk involved, especially getting to it from walking across the frozen lake. When there's snow and ice on the ground, walking across the lake is certainly the safer option compared to hiking West Glacier Trail to the cave.

That trail is pretty gnarly in the summertime, and trying to navigate it covered in snow and ice is super risky. I suppose if you had ice cleats, rope, a harness, and ice pick, and a crew of knowledgeable fellow hikers it wouldn't be that bad, but that gear is a bit pricey. I'll take my chances crossing the lake :)

Once in the cave, there's the risk of it collapsing under it's own weight at any moment. The way I see it, if it's been there for years and years, and it happens to collapse the very moment in time that I decide to explore it's glory, then it must just be my time to journey into the afterlife. No doubt that one day it will eventually collapse, I just hope no poor soul is in there when it happens. It is without a doubt one of the earth's most beautiful places. Being under a glacier, surrounded by ancient ice is something most people only dream of experiencing. The brilliant blue glow of the cave is almost hypnotizing... the energy of that cave can't be put into words.

I'm super thankful to have ventured into the cave three times now, and walked out alive and happy. The snow is almost too deep to make it out there again until summer, but you better believe I'll be back.

Here are a few photos from that adventure. You can see the entire album HERE on my Facebook page.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Sandy Sunrise

Dustin left for work a little after 7 this morning, so I decided to get up and take a stroll down to Sandy Beach to catch the sunrise since it was a clear morning. Man oh man am I glad I did! It was SO beautiful. One of the most beautiful sunrises I've EVER seen. I'm not real sure what time this happened. I know I started walking towards the beach around 8, and the colors really started popping a few minutes after I got down there. The colors didn't last long though. 5-10 minutes at the most, then faded to a dull orange. After I got a few photos and I couldn't feel my fingers anymore, I headed back home. 

Raw Berry 'Cheesecake'

So I was browsing raw food recipes the other day and stumbled upon this gem: Raw Cashew Dreamcake

It looks like a cheesecake. It tastes like a cheesecake. But it's totally healthy and best of all, it's RAW, which means all those good enzymes and vitamins from the ingredients don't get destroyed from being exposed to heat. If you're not familiar with raw food, do a little research. Ever since I came across my first raw food website I've been hooked ever since, trying different recipes and trying to incorporate more raw foods into my diet. Going on a 100% raw food diet will cure practically any disease, illness, even cancer with time. It's the way nature intended on humans to get nutrients. 

Anyways, I can go on and on about how awesome a raw food diet is, but I'll let you discover that on your own. I would love to be able to go 100% raw, but it's something you have to incorporate over time. Most people who jump in head first never stick with it. There are plenty of foods that I would miss (hello, mac and cheese?!), so right now I'm just trying to eat as much raw food as possible and leave it at that! :)

Here is the recipe for my raw 'cheesecake' that I made last night!

To make the crust:
  • 1/2 cup pecans (you can use almonds or walnuts as well)
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • pinch of sea salt
Add all ingredients into a high speed blender (I used my Ninja, but a Vitamix or Blendtec is recommended) and blend until it's combined well and sticky enough that you can make a little ball and it won't fall apart. I soaked my dates for about an hour to soften them up for better blending.
Press the crust into a pie pan.
I had to use an oval dish because I still have my raw pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving!

It should look like this:

To make the filling:
  • 1 1/2 cup cashews 
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/3 cup raw coconut oil, melted
  • 1 whole vanilla bean or 1 tbs pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup berries of choice
Combine all ingredients except the berries into a blender and blend until very smooth. I soaked my cashews overnight for better blending. 
Pour about 2/3 of the mixture into the crust and smooth it out with a spatula. 
Add the berries to the remaining 1/3 of the cashew filling and blend until smooth. You can use any type of berries you like. I used strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

Pour berry mixture onto first layer of filling. 

Place in freezer until solid. It took mine about 2 hours. 

Let it set out a few minutes to soften a bit before slicing (heating a knife under hot water helps with slicing).

Store any leftovers in the freezer.

Enjoy your healthy, nutritious 'dessert'! 

Soaked cashews ready for blending. Don't forget to drain before blending!

Lemon gettin' juicy!

Vanilla bean cut up, ready for blending

Coconut oil is amazing!

I used this, but raw honey is ideal.

All blended up!

'Cheesecake' layer

Berry layer

Before going in the freezer.

After 2 hours in the freezer

Final product! Yum Yum!!

Well guys, there you have it. This is how I made mine. It's so easy and SO good.

I have no clue on the nutritional info, but as you can see, there's nothing unhealthy in this dessert. If you have a nut allergy, then this is definitely not for you! It's dairy free, raw, and could easily be make vegan if you substituted the honey with Stevia or other vegan sweetener of choice.  I think the honey helps with the texture, so keep that in mind.

If you make this, let me know how it goes!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sunday Shreddin'

Our instructor training got cancelled yesterday, so we decided to go shredding anyways! Dustin, Niles, Susan, and Lisa joined me for a stroll up Eaglecrest to get some good turns in. This was the second time using my Burton Spliff splitboard, and man oh man is that thing fun! I was worried about the float, since it's short for a split, but I guess Burton's 'nug reduction' technology works pretty well afterall. Although the fresh layer wasn't that deep, only a few inches, I could tell it will float just fine through the waist deep shred days ahead of me this season. It's getting easier going uphill in split mode. I've conquered some pretty steep pitches without my Sparks skins failing me. Only one tumble so far, but that was my bad technique at fault. I can't wait for the shred adventures this winter! I really wish Dustin had one too. If Santa is anywhere reading this post, then you know what I want most for Christmas... a split for my man! :) Oh, and lots of snow if you can make that happen too :)

I GoPro'd the ride down, but I was just holding it in my hand so pretty much all the footage is worthless for a video. My goal today is to hopefully get a few decent still shots out of it. I lost my one and only attachment clip for my GoPro, so I can't attach it to my telescoping pole I use most often.

I got a few photos to share though!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


A few things to think about on this day of thankfulness...

I like this quote: 

"Black Friday: Because only in America do people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what we already have." 

But now we do this on Thanksgiving day too?? I could never go out shopping on Thanksgiving day, making others miss their turkey dinners with their family and having a nice relaxing day just because I wanted to save 5 bucks on something I probably don't need anyways. I know everyone likes a good deal, but do society a favor and at LEAST save it for Friday. No stores should be open today, and everyone should have the opportunity to spend it with the people that means the most to them. If you didn't plan ahead, that's your own fault. I'm sure you'll survive the day without that one item you forgot on your list, and it will be a lesson for next year to double check ahead of time. 

I know Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what we have, being with friends and family, and appreciating every aspect of our lives, and I am so very thankful to be where I am today, experiencing such beauty and wonder in this amazing part of the world. I'm thankful to have a loving soul mate to share it with. I'm thankful to have friends and family that support me. I am thankful to have good health to be able to live my dream. I also can't help but to think of the true history of Thanksgiving. 

When people think of the history of Thanksgiving, they usually think of Native Americans and Pilgrims sitting at the same table, feasting themselves on turkey and corn, telling jokes, dancing, having a grand ol time. If only the truth was really that warm and fuzzy. If only the colonists didn't steal land that wasn't theirs, spread disease and famine to the native people, slaughter anyone who didn't follow their orders and fought to protect their way of life. When you look at the facts, this country was founded on terrorism. I would go into more detail explaining myself, but Google was created for a reason. Read THIS article, THIS one, and THIS one to get a better grasp on what I'm talking about.

I'm not saying we shouldn't celebrate Thanksgiving. We just need to detach ourselves from the excessive amount of greed and capitalism that revolves around this holiday, as well as all the other holidays. We need to appreciate the good things in life every day, not just focus on it one or two days a year. We need to spend time with friends and family as much as possible. We need to educate ourselves, because knowledge is more valuable than anything. Learn the truth, don't just go on what 'society' has led you to believe. Open your mind, open your heart, and strive to do good in the world.



Friday, November 22, 2013

Street Skinnin'

So yesterday we had these big plans of meeting some friends at Eaglecrest, hiking, and getting some awesome face shots from all the fresh, fluffy snow that was dumping on us. We were in the car, ready to roll, pulled out of the driveway (that we had to shovel 30 min just go get the car to move) and what happened? We went nowhere. We sat and spun, slid, and slung snow everywhere just trying to get more than 15 ft away from the house. Usually I have no problem in the snow with my car, but my tires aren't the greatest this season, and they hadn't plowed the road yet and the snow was above the bumper, so essentially I was plowing the road. Once we managed to 'slide' the car back in the driveway and realized we were going nowhere fast, it was time for beers. Oh wait, we didn't have any beers! :(

This is where the next plan of action was born. Why don't I just split to the beer store? Yeah, why not?! So I did. It was interesting. I had people waving and yelling with excitement as they passed. I guess they were stoked SOMEbody was enjoying the snow lol. I also managed to capture on my GoPro an Evergreen taxi van going way too fast on the snowy road, then pulling a 180 and slamming into a concrete retaining wall. By the time they hit the wall, they weren't going very fast at all and it was really only a light 'tap'. Just enough to know nobody was hurt and it was ok to laugh. They were obviously going WAY too fast for the turn they were making.

When I finally got to the Breeze In, about 2 miles one-way, this guy from the Juneau Empire just so happened to be hanging out taking snowy photos and asked what I was doing and if he could take my photo. Sure, why not?! So he did. He said it would be in the newspaper tomorrow (today) but I haven't gotten one yet to check. It was on the Juneau Empire website though. My 15 minutes of fame...

And for the record, I was skinning, not skiing. And I bought beers. Plural. Not a beer. Think I would go all that way for a SINGLE beer? Does a bear shit in the woods?

Dustin took this one of me as I was leaving the house...

Overall it was a fun adventure. I love my split, even though I've only used it in split form. I'm sure it rides like a dream though when in snowboard form! It took me a few minutes to get the hang of skinning. It's a weird feeling, like I have to drag my toes almost. And man, was it a workout! By the time I got back to the house (with a heavy backpack full of beer) my legs and feet were on fire. Definitely one hell of a workout! And I like it! :) 

I can't wait to go on a REAL splitboard adventure!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Elite 8 | Eaglecrest vs. Revelstoke

Holy crap. We did it! We beat Red Mountain, last years Ski Town Throwdown champion! 

That means we are thrown into the next round, TODAY, against Revelstoke BC! Now we are in the Elite 8, and if we win this round we will advance on to the Final Four! Once again, the voting lasts two days this time around. At the time of this post, we are leading by around 300 votes! Woohoo!

Here is a screen shot of our Eaglecrest fans showing all their love!

I could go into a big long blab about how awesome Eaglecrest is and list a load of reasons why you should vote, but I won't, because I'm sure you've already heard it from me. :)

Anyways, enough chitty chat. Click this: VOTE FOR EAGLECREST! and show your love!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Show Your Eaglecrest Love!

It's that time again folks, we are in the Sweet 16 of Powder Magazine's Ski Town Throwdown

We are up against last years champs, Red Mountain, so we need all the help we can get! Stroll on over to THIS PAGE and VOTE for EAGLECREST! This time the voting lasts two days, so you have plenty of time to tell your friends to go vote too! :) Oh, and you can vote BOTH days!

It only takes a couple seconds, so why not? 

Eaglecrest has got more soul than a man playing the blues on a Memphis street corner. 
Yes, that's a lot of soul, and I've seen it first hand. People love snow. People love sliding on snow. People love powder. People love great terrain. People love EAGLECREST! Now click this link and show your love!

vote. vote. vote. vote. vote. vote. vote. vote. vote. vote. vote.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Adventures of Alaska Vol. 1

I'm sure most of you have seen the photos and videos that are in this lil video I made today, but I'm posting it up on here anyways! I made this video to burn to DVD and send to my grandparents and other family members who do not use the internet so they can see some of the amazing adventures I've experienced so far in Alaska.

This video only touches the amount of photos/videos I have on my computer, but I don't want to bore them with a multi-day long session in front of the tv :) Everything on here can be found on my facebook page or somewhere in this blog.

This is also my first video using Final Cut Pro X, a new video editing program I'm using. It's much, much better than iMovie, which was what I always used before. I'm still a video making newb, so don't be too much of a critic please :) 

Also note that all photos/videos were taken by myself or Dustin, except the first three aurora photos which were taken by Frank Pierce, and a few of the Sheep Mountain heli trip photos were taken by Bill Glude.

Be sure to view it in HD, it's much better!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Week 1 Complete!

Today marks the end of week one of P90X! I survived yet again! The first few days were hell... I was sore in places that haven't been sore since my last round of the workout over a year ago. Even though it's just been a week, I already feel more energized and just good all over. I'm excited to continue the workout and hopefully feel (and see) some more results soon. I know you guys probably don't want to hear about my workouts on a weekly basis, but by blogging it I feel more motivated to finish and workout even harder to get better results. 

Now that the soreness (well, most of the soreness) is out of the way and my muscles are getting used to all that moving around, I can push it further in my workouts and make myself sweat even more. 

Enough sweaty talk...

The snow is flying at Eaglecrest and I can't wait to get some altitude on my splitboard. Dustin is working late tonight and helping make snow. Eaglecrest only has a handful of fan guns, but every little bit helps and the more we can get on the lower mountain, the sooner we can open up terrain. There's a good amount of snow up top, so I've heard... I might have to check it out myself tomorrow :) I have a 'rock board' just itching to get some early season turns. 

The moon is nearly full tonight and it was nice and bright out, so I went out to test the night settings on my camera again. I swear, one of these days I'm gonna get a decent aurora photo! Here are a couple shots that were surprisingly impressive coming from my little point and shoot Canon camera.

This was take on Fish Creek Rd (the Eaglecrest road) on North Douglas. No, that's not the sun, it's the moon. Really!

Shot of downtown Juneau from Douglas Island.