Hiking Grace Ridge

Huge thank you to our friend E for allowing us to share her photos in this post. Papa B and I were so focused on just getting through this one that we didn’t take many pictures. 

I first learned about Grace Ridge when a friend made plans to hike the north side with her young family in March. After scoping it out online, I knew this was one we needed to do. The views looked fantastic, and several people around Homer raved about it. There are two ways to hike Grace Ridge; the most popular way is a half-day out-and-back hike from Kayak Beach, the primary destination being a lookout point 2.9 miles in with 1745 feet of elevation gain. The other option is the through hike, which covers 8.9 miles and 3,100 feet of elevation gain. After reading about it, scoping out photos, and talking to local friends, I wanted to experience the through hike. It is listed as “moderate to difficult”, but I know people who hiked it with kids and raved about it. We could totally do this (we can do hard things!), and the views would be top notch.

Grace Ridge in relation to Homer
Grace Ridge in relation to Homer

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The Russian River Trail & Russian River Falls

When it comes to venturing out with kids in tow, I’m still learning the ropes. A couple of weeks ago, our Hike it Baby branch here on the Kenai had a hike planned for part of the Russian River Trail in Cooper Landing. The goal was a seven mile round trip hike to the lower lake, with a stop at the falls if there was enough time.  While we are continually getting better at embracing the “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” motto, it didn’t hurt that the weather forecast looked promising. High 40s with sun definitely makes driving two hours for a hike with two {little} kids much more appealing.  Since we had just decided the day before that we would be making a last minute venture up to Anchorage to look at a piece of equipment and run some errands, a hike seemed like the perfect way to break up the four hour drive.

Lower Russian Lake
Lower Russian Lake

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A Saturday Afternoon at Eveline


Last weekend, we had a nice, lazy little Saturday morning in the works. Baby B decided to let us sleep in a bit more than normal, and then Papa B made a pot of coffee while I nursed Baby B and Little B played contentedly. All the while, the bright morning sun lit up the house.  The plan was to make brunch, and then pack up the kiddos to meet a hiking friend and her daughter for an afternoon outside.

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What a day. What. A. Day.

As you may have heard, our day began rather abruptly in the wee hours of this morning. At almost exactly 1:30am, the earth decided to give us all a wake up call.  And it wasn’t a soft, gradual wake up like my new Philips Wake-Up Light. It was abrupt, jolting, and all around scary as hell. I’d fallen asleep about 10 minutes prior, and immediately upon being awoken realized what was happening. Instinctually I blurted, “earthquake!” threw off the covers, and rushed toward Little B’s room. I opened her door and started talking to her right away. Before I finished the 3 steps to her bed she had sat up, was starting to cry, and her hands were shooting straight up at me.  I picked up Little B, who was holding Puppy and Bear (the B’s have some exceptionally creative naming skills) tightly under each arm. We then met up with Mama B in the doorways at the end of our hallway and attempted to keep our composure while the world around us shook, rattled, and rolled. Afterwards, Mama B said that for her, one of the scariest aspects was that you were expecting it was going to stop, but instead it got stronger. The next 30 seconds felt like about 5 minutes, and as it goes on you find yourself thinking, “is this the big one?”

It’s the planet

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