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Anchorage’s Singletrack Advocates are planning to build more mountain bike trails this summer – a six mile extension of the popular trails they have already built at Kincaid Park. The Municipality of Anchorage Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously approved the project at its meeting on May 9th. Construction will start in July and they hope to be done by this fall. This ambitious goal is the way this can-do group rolls.
The Singletrack Advocates formed in the fall of 2004. Together with Anchorage’s Parks and Rec Department and Alaska Trails, they brought representatives from the International Mountain Bike Association to Alaska to teach sustainable trail building. That summer, the Brown Bear Trail in Far North Bicentennial Park was built by volunteers. Since then, an additional 17 miles of Singletrack trails have been funded, designed, constructed and maintained by the group.
With Alaska Trails as its fiscal sponsor, STA has raised over $500,000 in private contributions, grants, and thousands of hours of volunteer time. STA recently became a full-fledged 501(c)3 non profit. It is an exciting step for a dynamic group and it will definitely lead to more mountain biking fun for Anchorage.
Volunteers have been the key to STA’s success. Engaging volunteers not only saves money, it gives those volunteers a sense of stewardship on the trails they build and use. A volunteer who builds a trail one year will return the next year to help maintain what they have built. Alaska Trails has been pleased that its tool trailer has been able to play a role in these great trails.
“The Kincaid Singletrack Trails relied heavily on volunteers who needed tools to accomplish their work. Much of the hand finishing was provided by volunteers. Volunteers dedicated 1,241 hours to this 9 mile trail. Their work would not have been possible without the use of the Alaska Trails Tool Trailer. There were work sessions in which we had over 50 volunteers!” stated Janice Tower, STA President.
The new trails in Kincaid will be as much fun as the ones already on the ground. The proposed route runs east to west by the World Cup Nordic Start area and then down to the Sisson loop to connect with the Coastal Trail. There are very few Nordic trail crossings in the proposed project area and this extension would improve the entire network within Kincaid Park as a perimeter loop.
From youngsters in the Mighty Bikes program to the thousands of runners in the Tuesday Night race series, from Arctic Bicycle Club racers all the way to those just trying mountain biking for the first time – these trails are an asset to the community and a great way for people to recreate. Kincaid Park will be enhanced with these trails and the Singletrack Advocates are the right group to build them. Keep looking for more great things from Singletrack Advocates and see you on the trails.
Ask Americans what the Constitution’s most important feature is and most will say it’s the guarantees of liberty enshrined in the Bill of Rights. In this episode, Sagal explores the history of the Bill of Rights and addresses several stories — ripped from the headlines — involving freedom of speech, freedom of religion and right to privacy.
- TV: Tuesday, 5/14 at 8:00 p.m.
A series of massive solar flares have in recent days erupted off the stormy surface of the sun; the last two were big enough to disrupt radio transmissions on Earth and likely produce aurora borealis shows that Southcentral Alaskans may witness after midnight, when the sun has finally gone down.May 13, 2013
Two people are safe after a massive landslide destroyed the cabin they were camping in Sunday morning (5-13-13) near Sitka.
An air taxi pilot rescued the pair from a debris field estimated to be 20 feet deep. All their belongings were buried in the slide. Their dog remains missing.
Kevin Knox, 41, and his girlfriend Maggie Gallin, 28, were staying at Redoubt Lake, a popular Forest Service recreation cabin about 15 miles southeast of Sitka.
The cabin is located at the head of the valley, and is surrounded by steep mountain slopes and rocky cliffs that climb 4,000 feet above the surface of the lake.
Knox says the mountainside behind the cabin was showing signs of instability the previous evening.
“There’d been a lot of rock activity from this slide that was off back behind the cabin, all night on Saturday night. I was just kind of watching it. It was just small rocks kind of tumbling off and making a lot of racket.”
The next morning, Knox and Gallin went out on the lake in the rowboat provided by the Forest Service, to do a little fishing. The mountainside came down as they returned to shore at about 11 AM.
“We had just tied the boat up and Maggie was in the cabin, and it just let loose — a huge piece off of the side of the mountain. I yelled for Maggie to run, to get out of the cabin. We started running down the beach.”
Redoubt Lake is a glacier-carved fjord. It’s just a few feet above sea level. What passes for a beach there is a narrow strip of pebbles. Knox and Gallin did not have much room to make their escape as old growth timber, mud, and rock began to press down the valley.
“We were running along the lakeshore and got thrown into the water, trees kind of toppling on top of us. We both popped up three or four feet from each other. Then we got our wits about us and just tried to hunker down.”
Knox and Gallin were soaked to the skin. The cabin — and all their belongings — were under a debris field Knox thinks is about 20 feet deep. They wrung out clothes and tried to shelter as best they could until their scheduled pick up three hours later.
They also spent time calling for Luna, Knox’s ten-year-old Border Collie.
“She was in between Maggie and I as we were running down the beach. I think she thought it was a little bit of a game because I was shouting, Run run!, Go! and she jumped up and nipped at my sleeve. So I know she was right there. I kept laying in bed last night thinking, How did we get through it, and she didn’t.”
The couple flew back to look for Luna on Monday morning, but there was no sign of her. Because of the instability of the slide area, the pilot chose not not to land the float plane. The slide originated 600 feet up the mountainside and is about 200 yards wide. The lake’s inlet stream — Knox says — is beginning to carve a new channel through the debris field.
Knox is grateful to Harris Air, and pilot Mark Hackett in particular, for putting his plane down and looking for them on Sunday in marginal conditions. Knox says he signalled Hackett by waving his bright yellow raincoat.
Alaska’s most active volcano appears to be erupting. Mount Pavlof, on the Alaska Peninsula, started rumbling Monday morning, according to Alaska Volcano Observatory scientist-in-charge John Power.
“This type of pattern — weak seismic activity, along with a great deal of heat at the summit — has characterized past eruptions of Pavlof, and we believe that’s what’s occurring now,” Power says.”
Power says while scientists haven’t been able to get a good look at the volcano, he suspects it’s oozing lava, or perhaps even shooting jets of it into the air in what’s called a stromboli fountain. So far, the Observatory hasn’t detected any ash clouds associated with the eruption, although in the past, Pavlof has produced significant plumes.
“In 2007, during that eruption, there were ash clouds up to 15-18,000 feet, and certainly we’ve had much larger ones out of Pavlof in the past, although this type of activity we’re seeing today is not uncharacteristic of Pavlof — to have lower level, less energetic eruptions of lava as well.”
Unlike Cleveland Volcano, which started erupting last week, Pavlof has a real-time monitoring network, which Power says the Observatory will be keeping a close eye on in the days and weeks to come.
“In the past, eruptions of Pavlof have gone on for four, six, eight weeks, and if this follows the same pattern, it may go on for some time like that, or it could be a very short lived event.”
King Cove and Cold Bay are the nearest communities to the 8,000-ft volcano.
A fatal accident that took the life of a bulldozer driver near Stephan Lake Lodge north of Talkeetna on Friday occurred only hours after a state Department of Natural Resources team had flown over the site on an inspection tour. The work is being done to build an airstrip to support studies on the Susitna Dam project.