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Written by Dave on March 29th, 2013 - Recollections

We have been renting our house in Big Lake, Alaska since 2004.

We simply love our view of Jade Lake with its proximity to Wasilla and Anchorage, yet it feels very secluded.  Big Lake is a wonderful community in Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna valley to spend time on relaxation and recreation.

Alaska vacation rental home

Our original Alaskan vacation rental website

Even though the website has changed dramatically our cabin is still as secluded, romantic, peaceful and as accessible as ever.

If you’re considering heading to Alaska be sure to check us out.

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Written by Dave on April 18th, 2012 - Recollections

What do you do in Alaska when you get off work early on a Friday and need to me back to work by Tuesday morn… and oh yeah, you have to fly up (and back) from the “lower 48″… all within that time frame?

You have fun!

Hatcher Pass Lodge

I had urgent maintenance which needed to be accomplished and could not recruit anyone to do it for me, so I used a long weekend to get ‘er done. The plan was actually quite simple. Fly up, arrive at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport at about 6pm. Rent a car. Drive to cabin. Stop at grocery store. Begin work at 8pm, while tag-along daughter prepares pizza for dinner. Done by 10pm. Sleep. Have fun for 2 days. Head back home.

Mat-Su valley in October

Well, like all plans, plan A is never quite sufficient. My maintenance took significantly longer than expected. Argh! You’ve got to love it when a replacement is not the same as the original. Dinner was great, thank you my lovely older daughter, then back to work.

By the time I had finished the work and my daughter had cleaned up from dinner and made the beds for us it was discovered that several items were missing from the cabin. It was one of those, “I can’t seem to find…” that eventually led to “hey I think we’ve been robbed.”

OK, on to plan B. Makes notes of all missing items. Find out where the Wasilla police station is located. Talk to officer. Wait for officers to make on site visit.

“Looks like your doors been tampered with”
“Sure does”
“Anything you can do?”
“Not really”

OK, now plan B1 – shop to replace missing items.
Plan B2 – investigate better security options.
Plan B3 – install better security.

I'll call this Hatcher Pass creek, for lack of another name



Finally all is said and done. How much time is left. Let’s see, it’s 3pm and we need to head to Anchorage by 9pm, after stopping to say good-bye to family who expected to see something of us.

SO what to do with slightly over 2 hours of “free” time? We took a little journey up to Hatcher Pass.  Always a favorite.

Here you go.  A getaway during the busy getaway.

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Written by Dave on October 22nd, 2007 - Recollections

Our alaskan cabin rental from Jade Lake

Ah, Christmas 2006 – these are among my most relaxing memories.  Never before had I experienced such a peaceful, quite and white Christmas.

Life was back to the basics.

The tree was trimmed with hand-strung popcorn.  Trips were made to the shed for more firewood several times a day.  And a never-ending view of pristine white was always at hand.

The fine powder was so light that the smallest breeze would pick the snow up and blow it away to be replaced with a few inches of fresh powder, always white, always clean.

Nothing beats waking up to sunrise and brisk morning temperatures in the teens.


It’s Christmas in Alaska;  Christmas in Big Lake.  Eyes opening to a crackling fire in the woodstove, the aroma of a fresh pot of coffee wafting through our cabin, and the beauty of a miraculous view from our balcony.  This is Christmas in Alaska.


The younger generation seemed to enjoyed this time as well.

As they would say in One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, “Don’t ask me why the car is fishy, just think of Alaska and make your wishy.”

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Written by Dave on December 25th, 2006 - Recollections

Where do I begin?

I am writing this post seven years removed from the events of the summer of 2004.  I found that by thumbing through the photos of our first family vacation to Alaska (14 days in duration) that you could get a good snaphot of the variety of activities in the Matunuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) valley of Alaska.

So here goes…


Salmon fishing

Jet skiiing

Independence Mine State Historical Park


Beach at Big Lake

Halibut charter in Seward, Alaska

The catch of the day!

Did I mention that in these same 14 days we visited with family, bought a cozy cabin and simply had the time of our lives?
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Written by Dave on November 1st, 2004 - Recollections

Moving day is exciting!  All things are new.  It’s an adventure.

I’ll spend a few minutes telling you highlights of our journey which began 7 years ago (this is a backdated post which was written with the advent of our revised web site on October 31, 2011).

It all began with a visit-the-family vacation and ended with a beautiful home-away-from-home. 

We decided to visit family in Alaska during the summer of 2004.  Our Alaskan itinerary included two weeks with various relatives, BBQ’s, picnics, etc.  The standard fare. 

Three days before we were to fly home I get this wild idea. 

What if?  What if we purchased a small home in Alaska?  Might we find a way to visit more often?  This frontier country and its people are unique, self-sufficient, yet interconnected and friendly.  Everyone has a story to tell and it seems in Alaska the story is one of exploring the boundraries and experiencing something different – a different way of thinking, of looking at life.  And what if, being common folk like all of you, we could find a way to help you enjoy Alaska while you help us to maintain a home away from home?

Back to the end of our vacation…  In 3 short days we laid out our requirements, we viewed several properties and then came upon this dream cabin.  We knew it was meant to be.  Financing was arranged.  Offers were made.  Plans were laid out.  And then the 3 days were up and we’re on a plane to the “lower 48.”  In Alaska anything is possible.

Sixty days later, we close.  What could be better.  Now we get to make a second trip!  This one, however, is a whirlwind tour with a purpose.  We have eight days to completely furnish a cabin, make it ready for a rental, figure out how to handle keys and survive the Alaskan winter and a myriad of other tasks.

The home page features the cabin in it’s furnished state.  There was a moving day.  Nothing is as fun as using a budget to funish a place from scratch.  We had to consider style, limited space and accomdating the varied but often “dirty” Alaskan seasons – mud, snow, dust & rain.  Warm days, downright cold days.

There were beds to buy, chairs, tables, linens, pictures, pillows, area rugs, sofa, patio furniture, BBQ, kitchen appliances & utensils.  TV’s, washer/dryer.  We were starting from scratch.  We had to figure out how to make it as comfortable for our guests as possible while maintaining our permenant residence out of state – at least for now 😉

This became a family project.  Beds to make…



A bathroom to repair…




Oh yeah, did I mention that during those 8 days we were without power in an early fall storm for 3 days! 


Alaska is an adventure!  We arrive in mild fall weather and leave in the first snowstorm of the year.  (To be honest fall had barely begun)


That’s Alaska!  That’s why we love it!

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Written by Dave on September 25th, 2004 - Recollections

Alaskan Chalet @ Jade Lake

Memories of our time with Alaska