Christmas is still 10 days away, but it seems that all must be under control for Santa. He was recently spotted in the Mat-Su Valley taking a break by fat tire biking and kayaking, two of his favorite activities.
The jolly old man got in contact with Dan McDonough of Lifetime Adventures last week - they are old friends who go way back. Dan hooked Santa up with a kayak, and they headed to Eklutna Tailrace. The tailrace, located on the Old Glenn Highway, typically stays ice free because of the hydroelectric power plant nearby, meaning it's a perfect winter kayaking getaway that few people know about. During the winter, it's a photographer's dream, as snow clings to the trees with the open water.
After he finished kayaking, Santa wanted to check out the world-class trails at Government Peak Recreation Area, at the base of Hatcher Pass. Luckily, Lifetime Adventures rents fat-tire bikes there, so Santa was covered. The lighted loops at Government Peak are ideal winter trails - they typically get some of the best snow in Southcentral Alaska, and the trails are groomed regularly by the Mat-Su Ski Club. There are six kilometers of lighted trails, so even the winter darkness doesn't impact the trail usage. Snowshoeing, biking and skiing are excellent right now.
Santa continued up Hatcher Pass for some more fun Nordic skiing on the trails around Independence Mine and Archangel Road. He told Dan that he's always heard about Hatcher Pass in the summer, but he didn't realize it was such an amazing destination in the winter.
After a long day of fat tire biking, snowshoeing, skiing, kayaking and even making a snow angel, Santa was worn out. Before heading to the North Pole to get ready for Christmas, he found out what many locals already know - the Mat-Su Valley is a winter wonderland with amazing recreation opportunities!