Family Fun at the Cabin

One of the joys of living here in Alaska is going to my parents’ cabin in the middle of undeveloped land near a beautiful lake.  In fact, we can only get there by floatplane, snow machine or four-wheeler…  and when we get there, it’s total peace.

Recently, we made the visit I thought I’d give you a little peek.

The first is a photo of Tripp with my dad on the snow machine.  Tripp loves to ride around in the snow, and he’s definitely learning from the best.  (Dad is a four-time champion of the Iron Dog, the world’s longest snow machine race!)









The second is from the same scene, but you can see yours truly in the background.  Also, see those mountains?  That’s Mount McKinley, North America’s highest peak with a height of 20,320 feet.  I live in the most beautiful state in America!










And the last photo is pretty self-explanatory. After a long day in the snow, there’s nothing I love more than cuddling with Tripp!










  • Clint Heuett

    Great pictures! Only thing is those Arctic Cats should be Polaris Pro Rmk’s! ;)

  • Allison

    I read about this cabin in Huffington Post in April 2010. Beautiful place, and the property tax office knew nothing about it. ZERO value for property improvements and structures. CONGRATS to Huff Po on their Pulitzer Prize this week! We need investigative journalism. We don’t need more lying politicians.

    • pol

      Agreed, Allison! Quite the “cabin” isn’t it?

    • James

      Huff Post isn’t news, its left wing trash. Instead of harassing a private citizen, you should be more concerned about your President who is spending us into financial insolvency. $5 trillion he has added to the debt, yet you are more concerned about some child’s family claiming a remote cabin in the woods as property. The Palins aren’t even running for any political office. Why don’t you leave them alone and quit harassing them. Or go see a psychiatrist to treat your PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome)

      • bellagrazi

        Amen, James! I don’t know if you guys realize this, but the anti-Palin blogs send people over here to create trouble. They are the worst of the worst. Serious PDS. So, of course, they take an innocent story about visiting the Palin cabin and try and turn it into a scandal. Sarah Palin has been proven to be an ethical person over and over again. And yet these people continue to try and find something on her. It’s absolutely pathetic. Get a life, haters! Because the Palin’s are living their lives to the fullest. And, as we all know, living well is the best revenge.

    • otlset

      You can take the following article from 2010 that sheds a more complete light on the situation than the propaganda outlet “Huffington Post” does back to your masters at thepalinplace.blogspot and ask why they misled you, and why you should continue to do their dishonest and harmful bidding. You are a tool, a “useful idiot” for the left.

      by Rachel D’Oro / The Associated Press Associated Press Mar 23, 2010 | 2177 views | 22 | 4 | | Updated 3:52 p.m. 3/23/10

      ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Two cabins on backcountry land partially owned by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have been appraised for property tax purposes for the first time since their construction began several years ago.

      No taxes have been paid on the structures because local officials only learned about them last month.

      Officials with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in February conducted an aerial survey of properties in the remote area nearly 100 miles north of Anchorage. The area is accessible only by floatplane, snowmobile or four-wheeler.

      The cabins, a garage-workshop and a sauna have increased the assessed value of the 10-acre site to $111,700. The 2009 appraisal was $12,000.

      “I don’t think they’re anything spectacular,” borough assessor Dave Dunivan said of the cabins Tuesday. “They’re just a remote getaway.”

      Last year’s property tax bill for the site totaled $125. The 2010 taxes on borough properties will be billed in July and have not been calculated. Under the 2009 mill rate, the tax for the site would add up to $1,163.

      The property is near Safari Lake, an undeveloped area near Denali State Park, and owned by the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, her husband Todd Palin, and a family friend, Scott Richter. The three also own a nearby 15-acre vacant lot valued at $18,000.

      That part of the borough had not been surveyed in five years, before construction started on the cabins. Palin’s attorney, Thomas Van Flein, said work is still being done on the cabins, but both are usable. The borough considers construction complete in its assessment.

      Van Flein has said it is the borough’s responsibility, not a property owner’s, to keep track of such structures.

      According to the borough, property owners are required by state law to report any errors or omissions in their tax assessments, but hardly anyone ever reports an omission. The borough often learns of new structures when neighbors report them.

      The property taxes on the lots have never been delinquent, according to Van Flein. He said he did not know how the upcoming bill would be divided between Richter and the Palins, but it would be honored.

      “They’ll pay whatever the taxes are,” Van Flein said.

      There is no phone listing for Richter in Alaska and he could not be reached Tuesday.

      Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

      • pol

        “Van Flein has said it is the borough’s responsibility, not a property owner’s, to keep track of such structures.”

        Really? Down here in the lower 48 we have things called “building permits” that one must apply and pay for before any building or renovation can be done on one’s property. These “building permits” ensure safety and quality, as well as making sure you pay property tax (or get an abatement) on the property.

        • otlset

          Can you point to any laws broken tool? Or taxes that were ultimately not paid?

    • Katie

      Alaska is beautiful! Don’t let those who are jealous ruin your innocent fun! We adore you Bristol.

  • otlset

    “The trouble with iron dogs is you can’t eat them if you run out of food on the trail.” — President Downgrade

  • Sandra Gray

    Love the pictures and I think you all are the Best American Family! People don’t value family togetherness anymore but families need to have the bond that you all share! Don’t ever change! God Bless you all!

  • Michele W.

    Sweet. Lots of love to you guys!

  • Brian McAndrew

    I love the photos! Your cabins looks beautiful, I’d love to see more of it!

  • GrammarMatters

    Quick question: Is your family paying taxes on the cabin now? You know, since they blatantly evaded paying any taxes for years and would still be evading if they hadn’t been caught. Just sayin’.

    • otlset

      Another useful idiot for the left armed with incomplete and biased information that tell only part of the story smugly chimes in.

    • bellagrazi

      GrammarMatters, truth matters, also. PDS sufferers always distort the facts. Just sayin’.

  • blackbird



    Have you ever noticed that you do not remember days, you remember moments?

    A strange story about immortalizing moments comes from the book SPIRITUAL LITERACY (Touchstone Books) by authors Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat. It is about a Brooklyn cigar store manager named Oggie Rand. Oggie has an unusual habit — at precisely eight o’clock each morning, he photographs the front of the store. Always at exactly the same time and from exactly the same spot. Every morning. Oggie collects his daily snapshots in photograph albums, each labeled by date. He calls his project his “life’s work.”

    One day Oggie showed his albums to a friend. He had not told his friend about his unusual hobby. Flipping the pages of the albums, the man noticed in amazement that the pictures were all the same.

    Oggie watched him skim through the pictures and finally replied, “You’ll never get it if you don’t slow down, my friend. The pictures are all of the same spot, but each one is different from every other one. The differences are in the detail. In the way people’s clothes change according to season and weather. In the way the light hits the street. Some days the corner is almost empty. Other times it is filled with people, bikes, cars and trucks. It’s just one little part of the world, but things take place there, too, just like everywhere else.”

    This time Oggie’s friend looked more carefully at each picture. No two were alike. Every picture was unique, just as every moment is unique. Through a series of photographs, he became conscious of one of life’s great truths — that each minute that passes is special, even sacred.

    I’m reminded of something writer Henry Miller said, “The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” And those are the moments we’ll remember; the ones for which we stopped everything else long enough to pay close attention.

    The advice for me is this: to pay as close attention to each moment as I can, as if I were carefully observing a series of snapshots. I would like to take time to study the moments. If I look closely enough, I know I’ll see that each is unique. Each is sacred. And each holds a special place in time.

    I suspect it will be these moments — not whole days, weeks, months or years — that I will finally remember. And much of the happiness and joy I will find in life will be because I took care of the moments.

    By Steve Goodier: lifesupportsystem (dot com)

    • CJ

      Oh, my goodness, Blackbird! This is exquisite!!! Bless you for posting this :)

  • Morris Hahn

    Wow, I can’t believe all the snow still there. I know you all had a lot this year but would it still be that much at the cabin in a normal snow year? We had temps in the lower 80′s in late march and early april. Unusual but it is back to normal now. Tons of admiration for you and your family from a dirt farmer in SE MO. Sure wish your mom was president!!!!!!!. Does everyone call those motor sleds snow machines??? We use to call them snow mobiles when we were lucky enough to have enough snow to use them……..

  • AnyOldNameWillDo

    Hi Bristol :)
    One day I’m gonna drive up to Alaska.
    I almost did once but was warned not to do it in a sports car.