All posts by jhines

St Elias Brewing

St. Elias is a family owned and operated full service restaurant and brewpub. We offer a menu of rustic Neapolitan style pizzas, gourmet salads, sandwiches and desserts. We strive to use the freshest ingredients to maintain a high standard of quality.

Our on sight brewhouse is designed to produce fine handcrafted ale, using the freshest grain and hops from around the world. Our restaurant offers up to 10 ales on tap and an extensive wine menu, including some Alaskan made varieties. Our 7 barrel brewhouse produces all of our house ales as well as cream soda and rootbeer. At St. Elias, our mission is to provide the highest quality dining experience for your enjoyment.

St Elias Brewing
434 Sharkathmi Ave, Soldotna, AK 99669
PHONE: 907-260-7837

Camping DIY – Tent Peg Stove

{If you’re hiking, back-packing, or camping and forgot your stove here’s a little bushcraft hack that could save the day.}

Here’s a funky and easy camping hack for you to try next time you find yourself without a kettle. Make this DIY tent peg stove and pot to cook in.
What if you found yourself out on a hike or camping trip having forgotten your portable stove? Or maybe it just broke? Well, make yourself a quick and easy tent peg stove using three or four metal tent pegs and some aluminum foil.

Simply pound the tent pegs into the ground in the form of a small circle or triangle, with the L-shapes facing inward. Space them close enough together to hold a can of food.

Then, simply build a fire around and under them to heat the contents of your can of beans, veggies, or whatever you might have.

You can also make yourself a small pot or bowl with a sheet of aluminum foil. It should be a substantial enough piece of foil that you can fold it over on itself at least three times. This will help to keep the fire from burning any holes in it and prevent it from leaking.

You can use your fist or a can as a form with which to fold the aluminum foil around. If you use a can you can make the bottom flatter so that it is more stable on the tent peg platform.

This will hold water, which you can boil to purify or cook in. And you can use this more than once if you treat it gently.

There you go! An easy tent peg stove and container to cook in. What other camp hacks can you come up with?

Source: Grant Thompson – “The King of Random” Youtube

Grizzly Bear Attack

There are many ghost stories to hear about but for this Montana hiker, you’d have live a lifetime of scary tales in a single, death-defying day. Todd Orr survived, but barely and he had a firearm that he chose not to use in respect for the bear. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be attacked by a bear, here’s the story in vivid detail as posted on his Facebook:

Hello everyone.

Thought I should share yesterday morning’s Grizzly incident.

I took an early morning hike in the Madison valley to scout for elk. Knowing that bears are common throughout southwest Montana, I hollered out “hey bear” about every 30 seconds so as to not surprise any bears along the trail.

About three miles in, I stepped out into an open meadow and hollered again. A few more steps and I spotted a sow Grizzly bear with cubs on the trail at the upper end of the meadow. The sow saw me right away and they ran a short distance up the trail. But suddenly she turned and charged straight my way. I yelled a number of times so she knew I was human and would hopefully turn back. No such luck. Within a couple seconds, she was nearly on me. I gave her a full charge of bear spray at about 25 feet. Her momentum carried her right through the orange mist and on me.

I went to my face in the dirt and wrapped my arms around the back of my neck for protection. She was on top of me biting my arms, shoulders and backpack. The force of each bite was like a sledge hammer with teeth. She would stop for a few seconds and then bite again. Over and over. After a couple minutes, but what seemed an eternity, she disappeared.

Stunned, I carefully picked myself up. I was alive and able to walk so I headed back down the trail towards the truck 3 miles below. As I half hiked and jogged down the trail, I glanced at my injuries. I had numerous bleeding puncture wounds on my arms and shoulder but I knew I would survive and thanked god for getting me through this. I hoped the bleeding wasn’t too significant. I really didn’t want to stop to dress the wounds. I wanted to keep moving and put distance between us.

About five or ten minutes down the trail, I heard a sound and turned to find the Griz bearing down at 30 feet. She either followed me back down the trail or cut through the trees and randomly came out on the trail right behind me. Whatever the case, she was instantly on me again. I couldn’t believe this was happening a second time! Why me? I was so lucky the first attack, but now I questioned if I would survive the second.

Again I protected the back of my neck with my arms, and kept tight against the ground to protect my face and eyes. She slammed down on top of me and bit my shoulder and arms again. One bite on my forearm went through to the bone and I heard a crunch. My hand instantly went numb and wrist and fingers were limp and unusable. The sudden pain made me flinch and gasp for breath. The sound triggered a frenzy of bites to my shoulder and upper back. I knew I couldn’t move or make a sound again so I huddled motionless. Another couple bites to my head and a gash opened above my ear, nearly scalping me. The blood gushed over my face and into my eyes. I didn’t move. I thought this was the end. She would eventually hit an artery in my neck and I would bleed out in the trail… But I knew that moving would trigger more bites so a laid motionless hoping it would end.

She suddenly stopped and just stood on top of me. I will never forgot that brief moment. Dead silence except for the sound of her heavy breathing and sniffing. I could feel and her breath on the back of my neck, just inches away. I could feel her front claws digging into my lower back below my backpack where she stood. I could smell the terrible pungent odor she emitted. For thirty seconds she stood there crushing me. My chest was smashed into the ground and forehead in the dirt. When would the next onslaught of biting began. I didn’t move.

And then she was gone.

I tried to peek out without moving but my eyes were full of blood and I couldn’t see. I thought that if she came back a third time I would be dead, so I had to do something. Staying in position on the ground, I slowly reached under my chest to grab at the pistol I was unable to get to earlier. I felt I needed something to save my life. The pistol wasn’t there. I groped around again but nothing. I wiped the blood from one eye and looked around.

No bear.

The pistol and holster were lying five feet to my left. The bear’s ferocious bites and pulling had ripped the straps from the pack and the holster attached to it. Now trashed, that backpack may have helped prevent many more serious bites on my back and spine.

I picked everything up and moved down the trail again. I couldn’t believe I had survived two attacks. Double lucky!

Blood was still dripping off my head and both elbows and my shirt was soaked to the waist and into my pants. But a quick assessment told me I could make it another 45 minutes to the truck without losing too much blood.

I continued the jog just wanting to put more distance between that sow and I.

At the trailhead was one other vehicle. I really hoped that person didn’t run into the same bear.

I snapped a couple quick photos and a video of my wounds, laid some jackets over the truck seat and headed for town. I stopped a rancher along the way and asked him to make a call to the hospital. When I got into cell service, I made a quick call to my girlfriend to ask how her morning was going, before freaking her out and asking her to bring me a change of clean clothes to the hospital.

Another call to 911 and I gave the operator a quick run down of my injuries and asked her to call the hospital and give them a heads up that I was ten minutes out.

Moments later I was met at the front door by the doctor, nurse and an officer. I had to ask the officer to open the door, put my truck in park, and unbuckle my seat belt. My left arm was useless. He was impressed I had taken the effort to buckle.

Once inside, the x-rays revealed only a chip out of the ulna bone in my forearm. Following was eight hours of stitching to put me back together. Most were arm and shoulder punctures and tears. A 5? gash along the side of my head will leave a nasty scar, but I’m hoping my balding doesn’t come on too quickly and leave that one exposed. 🙂

And finally, this morning, numerous deep bruises and scrapes are showing up from the bites that didn’t quite break the skin. Dark bruising in the shape of claws, line across my lower back and butt where the bear stood on me. Also a few more chest bruises and facial abrasions from being smashed and slammed into the ground.

Not my best day, but I’m alive.

So thankful I’m here to share with all of you. 🙂

In a couple weeks I will have to clean out the truck a little better. My girlfriend says it looks like I had gutted an elk in the drivers seat.

Todd Orr. Skyblade Knives.

Sources: Todd Orr Facebook, Joe Byers

Atz Lee and Jane Kilcher Children and the Alaskan Anklebiters

Fans of Alaska The Last Frontier keep asking if Atz Lee and Jane have kids. Yep! They do! So why aren’t they on the show?

Well it could have something to do with Internet trolls criticizing their family and being generally rude, as trolls often do.

While Jane thinks the camera crews are wonderful, the kids’ privacy is important to them. Considering the ten months of camera crews following them around for one season of episodes, we can hardly blame them.

In this age of the Internet, we should be surprised if any kid gets to thirteen without some kind of Internet presence. Kids in this day and age not only have embarrassing baby pictures, but they have them published on Facebook for the world to see, and people critiquing photoshopping kids into amusing scenarios for the best ones.

If you can’t tell yet, suffice to say there are plenty of good reasons for the family to keep their kids’ lives private. What facebook grumblings the adults can take could be a big problem for young kids growing up. At the end of the day, it’s their choice to make, and personally, this writer thinks they made the write choice.

The kids do enjoy watching the feedback of the show, however, and laughing about how viewers seem to think their mild-mannered dad could ever be a ‘drama king’. Just remember, the camera only shows what television thinks will be the interesting part.

I’m sure as they get older we’ll probably see a little more from the Atz Lee and Jane cubs.

by Sam Morstan

Sources: Facebook, Georgia Makitalo

When you Gotta go

Great camping idea when you can’t wait.

Check out this "Business" Bucket for your next outdoors trip!

Posted by The King of Random on Saturday, April 8, 2017

When You Gotta Go…

When you’re in the woods and you need a place to go, you can at least go comfortably with this wilderness lifehack!

Lots of you have probably been putting garbage bags in buckets for this kind of thing (or just been using buckets, you savages), but why not add a little extra luxury for a few added dollars, and put a pool noodle seat on it? You can even hang the paper roll from the handle.

One thing I might add, if I were doing this– maybe consider reinforcing the pool noodle with some duct tape if you’re going to use it for more than one trip. You don’t need an unexpected bucket-butt meeting.

Please remember to pack your lysol and hand sanitizer. For everyone’s sake.

Sources: Sam Morstan, The King of Random Facebook,

Jane Kilcher helps Baby Cow Delivery

Under The Knife : After years of procrastination, Otto goes under the knife. While Charlotte waits, Jane is left to take care of the farm and delivers her first calf alone. Eivin and Atz Lee scout the Head of the Bay, but their findings won’t ease Otto’s concerns.

While we don’t see whether or not the little cow survives this experience, we remain optimistic about the precious bundle of cow soon to come to the Kilcher homestead. Will the calf survive? I suppose the only way to know is to watch Alaska: The Last Frontier and find out.

We’re rooting for the cows on this one. The miracle of life is always a fascinating study!

Video Transcription

Narrator: On the Kilcher homestead, Night descends. But Jane’s arduous day in charge of the family’s livestock still has one critical chore remaining.

Jane: I am watching 7-11, it’s a first-time mom, we’re always concerned with first-time moms because they tend to go wrong more than like an experienced mother. So it makes me nervous. I just don’t want anything to happen on my watch.

Jane: So, last check of the night. Oh boy. Oh goodness. Oh. Oh. Oh my gosh. She’s– oh. Oh. She’s in labor. [gasp] There’s a whole hoof. Oh my goodness. Oh. Oh my god. She’s giving birth right now. Please please please come out healthy. Oh there’s another hoof. Oh, oh my god here it comes. Oh my god. I’m super nervous because I don’t want a calf to die on my watch. Come on, girl. Oh my god that is the tongue! Two hooves and hopefully a tongue. Oh.

Jane: I’m really worried. She’s definitely laboring, like, super hard contractions, and I don’t like that. Otto and Charlotte gave me like, zero instructions on how to deliver a calf, except for that maybe you have to pull them out.

Jane: Oh I can see her mouth! Oh please, is she okay?? Oh my god. Her tongue’s not moving! Your tongue’s not moving at all, I don’t see any life. I don’t see life, I don’t like this. Please, please live. I’m just gently pulling! [grunting] Oh my goodness!

[Cow moos]

Narrator: All New Alaska: The Last Frontier, Sunday at nine, on Discovery.

Moose Road Rage

Maybe don’t tailgate a moose the next time you see one. When these two snowmobilers ran into one, the moose had a little something to say about their tailing too close. These two managed to get out with minimal damage, but it was a good thing at least one of them was carrying a gun to warn the creature off. Nobody got seriously hurt this time, but it certainly says something about packing heat in the wilderness.

Just another day in Alaska

You come home, get ready to relax for the evening, get out of your car, and the moose are fighting again.

Nothing like the snorting and clomping of fighting moose to wake you out of your evening commuter’s haze. These two bulls started battling it out in the middle of a busy suburb. You can see and hear people filming from their cars and holding back their dogs, hoping these too massive beasts don’t cause any property damage in their wake! Thankfully, we don’t see any thing -or anyone- get hurt, and it looks like nobody gets too injured. One bull runs off in defeat, and the spectators got one heck of a show.

Is it an Alaska thing that nobody is fazed by this? The people (including the walkers and their dog, toward which the moose run at the end of the video) all seem pretty relaxed about the two-ton behemoths clashing in their quiet suburb.

Or the other version is that:
Male moose tend to be more aggressive during this time of year, their annual rut cycle, when they spend virtually all their energy looking for females to impress and mate with.

by Sam Morstan



Source: National Geographic Youtube

Bear Patrol in Anchorage

Meanwhile, in downtown Anchorage:

While policework is no picnic in the park, occasionally you get a really unusual case. This one here is one you can really only see in Alaska. Officers had to go chasing a bear all through downtown Anchorage, and make sure it didn’t get into any trouble. Thankfully the bear was able to be moved peacefully, but the event was undoubtedly a little nerve-racking for all involved. There’s a pretty good reason for none of the officers to get out of their car, that’s for sure.