A personal map of Chester Creek – Construction

Posted by Jimmy on June 21, 2015


Listening to Tall Tails

Posted by Jimmy on June 17, 2015

We have created a unique AR channel through Junaio for Tall Tails. You can still click on the points of interest on the map above to access each story, but can also listen to them on the trail by using the Tall Tales POI channel on Junaio. Just scan the QR code below and then take a walk along the Chester Creek.

QR_423048JI_instruct-7 (dragged)

Thank You

Posted by Jimmy on June 5, 2015

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Thanks to the Parks Foundation, Parks and Recreation, Fish and Game, US Fish and Wildlife, the ARC of Anchorage, Fairview Rec Center, Bike Anchorage, the Anchorage Senior Center, UAF Cooperative Extension IPM, Lydia Selkregg Greenhouse, Northern Placemaking, Aaron Leggett, Lannie Fliecher, Vic Fischer, Dwayne Adams, Maeve Nevins, Beth Nordlan, Colleen Rutledge, Wallace Arthur Smith, Beverly Smith, Tracy Smith, David Wigglesworth, Katrina Mueller, Jessie Haynes, Lindsey Hajduk, Gino Graziano, Hal Gage, Steve Heimel, Bruce Farnsworth, Christopher Constant, Susan Share, Georganne Sprinkle, Matt and everyone else that showed up, crossed our paths or lent their hand or their voice to this project.

Accumulations of Blue

Posted by Ayden LeRoux on June 3, 2015 as , , , ,

I’m back in New York City now, musing on my final map and all the blues I saw in Alaska. The most beautiful blues of course were not manufactured. They were the startling ones, the glimmer of the magpie wing, a gift of berries, my fingers stained with stamp ink as I press the rubber onto white, white paper. The sky is spectacular ink. Now, in the city, the blues don’t seem as luminous as they did in Anchorage. They don’t shimmer and pulse the same way they did in Alaska. Here my vision of the sky is cluttered by skyscrapers rather than treetops. I like to imagine the buildings are gathering bits of sky on their upper floors, as their name might suggest.


I look at the grid of blue sky I gathered from Alaska and think maybe, in spite of my small stature, I was playing the part of a skyscraper while I was in Anchorage. My neck arched upward, peering at the bed of blue. I cut the sky into small cubes, pieces of time portioned out. The clouds peek in, curtains that obstruct the blue, filter and transform it. Blue is the color of accumulating time, time passing, time fading and stacking.



Every Blue I Saw

blue eyes

blue shadows

blue eye shadow

blue postal uniform

blue balloon


my blue-stained fingers

blue magpie wing

blue knit hat

blue duct tape

blue thread

blue pencil sharpener

blue inkpad

blue cracker package

blue retractable dog leash

blue sleeping bag

blue shed

blue cars

blue sandal straps

blue boxtop

blue bottle caps

blue pencil case

blue shorts

blue warning sign

blue bandana

blue railings

blue Snapple lid

blue quilt

blue canoe straps

blue fence

blue inflatable kayak

blue cardboard box

blue portapotty water

blue glass earrings

blue gazebo frame

blue hat buttons

blue barrette

blue trash dumpster

blue bathroom door

blue sweater

blue jeans

blue checked plaid

blue fleece

blue water bottle

blue pencil

blue vest

blue paint container

blue pompom

blue sweatshirt

blue coat

blue hat lettering

blue vehicles

blue bike

blue hat

blue thread on patch

blue t-shirt

blue dress

blue swing set

blue jungle gym

blue zip lock bag

blue signs

blue bike helmet

blue purse

blue baseball cap

blue socks

blue label on charcoal bag

blue label on water bottle

blue wrap

blue tattoo ink

blue sneakers

blue chalk

blue Budweiser label

blue playing card scrap

blue bike

blue chambray shirt

blue sunscreen can



Documenting Tall Tales

Posted by Meghan Holtan on May 31, 2015



Posted by Chris Stiegler on May 25, 2015

I made up this narrative about this place before I arrived. I thought a man named Chester had come into Anchorage by following a pathway along a creek. I thought that this foundational expedition was part of the celebration of 100 years of Anchorage. I decided not to verify this bullshit before hitting the ground here as a way to reinforce the idea of us being explorers, like Chester. In truth, Chanshtnu – meaning ‘grass creek’- is the name the Dena’ina people gave to the creek that flowed between their ancestral fishing camps. When English began to write a history of this area the word was translated to Chester, and thus there was no Mr. Chester, no inaugural expedition, no corollary to the centennial celebration. I was wrong in the beginning – out of focus as it were – so I made the decision to just listen.


So when my earlier, naive ideas were disproven, I let everything else go. I had no plan, but I would have a lot of sources. I had residents of all kinds; recreationalists, planners, employees, and the like to ask questions, listen to stories, and ultimately learn from. These people helped me to understand their place; as a park, as a bike path, as a place of residence. Each of these elements helped me to understand more directly the impact we could have on this trail. For all that it affects, the Chester Creek Trail has the potential of stoking quite a few different kinds of conversations. The trail can become a place for pointed conversations on the environment at large, development in Anchorage specifically, and the manner of individual use that seems to direct the conversation.

As we wrap up our research I want to name my sources. There are certainly more, but these folks helped me understand how the trail engages with, infuriates, excites, and exercises this city.


































A personal map of Chester Creek – Final

Posted by Colin on May 25, 2015


Walking back from the source

Posted by Jimmy on May 24, 2015

TheSource-2014 TheSource-2016 TheSource-2022


On our way back from the Headwaters we ran into an assemblyman, a neighborhood resident and construction workers, all of which gave us insight into the future of the eastern section of the creek. There is a desire to re-route parts of the creek and to dedicate some of the land around it as parks. Muldoon Road was closed for construction. They were putting in a huge new culvert for the Chester Creek. One that would make it much easier for salmon to make their way to spawning grounds. David and Katrina from Fish and Wildlife mentioned this work at our Monday meeting. It seems the week has gone full circle.

Southern Headwaters

Posted by Jimmy on May 24, 2015


TheSource-1950 TheSource-1964 TheSource-1970

After finishing up our final potluck the crew drove up to Muldoon and hiked along the southern branch of Chester Creek, up to where it enters Fort Richardson. The second, larger headwaters to the creek starts as a couple springs in the mountains and passes through Muldoon on its way west to University and Goose Lake. You can see the Authorized Personnel Only sign in the distance in the final picture.

Off Trail and Headed For the Source

Posted by Meghan Holtan on May 24, 2015

On Friday evening we headed for one of the sources of Chester Creek – Russian Jack Spring and then up to Muldoon to watch the creek wrap through the subdivisions and forest up there. On Saturday, we walked back from Russian Jack to Valley of the Moon. Last of the stories are now posted on https://soundcloud.com/guysidewalk . They include:

  • Lagoon place names
  • Moose with human teeth
  • Russian Jack Spring
  • Ox-bow bend
  • Windsong Park
  • Muldoon Road Creek Relocation
  • Holding tanks
  • Russian Jack Springs Park
  • People watching
  • Always an adventure
  • Troll bridge
  • Lights under the ice