Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lessons Learned at Negative 2

The Fairbanks Borough Parks and Rec department has created a great cross-country ski loop this winter at Tanana Lakes. It's perfect for me, the neophyte skier. I can practice my kick and glide without worry of embarrassing myself in front of the six year olds at Birch Hill. That's not a joke -- kids here ski young and they ski well. 

I skied a loop across the lake and took a few pics. It was a great way to end a stressful week; and so nice to see the sun after 4:00!

It was a great ski.

After I took this picture I tried to start my car with the remote start. I didn't get confirmation beep so I knew it had not started. I figured I was too far away still, for it to work. I typically only take my remote start fob with me when skiing or snowshoeing so that I don't risk losing my keys. 

I got back to my car and the remote start still wouldn't work, nor would it unlock the car. The battery was dead. No problem, I can text someone to bring me a triple A battery. 

Pulled my phone out of my pocket and it was dead. In the cold, phone batteries die quickly. But I am aware of this and keep a chemical warmer in my pocket with my phone, so that it stays warm and doesn't die. Phone was dead. 

I looked around and of course not one person was at the ice rink or the fishing huts. Not one! It was cold, -2 or so, especially being soaking wet from sweating. 

I don't get easily ruffled in these situations but I admit, I did have a few moments of, "Ruh-roh, Shaggy. This could be bad."

My only choice was to start walking and hope that someone was planning a night ski or fishing trip,  and would drive by. Often the parks and rec people are driving around so I was hoping I might run into one of them. If I didn't run into anyone, I knew I could walk to a gas station about a mile and a half away. Once there I'd have to beg for a battery though since my wallet was locked in the car. There was no point in walking home (3 miles away) because I didn't have a key to get inside. 

Better get walkin', I thought! If nothing else it would keep me warm. I was very cold by this time standing by my locked car in my sweat soaked clothes. I considered breaking a window but there wasn't anything available that I could've used to break a window. 

Fortunately I only had to walk about 5 minutes before I saw a car. I flagged it down and asked if they had a battery. AND THEY DID! Who, I ask you, who carries batteries (and triple A none, the less) in their car?!? I guess I will now. And, I will now keep the car key with me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Have you ever wondered what it might feel like to smoke an entire pack of cigarettes at once? I had not wondered that, ever. I found out though when I took a swig from a coffee cup thinking it was my left over morning coffee and it was someone's spit cup. 

As in chew. Dip. Snuff. Chewin' tobaccy. I wasn't grossed out by the fact that I drank and swallowed someone's spit. At least it had belonged to someone I know. Does that make it better? I'm not sure. 

My throat burned and I was certain I had instantly contracted laryngeal cancer from the carcinogens in the used dip. My future passed before me -- I didn't want to burp speak through a stoma in my throat! No, no, no, no, no! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

It All Comes Down to This

This Saturday I'll be competing at a powerlifting meet in Fairbanks. It's a USA Powerlifting sanctioned meet where state records can be set. Lucky for me the rules of USAPL dictate that as a Masters athlete (that is, 40 years old and up) you compete in the age bracket based on the age you'll be on December 31st of that year. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ice Fishing

This week marked the 5th anniversary of my arrival in Fairbanks.  To mark the occasion I went ice fishing for the first time. 

I hadn't been fishing in years.  The most fishing I did as a kid was at the Trout Farm in Calistoga, where everyone gets the catch of the day. 

Here I am with my catch at the Trout Farm. I was about 4 years old here. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Grandma Mary

My mom's mother, Mary, passed away on Wednesday. I wasn't particularly close to her but she was certainly the matriarch of the family. Thanksgiving was the big holiday for my mom's side of the family to congregate. My mom was one of nine children, although not all biologically belonging to Mary. My mom has one biological brother and sister. The three had been in and out of foster care most of their young years before going to Mary's house. Mary took my mom and her siblings into her existing family of six. They were never formally adopted but Mary treated them as her own. I only knew her as my grandma.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Table Top Mountain

Fairbanks has been having great weather this summer. Yes, the entire state has been on fire and that has made for some smokey days in the 'banks, but in general, it's been a terrific summer. Days at the lake, paddle boarding, kayaking and most recently a lovely hike in the White Mountains.

My friend Hilary, her dog, Cedar, and I tackled Table Top. Getting out of town was an endeavor all on its own. We returned her husband's cell phone to him at work, dropped her son off at daycare and lastly got coffee. I'm impressed with all we did pre-coffee. It is not easy to answer a three-year old's questions sans caffeine. We should have had a pre-coffee coffee but therein lies the dilemma: how do you think clearly about coffee when you haven't yet had coffee? Thank goodness for Fairbanks' many, many drive-thru coffee huts. If you can just get yourself to the coffee hut, it will all be okay.

We hiked to the top of that plateau. 

Fielding Lake

In June I stayed at the Fielding Lake public use cabin for two nights. It's a great spot. I was glad to have the cabin though because the wind was ferocious. And when it did stop the mosquitos came out in full force. If I'd been tent camping I would've been miserable. I kayaked one day. The wind was just tolerable. Not so bad that I couldn't get anywhere, or was worried about tipping over, but strong enough that when I stopped to take a picture I was blown back and lost ground.

The cabin.