Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Signs of Winter

You know things are slowing down for winter in Cordova when the bartender is teaching the one waitress how to knit, behind the bar.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fairbanks' Best Kept Secret

I read this blurb on the web tonight. It was in response to the question, "What is Fairbanks weather like?"

"The weather is probably Fairbanks's best kept secret. With less than 12 inches of annual rainfall and only 70 inches of light, dry snow each year, Fairbanks has just the right weather for summer boating, fishing, birding, hiking and winter snow-machining, snowshoeing and skiing. Summer days are breezy, dry and warm and most winter days are clear or slightly overcast with almost no wind."

This makes winter in Fairbanks sound downright balmy! How is it that so few people come to this veritable paradise? I don't understand.

Perhaps (and this is merely a suggestion) it's because the author of said note failed to mention the nose-hair freezing, front door frozen shut, don't-forget-to-plug-your-car-in-or-you're-screwed, freezing temperatures!

Winter Sunsets

I think winter sunsets in Fairbanks are prettier than summer sunsets.

There tends to be more Denali sightings as well in winter. I still think it's amazing that I can see Denali from Fairbanks at all. Puts it into perspective as to how tall 20,320 feet is, even 120 miles away.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sweet Tanana

I was in Tanana this week and it was nice to be back. I'm not sure why, but there's a decidedly different feel in town this year. It doesn't feel as sad.

Once above the fog when leaving Fairbanks, I had a great view of the Alaska Range. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Livin' the Dream

Some say I'm "living the dream". I don't disagree, I'm just not sure that  "dream" is quite the right word for my gallivanting across the tundra. Adventure?  For sure. Blissful autonomy? Absolutely. But "dream"? Hmmm, that might be pushing it at times (you did read about the boat ride, right?)  But you be the judge. Here's what living the dream looked like this week on my trip to Togiak, Manokotak and Aleknagik.

Sleeping in the nurses station at Togiak school.

Monday, October 15, 2012

If Not By Land, Then By Sea

Or lake, as it were.

I went to Aleknagik last week -- a small village 30 minutes drive north of Dillingham. The district superintendent also had to go to Aleknagik so he gave me a ride. No one mentioned that we'd only be driving to the boat launch. When the road ends you hop a boat to the school. I did not know this. Along the drive, the superintendent kept making comments that I thought were odd but didn't think anything about them.

"Might be a bit choppy on the lake today", he said. I thought he was making general conversation about the weather so I replied, "Yeah, it was really windy up in Manokotak yesterday". No, he was talking about us crossing the lake via boat.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Conversation with a First Grader

Today I had the following exchange with a first grader in Togiak:

Me: Did you ride the bus to school today:
Kid: No, there was a bear at school so my mom drove me. 

I guess there is a benefit to my accommodations being at the school -- I don't have to worry about running into a bear while walking to school. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Little Cordova

Flying in to Cordova on Monday was beautiful. I'm sure I've said it before, but when the sun is out, Cordova is spectacular.

Unfortunately I only had my phone camera with me.  (Long story but I believe someone in TSA is the happy owner of my Sony DSC-H10. Grrr.) I was able to get these two shots, grainy as they are. Cordova sits at the bottom of Mt. Eyak.

Friday, October 5, 2012

What We Need Here

It is my belief that what the Anchorage Airport needs, is a flash mob. Yes, these are the things I think about while meandering the terminals at ol' Ted Stevens International.

Look how forlorn and desolate. It's begging
for a flash mob!