Saturday, February 23, 2008

South to the Mountains!!

High today: 22
Low today: 2

Today I headed down to Denali for Winterfest - a fun little celebration down at the park with different activities. It was the first time I got to go down to the mountains since I arrived Jan. 10th - I totally needed some fresh mountain air and to get out of town. I like Fairbanks and all but you know I can't stay still, and 6 weeks is a long time to not go anywhere out of town!
It was my first road trip with the Subie and my first time down the Parks Hwy in the winter. I was totally pumped to see the Alaska Range close up in the winter. Josh and Deb came with me to enjoy the festivities down south. I also learned how to use cruise control - never used it before, haha. Not sure that I like it too much with all of the windy corners.
Driving down it was pretty cloudy so the mountains were obscure but once we got close enough to Denali, the mountains started jutting out into the sky. It was awesome.
At Denali, they were having a snow carving contest. We decided to try our hands at it.
This one is not ours - but I thought it was rather entertaining, especially since the carvers even put some goodies in the toilet - how about it has a roll of toilet paper too!!
Deb and Josh are feverishly working on our moose carving. We named him Mikey the Moose.. he is a very over-fed moose who has more of a bear butt than a moose butt. We got some really good laughs out of passerbys. That's all we really wanted, the entertainment value! Josh actually did a very good job carving out the head of the moose.
Here we are with our finished product.
After our fun in Denali, we headed up to Healy a few miles north of the park to do some exploring at the end of the road. Literally. There is an old coal mine along a creek bed that Josh wanted to hike at.

This little "secret" spot was awesome - tough to walk on the frozen creek but the views were nice despite the clouds, and if you stopped and listened, you could not hear a THING. No passing cars, trucks, airplanes. Nothing. You could lightly hear some water flowing underneath the frozen creekbed. I don't know if I ever encountered that kind of silence before - even in the summer there were either birds chirping, mosquitoes buzzing, etc. What a neat place.To get back down the frozen creek, we decided it was easier to get just on our behinds and slide. Deb decided to race me down part of it, THAT was pretty hysterical. I bet it would have been funny to watch.
After our hike, we headed to the Healy Community Center for some chili and live music. Oh, and people watching - my favorite!

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