Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like... uhhhhh...

High today: 38
Low today: 29
Biking home today was entertaining due to the fact that I nearly wiped out on some snow covered ice on campus (in front of people, of course.. that's my style. there is a reason I wear a helmet nowadays) and the entire way home the big flakes of snow flew straight into my eyes to block vision. This is nothing new to winter commuting but a little reminder of what the next 7 months or so could be like!
When can I start playing Christmas music?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Frozen Footprints

High today: 42
Low today: 10-20 (depending where you were in town)

Frozen footprints litter the sidewalks of UAF this morning...A very abandoned bike rack in the cool morning.Frozen bliss on the backroads...Trying out the skis down the driveway on Sunday morning..
And some leaves that fell late on the frozen trail...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Seriously Awesome First Snow

High today: 39
Low today: 30

Well Fairbanks, here we are. September 27th, our first snow of the season! Awoke this morning to graupel and flurries falling. Most of the day was dry but light snow began to fall around 8pm so Karen had to put her snow board out and caught some tasty flakes fresh from the sky.
Tonight was some UAF sponsored giant bonfire called "Starvation Gulch". I didn't know anything about it or why it even exists or why a university would sponsor it for that matter, but stopped by briefly to check out the madness. See Austin's blog for the explanation of Starvation Gulch. All of a sudden it was graupeling cats and dogs!!! It was awesome to see the fire versus graupel storm!! And then I found the Germans too, who were supposed to have left! Haha.. they are still here, "car problems" they say.
The graupel soon turned to big giant snowflakes, accumulating quickly on everything.
The snow was some seriously good snowball snow, or "east coast" snow as everyone calls it. We decided to take advantage of it. I wish I would have had my skis in the car too, so I could have made the first tracks in the UAF trails. ;) Below Karen and Becki are making some giant snowballs for a snowman. Below are the girls with our second attempt of the snowman. We had a much taller one but as we walked away to find arms for him, he cracked into pieces. The first one was much rounder. :-)
And autumn turns to winter....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Going Up

High today: 55
Low today: 40Dan is feverishly trying to finish his roof before the snow falls and stays!! Much progress has been made as you can see. It has been really fun being able to play with power tools this summer and to see a home develop!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday Madness

High today: 48
Low today: 30

Today Adam wanted to go "mod-ing" (see Trek mod) on campus.. in simplier terms, big wheeling.. remember those things?? This one has rubber tires though, not those plastic ones!He is a little bit crazy. I tried out the Mod but not on the trails or stairs or anything. He pushed me to make me go fast at one point on the slight downhill pavement and I screamed like a little girl. I'll stick to my big girl bikes. :-)
He was making friends realllly quickly on campus, and we got a ton of funny looks from people.
Check out the video of Adam flying down a hill on campus.
Below Amanda tries out the Mod in front of IARC.
Then tonight I swung by to say goodbye to the Germans (from left, Torsten, Dirk, and Stefan) again.. this is like the 3rd time they are "leaving Fairbanks". Let's see how long it takes them to come back. ;) Torsten already noticed how AK is magnet-like.
ALSO! My exciting new project.. I "found" this bike (just happens to be my frame size), abandoned for a very long time with many missing parts.. you know, brakes, derauiller, shifters, etc.. but the frame is good so that is all that matters. After staring at it daily for several months I decided this could just be the next custom Surly Pugsley (for much much cheaper!) so it has a new home on my front porch for now. I'm going to get the frame fitted for some Snowcat tires this week to see if putting really fat tires on it will be doable. If it doesn't work out then I'll just stick with what I've been snow riding with. It would be awesome to plow through deep snow. LIL' SU HERE I COME!! I found someone who is really excited to help me completely rebuild this bike too, so that makes me even more excited about it, haha. We're going to use as many recycled parts as possible. And I'm going to paint it orange.. because I always wanted an orange bike. :-D

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The 46th Annual Equinox Marathon

High so far today: 49
Low so far today: 44
So really the reason I started running with Matthew and Karen this summer was so we could run the Equinox Marathon relay which took place today. Today also happens to be Karen's birthday.. and at least two other runners' birthdays as well. :-) I never watched a marathon in real life til today, either. It was such a fun event and almost everyone looked great coming into the end. I always imagined what you see at the ones on TV where the finishers look like they're going to keel over.. but I guess a lot of those marathons happen in 80-degree weather. Definitely different from here. :-P I ran the first leg of the marathon to start our team off (way too early in the morning, btw... I was still discombobulated from the morning at the start), Matthew did the brutal uphill portion and Karen finished off the last 9 miles for us, Team Running Bear. Karen got me running in the picture below.
Here's some pictures I took after I was done running. Here's Kristen rocking the course and in good spirits.
Lena with a smile on her face as well!
Matthew looks awfully happy too, for just ascending Ester Dome. He did awesome at the uphill.
Below is my coworker Mike with about 4 miles to go. He is a regular marathoner.
Below Torsten gives Lisa some cookies at mile 22.
My coworker Eric rocked out at the mile 22 water area with his band, Yellowjackets in the Outhouse. We even got them to play Happy Birthday for Karen coming up the hill.A swath of runners head up Goldhill.
Below the birthday girl is about to cross the finish line on the UAF campus.
Great job, everyone!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Three nights in a row

High today: 54
Low today: 38

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Trip to the Outhouse

High today: 47
Low today: 41

...I went back in to get the camera ;)
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Under Northern Skies

High today: 48
Low today: 40
Don't be fooled - the full moon is tricking the camera. It is not daylight, but those colors baby, they sure are alive!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tour de North Fairbanks

High today: 58
Low today: 44
Mileage: 70 km/43.5 miles
Picture above taken by Steffen

My buddy Steffen organized a bike ride today itching to get out since he has been on the North Slope all summer and not able to ride. All I saw in the email was something like, "we'll head up to Fox, up Old Murphy Dome Rd, up to Moose Mountain, back down to Murphy Dome Rd. and then back". Something like that. Reading through the lines and having the most awful sense of distance in this town, I only brought 400 cals of food with me for what turned into a really fun, kind of epic ride. I ran out of food and water really quickly, but it was all good. My stomach's supply of chili and pasta from last night was still intact. The ride was a mix of paved roads, dirt roads, double track made more for a mtn bike, and a killer blazing downhill down Moose Mountain. The colors were still really nice even without sunshine.

Here's the gang, Valerie, Thomas and Steffen taking a snack break on Old Murphy Dome Rd.
It is a crazy small world, because Thomas was on a backpacking trip with me last summer. We have quite a few friends in common.
Below Steffen is pretending to ride right into me.
Old Murphy Dome turned into a one lane rough road. The ruts got much worse than this and the road a lot rockier. Apparently Steffen bit it by catching his tire on a rut but we all missed it since he was behind us. Dang, no entertainment.
Below is a picture taken by Steffen on the powerline trail.Below Valerie blazes down Moose Mountain. Ahhhh the joy of gravity after a lot of climbing!