Monday, March 30, 2009

Why I Just Might Never Leave For Long

Check out my video to see why I am so attached to this place...

Just another day in paradise..

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ice Alaska

I have quite a few pictures from going to the National Ice Art Championships here in Fairbanks with Josh, Debbie and his parents, but here are just a few from a fun afternoon, playing on ice like a little kid plays at a playground.
Debbie tackled the ice slides like a pro. She started doing tricks on them because sliding down normally was too boring for her.
Below is one of my favorite sculptures. There were quite a few others I really liked, but this one in particular was just nice and simple, no bells or whistles.I had a close encounter with an ice bear.. too bad my bear spray was frozen!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pugsley '09

The time has come for the big purple snow machine to go back to her rightful owners. Thanks to Chris and Kim (and Kristen for mentioning me to them!) for letting me borrow their awesome bike for the last 4 months! We (the bike and I) had a lot of fun and I felt sad giving the bike back.. silly to become attached to a material item but I did it! Thanks Pugsley, it's been an adventure through mush and 20 below.

(and thanks to Picasa for allowing me to look creative in making a collage, woo!)
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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Colorado Creek Cabin

High today: 24 F
Low today: -4 F

Finally went on my first overnight cabin ski trip - yeah!! It's about time. The weather was crystal clear but winds were high so I did not have to launch weather balloons. It was SO nice being able to completely disconnect from work and school this weekend. Headed out to Colorado Creek cabin in the Chena Rec area - was an easy 6 mile ski in. The entire ski in, I was thinking to myself how this would have been a PERFECT bike ride. The trail was super packed since we have not gotten any new snow since the big dump. Some overflow but nothing horrible.
I really liked skiing through the wooded birch trees...
And the more open areas...
We were entertained by Eric on the guitar the first night.
The next morning Celine and I learned how to split wood.. we rocked it. ..sorta.
Here's a group shot of Celine, De Anne, Eric, Bob and I before Bob departed.
That afternoon after a lot of doing nothing (I forgot what that felt like!), Celine and I took the dawgs out for some skijoring. Celine was first, below De Anne coaches Celine on the basics as Celine holds on for her life... I love this photo! :)
Next I was up with my newfound buddies Leroy (the Shepherd) and Gracie (my fav playmate - the husky).Wait a minute doggies, YOU'RE supposed to pull ME! What the crap?!!! Wrong way!
Ok that was not valid for daily exercise, so Leroy accompanied me on a nice hike up the Compeau trail. Again the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Like most everyday in interior AK, it was great to be outside. Leroy was very loyal and checked up on me, stick in mouth, if I stopped to enjoy the fresh air. He was quite the explorer companion dog.
Meanwhile, back at the cabin a game night ensued. Celine and I taught the others how to play spoons, which becomes kind of a vicious game after a few rounds and a few brews. Leroy helped De Anne with her hand.
The next morning we had 3 consecutive good jumping shots and no bad ones. I was overly impressed by the teamwork!
The ski out was WARM. I did not want to go too fast knowing that we had to go back to reality as soon as the trail head came into view. Definitely one of my most relaxing trips in a long long time.
Too bad all the snow fell off of the trees, but can't have everything can ya?
Celine enjoys the ski out.
Ok fine back to the car...
Wow it is so nice out!! 16F and the windows are down to enjoy the fresh air!! I missed the true winter in Fairbanks this year but 16F and a sunny day still feels reaaaaaalllllllly nice!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Graduated from beginner skate skiing!!

High today: -10 F
Low today: -20 F

Well we did it - finished up our beginner skate skiing class! Our original class of 5 people turned into us 3 girls by the end. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot.. considering we all started from zero.. the glory of a beginner class. Really glad I signed up for this class despite this busy spring - it helped balance out the work/play and I got to make new friends in the process!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wandering in the Woods

High today: 5 F
Low today: -26 F

Debbie and I have decided that it is dangerous for the two of us to go out exploring, because we are both the type of people who kind of point in a direction and say "hey, let's go this way" without any real knowledge of where it will go. Today we did just that, convinced that there would be a trail that would lead to another trail that we know.
Alas, we found ourselves pushing, for most of our ride. Since I haven't actually gone riding since the Susitna, it was a bit of dejavue, haha. We couldn't help but laugh the entire time and talk about how we're training for next year!!
And I have to post this picture of Josh and his very nicely shoveled path to the outhouse. I'm about to hire him to fix my driveway up. Just for reference, Josh is 6'1".

Friday, March 13, 2009

Daytrip to Denali

When will the tripod go down? We are putting in our bets this year for the Nenana Ice Classic.
We stopped by to visit the tripod on our way down to Denali this weekend.

Celine's man, Keith, has been here for spring "break" and I finally got to adventure with them today. We went down to Denali for a little day hike in the mountains. We had a spectacular weather day - this time of year is hands down my favorite and it's a little depressing to know that it won't be here forever!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Good Day to Fly a Kite

High today: 26 F
Low today: 11 F
Avg. wind speed: 15 mph
Highest wind gust: 40 mph

After work I headed down to the Tanana River with Dan to do a little bit of kite-skiing. Well, him, not me. I decided to just spectate and take pictures this time, so Sky pulled me along instead. :) Wow skiing is really easy when you have a dog pulling you!! It is rare that we get any winds in Fairbanks so Dan was pretty excited to go out and play with his fairly new invention.
Dan unreels the line of his homemade kite on the Tanana while Sky waits patiently to get going again.
The 7-10 inches of wet snow plus drifts we saw around here made the skiing difficult on the river, and the winds were a bit excessive for this particular kite at some points. Here is a video I took of Dan skiing while Sky was pulling me, which ended up in disaster as taking a video while skiing on snow with a dog pulling you probably should end. Too bad I turned the camera off in time before going head first into the snow. That would have been a riot to have on film. Next time I'll be sure to keep it on.

Near the car we just played with the kite without skis on. It was pretty damn fun.. I haven't flown a kite in a few years.. let alone one that will pull you away and make you face plant and get buried in a pile of snow. haha. I have done a lot of laughing lately from getting caught in big piles of snow whether its walking, skiing, or well, kite-flying! Below Dan manuevers the kite as it tries to pick him up up and away.