Monday, June 29, 2009

Dirty River Kids on the Klutina

Well since I wasn't able to race with my team, the "Dirty River Kids" at the 24 Hours of Light this year in Whitehorse as planned, I rightly represented the team as a dirty river kid on the Klutina River this weekend fishing for reds with Josh and Debbie... and scouting out a killer bike trip.
Fishing is Josh's hobby, hands down. It was fun to go with these two and I learned a lot of basic fishing techniques that I never picked up in past trips.
After the salmon run seemed to hit a lull in the evening, we decided to hit the road south another 100 miles to the end of the road in Valdez. Once we got there, we decided there wasn't a whole lot for us to do there.. so ended up making some food and peaced out back north a bit to Blueberry Lake where we hid like bandits in the trees for free camping. I had not been south of Glennallen ever, so it was exciting and kind of strange being in a completely new place where I didn't know where the highway went around the next corner. I love love LOVED going through the Worthington Glacier area, up Thompson Pass (awesome views!!) and through Keystone Canyon.. rightly named for an awesome state with lots of little "canyons" in which I was born in. ;)

Here's a view of Worthington Glacier in the state rec area.
This is the first thing I did that the doctor would say "no" to.. but was very careful and took my time hiking up to the glacier. It was WAY too close to not go up to.. you have got to be kidding me to not go up and get close and personal with that ice.
These signs made me laugh. From the road the trail this sign refers to did look awfully steep but definitely doable.. esp. if you go around it and take a different route.
Here's some flowers and mountains at Thompson Pass!! A snapshot doesn't do it much justice... the whole 360 view makes Thompson Pass all it's cracked up to be. Hopefully this winter I can get down there for some skiing.
There are a few waterfalls along the Keystone Canyon. This one is Bridal Veil Falls.
And we made it to Valdez! Reminds me a lot of the marine towns on the Kenai Peninsula. Boater heaven, for sure!
Ha ha.. just you wait til I bike to Valdez....
This speed limit sign is for my sisters... they will know why it's significant.
We had dinner at Allison Point along the ocean. Those seagulls were really talking.
Blueberry Lake. North of Valdez just below Thompson Pass.
"So you went fishing, huh? How about the fish you caught?" Uh, we'll just say I think I should stick to biking as my main hobby and leave the fishes to someone with a little better luck and with a longer attention span. Though casting was therapeutic for a short time, I was happier hanging out with a book in my hand, watching other people catch fish out of the beautiful turquoise water and making the fishes mouths pretend they're talking when they were being filleted.

Here's Debbie catching a fish - see it flopping in the water???And then the rain poured down... hard. I got to test my new rain pants and they rocked.
The rain drove everyone out. Even us after awhile.. it was time to go home and call it a weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ode to My Knee

To My Knee.
the bending point of non-stop pedaling.
the sustainer of impact from pounding legs on the trail.
the secret to the ups and down of stairwells.
the control on gas and brake pedals on a car.
the bearer of stress pulling on you from the bottom of your leg while doing nothing.
the founder of getting up when you fall down.
To My Knee.

here's to long runs in the rain.
to endless cycling even if we get too close to a tree.
to running up and down scree slopes.
to jumping pictures.
to squatting to pee in the woods.
and to a much much better mentality...
in a few weeks...
To My Knee.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My bud on the Wheel of Fortune

So I am a month or more late on this, but finally got the time to watch my friend Tom win loads of money on the college Wheel of Fortune from way earlier this spring. I have to share it with everyone, because I laughed throughout the entire episode.. I think because I spent way too much time with this guy in college and his enthusiasm had me rolling on the floor. You might think he's a little goofy just watching him on WoF.. but that's my buddy Tom and that's why so many of us love him. My friend Joey posted these on Youtube - thanks Joey! This totally made my day.

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Solstice Shenanigans

One of my favorite "holidays" in Alaska, the celebration of the longest day of the year - summer solstice, honing in on 21 hours and 49 minutes of above-the-horizon sunlight. The weekend was full of social activities, visitors, and other shenanigans.Ashlee, Celine and I went to Value Village looking for costumes for them for the sun run, and found 3 identical sparkly dresses.. so I dressed up with them. Even though I couldn't run the race, it was still a blast being a "back up dancer" or what I called us, the "clearance rack shoppers". As always, the sun run was a big party in Fairbanks..

Some of the FCC members led the runners off...
Holy cow.. personally, I could not run 6.2 miles wearing a wedding gown AND carrying a bouquet! This guy's costume was "runaway bride".. impressive!
At the finish line, the announcer made a comment that none of the costumed finishers had come in yet.. and I responded with a "I bet you Peter Pan will be the first one in!" and he was.. "Peter Pan" Joel is a hella fast runner.. and a ton of fun, as you can tell. We had way too much fun making costumes.
And cheerleader Jim comes pom-poms in hand to the finish line!
Anna also cheers. I love the expressions coming out of people at the finish line.
We found Debbie too! Even though it sucked to not be able to run, it was really fun to cheer everyone on. My friends did really well, all beating their personal goals.
Nikole and her friends Donde and Steve were visiting from Anchorage. It was a lot fun spending time with them as well.The four of us went up the hot springs the next day and went to the ice museum.. it was my first (and probably only) time, but I will say it was pretty cool to go just once!
Nikole and I had a contest to see whose ice martini glass would melt more slowly while we were in the hot springs. I can't even remember who won.. I think it was Nikole. Obviously it was not a big deal. :0)
Happy Solstice! Now we are losing daylight! 3 months til the snow falls. ;)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cabin work summer #2

This post goes out to Stef, who always asks about Dan's cabin. It is looking more like lincoln logs everyday, especially with the shiny waterproof exterior layer.
Sky seeks refuge under the cabin away from the blazing sun.
Rena and Ted showed up just as we were finishing, just in time for dinner time!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rainbow Ridge-ish

I don't have many pictures from this trip since my camera died and it rained nearly the entire time, but here's a few from the Rainbow Ridge area south of the Castner glacier off of the Richardson Highway.

The colors were pretty despite the rain. Wildflowers are running rampant along the land up here this time of year.
Matt and Karen ascend some steep scree below. As Matt put it, "this here is steep, that up there is 'yikes!'", as we hiked towards even steeper scree.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Walter Returns!

Walter our favorite South African came back for a visit. Though the booze cruise was nothing like any of the ones last year since we were missing a few key people, all had a good time and it was a perfect day to be on the water. Here's Walter and Val on the SOAR, gracing the Chena River with their lovely opera voices. Walter even sang the crocodile song for us! He got some cheers from the shoreline.
Andrew and Rena smile for the camera. Andrew was visiting from Anchorage.Contemplating life at the Boatal.. potentially the sleaziest bar in Fairbanks, but they have a nice deck!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mountain Bike Races!!

Today there were 4 mtb races at Moose Mountain for an annual race in Fairbanks! This is the first year I was actually in town for the race. Unfortunately, I did not realize that you had to do all 5 "stages" of the race for it to actually count... until the end when everything was over. Kind of disappointing that I don't even know my times. What ever happened to results for each separate race??? Oh well, I still had fun. It is just nice to know your results for the next time around. Here's some people after the XC race on Saturday morning.
The second stage on Saturday was a trials course which was AWESOME! You had to perform "stunts", such as going over a jump and not hitting a plastic bottle on the other side, going over the teeter-totter, a balance beam (Laura shows below), swerving around plastic bottles (which I could not finish, bah agility!), clear a car tire, and balance your bike for ten seconds within a box area on the ground. Needless to say, this part was a blast and some of us could play on it all day long.I don't know this guy's name, but I got a sweet picture of him gaining air on the teeter-totter. These young guys lifted up their bikes at the right time and got a ton of air.Third, was the predicted time course (which I rocked.. by luck.) It didn't matter how fast you went, you went at your own pace, timed yourself around one lap, then predicted how long it took you to do two laps. One second off, suckas! Take that. ;) Makes up for my excessively horrible timing during the Turkey Trot 5k last fall!The last event was what they called "Miss and Out" - and you went around the loop and whoever was last coming into the end of the lap got kicked out until only one was left. Pretty fun but I was not thinking strategy and it definitely involves such. Next year!!While Tom and Rocky were figuring out our times, Laura and I started building jumps. This one was awesome! We put the car tire, some wood, and the jump from the trials course on top. Did someone mention there is a big log up there? Heeeeck yes! This was about a 2 foot drop, though it's hard to tell from the picture. It is a log the snowboarders use for tricks in the winter. At a sketchy angle, but definitely doable.I think we need more of these shenanigans!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

MTB races in Fairbanks

You should come!! (I'll be there except for that hill climb. Who climbs hills purposely without going down them?!!)

-FRIDAY :: Mountain Bike Stage Race - Hill Climb @ Anne's Greenhouse Pull Out 6PM Reg 7PM Race
-SATURDAY :: Mountain Bike Stage Race - Cross Country @ Moose Mountain Club House 9AM Reg 10AM Race
-SATURDAY :: Mountain Bike Stage Race - Trials Course @ Moose Mountain Club House Reg - Race Noon
-SATURDAY :: Mountain Bike Stage Race - Predicted Time Course @ Moose Mountain Club House Reg - Race 1PM
-SATURDAY :: Mountain Bike Stage Race - Goldstream Cross Country @ Moose Mountain Club House 1:30 Reg 2PM Race

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wear Your Helmet

They do come in handy every once in awhile!

Monday, June 1, 2009

9:30pm and we're just starting

High today: 73 F
Low today: 47 F

The whole midnight sun thing is screwing with us all as it does every summer. I met up with Adam and Karl tonight for a ride on Ester Dome. We did not stop much because the mosquitoes were hungry, so I don't have any good photos.. just this one as the boys lead the way down the Alder Chute.. of which I sadly crapped out (i.e. didn't ride the rest) on about 3/4 of the way down.
And a couple of Karl playing on the dirt jumps in Adam's yard. Awesome. This is at about 11:30pm.