Sunday, April 26, 2009

On the mend

After two weeks of feeling like doing nothing buy lying around, I needed to get out of town. We have a reservist physician doing his two weeks a year with us at the hospital so my friend Julia and I invited him to join us for an evening road trip to Denali National Park. The sun isn't setting until nearly 11:30 pm so we left Fairbanks at 4 in the afternoon and did a little road trip with stops in Nenana and Denali.

Nenana is a river town between Fairbanks and Denali that is mostly filled with people working for Crowley, the barge company which operates when the river isn't frozen to take supplies up and down the river to various villages without road transport available. Each year they erect a "tripod" on the ice for the Nenana Ice Classic. The tripod is put in the center of the river and attached to a clock and an electric eye. Tickets are sold with guesses of when the ice will break up and the tripod heads down the river; guess the winning number and you can win nearly $300,000. Last year's winner won $303,000. This year's pot is not quite as big. But I have 8 guesses in...wish me luck.

From Nenana it was on to Healy and Denali. We had a slight interruption by a State Trooper but he was nice enough to tell me that the speed limit was 55 and not 65 for the 11 miles prior to entering the park. He was kind enough to not give me a ticket. The Park is not officially "open" for season until May 15th so the shuttle buses and the visitor center are not up and running yet. However, that means private vehicles can drive the Parks Highway up to where crews have the road cleared. We were able to drive 30 miles in instead of the usual 15 to Savage River. The wind was blowing pretty good through the mountains and Mt. McKinley was behind a cloud as usual but we did see two snowshoe hares and on the way out one moose. Not a bad day!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saved by a Meme...

I've been under the weather again and have a serious case of laryngitis so for lack of anything better to post, here's a meme from Os...

Here's the rules--mention the person that tagged you (did that). Complete the lists of 8's (see below). Tag 8 of your wonderful blogger friends (usually don't do this, but I will!). Go tell them you tagged them (if I have time)!

8 Things I Am Looking Forward To:
  1. Getting my voice back
  2. Showing off my organized craft room tomorrow
  3. Spring
  4. Hiking through AK this summer
  5. Beers on the deck with the sun up at 11 pm at night!
  6. A few trips to the Outisde
  7. Summer visitors
  8. Did I mention, feeling better?
8 Things I Did Yesterday:
  1. Woke up
  2. Saw patients
  3. Took a nap
  4. Made a May Basket
  5. Made 5 matching cards to go with the May Basket
  6. Ate Sudafed like candy
  7. Emptied the garbage
  8. Changed the air fragrance in the craft room
8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
  1. Live without sleep
  2. Lose weight and get in shape, without really working at it.
  3. Backpack through New Zealand
  4. Fall in love and be loved back
  5. Blink and bob my pony tail to get the house instantly clean
  6. Learn to play the steel guitar
  7. Have time...for this, that and the other thing
  8. live without money
8 Shows I Watch:
  1. N.C.I.S.
  2. Bones
  3. Law and Order: SVU
  4. Amazing Race
  5. Criminal Minds
  6. Medium
  7. Saving Grace
  8. CSI
8 People I Tag:
Whomever wants to's 8:48 pm on a Saturday night and I'm going to bed!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Old Man!

How can you not love a man like this?

This last one is the oldest picture I could find on this particular computer but Os and I have been friends since August 1996. That's a long time. He knows my shit, I know his shit. That's what a great friend is all about!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Flat Braden goes mushing

I have been bestowed a privilege of participating in a "Flat Stanley Project". Flat Stanley is a series of children's books about a young boy who is smushed flat by a bulletin board. In the series of books he gets to go on all sorts of adventures. School classrooms have taken on the project to send their students on adventures around the world as well. My friend Lisa's son back in Minnesota sent his "Flat Braden" to me. There was not a lot of requests with it but one was if he would get to see any sled dogs.

This weekend was the 12th Annual Mush for Kids in Fairbanks at Pioneer Park. Since the project wasn't ready in time to take to Nome with me, I felt he still needed a chance before spring to play with the sled dogs. I won't pass up a chance to play with the sled dogs on my own either so this morning I was off on a mushing adventure!

Mom's of other kids will do anything to help out someone else helping a kid with a school project. The puppy pen was very crowded but Flat Braden wasn't scar of a few puppy kisses!

This is how first time kid mushers learn to mush....on a kid size sled with a single dog. This particular musher knew right away what I had in my hand and was more than ready to take him for a ride!
This is more of a Junior musher's sled with a little more equipment to worry about. I tucked Braden safely in but he might get a little windburned without a ruff around his head. Might have to find some seal fur for that!
This friendly dog was taken a break from pulling but he was still all about loving! The kisses were much appreciated by ME too!
My friend Julia needed a new pair of hiking boots so I wasn't going to pass up a stop at one of my favorite stores in Fairbanks. The Prospector was having great sales so we stopped in. A prospector carved in ice had a little room in his pack to take Flat Braden for a bit of a trek. I managed to score a new pair of shoes. Gotta have good shoes so I can continue taking Flat Braden around Alaska!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I'm here but barely...

I've been sick for the last week and barely online. So until I feel human again here are a few more pictures from my adventures in Nome! Yes...those are Christmas trees stuck out in the snow on the Bering Sea. Yes, they call them a National Forest. The gnome greats the mushers as they come up off the ocean over the sea wall onto Front Street. The three of us are all Carroll College grads...two of them live in Nome and didn't know each other until I arranged for us all to get together. What a blast!