Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Global warming? Really?

Current amount of snow in Anchorage on the ground...approximately 2-3 inches.
Current amount of snow in St. Louis on the ground...approximately 6.
Take a look at the picture my mother sent me from their first snow storm of the season.

If it was really and truly global warming, shouldn't St. Louis be something like 70 degrees right now?
They (the scientists) say that it (global warming) causes more snow and for it to be colder during the winter? Eh? That makes absolutely no sense on any scale to me, it defies logic & physics. Since when does warming=colder?
It's late, and trying to wrap the logic that the earth is getting warmer but yet we will end up with colder winters and more snow makes no sense what so ever...it's bed time for me.....YAWN.

If I only had an extra $5,000

Some of my friends know that I love Craigslist.com and Freecycle.com. Primarily because I've found some great buys...like my truck, stands/cage that I got for Paco at fraction of the cost, not to mention that I got a free working washer! I keep looking over the listings on Craigslist trying to find a couch & loveseat, but so far, no luck. I've also had some fun looking at other things, like this:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's snowing! Finally!!

Well, it finally started snowing again.
Right now, it's 34 degrees, so I'm wondering how long it's going to hang around.
We started of with the huge flakes and the have shrunk considerably, meaning that it has gotten a little bit colder...but the flakes are still pretty wet.
There is a forecast for snow on the next three days. Knowing my luck, since I'm scheduled for 3 on, 1 off, 2 on, 1 off then 2 on, it will snow like the dickens the next 3 days and warm up that last night that I work and melt it all, so I'm not going to hold my breath about skiing when I get off work and have that night off.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I LOVE Craigslist & Freecycle

Most everyone knows that I found my truck on Craigslist.com, got a decent price on a great used truck. Also got a great price on a "new" cage, floor stand and a table stand...paid about what it would cost for the table stand for all three items. I'm assuming that Paco loves them because he willingling & readily gets on the stands. We haven't spent the night at the house yet so I'm not sure about the cage.
Now, for Freecycle, somehow, I managed to be the first for a "newish well working" washer! I'm hoping to pick it up tomorrow morning. My biggest challenge though, will be to get in into my house by myself!
Now, if I could just find a couch!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Last week, on the 28th that is, we had an earthquake, pretty good one too. Well, by my Midwest standards anyway.
When the quake hit, I had just rolled over in bed (worked the night before and again that night) when it hit, the bed shook for about 10 seconds and stopped...just long enough for me to think "oh, it's an earthquake". It ranged some where between a 5-5.2, depending on the source of the info.


Well, ok, I've been slacking big time here.
I got really discouraged about a month ago when I tried to change my layout and lost all my extras (lists, photo slide shows, etc). Live & learn, set up a dummy site, dummy. So, between teaching myself XML & work, I'm hoping, over the next week or so, to get caught up on the things I was wanting to write about...SINCE ALL the snow has all melted in the Anchorage area, I don't have much choice on activities. GGRRRR...can we say:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Winter doesn't mess around in Alaska

Three days ago, I had a shock when I went out to my car...there was a dusting of snow on it! And on my drive out of town, I hit an area that looked like they got some where between 1/2-1 inch of snow!
What is even more unbelievable is that it's only been three weeks since I was in Fairbanks, basking in the 50's & 60's and admiring the beautiful fall foliage. Now, as I check the current temp in Fairbanks, it's a balmy 16 degrees above zero, here in Anchorage it's currently 33 degrees. I guess I need to break down and pull out the winter coat for on the 10 day forecast, 4 of them call for snow.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's funny how things work out....

I have to laugh to night.
You see,earlier today I'd called my good friend Sarah thinking she had already returned from Nome and was in Memphis. Well, when she answered the phone, she thought I was in St. Louis. To both of our surprises, we were both in Anchorage. Me in my apartment, her in the airport. What makes this so funny is that each time our assignments ended, we tried to meet up in St. Louis. It never happened, once we missed each other by a mere 6 hours. So, after the last 10 1/2 months of us trying to connect @ home, we've now meet up 3 times in Alaska!
After we both got over the initial shock that we were once again in the same city...in Alaska, we had decided to go out for dinner and a little shopping for her plane wasn't to leave for another 3 1/2 hours...too bad I hadn't called two hours earlier for I could have driven her up to Willow to see my new cabin, which she has been wanting to see in person.
We had done the shopping bit pretty quickly for Sarah needed a roll around backpack or suitcase for her carry-on (her over the shoulder pack was hurting her back).
With a little over two hours before she needed to be back at the airport, we stopped at The Anchorage Cattle Company for dinner. It was a good thing we had 2 hours, took 15 minutes to have some one come to the table, another 10 before we finally got a menu and it took almost 45 minutes for our meal to arrive (good thing we were only 10 minutes away from the airport!) To make matters worse, they brought out Sarah's dinner, but not mine...was another 10 minutes before I got my dinner. When it was brought out, there was no baked potato (this was at 6:30 so it's not like it was the end of the night), they were out, so I opted for the garlic mashed potatoes. Another 10 minutes go by, no taters...seemed that they were out of those too and it would take another 15 minutes before they were ready so the waitress offered a free dessert. I took that instead of the 15 minute wait for mashed potatoes.
Too bad about the place, the food was really good but the lack of supplies and lousy service just screams "we are going out of business" and/or "our management sucks big time".
All in all, we were able to catch up on things during our insanely long wait times and talked about plans as to where we wanted to work next and possible connection points for us to get together again.

Back in Anchorage

Well, I'm back in Anchorage.
Not quite settled in for I have yet to close on the house in Willow, and I want to get my stuff to Willow before deciding what needs to stay here in Anchorage. Ugh.

Yesterday, I drove out to Whittier, it's about an hour away. The cool thing is that the only way you can get there by car is to go through a tunnel that was originally designed for just a train to go through. I do believe it was back in 2000 that they reworked it so that cars could go through it also, though, not at the same time. One neat thing, since it's only a one way tunnel, there is a schedule as to when the tunnel is open to get to Whittier and when you can go through to get to the rest of the state.
Here is a link for the tunnel:

(sorry, don't know why the auto link isn't working)

I had lucked out both times and arrived at the tunnel just as it was being opened for the direction I was going. So, I had no time to eat the lunch that I had brought with me.
Luck was also with me, in the fact that I was going to drive to Seward, but then decided not to do it. I stopped at a pull over point on the Seward highway on my way back to Anchorage to eat my lunch...a very late lunch at that. Not long after I'd finished my sandwich, I noticed a white line off in the distance, I shrugged it off thinking that I wouldn't be as lucky to stumble upon the right place and right time to watch the bore go through. I'd noticed that the white line had gotten closer, still thinking that it was a play of the sun & clouds, I kept an eye on the line...just in case. Well, not much more than a minute later, I had come to the conclusion that it was my lucky day and I'd get to see the bore tide for the first time in person. I was amazed as to how loud it was, and how quickly it moved. You can see and hear it here in this video.

After watching the tide come through, I understand how it can be surfed, and yes, there are a BUNCH of crazies that do surf it!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Anchorage bound

I'm getting really excited about this next assignment that I have. Though, I do have to admit, part of the excitement is due to my new home.
I'm excited about the new position, as for it will be a step up in skill level. It is a Long Term Acute Care Hospital. Essentially, it's a large step down unit. This hospital will not have OR suites or an ED. As it was explained to me, some patients are ones that need more time on a vent, or are too sick to go home and be alone but for one reason or another can't go to a rehab facility or are in need of some complicated dressing changes that home health is not willing to do.
It will be interesting to see how close my job comes to the descriptions.

What has me really excited is my new house, I've already got paint picked out for the rooms and I can't wait to get painting, which by the way, won't be any problems since I don't have any furniture to put in it at the moment. That is something that when I think about it, gives me mixed emotions, both excitement and dread. Excited cuz I get to shop, dread because I get to shop...I'm not looking forward to the tired feet from pounding the floors of department stores looking for the right couch, dishes or curtain nor am I looking forward to arranging deliveries on the larger items either!

Now, some people think that I'm crazy enough to drive from Willow to Anchorage every day (where do people get this idea?...I'm not that nuts, am I?). Let me shatter that belief right now! I'm not going to nor am I willing to drive 80-90 miles after a 12 hour night shift, much less turn around and do again that very evening...especially during the winter! What I'm doing is that I'm splitting time with another nurse, who works 12 hour day shifts, on a garage apartment. When I have more than one or 2 days off (or no plans to do anything in Anchorage or the Kenia) I will drive to Willow and Paco and I will spend time there.

It Sucks being on Alaskan time and be in Central time...

So, here I sit, in St. Louis, it's 11:15 PM and my body thinks it's 8:15 PM. What sucks about it is that everyone has gone to bed and I'm not ready to...so, here I sit, playing on the puter.
My friend, Sarah, has posted a bunch of polls/tests/whatevers on her blog and I checked out the website and played with some there, I got a kick out of the results on the one below......Keep in mind, my profession and the fact that I LOVE blue & green.

Your Inner Color is Blue

Your Personality: Your natural warmth and intuition nurtures those around you. You are accepting and always follow your heart.

You in Love: Relationships are your top priority, and this includes love. You are most happy when you are serious with someone.

Your Career: You need to help others in your job to feel satistifed. You would be a great nurse, psychologist, or counselor.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I should be packing.....

But NO, I'm sitting here, procrastinating and taking silly tests on line!
I've got a couple things I want to do, but I'm not going to allow myself to do them until I get all the stuff I want sent down to Anchorage packed and ready to go....since I'm leaving for Deadhorse the morning I get off work and will be gone every day that I have left off before I have to leave for my plane in Anchorage, I got to get busy!!! I guess I need to add: play on computer to my list of things I can do AFTER I get things packed!!!!

This test I found interesting....guess I need to go and get a copy & read it!

You're Siddhartha!

by Hermann Hesse

You simply don't know what to believe, but you're willing to try
anything once. Western values, Eastern values, hedonism and minimalism, you've spent
some time in every camp. But you still don't have any idea what camp you belong in.
This makes you an individualist of the highest order, but also really lonely. It's
time to chill out under a tree. And realize that at least you believe in

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Lovely signature from an email I receive from a Yahoo group

Lord, keep Your arm around my shoulder
and Your hand over my mouth.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

New Assignement!

Well, I've interviewed and got the job in Anchorage!
St Elias is a Long Term Acute Care Hospital and is fairly new, they took in their first patent back in December. When my recruiter told me about it, it sounded like a nursing home to me and I was very leary of even interviewing for a position. I'd asked around and did some research on the web and it did not sound like a nursing home. I've heard nothing but good about it.
The people I interview with gave me the example of a patient that is having difficulties being weened from a ventilator. The patient is sent to St. Elias so that they can be weened off instead of being terminally extubated (MD expects pt to die from respiratory arrest because they no longer are assisted by a machine).
I'm excited about being in Anchorage, the "BIG" city...will be able to go to the Olive Garden when it opens!!!! WOOT!!!!
So, my next assignment will start on the 1st of October, I'm planning on being home for a hair over a week before heading back this way.

Closing on hold

Between the subcontractors & the electric company, there is no way that the house will be ready in 2 weeks.
The sheetrockers told the contractor, "Oh, sorry, we forgot" last week and were supposed to start on Tuesday, well, I was there Tuesday and there was no sign of sheetrock much less the guys to get it up. So, everything inside is at a stand still until the walls are up and painted. With the insulation, sheetrock & painting, I'm thinking that they have close to a week on the walls alone....depending on how many guys there are that is. Oh, and they are the ones that are going to be putting in the cabinets too
The electric company has yet to show up to hook up the electricity. The contractor told me that he had a friend that put in for a hook up back in May, and it finally got hooked up last week! If that holds true, the power company won't get off their duff until November to get mine hooked up. Grrrr....
The subcontractor for the septic system wasn't able to make it out due to his machinery was broken and he was waiting on a part. Really no biggie here cuz it can be done while everything else is being completed.
So, if the power company hooks things up in a timely manner:

Contractor: 3weeks left
RealEstate agent: 3 weeks left
Me (my gut feeling):4-5 weeks

Will be interesting to see who is right!

Who knows when if the power company decides not to do anything....if I had about 5 grand extra, I'd set up an all solar house and tell the power company to go do something with themselves.

Friday, August 24, 2007

It was a beautiful day for a drive

Today, Laura and I took a trip up the Dalton Highway to the Yukon River. It was a beautiful day for a car ride to the middle of nowhere, and it was fun to see the very beginnings of the fall colors creeping into the landscape.
The trip took a little longer than expected due to construction. We originally wanted to make it up to the Arctic Circle but because of the construction delays, we missed our mark by a mere 60 miles...I'm seriously thinking of renting a larger vehicle and driving back up later next week
But we had fun any way.
We stopped for lunch at the Yukon River before turning around. There we had a raven join us for lunch, and I did get some pretty good photos of him.
I was a little amazed as to the size of the Yukon, it kinda reminded me of the Mississippi at St. Louis, wide and muddy.

Both Laura & I were amazed as to the surface of the bridge....WOOD!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Decisions, decisions

Well, I've been submitted for a job in Anchorage and one in Valdez.
I'd like the job in Valdez for the shear beauty of the area, not to mention the abundant wildlife AND awesome fishing!!!
I'd like the job in Anchorage (an acute long term care facility) for it sounds like a step up in skill level for me, better pay than Valdez, but I'm afraid that maybe the job may peg hole me as a nursing home nurse...and I've worked with some nurses that have just come from a nursing home and my only comment is: Scary, very scary. Not to mention that I know a couple people in Anchorage....and that my new house (that is supposed to be completed prior to 9/15....geeze, 3 weeks away!!! Still feeling paranoid about the whole thing...gotta have those keys in my hand before I feel that it's really mine) is a little more than an hours drive away.
I'm torn!
I really won't be able to make a complete decision until I interview with the facilities, I hope one of them will make the decision really easy for me, but then again......
Well, I guess I've got some time on my hands tomorrow, for Laura (my long lost twin sister) and I are going to be driving up the Elliot Highway in hopes of making it to the Arctic Circle before we have to turn around. I will be posting pictures!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Trip to Nome

Finally have recovered from hitting the ground running on my return from visiting my friend, Sarah, in Nome.
I was supposed to leave Monday night, ended up missing my flight....by 5 minutes. Well, I should clarify that, the flipping line was so friggin' long that by the time I'd gotten up to the counter it was 5 minutes past check in time, next time I'm on a short trip, I'm making sure I don't have baggage to check! Ended up getting the first flight out of Fairbanks the next A.M
It was an enjoyable trip, every night we went to the beach and looked for beach glass (found quite a bit!), and didn't have any luck salmon fishing at all :(
One day we took a trip out to Salmon Lake and Pilgrim Hot Springs with some of Sarah's friends. We did a little berry picking at Salmon Lake(they were REALLY good, YUM!). We came across a herd of musk ox on the way to the springs and took a bunch of pictures of them. At the hot springs, I stuck my feet in the hot tub for the water was way too hot for me!
I left Thursday night (the last flight out of Nome), spending the night in the Anchorage airport to catch the first flight out to Fairbanks. I arrived back in Fairbanks around 8:30 or so...by the time I'd picked up Paco, got his cage back together and both of us fed (they didn't serve any snacks, and the only beverages were water, coffee and OJ-heartburn city!) it was almost 11 and I had yet to unpack my suitcase! I did open it up to to take out the stinky starfish that we had found the first night we went out beach scavenging and make sure nothing else that I had bought had been broke in transit. Assured that everything made it in one piece, I managed to get to get about 6 hours of decent sleep before going into work....it was a tough night due to the lack of sufficient sleep.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

A new home :)

Well, I'm officially on my way to becoming an Alaska resident, you have to be here a year to be a true resident and that will be November 18th for me. I put in a bid for a house in Willow Alaska and they accepted! We are supposed to close on or before Sept. 15th. I'm still having problems believing that it's mine....not changing/giving out my address until it is officially mine (keys in hand...being the typical paranoid me).
It's a log home, 2 bedroom with ~860 sq.ft. The house is in the process of being completed so I've been able to influence some decisions about things like: bathtub/shower or just a shower, gas range vs electric, etc. Right now, if anyone comes for a visit, you will need to bring your air mattress and sleeping bag!
The next time I'm down that direction, I will take pictures to post (this one the realestate agent set to me!)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Lovely trip to Anchorage

Last week I spent a couple days in Anchorage, rained the entire time I was there. Felt sorry for the tourist that were missing out on the beautiful mountains that surround Anchorage.
Saw Dahl sheep along the Seward Highway, stopped by the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center where I got some REALLY good pictures of elk (they used to be in Alaska 1,000 year or so ago), buffalo (yep, they are here naturally, they are NOT plains buffalo but are what are called forest buffalo and caribou. After Martina had taken me to AWCC we stopped by Bird Creek to fish for silvers (salmon), they weren't biting, but the coolest part, my picture made it into the Anchorage Daily Newspaper the day before yesterday!!!! I'll have to see if I can scan it and post the picture. On the drive back to Fairbanks, I saw a really pretty shot of fireweed, the Parks Highway and a mountain, AND a little further down the road was a cow moose. I felt like I was in Yellowstone, for when I came upon about 5 cars pulled off to the side of the road, I HAD to slow down to see what they were looking at. I was so excited because the only animal I'd seen so far on the Parks Hwy was birds. Some of these folks HAD to be tourist, for I find it hard to believe that an Alaskan would stand between their car & the moose!!!!....a lot of biologist consider moose to be more dangerous than a bear.
On my trip back to Fairbanks, I'd noticed that there was more snow on the mountains than 4 weeks ago....I can't believe that there are already signs of winter showing up!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July!!
O.k., to night is going to be another first for me...first time I've not seen fireworks on the 4th of July. For some reason, it seems a little depressing. Though I do have to say there were fireworks several time during the winter. They have a HUGE display for the New Year here.
Take a look at some of the pictures that I've posted on Picasa...
--When I back in Alaska, the wild iris (aka in the Midwest as Siberian Iris) was in full bloom. Most places where I saw it was just a couple plants here & there, but when I got to Fairbanks, I was in awe, a fairly large area just covered in it. Everyone here that has them in their landscape went out to the outskirts of town and dug up their plants.
--On a day off last week, I drove all the way to the end of Steese Highway....well, to the end of the pavement, if I had a decent car, I'd drive to the end of the gravel road to see what is out there. I've got some pictures of fireweed (not good ones, but I'm on the look out for better plants) and some Alaskan Cotton.
Plans for the next week or two (not in stone yet because census is high right now and I might get to work more overtime):
--Botanical Gardens
--bus trip in Denali Park, hoping to find some one to go with me, if i can't, I'll be headed down there solo.
Things that I'm wanting to do before September:
--Anchorage...fishing for halibut & silver salmon
--Nome...see the tundra's flora & fauna...and see Sara, too!
--Fall trip to Denali, everyone has told me that Denali is GORGEOUS in the fall
--explore a couple more of the highways till they run into gravel roads
--hoping to be in town when the fair is in swing so I can take pictures of the ginormous veggies...can't wait to see 20-30 lb cabbage!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

24 hours of visible light-ugh!

Official sunrise 3:01 am, sunset 12:46 am, giving the length of day to 21 hours, 45 minutes....tomorrow will be 2 minutes 42 seconds shorter on the length of day. And we are still at 24 hour of visible sunlight!
This length of light is really weird and have come to the conclusion that it's the main reason for making Paco such a pill. Last week he bit my neck twice, hard enough to bruise but not break the skin, 2 days ago was a different story. That was the first time he's bit me & drawn blood...pretty good size gash too. I was suspecting the amount of light, I've got him next to a north facing window in this apartment. My suspicions were confirmed in a discussion on one of my Yahoo groups when someone asked why their year old Quaker was being newly aggressive...a breeder responded that it could be the amount of light the bird was getting.
I on the other hand am just plain tired from all the sunlight...and I mean tired, when I was home in ST Louis, I was sleeping 10 hours each night, very unusual for me for I usually get somewhere between 6 & 7 hours. I was so happy to see stars for the first time in months that I stood in the dark, staring up at the night sky looking at the stars for at least 10-15 minutes.
The ever present sun has given me a new out look on night & the stars...just like back in the winter when I went for weeks without seeing the sun helped give me a new outlook on the sun & sunsets....I remember the first time I saw a sunset in almost 2 months, due to work schedule and weather. Honestly when I look back on it, it was not that great of a sunset, but at the time it was beautiful.
The extreme lengths of light & dark each have their beauty. The lack of light allows the snow to collect on the trees, creating that fairy tale effect that you can see on some of my cross country skiing pictures. The extreme length of day has allowed everything to grow VERY quickly, and there are some really beautiful flowers blooming...I have a folder made for just the wildflowers that I've taken pictures of...check it out! http://picasaweb.google.com/marzsaetel/AlaskaFlowers

Monday, June 25, 2007

Still in Fairbanks!

Ok, yes, I've once again, extended my contract here in Fairbanks. This contract started off with a bang....left StL on time without a hitch. It's Minneapolis that started the problems. The plane was in the hanger getting repaired...they couldn't do it on time, so they had several choices
1. Bring another plane from the hanger, that had 45 less seats. (that would have been a fun one)
2. Wait almost 2 1/2 hours for a plane from Seattle to replace the "broken" plane.
3. Cancel the flight all together....Now, that would have been REAL fun.
They chose #2, so, out the window went my plans on getting to Cantwell. Thank god Martina had already offered to let me stay at her place in Anchorage for by the time I'd gotten my luggage and my car, it was somewhere around 11:30-12 pm. I was exhausted for I'd slept about 10 hours. I made it to Fairbanks about 6pm, waited 45 minutes for security to show up for my key to my new apartment, by this time, I was hot (it was about 87), hungry and very tired...and this was made worse when I arrived at the complex and I couldn't find the building.....they had blocked off the way to my building because they had re surfaced the parking lot & no one could drive on it for 24 hours. Now, that would be so bad, but, the walk from the nearest parking lot the my building was somewhere around 1-1/2 city block....and I had to get my 3 bags + Paco's cage and some other things that I'd left in Anchorage.....needless to say, I was not a happy camper that day. It was a good thing that I'd decided to spring for 1st class seats on the plane ride, or I'd been REALLY grouchy. I've since decided that it is WELL worth the extra $$ for first class for you get as much soda/tea/water you want(served in GLASS, NOT plastic!) in addition to fruit for a snack (no peanuts or pretzels), also, the cost of a hot meal was included....didn't have to shell out $5 for just a sandwich...also got free wine with dinner!
I guess one could say that the first class ticket kinda smoothed everything out.....well, not the car, I really don't like the car I have. It's an Aveo, it sucks rocks. I get into the car, and I can't see 1/2 of the speedometer, everything between 40 & 90 is obscured by the stearing wheel! And, no, the stearing wheel is not adjustable! This Chevy piece of shit is made for someone under 5 foot 2! Oh, well, I do have to remind myself, I've got return tickets in first class! hehehe

Friday, May 25, 2007

Timing is Everything

This past week has proven that timing is everything.
Last week I extended here in Fairbanks again, because I haven't been able to find another position here in Alaska...the last recruiter I was working with had wasted time by putting me in for a position I wasn't qualified for. The position was a Ped/onc position (I've wanted to do this!)that requires a PALS certification...which I don't have. I do have the adult version, ACLS, but that doesn't help me one iota.
She swears up and down the position was only listed as an oncology position that said nothing about Peds...my thing, if PALS was a requirement, 'HELLO!, You aren't reading the whole listing!!!!' To top the whole thing off, the recruiter said, "Call the people you interviewed with (isn't she supposed to be the one doing that?) back and let them know you will take the position if they are willing to take you before you get your PALS or let you work while taking the class. We (agency) can send you to the next nearest city for a PALS class". Some how, I don't think she got it when I said I wasn't willing, nor had the available time, to go to Anchorage, 350 miles away, for a two day class. By the time I'd gotten done with her on this & contacted another recruiter, it was too late to get something in Anchorage or anywhere for than matter.

Any who, this morning, I got up to check my email. There was an email from another recruiter I've been working with. Another position had opened up in Alaksa, Ketchican to be exact.
I'm ready to shoot myself!!! Ketchican is one of the places I'd love to go to!!!
Here is some pictures I've found online so you can see why I'd like to go.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Trip to Denali

Geeze, I got busy and totally forgot to post about our (me , Sarah & Rick) trip to Denali State Park.
Even though we didn't get to see Mt. Denali, it was a beautiful drive. The fun part of the drive was listening to Sarah..."Oh, my gosh, it's BEAUTIFIUL!!","These mountains are absolutely gorgous!!" I have to agree, the park was something else, I wish we had the time to go all the way down to Cantwell so she could see the mountains down there!!
While in the park (the road was open to the 30 mile mark) we saw ALOT of Willow Ptarmigan (Alaksa's state bird) which were still in their winter feathers. We happened upon one small herd (6-8) of caribou, and Sarah spied another small herd in a valley that was about 1/4-1/2 mile away. By the time we reached the end of the road, it was snowing! We had driven out of it on the way back, but it caught up with us. At one point it was coming down so heavy (and mondo huge flakes) I was wondering how much more it would take to get to white out conditions.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Chena Hot Springs - again!

Sarah arrived Wednesday night & on Thursday we went to the hot springs. A former co-worker of Sarah's, Rick, who is also a travel RN and is now working here in Fairbanks in the ER, joined us for the day.
The day was beautiful...about 50 degrees, and sunny...and the spring was REALLY HOT. 109+...the thermometer did not go any higher. It was so hot that we couldn't stay in much longer than 10-15 minutes, we would have to retreat to the much shallower end to cool down.
After we got tired of being in the spring, we went for lunch. We had a cute little red squirrel join us (took Sarah & I two days to figure out what kind of squirrel it is). As usual, the food was wonderful.
After lunch, we went to the gift shop and then to the Ice Museum. The tour guide was rather nice, Sarah & I got to split a free Appletinni, we had tried about 6 times to get our debit cards to go through without luck--their computer was not connecting like it should.
After we got done in the museum, we had to head back to the springs to thaw out...it's about 20 degrees in there. The really funny thing, the last time I was in there, it was WARM (then again, outside it was -20).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Trip to Tok/Fast Eddies

On the 16th, took a road !trip out to Tok to go to Fast Eddie's! I did buy a couple t-shirts.
Funny haven't been to the one in Alton!
It was a really nice day, the mountains were out, and the temp was in the high 40's low 50's. On the way, we saw a cow moose and her yearling.
This Fast Eddies is quite a bit different from the one in Alton. This one in Tok, you can take kids in and you can leave with left overs. The burgers were good (I got the halibut burger) and filled us up so much that we took our dessert to go...I got the white chocolate raspberry cheese cake, it was really yummy!
On the way back, we saw two more cow/calf. One set is probably the first set that we saw going to Tok, for they were about in the same area. Even if it wasn't, I was excited because this was he first moose that I've seen outside of downtown Fairbanks!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Spring is here!!

I think spring has finally arrived!
Can see plenty of grass that is TRYING to turn green, and I'm anxiously waiting for the first flowers of the season!
During the day, we have been playing with the 50's for the last 2-3 weeks, however, we are still getting down into he 20's at night.
It really didn't take much more than 4 days for all the non-piled snow to disappear and turn into massively huge lakes that would freeze over during the night....made for some interesting walking to the car in the AM.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

2007 Ice Festival

I know this posting is a little late, but better late than never!!
I was happy that I went to see the single block sculptures as early as I did...even though I didn't like the fact that it was -10 with a pretty good wind that day....about a week later, some vandals went through the park at night and destroyed some sculptures. One of my favorites, the Praying Mantis was one that got hit pretty good. I was so disappointed that it got clobbered for I was looking forward to seeing it lit up at night.

This particular sculpture, I was not at all impressed with during the day, but at night lit up, it is beautiful. It's pretty strange how colored light changes the feel of the ice, not to mention how the light changes as it goes through the imperfections in the ice.

This photo is of the Susan Butcher Memorial. For those of you who haven't a clue who she is, she is the second woman to win the Iditarod, and the first person to win it 3 times in a row, a record that stood for 15 years. She passed away this past fall of leukemia.
The cool thing about this sculpture is that the light colors cycled. My first attempt at taking a photo failed because it was a 30 second exposure and the lights cycled through all their colors during that point and all I got was a big blob of white!

Friday, February 9, 2007

The Knotty Shop


Last week Martina & I went to the Knotty shop. It's a cute little place that sells a lot of touristy stuff. The drive was quite pretty for it was a beautiful sunny day...we had to wear our sun glasses!!! We had fun looking at all the stuff that was inside, then we had fun looking at the burlwood (knotty pine logs) animals out front. When I turned around go go back to the truck, I saw one of the most beautiful snow scapes I've seen in a very long time. After I uploaded the pictures and saw the snowscape, after "Oh!, How pretty!", I thought "What a bitch of a puzzle that would make!" Dad, you better watch out, I'm checking on getting it made into a puzzle fro Chrismas '07!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Change in plans

Though it's not totally official yet (waiting on the new contract), no Florida for me, I'm staying in Fairbanks for another 13 weeks. I will be home for 2 weeks following the completion of my 1st assignment. I'm excited about coming home for two weeks, and excited about being here in Fairbanks a little longer. This way I'll get to see the ice carvings, and the dog sled races downtown plus several other conventions and such that I can't think of right now.
Since I've decided to stay, yesterday I went out and bought some cross country skis!!! I'm sooooo excited about it because it's been years since I've been able to ski! I'm hoping to get some more winter scapes, but this time with out any buildings or roads!!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Chena Hot Springs run #2

Well, last week, Martina and I headed out to Chena Hot Springs to do some shoeing, when we were about 30 miles out, the wind started to pick up....have you ever seen a snow devil? We saw plenty on the way there & when we arrived. It wasn't a hard decision to make when we got out of the truck that we weren't going to be doing any shoeing that day. The temp was already -20, factor in what I'm guessing was at least 20-30 mile an hour winds.....don't want to think about the wind chill factor...BBBrrr.
Since we weren't about to waste an hours drive, we pretty much spent the day in the water, well, 90 minutes the first go round, then had lunch and got back in for about another 2 or so hours. We are planning on going back in a week or so to give it another go for both Martina & I want to do some shoeing and cross country skiing out in the Chena area.

"The odds are good, but the goods are odd."

I've been getting alot of slack lately for not posting lately, so, here goes!

Everyone's been wondering what I did for New Years.
Was busy running my butt off for I was working that night. Nothing really exciting happened, other than a couple patients wishing me a "Happy New Year" when I came in their room when it was after midnight.

Another big thing on people's minds: Have I got myself a man yet? The answer to that is NO. One of my co workers put it quite eloquently, "The odds are good, but the goods are odd." And I couldn't agree with that more. Most of the "normal" men are "imports" and they are already taken!!!