Monday, March 26, 2007

Chatanika Days Outhouse Races

Ed, Brian, George, Melissa, and I pushed Old Faithful two days in a row on a 0.8 mile course in Chatanika. The course starts with a steep downhill. On the Sunday race, the teams were only started 30 seconds apart. There were a few wipeouts, missed turns, and near crashes on the hill. Fortunately no one was injured. After the steep downhill, there is a long straight stretch to the Chatanika Lodge and the finish line. This was the hardest 0.8 miles any of us had run before.

A number of outhouses lined up infront of Chatanika Lodge. We were waiting for George's friend to show up with our outhouse. They guy never turned up, so we volunteered to push "Old Faithful", the resident sled belonging to the owner of the Lodge. 28 years and running!!!!

Here we are catching a ride up to the starting line. Brian's looking sharp in the passenger seat.

We're at the bottom of the big hill, already tired and still had a long way to push.

Here we go along the straight, flat part. We were all worn out from sprinting down the hill.

Ed - showin what he's made of...

Workin hard for the money... so hard for the money...

Here we are at the finishline with the prowd owner of Old Faithful and the owner of Chatanika Lodge, Roy. He was very generous and gave us drink tokens for pushing Old Faithful around for the weekend!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My Folks Visiting Alaska

My folks came up to visit me in March. We got to see the North American Sled Dog Races, which are sprint races that start in downtown Fairbanks. They race for three days. First day they go 20 miles, second day 20 miles, and the third day they go 27 miles. The times for all three days are added together to determine the winner.

We also got to go to the International Ice Art Festival in Fairbanks. They have some amazing artwork there, though, it is really difficult to capture it with a photo. Here's my folks with a sculpture that is for the Chinese New Year!
We took a little hike out onto a ridge outside of town. We wanted to do a practice hike before we head out to Tolovana Hot Springs next week. My folks did fine on the practice hike, so we should do fine to get out to Tolovana (cross my fingers).
Then we went to Tolovana Hot Springs. My parents loved the hiking. They hadn't been on an overnight hiking trip for many years. This is something we used to do a lot when I was a kid. But, since my bro and I left home, my folks haven't been out on long hiking trips much. So, they really loved the hike. They also thought the hot springs were great. We stayed two nights, and afterwards, they said they would have liked to have stayed another night out there. The temperature was between negative 10 and positive 10 during the whole trip. It was a little windy ontop of the summit area, but otherwise was pretty comfortable.

Here's the three of us outside our cabin.

My mom wanted to be sure there wasn't anyone in the outhouse b4 going in.

Here's my folks outside the cabin.

Here's my folks going over the summit.

We got back into Fairbanks at around 5:15 PM, just in time to go to Silver Gulch Brewery for beer tasting. Good timing.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Ski Train & Alyeska

In early March, my friend Raymond and I went out on the ski train on Saturday (3/10) and then to Alyeska Mt. on Sunday (3/11). Alyeska Mt. is the big ski resort just south of Anchorage. It is beautiful there. We did some great snowboarding there.

Here's my friend Raymond as we just got off of the lift. We rode to the highest lift, then started hiking up higher to get into some powder.
We hiked up...
And up...
And up...
And up...

Til we were near the top and ready to ride some powder. We had a great long run back down.

This is looking back up at what we just snowboarded down. Pretty amazing. I had never done anything like this before and was a bit nervous on the way up, but in the end it was really nice and easy coming down.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

A day in the Life of Flash

This blog is so that Ed can see what his cat Flash is up to while Ed is in Finland skiing across the northern part of that country.
Flash loves her new/old little bed that sits right in front of the woodstove.