Friday, November 27, 2009

White Friday (aka dogsledding and skijoring on Creamer's Field)

Instead of a black Friday, we had a white Friday, and enjoyed a ride around Creamer's field with the dogs. Sonja was on her dogsled, I was skijoring, and Emilie was in a backpack on my back.

This is not a very good video, but it gives an idea of how this first time went (we did take the dogsled out yesterday too, but I was walking, not skiing). Even though it has been very warm (around 20F), the camera conked out on us a bit later, complaining it was too cold, so I thought I would post this one for Martin as is - he is having a white Friday too, a whole white week or more, probably, somewhere on the snow (or rather, Ice) off here.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Emilie the doctor

Today, Emilie started grabbing some of the toys the kids never play with, and put on the gloves, and took the stethoscope, and started checking out what might be wrong with me. I have never seen either of the kids play with that stuff before, but she sure knew what one does with it - she went to listen to my chest to make sure everything was ok.

Time to skijor again!

Monday I went skijoring for the first time this year, a full month-and-a-half later compared to a year ago. And probably on less snow. And it is now November, with November temperatures, so a bit cool(er). We went to creamer's field. The dogs puled like crazy, even though the skis did not quite glide in the close to -20F weather.

Same thing Wednesday - creamers field, dogs pulling, cool temperatures.

And today, Friday - I went to explore the Chena Flats area off Chena Pump road. They are trying to get a greenbelt in there, sounds like a good project. One trail access is off Chena Point Rd just past the gravel pit on the north side of the road. Today, it was a couple degrees colder than the other days, or may be I was not dressed as well (note to self: that neckgator which is loose is a bit too loose, it sure makes for a cold face when it's not hugging it!), so we didn't stay very long exploring (20 mins?), plus due to the low snow, the trails were not really punched through. But I look forward to getting to know that area.

Pics from wednesday, with the good neckgator, after our run: both the dogs and I have some small icicles hanging from our faces, in addition to that nose of mine.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The changing Tanana

In the last couple years, the Tanana river by Fairbanks has really changed. In particular, this was noticeable in the late fall before we got permanent snow, when the water levels were in their lowest of the year (since there is no melt of snow or glaciers, and no rain input) - I could cross easily onto the island that's across from the airport (the main mass that does have some channels cutting across it, here). There was just a trickle of water, together with some ice covering bare rocks... but really, no water to speak of. If the dogs hadn't run off ( I stupidly let them both off the leash since I was on 'an island' - well, they could get off that 'island' just as easily as I could get onto it), I would have checked out the main channel of the river, which is now on the far side of that island. As a result of it, all of that water heads straight into the bluff visible in some of our pictures and then continues into the slough (this one). This slough that Sonja played in two years ago as a toddler no longer has the lazy water it had then, nor the mud beaches that provided so much fun. It is amazing to watch that river change so much in such a short time. Glad our house is nowhere next to it - definitely a dangerous neighbor.

This picture is looking west from the end of the trail by the airport (map) towards where the Chena enters the Tanana (by the leaning trees visible on the right side), October 2009:

Summer 2007, same spot:

Closeup (Saphira, Mica, Sonja):

2007, looking upriver from the same spot:

October 2009, looking upriver from across the "river", the only flowing part of the river across which I had to jump across is visible in the lower portion of the picture

I wonder how different that beach where we've been hanging out every now and then will be next summer, if indeed more and more of the water is flowing in a different channel. Time will show.

Goofing off