Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April weekend

We had a nice and relaxing weekend. On Saturday, we went to see the baby reindeer at the university farm, followed by a walk through the botanical garden to enjoy the warm sun. Unbeknown to us beforehand, there were a lot of cool trees to climb on.

This tree by the reindeer was sporting most of the kids pretty quickly.Then the tree by the farmhouse was a popular spot too.

We only managed to make it some fifty yards further before the next tree climbing opportunity presented itself.
And after some playing in the kids house, going through the big maze, climbing up a big hill of dirt, and playing in the sand, there was one more tree and rock wall to climb before we headed back to the cars.
In the evening, Elsbeth et al treated us to a salmon dinner. On the way back, we stopped by the Tanana. No more skiing on it.
But, there was fun to be had by breaking the ice along its edge - the needles of the ice are delightful. Or may be I should call them candles since this ice is called candle ice.
On Sunday, we headed to Chatanika to walk and play by the dredge that's right across the Chatanika Lodge.

Elsbeth, Elias and Emilie look down from the tailings onto the dredge down below.
The dredge from the other side.
After several hours of walking and climbing across the tailings, making rock towers, making rock walls to make a 'house', and otherwise entertaining ourselves in the warm sun, we headed back the quarter mile back to the lodge for lunch. On the way, while Tinu watched all four kids, Elsbeth and I explored the dredge for a couple minutes.

There are a lot of staircases.
And a lot of levers.
And overall, it is one gigantic piece of history. That thing moved tons of rocks, and must have made enormous noise when operating. It is amazing to drive along the road and see the miles of tailings that this machine and others like it turned over in search of gold and piled into 30 ft or higher continuous snakes of rocks.

After lunch, the kids checked out some of the outhouses on skis, left from the outhouse races last month. One of these years I will have to come to those.

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