Monthly Archives: February 2022

Delta Junction and Ukraine

Delta Junction is a town that lies approximately 90 miles east of Fairbanks. The northern end of the Alaska Highway is at Delta Junction.

Many would be surprised to hear that of all towns in the United States, Delta Junction has the highest percentage of Ukrainians. 16.4% of residents were born in Ukraine, and an even higher percentage have Ukrainian ancestry.

I have quite a few customers coming in from Delta Junction, and there have been a lot of very concerned people from Delta.

Farmland in Delta Junction, Alaska

You eyeballin’ me?

My welcoming committee when I arrived home the other night. Her calf was on the other side of me, blockading the trail to the cabin. Neither moose was in an accommodating mood.

Warm Week Ahead

Map and info credit: NOAA

That is, at least for Alaska.

On Sunday morning, it was -22F at the cabin, and just a few days before, it was at -31 when I went to work. The temperature has been rising throughout the day, and it looks to be a warm week for us, with temps forecast at above freezing.

As often happens, when temps rise in Alaska during the winter months, temps can cool a bit down in the Lower 48. Although, that’s not to say they will be seeing too many -31F’s.

“Alaska Sentinels”

Oil on burlap by Eustace Paul Ziegler, circa 1923

“Saw this, thought of you”

Comic: The Far Side by Gary Larson

I want to take that as a compliment, but I’m not sure it was meant as one.

Drop the crab

Joe’s Quality Market, the go-to place for king crab and hockey sponsorship; Anchorage, Alaska back in the day.

I doubt there will be a king crab giveaway, but Alaska Hockey returns to Fairbanks this weekend, after an extended time Outside. Finally!

Wet Alaska

Graphic credit: ACCAP, UAF; Data credit: NOAA, NCEI

Over the past five decades, Alaska has seen a substantial increase in precipitation. The Southeast & South-Central part of the state has seen only single digit increases, which is probably a good thing considering much of that area is a rain forest.

Interior Alaska has seen a 12% increase in precipitation. I can’t say I’m surprised by that, as we definitely seem to be getting more snow during the winter. With a warming trend, we were bound to see more snowfall.

Still, it’s intriguing to see the actual numbers.

Cold Weather Concorde

The Concorde in Fairbanks, Alaska; February 1974

In the winter of 1974, the Concorde went through cold weather testing in Fairbanks.

Since WWII, Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Cessna, Eurocopter, General Electric, Gulfstream, Honeywell, Sikorsky and many other aircraft companies have tested in Fairbanks. With an 11.800 foot runway, which can handle any aircraft, an airport that rarely features a delay, and plenty of wide open air space, Fairbanks is ideal when the temp drops to -40.

It wouldn’t be a photo op in Fairbanks without a team of dogs

Pavlof from space

Image credit: AVO/HannahDietterich on January 19, 2022

Pavlof is one of three volcanos in Alaska at Level Orange. Orange means that the volcano is experiencing unrest, and may be experiencing an eruption with little to no ash emissions.

We have one volcano at Level Yellow, which is at an elevated unrest. It this particular case, Davidof volcano has experienced a swarm of earthquakes in the past 24 hours.

Tracking a Totem

A totem pole located within Cabin John Park, Potomac, Maryland

An Alaskan who grew up in Maryland was always curious about the storyline behind a, seemingly random totem pole, that has stood in a Potomac park since he was a kid. Trying to track down information locally didn’t seem to get him anywhere. At one time, the totem had a plaque, but that had long since disappeared.

So he threw the question out to social media in Alaska, and received a response “within minutes”. In fact, he was forwarded a copy of the program from the totem pole’s dedication back in 1966.

The totem pole was hand carved in Haines, Alaska on commission for the Potomac Area Council of Camp Fire Girls. My favorite response to the totem inquiry: “I’m sitting here with one of the carvers right now, my father-in-law, John G. Hagen of Haines, Ak. He remembers the pole. Says he, Leo Jabobs, Carl Heinmiller, and maybe a few others worked on it. They worked at American Indian Arts in Haines, AK as masters carvers.

The carver’s son, John Hagen Jr, said he was thrilled to learn that his father’s work was being enjoyed so far away from Alaska. He added that the commission of totem poles at that time allowed the tradition of totem carving to continue.

It turns out that social media has a purpose after all.

Source: Alaska Public Media