Author Archives: icefogger

About icefogger

Just a basic, down to Earth, laid back type of guy here, who loves the outdoors, the indoors, jazz on the turntable, a fire in the woodstove, the northern lights blazing across the sky, and the company of good friends.

Through the Frosty Looking Glass

Film Friday:

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Camera: Rolleiflex 3.5MX; Film: Kodak 120, T-Max 100


Flying to Bethel

The view on the way to Bethel, Alaska, through a very milky Ravn Air window.


But they sure can run…

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Comic: “Nuggets”, by Jamie Smith


Alaska State Parks turn 50

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2020 is the 50th Anniversary of the Alaska State Parks system.  Events will be held at all state parks throughout the year.  The first one starts today down in Homer.

Check out the Alaska State Parks website for an event schedule.


Shadows

Film Friday:

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Camera: Leica M3; Film: Kodak 35mm, T-Max100

 


Cold Trusses

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Whole Lotta Shakin’

The Alaska Earthquake Center reported 50,289 earthquakes in the state of Alaska for 2019. That did not break the record that was set in 2018, but it’s enough for the year to come in second place.

In the video above, each frame is a day, in a time-lapse of 2019 earthquakes. Pretty amazing to see it in this form. Kudos to AEC.


Breaking Jack Frost’s grip

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The temperature finally climbed above zero, reaching 9F on Monday.  That breaks a streak of 34 days where the temp never went above 5 degrees.  It’s the fourth longest streak of its nature, since recording began.

The longest such streak is 49 days, which happened in 1942-43.

Although this season’s streak was long, it wasn’t excessively cold.  In 1975, a similar streak had several days reach -60F.  The 2020 streak saw four days where the temperature dropped to -40.

Regardless, I was thrilled to be outside on Monday in single digit temps.


Yukon Quest 2020

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A musher and dog team take the Chena River out of Fairbanks

 

The Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race started on Saturday morning.  Fifteen teams left Fairbanks, with the goal of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory in 9 days, give or take.

It was a rather chilly morning to be hanging out on the Chena River to cheer the teams on their way, but several hundred people turned out to do just that.  It was -25F when I left the cabin, and it must have been -30 down on the river ice.  Everyone, including the dogs, were bundled up.

The 1000 mile race between Fairbanks and Whitehorse first started in 1984.  A 1983 bull-session in the Bull’s Eye Saloon in Fairbanks, led to the race’s creation.  Twenty-six teams left Fairbanks that first year. The winner, Sonny Linder, made it to Whitehorse in just over 12 days.

The Quest follows the historic gold rush routes between the Yukon and Alaska’s Interior, traveling frozen rivers and crossing four mountain ranges.  Dawson City, YT is the half-way point.  In even years, the race starts in Fairbanks, and in odd years the race starts in Whitehorse.

There are ten checkpoints and four dog drops, where dogs can be dropped off, but not replaced.  Sleds can not be replaced without a penalty.  The record run happened in 2010, when Hans Gatt finished in 9 days, 26 minutes.  The slowest time happened in 1988, when Ty Halvorson completed the race in 20 days, 8 hours, 29 minutes.

 

 

 


Happy Marmot Day!

The rascally marmot
In 2009, then Governor Sarah Palin signed a bill declaring February 2 as “Marmot Day” in Alaska.
The sponsors of the bill in the State Legislature, made the incorrect assumption that Alaska did not have groundhogs.
The folks in Juneau always forget about the Interior.
Groundhogs, or woodchucks, are found throughout the Tanana River Valley, including the Fairbanks area. In fact, groundhogs certainly predate European Americans in Alaska.
Remember the old saying: “If a hoary marmot sees it’s shadow on February 2nd, all hell has broke loose, because the little rodent should still be hibernating!”
Happy Marmot Day!