Saturday, March 19, 2011

Writer's Ice Block

                       Photo from

Well, it certainly has been a long time since my last post. In the past couple months of quiescence, my life has been anything but. From super solar flares, the Yukon Quest, local tumult, and the World Ice Art Championships, Fairbanks is constantly on the move. I will have to write/explain most of these things in greater detail (and with photos!) than I will be doing now, but this post is more of a teaser, I suppose.

Break-up (goodbye to ice) is coming soon, and people in town speak of it constantly and with great anticipation. I, for one, am excited for the change and can feel the excitement building within myself. Today we have surpassed the 12 hour daylight point by a few minutes. With Daylight Savings it is even more apparent that spring has almost arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska. Happy equinox!

The tripod is on the ice of the Nenana River which means it is time to buy a ticket and guess what time the tripod will crash into the water, officially announcing the start of break-up. This tradition has been going on for 94 years and is a popular lottery throughout all of Alaska. It began back when the Alaska Railroad was being constructed.

The workers, bored to ice tears, would place bets on when the ice would break up, allowing boats and supplies to reach them. Word of the lottery spread throughout Alaska, and now it has paid out nearly $10 million since its inception (good movie). Last year’s pot was around $280,000! Price to play is only $2.50 a guess, but it has to be to the minute!

Speaking of melting ice, my garden area should be thawing out soon enough. Another goal (there are many) for this summer is to establish a healthy vegetable/herb garden. For reasons maybe not too obvious, Alaskans have amazing gardens! The chief reason is the incredible amount of sunlight during the summer (almost 24 hours!) we receive.

If this goal is achieved, I will report its success with much aplomb and selflessness (if failure, then quiet reflection). Well, this is all that I care to write since this post is getting too long for the attention span of most readers. There will be more to come once I sort and edit my digital pile of photos and HD videos.