Friday, October 21, 2011

Driving to California!

Winter has arrived in Fairbanks! There's some snow on the ground, and the temperatures are now below freezing most of the time. Things just look better covered in clean, white snow. Plugging in the vehicles at night is back as the lows recently have been in the single digits at my cabin. In other news, a friend of mine recently moved his family to Modesto, CA. Now, he is back in town and will be driving his van back. Since it is dangerous to go it alone, he asked me to tag along. I naturally had to say yes. The Alaska Highway is a very adventurous and scenic drive. Who doesn't love a good road trip? There will be a winter blog complete with photos upon my return to Alaska. I have taken next week off to give us plenty of time to get down there. By the sound of it, I will be wearing my shorts again! Until then have a great week everyone!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Follies in Fairbanks, Winter Coming Soon

The timing of this blog post is a little off for Fairbanks, but it is probably closer to those of you in the Lower 48. Fall is pretty much over up here. The leaves have all disappeared completely, the air is still, and everyone is looking anxiously to the horizon to see if snow is coming. Well, enough talk about winter. Let’s talk about fall.

Now, Alaska has plenty of trees that change color in the fall. What sets Alaska apart are the fall colors of the tundra. Now that is cool! All of the stunted foliage turns bright yellow and red, making the landscape look like a Photoshop image gone wrong, but it is very real. A trip to Denali National Park is not only a great way to take in all of the colors but also to see some of the wildlife preparing for winter (there’s that word again, sorry).

As for myself, I am glad that winter has been put off for a bit. My cabin needs a few adjustments to make it winter-ready. I have put on the shrink wrap on my big windows. It is nothing more than a big sheet of plastic wrap and double-sided tape that has been shrunk using a hair dryer. However, having that extra layer of air between you and sub-zero temperatures makes a huge difference.

Another task that has yet to be completed is new weather-stripping around my door. Last winter I had stuffed blankets under the door to keep the cold out (and keep the expensive heat in). No more! I want some good stripping to put around my door. Oddly, this stuff is hard to find so far.

Over the weekend I helped a friend load and unload a truck-load of 8-9 foot firewood logs. Man, that is a lot of work, and they aren’t even split yet! I would love to have a wood stove in my cabin because they give off a lot of heat and are more charming than, say, an oil stove that clicks and smells like oil. However, they are a lot of work and not necessarily cheaper. Perhaps someday I will have both in my awesome cabin that I built with my two hands.

Masculine hypotheticals aside, I am almost ready for winter to arrive. I am sorry to not have any cool time-lapse videos up for my time-lapse challenge. The weather wasn’t very attractive all week. I will reschedule it for when the snow starts falling. That, I think, will be more entertaining than the cloudy, hazy weather we have been having.

To all of you down south, enjoy your prospective fall seasons in proper fashion. The next post will likely feature the white stuff!