The trails are in great shape for mushing, and my friends Julie and Amanda went with me to the Jeff Studdert Racegrounds on Farmers Loop Road to watch Challenge Series Race #4. The first off the starting line were the skijorers (people on skis being towed by a dog or dogs). Then the sled dog races began - starting with 2 and 4-dog teams, and going all the way up to teams that had 14 dogs.
Julie and Amanda had never been to the races, which made the day even more fun. We took some photos from the start line, and then trudged through the deep snow to a place further down the trail, so we could get photos that were more natural - without any houses or buildings in them.
We could see the Alaska Range on the horizon, which is always a treat. The sky was pale blue, which looked beautiful against the white snow. But we could see that there was fog in the hills and it was moving downward. By the time we left our place on the trail, the fog was low in the trees, and making visibility of the mushers/dogs nearly impossible.
After a few hours outdoors, I took them into Mushers Hall to point out the concession counter (hot chocolate, coffee, etc) and the huge picture windows overlooking the start/finish line. It’s a great set up if you prefer not to be outside, or you just want to go in and warm up mid-race.
We went for breakfast/lunch at The Bakery (a local diner, which usually gets Steve’s and my breakfast business when we go out to eat). I got home just as the sun was setting (3:30pm). These early sunsets really mess with my body clock. I feel like the day is over once it gets dark, even though I don’t usually go to sleep until 8 hours later. I can’t wait until we’re back up to relatively *normal* hours, which won’t really happen until mid February or early March.
I took these two photos on the Fort Wainwright Golf Course, on the way home from the races.
LET’S GO FOR A DRIVE IN THE SNOW
On Friday, my friend Julie and I went for a drive around town. It was snowing lightly when we started our drive and then the snow got heavier with each passing minute. At times it was like a blizzard! Here are some of the things that caught my eye.
STARRY SKIES AND JUST A LITTLE COLOR
There hasn’t been much action on the aurora front. And the nights when there was a higher probability, we were socked in with clouds. One night, I saw them for about 30 minutes before the clouds rolled in and covered them up.
We have had several beautiful starry nights too. So many spots of light twinkling above the trees. Our universe is amazing!
RAIN + FREEZING RAIN = SNOWMAN BUILDING
Many places here in Alaska have suffered with freezing rain over the last 24 hours. I think it has changed to rain in Anchorage, but Fairbanks is now officially a skating rink. The roads are so icy, that school has been canceled for tomorrow.
Steve went to work tonight, but called when he could to let me know he was OK and to give me a road report. Fortunately in the higher elevations, fresh snow helped with traction. The roads aren’t in the best shape at the mine, so he was able to call while waiting for them to lay down some gravel.
The snow we get here - usually - is dry and powdery. You can’t build snowmen or even snowballs. It’s rather depressing to have so much of the white stuff and not be able to play with it. Unless it rains.
I bet there are going to be a lot of snowmen dotting the lawns of Fairbanks and North Pole tomorrow. I decided to contribute to the population. She’s not the prettiest girl on the block, but I bet she surprises Steve when he gets home from work in the morning! The stacked snow blocks next to her might become a friend. We’ll see. As you can see, I’m not a sculptor.
I’m glad I don’t have to go out in this mess. I just hope everything’s in better shape by the time we leave for Anchorage on Friday!
Until next time…