-1ºF today in Fairbanks

Veeka at Birch Hill

Veeka at Birch Hill

Actually, -1 is pretty light stuff compared to how cold it will get in the next few months but still, brrrr. When I stepped outside this morning to walk Veeka to the bus, I knew the temperature had shifted in a major way. No more wearing just jeans for me. One piece of fabric is not enough for this girl. Looks like winter underwear will become a constant. Am quite glad for the return to Standard Time this weekend, as it will make our dark mornings lighter for awhile.
We are doing our best to go with the flow. We spent last weekend taking cross-country ski lessons at Birch Hill, the local x-country trail place. It had fresh snow the night before, so the snow was wonderful and I really liked this kind of skiing, although the skis don’t have edges on them like downhills do, so I was sliding all over the place. It’s cost me all of $15 to outfit my daughter in that I bought some cast-off boots and skis for $5, then got her some poles for $10. As for me, hmmm, the local ski store told me it’d be $300 to outfit me in skis, bindings, boots and poles. Fortunately we can rent this stuff cheaply on campus but one hates to throw away too much money on rentals.

In the only-in-Alaska category: One of the school clubs made money today selling reindeer chili in Gold Rush era cast iron pots in the snow.

In the only-in-Alaska category: One of the school clubs made money today selling reindeer chili in Gold Rush era cast iron pots in the snow.

I am still reading Alaska books. For my media history class (which I am taking as a grad student at the University of Memphis), I will probably do a paper on a history of Gold Rush newspapers in this neck of the woods. The California, Canadian and Alaskan gold rushes never interested me in the slightest but it’s hard not to be intrigued with folks who did the most unbelievable prospecting in the coldest corner of the continent. I was reading yesterday of gold diggers who found gold flakes sitting on the beaches of Nome and how the ones who got to it early were millionaires and how these instant cities sprang up on the Yukon River delta. If you’ve ever been there, it’s flat, treeless and barren countryside for many miles around. I can’t imagine wintering there more than a century ago.
One of the blessings of this city is its excellent public library with zillions of kids books, DVDs, an Alaska collection and tons of CDs I can listen to. I’ve never seen a public library with so much resources. There’s also the local Barnes & Noble that has a circular fireplace that people love to gather around. It’s the only such place in the city, so it’s a common meeting place.

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One Response to -1ºF today in Fairbanks

  1. John Morgan says:

    Reindeer chili? But what will Santa use as a backup? Mmmm. Slogging over the snow might delay him a few days. It all sounds like great adventure Julia. And I think you’re the perfect person to cover the gold rush newspapers. Just think, if they had another one today in Alaska, they’ve already got the perfect person on hand to start writing.