Wednesday, December 26, 2007



A quick post from Ushuaia while we are in port for just a few hours inbetween trips. I have no idea what to post - the last 18 days have been so jam packed with phenomenal experiences I can´t even begin to describe it. To top it all off, we´ve just come through an absolutely horrific storm on our way back to south america - hurricane force winds averaging 70 knots with gusts up to 90, seas up to 13 meters high - that´s 100 mph winds and waves 40 feet high!!! It was absolutely insane, I´ve never experienced anything like it. We were lucky to come through it as well as we did - the MV Ocean Nova is an amazing ship. We did have one passenger take a bad fall and break some ribs, fortunately that was the only injury. But it meant staff had to spend quite a bit of time on deck 4 stabilizing her, not a fun place to be in that kind of storm. We made all passengers stay in their cabins for most of Christmas Day until finally we rounded Cape Horn and got into calmer waters and were able to celebrate and have a fantastic dinner. Not a christmas i will soon forget! Fortunately the forecast is much better for our return trip the next few days. A few random photos, I have hundreds already and haven´t begun to sift through them all. miss you all.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Shi's photo of a gentoo family on King George Island.

Still doesn't seem quite real... in a few days I'll be on the southernmost tip of South America - trying to get around Buenos Aires and then Ushuaia, with my butchered spanglish/portuguese - that nobody ever understands except me and a few brazilians maybe. And a few days after that I will be in the truely International waters of the Southern Ocean. Am I excited? I think so, but when I look at photos of S Georgia or penguins and albatross, it just all seems so unreal I don't know how to get excited for it. I know I am ready to be totally blown away - to stand in a place in total amazement - to feel like I'm hyperventilating trying to take it all in. I feel incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity - to visit this incredible place, now.

I will of course, miss spending the holidays with good friends and family. Can't wait to share photos and stories when I come home. Have a great holiday - relax, take in big gulps of fresh air and great company, enjoy for me!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Shamus is Dogsitting

Shamus keeping Caz on her side of the couch, no question who is in charge here...Shamus (Audrey's cat)- is my first dogsitter, then Mytack (Ann's dog), then Logan (Nick's dog). One of my all-time favorite Fairbanksisms is the awesome dogsitting culture here. I must say - Caz is pretty spoiled, having never spent a night in a kennel in her life. She gets pretty excited watching me get organized and start packing. Kai used to hate my packing - he would stake himself at the front door, or if I let him he would prefer to just spend the night in the car and wait there to ensure he didn't get left behind. But Caz is very different - she seems to love it when I leave - it's just one big slumber party to her i guess. I am so indebted to my dogsitters!

Monday, November 26, 2007

don't worry mom!

it's not my ship (tho it was on the exact same route). really, what are the chances of it happening again?
Incase you missed the news...

Friday, November 23, 2007

turkey weigh in

Somehow, somewhere along the way (I think the first was at ellie and april's apt. in Anchorage?) we started this tradition of a formal weigh in before and after Thanksgiving dinner. This year, nobody came even close to Max's all time record (11 lbs!)- most of us came in around the 3 lb mark, but the grand prize went to Tom at 6, and Rizzolo close behind at 5 lbs. Wyatt obviously wasn't too fond of this tradition. This is the only photo I took all day - guess I was too busy enjoying the outstanding food and great company...
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2007


Another great trip out to Tolovana Hot Springs. How to describe that place? Maybe just the fact that I keep going back says enough. It's always a bit epic getting out there, tho fortunately this year was a beach walk compared to our new years trip lastyear. The hot springs are always a delight - even this year with the clouds and snow hiding the aurora. The cabin is always full of good folk, great food, and good cheer. It's always a trip of excess, this year was no exception (Trevor brought 90 little sausages - for 15 people?? and that doesn't even include the 3 tubs of yogurt, 12 pounds of granola, fruit and pancakes that were also part of breakfast). You might think a grueling 12 mile ski would encourage some 'go lite' attitude - but then you wouldn't know the insane generosity of this crowd. The gray photos don't do it justice - it was really gorgeous with the fresh snow. Check Dan's, Ed, Lena, or Ted's blog for better photos.
Dan, Ann, and Trevor on the ski out.
snow sculpture on the dome.
Caz is really starting to get into skijoring this year, she was great!
THANKS ED for coordinating another great trip!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

embracing darkness

Blog maintenance here is suffering, no photos, i'm uninspired - let's just blame it on daylight savings time. It's hard enough losing 6 or 7 minutes a day, but losing a full hour - so that suddenly it's dark at 5, and feels like midnight at 6 pm - well some reason that was harder this year than usual. Anyhow I've embraced the darkness now and am spending my time these days watching lots of NG documentaries on Antarctica and knitting. (But don't expect any hand knit christmas presents from me - the documentaries are actually fascinating and I can't seem to pay any attention to the knitting) If you're looking for some more interesting blogging than this - check out Ed's blog this week. But if you want a better movie than Into the Wild, check out Shackelton's Endurance - Caroline and I watched it again the other night. It's just an absolutely incredible story, an absolute must see.

Monday, November 05, 2007

DJ weekend

Check out Rachel's, Mette's, or Shiway's blog for the latest Wyatt photos. Fun hanging out with the girls, we never even saw the boys cause Dave got a moose. Shiway gave me a bunch of good books for my Antarctic trip next month - I am so crazy excited about it, but overwhelmed too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Kyle's book

Every Fairbanksan NEEDS this book! Kyle gave me an autographed copy of his new book - it looks great. Great maps and profiles, great photos (especially page 31 below)... I know all you locals think you know all the good trails around here and don't need a guidebook, BUT - I'm sure you'd be surprised and find some routes you still need to explore, and plus it's actually really nice to have a map and distances for the trails we know and love. It's an ideal book to have around for company too so you can just send guests off on a dayhike and can at least know they'll find the trailhead. It'll be available on amazon soon, perfect christmas present.

Monday, October 22, 2007

winter playground

That dusting the other day turned into 6+ inches making for great skiing this weekend. Sunday I skied across the valley and up to Max and Mette's new place (yikes - seems like the baby is going to beat the house!) It's just absolutely beautiful here now with the trees loaded down with pristine snow and the sun low on the horizon.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

termination dust

somebody was excited about today's snowstorm.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Daveway Inn

god i miss seward...i so miss the coast and the mountains, even the windy wet days. this time i was lucky and the sun came out for the afternoon, making it all the more glamorous. and now the hospitality at the Daveway Inn just can't be beat! See Shi's blog for more photos of the weekend.

this guy got in the way and ended our efforts to walk on the beach -
This trip reminds me I just ain't an Interior girl, I miss the coast too much. The drive home was a nasty 9 hour combo of rain and snow, but I pulled in the driveway and just sat in the car for at least another 5 minutes. Shi gave me some audiobooks and I was totally engrossed in Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven, haven't finished it yet but I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

lunch with wyatt

I know I have a lot of wyatt fans on my blog, so here's the latest photo. They stopped over for lunch yesterday, as you can see - wyatt had squash. He also generously shared his cheerios with Caz.

Monday, October 08, 2007


The hot springs pool at hutlinana, on the left. Hutlinana is one of my favorite places in the interior. It's amazes me that there's a relatively pristine hot springs, easily accessible (only a 100 mile drive on a bumpy dirt road, then a 6 mi hike) that hasn't been developed at all. Well there's a big fire pit there, but really that's it. I think a lot of people use it, but everybody seems to really take care of the place. Audrey and I spent the weekend there - to celebrate her birthday, and get in one last camping trip before winter. We didn't exactly beat winter - good dusting of snow and it was down in the teens overnight, but it was a wonderfully relaxing weekend, and we had no problem staying warm in the springs.
Auds tried to teach me to fly fish, but it didn't work so well when the wet line and fly froze solid.
Sun came out for a gorgeous hike out.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Home sweet home

Aside from flying circles around Fairbanks for half an hour before landing because the landing gear was stuck, it was an uneventful trip home. Sun is just rising here now at 8 am, but it gets dark about the same time - that should ease the jetlag factor. The dark and cold morning air feels so crisp and clean. Just had my own special coffee (thanks for leaving the cream in the fridge D+S!)on the floor playing with the monkey... it was a great trip and it's so nice to be home.

My favorite book

It looked like Spilt Milk.

My neice and godchild

I was so happy to be home and be a part of Abigail's baptism,it was really a beautiful day.

Monday, October 01, 2007

lobstah and foliage

Fall colors are just getting going here, I really miss fall in New England. Got my Maine fix this weekend with a bike ride up Evan's Notch and lobstah dinnah with my folks - great weekend.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Spence on the guitar

Music and lyrics all written by Spence, age 6. Isn't he amazing?? And here he is playing with Rob - his guitar teacher, and Bob Marley in the background...

Monday, September 24, 2007

NH visit

she's just absolutely adorable...

Bryce is the bug kid, he also loves to take pictures - as you can see he's a very artsy photographer -

The colors are starting to change here, i had forgotten just how red the sugar maples are. I discovered this lily pond close to their house, why is it all boys are obsessed with throwing rocks into water?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Guitar lessons

why won't my video load???

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Needles - Canyonlands

We made a quick day stop on the way back to durango to hike out to the druid arch in Canyonlands. Great hike, even more spectacular geology, but still so dang hot!

San Rafael Swell, Utah

Spent a few days hiking slot canyons and biking around the swell, an awesome landscape with just incredible geology. It was pretty dang hot in the desert tho.