Friday, February 22, 2008

way to go Phil!

holy crap. 13 days. minus 60 to plus 40 temps. 2 ft slushy overflow. jumbled ice. glaciers. a thousand miles. totally amazing. i can't wait to hear kumi's stories.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ed and Kristen's Susitna

Trevor, Dea, and I all desperately wanted to get out of town last weekend so we headed down to beautiful Wasilla - to support kristen and Ed doing the Susitna. The Susitna is a crazy race - bikers, skiers,and runners going 100 miles nonstop on wilderness trail. You never know what the trail will be like, and what the best mode of travel will be - last year the bikers easily won in 10 hours. But this year the weather was brutal - intense winds,ground blizzard, below zero windchill. The race this year was won by a skier in 20 hours, and second was a biker - they were the only ones that had finished when we left at noon on sunday - in most years pretty much everyone would have finished by then. Unfortunately both Kristen and Ed were of the many to scratch this year, but both of them had epic 40+ mile skiis and crazy stories. Ann did the 50 K race and had a great finish - 4th skier overall! but her race was a 6 hr slog. I used to think I wanted to do this race, but I don't know anymore - I skied ~ 15 mi on the trail and was quite happy to come back and get some hot chocolate and enjoyed talking to the folks at the port mackenzie general store while waiting for them. But I really appreciate having friends crazy enough to do this kinda stuff (but sane enough to turn around when it simply isn't fun anymore!)prerace food pack. what's the key ingredient to keep your body going for 100 miles? fritos!
a nice protected section of the trail after crossing the little su - no snow drifts in here but it's narrow and hard for skate skiing
the start - this is the skier that won (by a huge margin), blow up the picture and check out his sled design - I think he's onto something here.
Kristen taking off. (of course in pure kristen syle - she was in the portajon at the actual start so everyone is ahead of her here, what's the rush when you're going 100 miles?)
snowbiking is crazy up here - the tires just get fatter and fatter every year. this is actually the tread of the tandom bikers, and they only had medium fat tires.
Ed broke a pole ~ 40 miles out. he did manage to find an old bamboo pole at a lodge out there but he sanely choose to turn around and ski 40 miles back with the short bamboo pole rather than keep going another 60 miles with that pole. (turns out carbon fiber poles don't just break they implode - far beyond duck tape and bailing wire repair).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

skip the hallmark, but don't skip the chocolate.

i'm not one for hallmark holidays, but since i'm such a choco-holic, i can't not celebrate this one. so here's a recipe for the best ever chocolate cake - super moist with a very unique frosting. sorry if the recipe is confusing, but really that's half the fun of it. i originally got this recipe on a post-it note from my grad school cubicle mate Trish, and it's always a bit of an experiment...
and sending out this photo for a good laugh from love-sick Martin in Nome...
i think this product is defective, can you get your money back?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

yukon quest

and they're off! only 1000 miles, and a couple mountain ranges to go...
GO PHIL (#6)!!! and Kumi - his handler, fiancee, and my old grad school office mate and good friend. she doesn't have an enviable job at these temps.

Ed looks great in white mascara, don't you think?
lisar's great frosty smile...

ben at work...

Friday, February 08, 2008

Cold Weather Cutoffs

here's a few cutoff temperatures for understanding life, and exactly how crazy we all are up here...

1. Fairbanks school district: never.
(Nenana is a little more reasonable- school is optional at 50 below, and canceled at 60 below. Keep in mind, high school kids are just as cool here as the lower 48 - waiting for the bus with their jackets unzipped, sneakers untied, etc.)
2. Nordic Ski Classes and Races: 20 below
3. Yukon Quest dog race: never
4. Yoga classes: 40 below (yes, the yoga classes are indoor!)
5. Skijor races: 15 below.
6. Refilling your propane tanks: 30 below.
7. UAF classes: never.

I'll lost track of when this whole cold snap started, but i can tell you i haven't gone to any yoga classes for over a week now!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

super tuesday in ak

We may not have made the national news, but we made history up here yesterday - the most people to EVER vote in the Alaskan democratic caucus! by far. I know other states had to deal with major snowstorms or tornadoes - but the fact that so many people drove all the way to south fairbanks in 35 below ice fog to vote in a totally republican state with only 3 delegates... totally amazing. I had never been to a caucus before, and neither had most of the people in the way overcrowded community center - it was pure chaos, and a totally arcane system. It took over 2 hours, in true fairbanks sytle there were some very ornery and rude folks yelling "just vote, just vote already" through the speeches. People are just stripping off the layers it was so hot and crowded in there, until most of us were down to a tshirt and mukluks, big down jacket, wool sweater, hat and gloves all tied around the waist. Then each person had to count off, starting over in this corner, to determine how many people are in the room. Are you serious?? And then the fire marshal and police tried to shut it all down since everyone had parked illegally in the street (the parking lot held maybe tops 50 cars, but hundreds of people turned out)
then FINALLY we could vote - no circles to fill in here - just go stand in a corner for your candidate. And basically the whole room went over to Barack's side. it was very cool.
Fairbanks at least, is clearly ready for some real change.
skijoring last weekend when it was warm (well, 20 degrees warmer than it is now).