Friday, August 18, 2006

Summer in Alaska

There was a season on visitors this summer in Fairbanks. In early May, Tim and Rachel came up to see me and on the way back stopped in Seattle to see Rachel’s sister Danielle. Though Fairbanksians are already enthusiastically sporting short sleeves and rollerskis by this time, there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground. We all went to Denali Park before it was officially open. We biked in a few miles and saw a Ptarmigan and a momma bear with cubs. Biked through a couple snow squalls…it was still pretty cold. Tim and Rachel took it easy around Fairbanks then, while I worked. They helped me finish unpacking and headed to the nearby hotsprings. It was a fun visit, but you two should come back when it’s warm!

Next came my pal Jeff from Lamont. He flew into Anchorage, which gave me an excuse to go check out South Central Alaska. We hiked and camped near Hope, Seward (lovely Primrose Campground on Kenai Lake), and Whittier. We drove back to Fairbanks and Jeff, Bob and I went hiking at Angel Rocks before Jeff headed out on a four-day solo trek on the Chena dome trail. Luckily he didn’t run into the bears that were wandering around out there. Then he headed back to Anchorage on the train. Matilda came along on most of the adventures, but she was still having a lot of behavior problems. She could seem to be let out of my sight without whining and crying. Poor Jeff! They became buddies by the end though.

Next came Mom. We had lots of fun. Bob, Mom, and I headed down to Denali for a nice bus tour. It was drizzly, but that merely brought out the nice colors on the rocks. Polychrome was gorgeous. Mom also enjoyed kicking around Fairbanks, heading to the knitting store, watching us BBQ, and seeing the giant cabbage at the botanical garden. Bob had a list of required activities including the hotsprings and North Pole, where we took photos of us with giant, barbed wire-lined Santa next to an RV park. By the end of the week, Mom even got the hang of the outhouse. Yay! Matilda was feeling much better about life by this time. Bob’s been teaching her to meditate when she gets angry and to get along with his dogs. Getting better all the time. But when Grandma Judy brought dried liver chips, she became an instant hit.

After Mom came Abby and Miriam, my friends from graduate school. Along with Bob and the three dogs (Bob’s two and my one) the five of us had a blast. Abby and Miriam took a great backpacking trip to Denali. Then we went to a fun wedding reception for Bob’s photographer/dog musher friends Sam and Jillian. The highlights of that night included Bob taking illicit pictures with the camera of the bride’s father and them becoming best buddies afterwards. The evening culminated with a guy running through the yard with a BBQ rib in his mouth, chased by 8 or 9 dogs ranging from huskies to a small poodle. Abby, Miriam, Bob, Matilda, and I also went berry picking and canoeing on Abby’s last weekend in town. Lots of fun!! Great summer everyone!!



ricardorama said...

Hi Jessie, nice summer pics. I was
wondering how you were able to cope
with the extra daylight.

jc said...

thanks ricardo! it's been pretty manic. i can't wait for winter, really!