One day closer…

Well, the bottom dropped out this weekend.  Woke up to a balmy -35 Friday morning. Things have warmed up a bit since then.  It’s a gorgeous -28 outside this evening.  I can tell how cold it is by how far down the driveway my goofy Lab goes before heading off into the trees.  The colder it is, the less driveway she travels.  This is the time of year Alaskans start dreaming of breakup.  Breakup’s when the snow and ice finally start to go away and we end up in what we call spring.  It’s about  six months off…

There are some neat things to experience at these temperatures.  Sound carries like you wouldn’t believe and the air is seriously clear once you get above the ice fog level.  Ice fog is a wonderful phenomena that happens when the ground, even though snow-covered, is warmer than the air above it. Get down to -40 or so and the fog gets so thick you can’t see 50 feet sideways, but can see blue sky above you.  That thin veil of “smoke” coming out of your freezer when you first open the door?  That’s ice fog.  Think that on steroids and you get Fairbanks in winter.

We’re down to less than six hours of sun above the horizon.  The saving grace to this time of year is  the sunrise and sunset take about two hours each and are spectacular.  We lose about 7 minutes a day; figure just under an hour of sunlight a week.  Thirty days from tomorrow and things turn around.   We start picking up that hour a week and by the middle of May it doesn’t get dark at all.  It’s kind of nice, but it also means you’re cutting the grass every three days.

It takes a different breed of cat to live up here and enjoy it.  If you’re of my sibling’s frame of mind, it takes a crazy man.   I’ve now been here 14 years, 2 weeks, and a day.   People ask me why I live where I do; isn’t it dark and cold? Of course it is. But just see the above paragraph and the whole “May” reference.  I used to go into the whole promote Alaska, build tourism, and why don’t ya come up and see answer.  Now it’s just a wee bit different.

Now I tell people who ask that I’ll move when I quit being amazed.  5,125 days and I have yet to be disappointed.  Something different absolutely takes my breath away every single day.  I go to sleep at night wondering just what this incredible place has to offer tomorrow.

So it’s gotten cold, it’s getting dark, the roads are slick, and if it’s cloudy the world looks like a giant Ansell Adams photograph.  My thinking is it’s just one day closer to breakup.    

 

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1 Response to “One day closer…”


  1. 1 Da Goddess November 29, 2009 at 4:26 am

    One of my goals is to spend a winter in Alaska.

    You’re not crazy, my friend, you’re just a poet.


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