Jul 27, 2007

and the cotton is high

hangin out on the porch in the sunshine.


Mike studying for the Two Rivers triathlon (which he had to miss because of bronchitis):

Jul 25, 2007

gorgeous weekend in Fairbanks

My past few summers in Fairbanks have been plagued by one thing or another - smoke in 2004, data 2005, cold & rain 2006, plus the dreadful Thesis. This summer, on the other hand, has been absolutely gorgeous and stressfree. We've had a good bit of rain, so no wildfires and no smoke, and the plants are doing great. Of course this is the one year I haven't tried to grow a garden, because we thought we were moving earlier in the summer, but I did plant lots of flowers and basil in pots and they look lovely. This past weekend was Golden Days --- which is a blast to the gold rush past, I guess? I have never really known what it was about, but this year I helped with the "golden mile" - a one mile race that leads off the golden days parade downtown. There were over 150 participants in the race, which benefits the Literacy Council. I signed up at the last minute, and ran a 6:56 mile, which isn't too bad considering no warmup (and a great time at sweating honey at the marlin the night before)... The race was fun because the streets were lined with mobs of parade watchers the whole way. A line of old-timey cars, fire trucks, cabaret dancers, football teams, dachsunds and tae-kwon-doers made for an interesting parade.

Sunday morning Mike and I ran the Gold Discovery run, a 16.5 miler that starts at the top of pedro dome at cleary summit, and winds down (and UP) to the Silver Gulch brewery in Fox. It's really a gorgeous and fun run, despite the last couple of miles on pavement in the heat - 15 min. of torture after a long run. But awaiting us at silver gulch are two kegs and a great bbq. We gave this guy Patrick - from Seattle - a ride to the race, and he seemed to enjoy it except for crapping himself in the last couple of miles. BUMMER. Mike had a fantastic run in 2:10:46, and would have gotten 3rd place in his age group if it weren't for that BRIAN JACKSON (who wasn't even there to pick up his medal!). I ran a 2:17:17, which was also a few minutes faster than last year. Complete results:

The annual Red Green regatta was the same day. although we didn't make it, our friends Celso and Chloe came up with a great duct-tape-octopus-attacking-a-canoe float:

Jul 23, 2007

holy shit, ow.

WARNING: do not look too closely at this photo if you are squeamish!

Neiff, 24, from Norway gored by a bull in the running of the bulls in Madrid this month. Although the horn went in at his shin and all the way up to his knee!!, the bone wasn't affected and he is OK.

Jul 17, 2007

Live Earth

"the last thing this planet needs is another rock concert"
- roger daltrey of the who

Jul 9, 2007

my first triathlon

Sunday, July 8, was the Northern Aquatics Triathlon at Chena Lakes. It's a short sprint one: 500 yd swim, 10 mi bike and 3.1 mi run --- which was long enough! Here's a photo of the start from the News-Miner, see if you can spot me:

Note that some crazy people are not wearing wet suits. I am soo happy that I borrowed one, because that water is c-c-c-c-old!!! The start is a loud and startling canon blast, and everyone just dives right in on top of each other. I felt like a salmon in the Copper River...

Although my feet started to feel numb toward the middle of the swim and the water was pretty choppy with all the swimmers going at once, it wasn't too bad, and my split was around 8:30? The transition wasn't so smooth, I was really huffing and puffing while the cameraman was snapping photos of me struggling to get out of the wet suit.

The bike portion was really nice and flat and went by pretty quickly (in my mind; in reality, a slowish split of 37:00?). My run transition was super fast since I didn't have to change shoes (still haven't gone clipless), so I actually passed a couple of people in the transition area. The run was a bit painful - heavy breathing the whole time - but i surprised myself with about a 22:00 5K, and finished in 6th place (women)! for quick recovery, you're supposed to stand in cold water after a run.In all, it was super fun actually, and with a little bit more practice with open water swims and clipless pedals, I think I can drop some time.... Mike was there helping me get my gear in order and cheering me on the whole time, here's a studly photo of him after our picnic lunch on the 'beach'.

Jul 5, 2007

Field-Tested, Alaskan-Approved

Mike and I wanted to go dipnetting (future blog, hopefully) last weekend after the midnight sun run, but low count reports on the chitina hotline (907.823.2200) were a bit discouraging. We packed up the car anyway and decided to drive to Valdez instead... but we brought the dipnet just in case. Our friends Will and Anne had clued us in to a great camp spot near the Black Rapids glacier, so our first night on the road was really beautiful.

The next morning, we ran into some guys (and gal) with 4wheelers, coolers and dipnets at the Glenallen gas station and they reported "awesome" salmon numbers, so we took a left and drove to Chitina after all. Reports from people at O'Brien creek, however, were bad. 3 people with 3 dipnets = 6 salmon in 14 hours. bad. But, we decided we were right there so we'd try for an hour.

We tried for an hour, but with no hint of a fish at all, we left for Valdez. First we stopped at the Spirit Mountain Artworks store in Chitina which is worth a look! The drive to Valdez is freaking GORGEOUS!! I'm not sure why i didn't know this, but it was really amazing.

The Worthington Glacier. If you look closely, you can see a couple of people at the top of the ice wall:
Thompon Pass, looking north. Snapped it just before the fog completely filled in. So I blame it on a bad cold during our trip, but I did not take any photos of Valdez itself. I'll just have to go back I guess. There are some waterfalls on the road, and our second campspot was by a river in Keystone Canyon, not far from these Bridal Veil Falls:
We stopped about 544 times on the way back, partly because we were looking for a trail that someone told us about - to Red Rock Canyon? - which we never found, but we had fun at each stop anyway.

Mike built a cairn while i had fun with digital camera settings:

Some sepia-toned water for your enjoyment:
Oh ya! we saw a mom moose with two small calves with still-shaky legs, but those photos are on 35mm film...