Tuesday, February 5, 2008
You know your in Alaska when...
....the perfectly yellow banana you left in the truck overnight shifts to dead black! This is what the difference of what a banana left at room temperature looks like, before it is left in a truck at -25 below 0 over night. Today I was doing a small plumbing job at a clients home. She told me to help myself to anything in the kitchen. Nobody ever told her...... (hee hee hee). So I grabbed a diet Coke off the counter that was at room temperature as I was leaving. I figure, no problem, I will just put it in the bed of my truck for the 10 minute ride to my next stop, it is still well below zero out and it will get cold quick, right?! When I arrived at the next stop 10 minutes later, I went to grab it eager to quench my undieing thirst and if it wasn't frozen ass solid. Strange happenings! Notice here how that same thermal deprived banana was decimated in the process. It was literally liquid......and I swear I didn't play a few rounds of racquetball with it! As you have probably guessed by now, the sub zero cold which we have been anticipating has arrived. Just like history has tended to prove, the last week of January and so far the first week of February have been the coldest yet, with temps still expecting to fall even more this week. You hear only stories of the happenings in the type of cold, but really have to see it to believe it. In Maryann's case she had to experience it to believe it. She started her truck the other morning just like she always does, and after letting it warm up for 25 minutes, jumped in and left for work. I am loving up to the woodstove and get a calm call from her 10 minutes later, stating that her temperature gauge is crawling into the red.......and now all of a sudden, the check engine light has come on and she is going down...... Thankfully she was right in front of the Tesoro gas station just outside of town, and not in no-mans land between here and Kenai. Feeling a sense of panic knowing how fast someone can chill in these temps I suited up in my thermo-insulated coveralls....very warm, man.....and began a saving dash to bevy her rescue. Turns out her thermostat had froze shut, even with a block heater, and the rest is history. Thank God I have a heated garage to work in! It is interesting how many people experience these types of problems, and other problems....of which we won't speak of......when the temps drop into the extreme minuses. Heck, for all medicinal purposes, it even slows down the time it takes for an email to go through. For instance, I sent you an email 3 days ago Mike K. It just came back to me last night marked something like "Delivery time went past 1 day and has expired". Go figure! ;) In fact Maryann and I have heard from many people that it is just a given that folks won't show up for work or otherwise on days like this because either they can't get there, or just plain won't!
Now here is something interesting. This isn't a picture of a kaleidescope, rather a picture of one of Maryann's studio windows. Pretty cool, huh?! Good example of 'ice cactus'. This sporsystian life form that resembles that of little clingons, is ice cactus that formed on the inside of the window. We are having an issue with keeping her studio warm this winter. A priority to resolve by next winter! Then there is this one of the inside of the bedroom window. There is no issue with keeping our bedroom heated....it just happened because the window is that cold. Cool beans!
On other fronts, just as swift and mysteriously as they came, Moose Camp absolved and they have all gone wherever moose go. We haven't even seen the baby. We still figure with that couple days of 33 degrees and the trees tendering up, was a good reason why they were all over the property. Why ours....who's to say. Mind you, they are still abound on the roads, and slower than ever these days. The days have been very beautiful as even though we are lucky to break 0 degrees by day, it has been sunny, and spectacular. I have to say, the snow capped range across the bay has an illuminous glow as the sun comes up in the morning. I mean, it is beyond words, and I won't take a picture because it would do no justice to the tangible beauty. The entire mountain range all the way down to Mt. Illiamna looks just like a softly lit luminescent night light in the morning sky. A good example of 'alpenglow'.
Lastly, we did venture across the lake by way of snowshoes the other day. Was quite fun, and the dogs were in heaven just a runin...and a runin.... It was a unique experience to walk over and see up close, what we have only seen from afar since landing in June. And we got some good photos of what the property looks like form 'the other side'. How was it walking on ice you ask.....watch that show "Ice Road Truckers". It's a bit of a rush at first. Mind you, you are looking at water that was continually freezing deeper and deeper throughout fall and into early winter, then add feet upon feet of snowfall that has been packing and stacking on the surface all winter. The dogs found pleasure in sinking their heads down into the hoof holes left on the surface by crossing moose. They looked like a couple ostriches. Sid and Max would have just disappeared.... ;) John chose not to explore with us, rather than to kick it with the company he had over and look periodically out the window in amazement at the attempt of self entertainment that his folks and the dogs had bestowed upon themselves. We are at 8 hours and 20 minutes of daylight now. It is amazing what a few hours of daylight does.
I read something today written by a native Alaskan that went like this. "An Alaskan is someone who is living in Alaska because they love living here, not because it is someplace to live. An Alaskan is someone who chose to spend their life living in Alaska, not because Alaska was somewhere to spend their life. An Alaskan is someone who can use tools and has the guts to live within the tests of nature and the land. An Alaskan will live here at peace with himself (or herself for those who are genetically correct) and love every day that God gives them in the Great Land. We truly feel honored to live in this 'Great Land'. Our dream come true.