August Fiftieth Flood Anniversary

In case you missed it, there was a “high water party” commemorating the 50th anniversary of the ’67 flood hosted by Festival Fairbanks.

Today I caught a glance of one of the new signs installed to recall this event and the height of the water at the Fairbanks North Star Borough office, with the date August 15, 1967.  While I listened to this weekends warnings about a “flash flood” the thought did cross my mind that nothing could be anything like what I experienced that day, 50 years ago.

'67 Flood Marker

Sign by FNSB building denoting how high the water was

Our neighbor, Verdie, came running to the door at 4 am shouting, “It’s here!”   As a ten year old, I only remember stuffing some clothes in a brown paper bag and running out to the small Subaru station wagon, noting my pink bike being swept away in the back yard as the water came in waves into our yard.  Valiant though our efforts were, the car only got us just a hundred feet until it stopped and a kind gentleman paddled a canoe out from our next door neighbor’s house and rescued us as we crawled through the windows of our stalled car–even my grandmother!  We spent three days in the upstairs one bedroom apartment with 18 people crowded in it, eating banana bread and ice cream from the freezer.

As the water receded, we were able to return to our mobile home and find out just how blessed we were with precious few damages to our house, save the skirting that had to be replaced.  Many others, including my own uncle had to face a basement completely destroyed by the floodwaters.  As a result of this national disaster, the National Flood Insurance program was started, which has benefited many other communities.  Fairbanks has escaped several close calls due to the flood control project at Chena Lakes.

 

All Things Arctic

This week you can take in any number of activities surrounding what goes on in the north land.  Specifically, today hghlights local native artisans and businesses that specialize in serving people in the arctic. Visit the downtown Doyon building for the native arts, or stop by the food court for a taste of Alaskan food.  In addition, you’ll find business available for Arctic related services and products.

 

 

Migratory Bird Viewing

birds at Creamers

migratory birds

Having heard the familiar sound of geese overhead makes us know spring cannot be far behind.  The warmer weather, small buds of pussy willows and freshly groomed fields with seeds for the seasonal migratory birds are one of the best parts of this time of year.  Take some time to stop at Creamer’s Field and avail yourself of the views of a myriad of trumpeter swans, geese, ducks, and other birds you may spot there.

Yukon Quest International Dog Sled Race

The dogs are coming!  Saturday, February 4, 2017, marked the beginning of the Yukon Quest.  This year they left Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory, Canada,  for the 1000 mile trip.  As of the time of this post, the racers are headed into Eagle on the far west border of Alaska. Three of the former champions are mushing again, Hugh Neff, Brent Sass and Allen Moore.  While participants come from a wide range of places, winners in the past five years have all been from the interior of Alaska.

Just for those who wonder, each musher is required to bring the following items with them during the race:  (1) cold weather sleeping bag; (2) hand ax; (3) a pair of snowshoes; (4) veterinary records; (5) promotional race materials (think banners); (6) a functional cooker; and lastly (7) fuel to heat 3 gallons of water.  Extra dog booties are also required for each dog when they leave each checkpoint.  Other suggested supplies are emergency food for themselves and their dogs, as well as navigation (compass and map).  With such a short list this race indeed can be considered epic!

Supermoon and Aurora Yes!

Northern Lights over the gables

An all night aurora earlier this year

In addition to the supermoon to rise on Monday afternoon around 4 pm, be sure to scan the skies for great aurora viewing.  Yes, you can see the aurora from our property!  Apparently, the best time to capture a photograph of the moon is right after it rises, as perspective with the landscape allows a better framework.  Predictions for a 5 (midway up the scale) are tonight and tomorrow night as well, covering the entire state of Alaska.

 

Go Winter Expo

If you need a jump start (no pun intended) on thinking about winter, check out the winter expo at the Carlson Center on Saturday, October 7, from 10-6, and Sunday 11-5.  This event includes the benefit of being free, as well as incorporating door prizes.  If you collect guns, the Interior Alaskan gun show is included at this time as well.

World Eskimo Indian Olympics

drummers playing

Participants playing drums

Let the games begin!  The World Eskimo Indian Olympics are coming up on July 20th at the Carlson Center.  Four days packed with feats of strength and agility:  watch the high kick, ear pull, blanket tosses, and more.  In addition, you can enjoy dances and shop for authentic Native arts and crafts.  Daily, all day.  Visit the website at www.weio.org for more info.