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.

Afternoon Deluge

IMG_4868No worries about any forest fires soon; Fairbanks experienced a quick douse of rain water and hail this afternoon. Seems like our June is quickly turning into typical August weather.
After the record breaking heat of May, we are glad to see the threat of forest fires quelched.  Not exactly canoe weather, but we won’t have to water the garden for a couple of days.  Hopefully, all the plants will have survived the pelting of hail that is abnormally large for this region of the state.

Sure Sign of Spring

Geese at the Wildlife Refuse

geese flying and feeding

Geese at the Wildlife Refuse

geese flying and feeding

Stopped by Creamer’s Field, (which just happens to be where I used to wander through the grain fields when I was growing up) to catch a glimpse of the variety of migratory fowl that are returning to feast on grain that has been provided up in the fields of what is now called Creamer’s  Wildlife Refuge.  Suffice it to say that I am old enough to  remember having milk delivered from the Creamer’s Dairy you can see in the background.

In addition to watching the birds, I also enjoyed watching cars pull in and out, and people of all ages and walks of life coming to look at the birds.  Next to me on the left  were 3 young children, about 5 or 6 years old, who apparently had just come from school.  Their mother was chatting with an acquaintance while the two girls climbed over the fence to slog through the mud, with their older brother egging them on to scream as loud as they could.   To my right was an older man, seated on the tailgate of his pick-up truck.  Judging by the size of the amazing lens, he was waiting for the perfect shot of one of the trumpeter swans in flight to occur.  Along the parking spaces were other bird watchers, sitting in the cars, just enjoying the sunny day and peaceful sight of all the birds, a sure sign of spring.

 

Sonot Khaazoot

Snot skiers on Chena River

Skiers on the Chena

As a last-before-the snow- is-gone ski race, be sure to note that March 26 marks the 29th annual Sonot Khaazoot.

The longest option, the 50 k starts at the Chena River Centennial Bridge.   The name, Sonot Khaazoot is true to a loose translation of the Koyukon Athabaskan , “sliding around in the springtime” is an apt description.

International Ice Carving Competition at the Ice Park

The Ice Park displays are fabulous and you still have time to view them!  As long as the weather holds (read:  if it doesn’t get too warm), the park will remain open until March 31th.   Daily hours are 10 am to 10 pm. Be sure to dress warm and visit both day and night, as the lighting makes the sculptures look beautiful both ways.xccLocated just off the Johansen Expressway, be sure you don’t miss this amazing display of ice art.

Ice carving in single block

Ice carving

Yukon Quest

sled dog

Dog ready to run

And they’re off! Join the fun and follow along (you can view in real time at www.yukonquest.com) Saturday for the start of the race from Fairbanks to Whitehorse.

Named for the Yukon river that was the path for gold prospectors, and other travelers north for adventure, this race covers vast stretches of wilderness, and is tracked by many sectors of society:  school children, journalists, dog lovers and others simply enchanted by the sheer endurance to accomplish the feat of the 1000 mile race.

Twenty three brave individuals will begin their trek over icy rivers, mountains, and rugged terrain, and continue for anywhere from 10-16 days to complete the course.

WEIO

drummers playing

Participants playing drums

Enjoy the World Indian Eskimo Olympics, as well as the arts and crafts for sale at the Carlson Center through July 18th.  Traditional dances can be viewed during evening events.