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.
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.
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.
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.
There’s still time this weekend to enjoy more of the SuperTour events at Birch Hill. Cream of the crop skiers from around the US have gathered to compete, as well as some of great Alaskan and interior skiers. Come cheer them on!
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!
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.
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.
No 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.
geese flying and feeding
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.