Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Move

We left North Pole, AK on the first week of June. Traveling to our new location of Reno, NV. Our plans called for us to travel the Alkan highway, Which were changed by the RCMP in Taylor, BC .

But first we traveled to Tok, AK and spent the night at Fast Eddie's. Now if you are travelling through Tok, AK stop at Fast Eddie's for a good meal. Got up the next morning and off we went to Canada. Got the usual welcome at the border, but at least this time we weren't subjected to a cavity search like we were the last time we went into Canada.

Here are some pictures we took along the AlCan

We were determined to take the AlCan Highway, as far as we could before turning south to the US. We did not want to have to take the Cassiar Highway which we took the yeaar before to Reno. What a trip. If I can describe the road, it is a gravel, mud road, broken up periodiclly by pavement.

Just before we got to Taylor, BC we saw the turn off to the Cassiar Highway but continued down the AlCan. When we got to the other side of Taylor, BC, the RCMP stopped us and made us turn around becasue they had closed down the AlCan due to forest fires. Our choice was to stay in Taylor, for an undetermined amount of time, or, we retrace our steps, and go back and take the Cassiar.

We decided to take the Cassiar. It really wasn't that bad this time around mainly because it was somewhat dry. But when we got to the US - Canada border, the custom officer wanted to know what war we had gone through. See picture of U-Haul

We traveled from Washington state to California. What surprised me is California is still maintaing the vegetable and fruit inspection. If you haven't been to California, the state has inspection stations as you enter California you need to stop and be inspected to ensure you aren't bringing in fruits or vegetables contaminated with bad insects that could be detremental to the crops of California.

The condo we were buying in Reno fell through. Apparently the title company found a litigation going on for over 25 million dollars. That would have cost us 75,000 dollars if the condo coompany lost. So we regroouped and found another place for all us old folk over 55. ( I asked the real estate agent if I got rid of the wife and married a bimbo about 25 could I still live here. She said yes, only one person needs to be over 55. )
This is a picture of the wife.

The place we live is a 1700 square foot home west of Reno and is about 5 miles from the California border. this is a view from our backyard, we are about 5500 feet up. The community has a nice club house. Here is a link to our community. traded moose for cotten tail, Quail and coyote ( they are very active at night)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Compare and Contrast

My wife and I have been in this Extended Stay Hotel ( ad says full kitchen, don't believe it),for over a month now. We are still married. We are waiting for our house to close, hopefully this month. I don't have the cable to connect to my computer to put pictures in and place on the blog, so I decided to do one on comparison of Interior Alaska to Reno, NV

1. They said our condo had a mountain view, I would classify them as hills
2. The county Washoe has about 200,000 less population than the whole state of Alaska.
3. We saw a cotton tail rabbit the other day as compared to Moose.
4. Got a Heineken for $1.25 the other day as compare to $4.50 in Fairbanks.
5. Get more wind here than in Fairbanks
6. Humidity is about 10%
7. If you gamble at the bar, you get your beer free.
8. Won a radio I can put in the shower for getting 4 sixes on video poker
9. Got lunch free yesterday and free beer after getting 4 aces on video poker
10. Groceries are cheap
11. Reno is very clean and well maintained
12. Was looking forward to seeing the 4th of July fireworks at night for the first time in over 6 years. City of Reno canceled them due to budgetary restraints
13. Our license plates are expired but don't have a palce to call home so sneaking around town to evade police.
14. They were talking about unemployed numbers on Fox news, saying there are hundreds of thousands of unemployed, and not looking for work and no place to live. Hey that's me.
15. Play texas holdum once a week
16. Wife won't let me go to the Bunny Ranch

More later

Friday, May 29, 2009

Final Leg To Reno

Before Ketchican (picture on right is of downtown) we did a quick stop in Sitka to unload. and pick up passengers. Gary and Billie got off to go fish for the summer. (what a job) We picked up two passengers who had done some work for the Coast Guard there. Well the Coast Guard was so thankful for their work, I don't know what it was, did a fly by, of the ferry. Since we didn't know what was going on, it was a little worrisome. But the Captain of the ferry came over the speaker and announced why we were being buzzed. This was right after the fly by of the Statue of Liberty by Air Force One. How much did this cost us?

I have mentioned that the ferry goes places the cruise ships can't. One of the more interesting places was a narrow strait, where the ferry can only go at no-tide, (when the tide is not coming in or out). The reason is when the tide is coming in or out, it is not the speed of the tide, but the volume of water rushing through. One long time Alaskan in the audience, Forest Rangers provided a briefing on this, stated he has seen it where the two buoys, placed in the strait, were under water.

Most of the trip was looking at the beautiful scenery. Here are a few pictures.

We went on and docked at Bellingham, Washington. From there to Eugine, Oregon it was wall to wall cars. In fact I told the wife that night I wanted to go home. But she being of sound mind convinced me to forge ahead.

We stopped in Weed, Oregon for lunch at a little diner. And on the menu it said it was the start of the AlCan highway. When questioned on this the waitress said they could claim anything.

Just east of Sacramento, California, we pulled off for a beer, 104 degrees F outside. I was amazed at the number of shops closed and malls closed. We finally found a pizza place in a mall that was the only business open in that mall, and this was a Saturday afternoon.

After the beer we headed for Tahoe, Nevada. On a five lane high way, each way. Suddenly I was in a traffic jam over two miles long. It took me over an hour and a half to get by it. The cause for the jam was that the state of California decided Saturday afternoon was a great time to work on four lanes and leave one open, without traffic controls. So every driver in the five lanes was viving for one lane!!

We got to Reno, started looking for homes on an acreage. We got depressed at the state of the homes. It would cost more to make them livable than they were worth. So we went for a condo.

Condo we bought is over 2300 sq ft., on the second level, double doors to the master bedroom, walk in closets, etc. The`club house has two pools, work out room, library, theater, four plasma TVs, pool table, steam room, pond, patio, bar, etc.

More pictures of the condo are at this link

The picture is of the entrance to the gated community, which has a large water fountain.

This is the last post till I resurface in Reno. We leave next week for our trip down the AlCan, which does not go through Weed, Oregon.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Trip to Reno

We had an excellent trip to Reno to find a place to live. Some voted that they didn't know where Reno was. It is in Nevada just to the east of Tahoe, about 50 miles. Follow this link for more info on Reno.

I got the vett detailed and it looked great, left for Reno on the 11th of May. Stopped in Tok at Crazy Eddies for the night. Up early and our ride to Haines, AK. When we left Tok it snowed all the way to Haines Junction in the Yukon. Vette looked a mess. Some advice, if you drive to Tok from Haines or Haines to Tok, have a full gas tank. We didn't and before the start of the tourist season, there are very few gas stations open.

We found a station opened in Burwash Landing but had to drive a quarter of a mile to the lodge in town to get the owner to come pump our gas. When we walked in the restaurant, we told the waitress we needed gas. She told us the owner was eating and did we want some coffee while we waited.

Ok, but we didn't have Canadian currency, but they took US dollars. So I gave her four dollars she gave me some change in Canadian, about 25 cents canadian, I think the coffee actually cost me $3.95 for two.

Well the owner got through with his meal after about 30 minutes, and came out and told us he would meet us at the station.We got in the vett and tried to drive to the gas station. There are two roads in this town of 150, and guess what, we took the wrong road. After we realized out mistake, we made it to the station just before the owner left.

Had lunch at Haines Junction and cruised into Haines. Haines was founded in the early 1900s as a military base. In the fall over 4000 eagles come to Haines. To learn more about Haines, AK go to this link Haines, Ak

We got on the ferrry at 4 pm. Ferry looks like this. The vechicles load from the side. This is a very good and inexpensice trip to take. In fact it is sometimes called the poor mans Alaskan Cruise.

You can bring your vechicle, bicycle or just walk on. You can rent a stateroom or bring your sleeping bag and sleep somewhere around the ship. Even better you can pitch a tent in the Soloreruim. See picture on right.

You can bring your own food, booze or buy it on the boat. We booked a room and went to the bar to see who was there. We immedately made friends with Joe and Bob. Joe was in the AirForce being transferred to Arizonia. Bob worked for the government but had worked on the Time Bandit. (worlds deadlist catch).

Also met Billie who was going to Sitka to work as a deck hand trowling for salmon. She was from Oakland California and this would be her first year as a deck hand. She was a knock out.

In this picture Joe is on the left, my wife Arlene is next to him, I am in the back ground and Bob is on the far right.

Tomorrow I will up date this blog on the ferry trip and some interesting facts we learned.

OK, this is tomorrow, and I am going to update our trip to Reno.

Another good thing about taking the ferry, is that most of the people are Alaskans or work in Alaska. Where as on a cruise you meet very few Alaskans. The benefit of traveling with Alaskans is you can learn more about Alaska.

For example, we , met a man named Gary who used to be a professor of chemistry at University of Alaska. He now lives in Oregon but travels to Sitka to fish for salmon. He has a commercial boat he keeps in Sitka. He explained that his boat has a crew of three, including him self, one being a deck hand, like Billie. He fishes for King salmon using a certain lure, when he wants to fish for a different salmon he uses a different lure.

Also on the ferry, the state of Alaska has contracted with the Department of Agriculture to have men and women from the forestry department to be on board most ferries to explain to the travelers various aspect of Alaska. For example, we had lectures on ravens, the towns we were about to arrive at, whales, orcas, eagles, salmon, etc.

One thing I do remember from one of the lectures is how to count in salmon:
1. thumb sounds like "chum"
2. index finger is used to poke, sounds like "coho"
3. middle finger is the largest, refers to "king salmon"
4. ring finger is where you wear "silver salmon"
5. little finger is the pinky or "pink salmon"

Other thing I learned from Bob, who was once on the Time Bandit, is more details on fishing for crab. He wasn't to sure but he said that the king crab travel in groups, he described it as traveling in a ball. At the time they fish for crab, the crab are feeding in crevices off the bottom of the ocean feeding on carcasses of salmon.

I also asked how do you fish for the different types of crabs, ie King Crab vs Dungeness crab. Bob said the crabs of different types operate at different depths. So you fish for Kings at one depth and Dungeness at another depth.

We only got off the ferry at one stop, this was at Ketchican where we spent several hours. We, Arlene, Bob and myself went to town and had lunch and then did a pub crawl back to the ferry. After about the seventh bar we caught a cab to Jerimias, which is across from where the ferry was docked. I didn't know this but the cab reports his fare to the dispatcher by giving his number, in this case 6. Then the first name of the business the fare was picked up in front of. We were picked up in front of "Dicks Automotive Parts". And then where the fare was going. We were going to Jeremias.

The cab driver always wanted to say this, and caused the dispatcher to come back with "what". I'll let you put it together.

When we got to Jermias, we learned there is quite a cult following of the crew members of Worlds Deadliest Catch. In fact, the boats each have their own fans. Bob was quite popular with the ladies. See picture to the left.

Want to take some quizes on the Worlds Deadliest Catch? Go here

From left to right Millisa, Cindy, Bob, and Amanda.

More tomorrow plus I will show the place we bought in Reno

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Arctic Man

One of the big winter events here is an event called Arctic Man. It occurs in April at a place south of Fairbanks, called Summit Lake. This event involves a snow machine and skier and has been going on for about 24 years. Check the link for how the event is performed.

One of my friends, John Martin, has won the event several times. His skier for the last several years has been an Olympic skier from Poland. John's wife Pat is the one that designs and knits the Alaskan Table Runners seen on this page.

I have attached some pictures of this years event.

The wife and I are off to Reno tomorrow. Will have more on the trip on the Alaskan Marine Highway.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Summer is here

he tripod moved on the Nenana River last night, May 1. Missed it by a little over 8 hours. The Chena River has small bits of ice floating down. Next week is clean up day and of course that is the day we are having a garage sale. Anyone want to buy a boat.

I put some pictures in of the river and its effects on my garden last summer. The fence around the tree is to protect it from beavers. My neighbor up stream said he had beaver resistant trees. They lasted a week.

While I was working on this, I went back up stairs and it looks like the ice has broken free from upstream, my garden is flooded and lots of ice is coming down now. See picture and video. Since I took these pictures, I lost the pole that moors my boat and two trees

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chena River Ice moving Out

Here is some video of the ice on the Chena River by my home moving downstream. What usually happens, is it will move down river, then the ice will stop moving and back up again. Will try to get some more when it all breaks free.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

State Bird is Coming

56 degrees here at 12:21 pm on April 26th. Snow is melting like crazy, still got a bunch on the ground though. With the snow melt comes the puddles, or small lakes that form along the side of roads, in the woods, geeze just about any where it can go to a low area.

These stick around for some time and become the number one breeding area of our state bird, the mosquitoes. The puddles stay for some time mainly because the ground can not absorb the water because it is still frozen. Remember we don't plant till about June 1 when the temperature of the soil is above 60 degrees. The mosquitoes come in waves, first come the big ones, my wife calls them B-52s. After these big guys come the smaller version. Usually by middle of June they are not to big of a menace.

One good thing about the mosquitoes, the birds won't come to the feeders, because they are busy eating and feeding to their young, the higher protien mosquitoes. Birds like this flying pig.

The picture to the right is of my front yard where it will remain boggy for most of May. The front consists of White Spruce, and low bush cranberries for cover.

The picture on the left, is where I have parked the snow machines for the summer. You can see the river is getting kind of sloppy. Still think break up won't occur till first week of May. I'll try and get video of the break up when it occurs.

I talked several weeks ago about how surprised I was on the first spring I experienced here on all the trash that was exposed. Below are some pictures we took on the Richardson Highway between Badger Rd and Fairbanks. ThereI was a stuffed chair on the side of the road several weeks ago, but when I came back this week to take pictures someone must have took it home.

Anyway, I will take a after picture in a couple of weeks and these areas will be spotless. Clean up day is organized by the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce. The population of the borough turns out and picks up the trash. It is an amazing community effort.

We're making plans to take the Alaska Maine Highway from Haines, to Washington state. Hopefully we can get across the border regardless of the Homeland Secretaries remarks about the Canadian border guards. The last time we took the Marine Highway we met some Canadian's who taught me to speak Canadian.


My wife has started packing, Chucky, our cat, was helping and got tired.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cabin Fever

This is the worst time of the year for, me any way, here in Interior Alaska. This is when I get cabin fever. Cabin fever is defined as "Boredom, restlessness, or irritability that results from a lack of environmental stimulation, as from a prolonged stay in a remote, sparsely populated region or a confined indoor area" Well I am not in a remote region but I would say I am confined indoors.

Why, because you can't do anything. snow melts during the day and then the melt freezes at night, only to melt during the day. The river is still frozen, but slushy and to dangerous to go on. So you really cant do anything. Weather for today is snow/rain showers. High today should be 41. One good thing is we can go out without coats, even though the high is only 41.

My wife Arlene took this picture on the left at the start of Badger Road the other day. If you click on it, you can see it is a new parking lot. Only problem is, you would need a boat to get to your car. But after break up, it should dry up and allow for parking . The owner is being proactive, there is a sign on the fence asking for filler dirt.

I sent this to the News Miner to see if they would print it.

I lived in Omaha, Nebraska, and this time of year their roads, including the highways would have numerous pot holes. Pot holes so large you could lose your car in them. But a good thing about living here is I don't see any pot holes on the major roads. I do get my teeth rattled when I drive down South Cushman in the vette.

But the highways do have a problem with permafrost. You place a highway on permafrost, it will cause the permafrost to melt. This will result in the highway buckling. It really doesn't crack, it just drops a few inches. Makes for exciting driving in the vette

Speaking of the vette, I had to order tires for it last week. 2000 dollars for four!! For the British reader that's 2,958.62 pounds and those in Europe that is 2605.4 Euros. What was funny is the clerk wanted to know if I wanted them FedEx ed here, heck I cant get it out of the garage till May.

My bet on break up is May 1, 12:05 PM!!

This is the wife Arlene,

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Break Up is on The Way

Last week was great. The wife and I went to the Badger Den on Friday, and we didn't even wear coats!!! It was about 38 degrees, and a lot warmer than a -55. We had dinner with our friends who we chat with on a Yahoo group called. Interested in this group the address is

The group is for "For those who live in Alaska, want to live in Alaska, used to live in Alaska, or just want to feel a connection to The Alaskan Dream." It is quite a chatty group discussing any thing from how to move to Alaska or how to make tea, Hmm

I got this today off the group. I think the author ment that if you can relate to five of these items you are an Alaskan. Funny thing I can relate to all except five. And there was one I thought of that was left off. " Going out side does not mean going into the garden"

You can relate to 5 or more of this things...

1. Your idea of a traffic jam is 10 cars waiting to pass a motor home on the
2. "Vacation" means going to Anchorage for the weekend.
3. You measure distance in hours.
4. You know several people who have hit moose more than once.
5. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.
6. You use a down comforter in the summer.
7. Your grandparents drive at 65 mph through 13 feet of snow during a raging
blizzard, without flinching.
8. You see people wearing hunting clothes at social events.
9. You install security lights on your house and garage, and leave both
10. You think of the major food groups as: deer meat, beer, fish, and
11. You carry jumper cables in your car, and your girlfriend knows how to
use them.
12. There are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot at the grocery store
at any given time.
13. You know what Bunny Boots are.
14. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with
15. You think sexy lingerie is tube socks and flannel pajamas.
16. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and
17. It takes you 3 hours to go to the store for one item, even when you're
in a rush, because you have to stop and talk to everyone in town.
18. You didn't know what the word "county" meant, and we were never taught
about "area codes"... 907 is all you had to know
19. You think bald eagles aren't that great
20. You know to go to Best Buy a month after a CD release because that’s
when it will FINALLY arrive in Alaska
21. You wish seagulls came with a mute button
22. You can go to McDonalds and order off the $1.50 menu which they feel is
equivalent to the $0.99 menu
23. You were appalled by the "Carrs-Safeway" merge a few years ago
24. You have to have a raven cage around your trash to keep them out
25. You go to school, work, or both in the dark and come out in the dark
26. 30 degrees is shorts weather
27. -10 is a bit nippy
28. Buses leaving school are delayed because a bear is in the parking lot
29. You tell people you live in an igloo for kicks
30. You don’t swim in natural bodies of water for fear of swimmers itch or
beaver fever...or leeches
31. Having a moose in your front yard is a legitimate excuse for being late
to school
32. There is nothing like Matanuska Maid...who cares about Meadowgold,
Dairyland and Viva!!
33. You only go to the fair for turkey legs and a husky burger
34. You refer to the continental US as the "lower 48"
35. You get an attitude when you have to pay tax in the lower 48
36. There is 4 feet of snow the night before school and you STILL have to go

37. If you don’t like the weather wait for 5 minutes and then go back out
38. You sleep through an earthquake like nothing ever happened; the only way
you know is because the clock fell off the wall
39. Salmon isn’t a delicacy, it's a staple
40. Halibut is beer battered rather than cooked some fancy way
41. 70 degrees is equivalent to 90 degrees in the lower 48
42. You know who "Sleeping Lady" is
43. During the winter you rarely use your freezer
44. You think $4 for a loaf of bread is cheap
45. A "cookout" is not all the time outside because it’s entirely too cold
for all of that
46. You don't sleep in the summer because it’s too short to miss a minute of
47. Half your friends own a sled (snow machine) and you think people that
call them snow mobiles are idiots
48. You have been chased or know someone who has been chased by a moose at
least once.
49. You’ve seen the northern lights, and you know why they are such a "big
50. You know its all about the snow, DUH.
51. You know that Cattle Company has the best potato soup there is.
52. Your bedroom windows are covered in aluminum foil or black blankets.
53. You know the two speed limits in Alaska: the ‘get outta my way limit’
and ‘taking cover limit’
54. You only watch the news when they announce the amount of the year’s
55. Your school classes were never canceled because of ice
56. You have to start your car at least an hour before you leave so most of
the ice and snow will melt off by the time you leave
57. You wear flips flops all year without getting sick
58. You've never seen cotton or tobacco growing, but your neighbor has a 30
acre pot field
59. You literally can’t leave the house without seeing some one you know.
60. You know the term "studs" isn’t referring to hot guys.
61. You have to ski in gym class
62. You know who "Binki" was, made fun of that stupid Australian tourist,
and was so sad when he died.
63. You expect to see a moose crossing Tudor every time you drive down.
64. You give up and tell people in the lower 48 that you DO live in an igloo
and you DO have a pet polar bear named Mishka when they refuse to believe
65. You call someone without a crack in there windshield a tourist
66. You remember what Showboats was and you’re little sad it's gone.
67. When you go to the lower 48 you wonder where everybody's block heater
cable is
68. You've been to the Peanut Farm for a drink but refuse to tell anyone..
69. Combat fishing isn't a joke, it's a religion.
70. You've seen a 2-month old moose get hit by a full-size van at 65 MPH,
then get up and run off
71. Two words "Korn Fritters"
72. Your parents taking you trick-or-treating involves riding door-to-door
in the car
73. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit

I also received this email from my friend Dean in Kotzebue

Check this out...the caribou was found frozen in place by DEC personnel on a site inspection on the North Slope. That is some cold weather.... temps were down in the -40s F and wind chills to -70 to -80.

Caribou froze standing still at -80 with wind chill in Kuparuk AK"

Last week I mentioned Service Areas for road commissioners. Well we also have Service Areas for Fire Commissioners. These areas are larger than the road commissioners areas. Guess what happens if you don't belong to a fire area service area, If your home is burning, the fire department will respond up the the boundry and then stop.

Houses have burned on the boundry of a service area and the fire department has stopped at the boundry and watched the home burn because it was not in a service area. Sounds tough, but if you think about it, those who dont liive in a service area dont pay taxes that the rest of us do

Friday, April 3, 2009


We are getting indications that spring is rapidly approaching. Not only are the days getting longer, sun rises at 7:03 AM and sets at 8:46 PM, gaining close to 7 minutes of day light a day, but the following is also evidence of spring coming:

1. People have started their gardens indoors. You visit peopl

es homes and you see little containers by widows with various tomato plants, pepper plants, etc emerging.

2. The Nenana Ice Classic is over and the bets are in for when the Nenana River is going to break up. This site is a little out dated, I paid 3.50 for my ticket, not two dollars.

3. The borough has completed “winging” the roads. Couldn’t find anything on this on the web. But got the term from a man who did this at one time. The process is to basically plow the roads and get as much of the ice and snow off the pavement as possible. So when the snow and ice start to melt during the spring days, and then freezes at night, very little ice wil

l form on the paved road ways.

Notice, I was very particular about saying paved roads. They don’t do this on dirt or gravel roads. We live on a dirt road that was made back in the early 70s. Way before there was any regulations on road construction. I heard that a man took a cat, plowed the trees under the earth and called it a road.

Now after this winging, when we go out to the paved portion of the road, there is about a 6 inch cliff, where our road meets the pavement, that we have to travel over.

4. With the warm weather, people are going out in shirt

sleeves and shorts. Even though it is still below freezing, compared to a -55, 20 degrees is warm.

5. Warm weather allows people to go out and snow machine, ski, etc. to enjoy the snow before it starts to melt.

I mentioned our road system here. When I moved here I became what is called service area manager for the Pleasure land service area. What this is, is volunteers who are responsible for maintaining the roads. Ie, ensuring the roads are plowed when needed, road is grated, etc. Basically just ensure the road is maintained.

Not to bad for a volunteer job. I did that for three years and the only time I was active is when another subdivision, not yet a service area, wanted to merge with us. It was a new subdivision which had not yet formed its own service area, because of not many homes were there yet. S

o no one was maintaining the roads, but they were better than ours because they were built to code, that was issued in the late 80s. Our roads were grandfathered and did not have to meet the new codes.

So because of this the roads in that subdivision were not cleared of snow. The school district told the residents that unless the roads were plowed, the school buses would not go down the road to pick up or drop off the children. This made some residents upset, so they paid to get the road cleared themselves, and started looking at how to fix this problem. They were told to merge with our service area.

In order to do that, both divisions had to vote and each had to approve the merger. A vote was taken, our service area approved it, more money in our coffers, and the subdivision, did not approve it. The reason they didn’t approve it is a group of homes in the sub division found out their roads would not be maintained, even though they would be taxed. So they banded together and voted it down.

In this case I helped inform the residents of our service area the p

ros and cons of merging.

Another issue I had to resolve, was when we came home from Dawson, going down Feliz, I went across a speed bump that a resident had taken upon themselves to install. It was basically a lot of gravel formed to make a speed bump across the road. I was amazed. When I got home, I had a message on my phone from the maker of the speed bump saying she did it.

The reason she did it was to stop a teenager from speeding down the road at 40 miles an hour. Well by the time I got up with her, state troopers had come to her house and made her remove it. But she was thinking of me, she claims she left enough room so my corvette wouldn’t have to go over the bump।

Viसीटर तो माय होम

Friday, March 20, 2009

Chatanika Days

Chatanika Days

Spring is coming. Days are getting longer. Now it doesn’t get dark till almost 9 pm and starts getting light shortly after 7 am. Right now it is about 3 degrees here on the river 2 pm, and is predicted to be in the 20s next week.

Last week, Saturday, went to Chatanika Days in Chatanika, AK. This is a community about 25 to 30 miles from Fairbanks on the Steese Highway. This event has been going on for 30 years and it was the 6th annual last event to be held.

The events they had there were the outhouse races, see pictures and video, snow machine tug of war, human bowling ball contest (see videos and pictures), log cutting, pool competition, this is the one participated in.

I wont discuss the out house race because you can see the videos here. They have shortened the race from what it originally started at to about a ¼ of a mile. The original race was several miles long.

The snow machine tug off war is exactly that, two snow machines going in opposite directions with a rope connecting them, see who can out pull the other.

I got videos of the human bowling ball competition. It was interesting to see the different forms of sliding someone down the alley. When I talked to the competitors, it was the one in the sled they said was the competitor, but I believe they both were a team. The reason they believed only the human ball was in the competition is because they were the only ones required to sign a waiver.

I got involved with the pool competition. About 20 of us and it was double elimination. It started at 4 in the afternoon. I got eliminated at about 1130 and I believe the person who won it was the only sober one left. Even the score keeper was a little tipsy. When I left he was arguing with some spectator on how to keep score.

I claimed 4th place, who is to argue with me over this. I don’t think they remember. As I walked to my room, I saw one of the guys I played pool with on the dance floor in another competition. It had something to do with women’s stockings and a potato. I didn’t ask.

They had other stuff on the dance floor too. I remember seeing them doing hula hoop competition. The women’s stocking and potato really got my attention.

It continued the next day too, but we had breakfast and were home by noon. They also have dogs that rome the restaurant. None of them look like they are starving,

Friday, March 13, 2009


Sunday morning set the tone for the week. We went on day light savings time (DLST). Yippee!! This is the stupidest thing ever seen in the land of the midnight sun. What am I saving, nothing. Even without DLST we can still golf here 24 hours a day in June and July.

So what did it do here? It stays lighter the same amount but now it doesn’t get dark till after 8 pm. And it doesn’t get light till after 8 am. So all those people getting up in the light to go to work now get up in the dark and go to bed when it is still light. All DLST does it throw turmoil into everyday lives here.

So why do we do it. Appears our government, state, wants to keep us in sync with the rest of the lower 48, w/e of Arizona and Hawaii who have enough sense to say that it is a stupid idea. . However the Navajo Nation in Northeast Arizona does observe DLST. Now that ought to stir the pot in Arizona.

DLST was started in WW1 to save on energy. Then it was stopped in 1920 but reintroduced during WW 11. It was stopped again but made into law in 1966. Who was in control of congress then, hmm, democrats. Going on DLST here does not meet the original intent of the law. We are not saving energy, it is going to be light 24 hrs a day anyway, so where are the savings

There is a bill in the state government to do away with DLST in Alaska. This was in the Daily News Miner (DNM) last week. Those of you who view the Arctic Cam need to ensure you read the internet version of the DNM. You can get some good insights into Alaskan attitudes by reading selected articles. It takes awhile but after a few you can determine which articles are going to have choice comments by the viewers.

For example this article had some excellent comments. The article went on to say a survey of 364 residents found that 264 favored doing away with DLST while 68 were opposed to it and 12 didn’t care. Now the article also went on to say those in the southeast of Alaska favored keeping it. I wonder where those 68 came from.

Some comments were:

1. Oh Boy! Another ambitious piece of legislation…………

2 . Just end it already. …

3. The only reason DST is used is for the government trying to tell us that they are in charge…..

4. PLEASE – Make it go away

5. Stop the madness!

There was one comment in favor which argued that we need it so we can do business with the east coast and not be 5 hours removed. Well that is that person’s opinion. Hey they can always get up earlier.

Time Zones

Alaska used to have four time zones: Pacific, Yukon, Alaska, and Bering. As of October 30, 1983, this was changed to the two existing time zones, Alaska and Hawaii-Aleutian.

Tomorrow is Chatanika Days. Time for the outhouse races. I will talk about that with pictures next week. My wife and I had to reserve rooms there almost a full year ago.

Friday, March 6, 2009


With all the snow in the lower 48 and what we got here, I thought I would explain some of the differences that I found surprising. Having lived in Omaha for 13 years I went through a few snow storms there. If it snowed 2 inches, you would get drifts of 5 feet due to the wind. Plus the snow is very wet and makes for good snow balls and snow people (need to be politically correct here).

It has been said that, generally speaking, 10 inches of snow is equal to 1 inch of rain. Well that is not necessarily true. A good web page to read up on snow is at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. (bet this place got lots of money in the stimulus plan)

Why do I mention this, well last Saturday we got about about 6 to 8 inches of snow, yesterday we got 8 to 12 inches and we expect 2 inches today.(plus we have a slight breeze blowing the snow out of the trees for another inch). No wind, so no drifts, snow is very dry, can't even make a decent snow ball much less a snow person. So our snow is about 16 to 20 inches for one inch of water.

The problem we get here is near white out conditions when you drive down the road and with no wind. So how does this happen.

Well, when you travel down a 4 lane road, two lanes for each direction, you will generally have one lane in each direction almost clear of snow because of the constant use. Vehicles traveling over the road blow the snow off the road plus whip it up so you need to travel a good distance from the car ahead of you to be able to see. The lane that is not traveled much, tends to accumulate snow.

As you drive down the clear lane to meet driving conditions, there will always be someone who is going faster than you and passes you in the left lane. When this person passes, he/she ( mainly she, bet I hear a lot on this), kicks up the snow on the road causing white out conditions. This is caused by the snow not sticking to the road surface due to the cold and dryness of the snow.

So far this winter we must have close to 60 inches of snow on the ground. The picture I have attached here is our front room facing the river. Can you find the picnic table?

A funny thing happened as we entered Fred Myers last Saturday. My wife paused to stomp the snow from her boots. As she was stomping a large amount of snow fell off the roof right on her head. The other customers, and I had a good laugh. My wife laughed too.

One other thing, all winter I have been feeding Chickadees. They are light eaters and I usually fill the feeder once a month. This Monday my feeders were attacked by Redpolls, hundreds, well more than thirty. So I emailed my resident bird expert at the Alaska Bird Observatory here in Fairbanks. She said that means spring is coming. Plus she always gives me more good information on their habitats.

Well my wife went to lunch with our neighbor across the street this week and she told her of all the Redpolls we have. The neighbor said she stopped feeding hers so they were probalbly from her place. Thanks Janet!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

My Week


This is a short one on my week here in North Pole. Last Saturday we did about a 64 mile snow machine trip to a moose camp on the Tanana River. We went down the Chena River to the Badger Den and then along the dike that keeps the Tanana River out of Fairbanks. Then we left the dike where the Chena River flows into the Tanana then south. Great trip with all that fresh snow.

Sunday me and the misses took a ride to Cantwell, which is just south of Denali,along the Parks Highway, and had lunch there. While we were eating, we noticed a barber chair across from us complete with sink. I asked the owner jokingly when do they cut hair. He said every other Sunday and he was serious. As we talked further, found out his last name was Chase, same as mine. My aunt said he was a shirt tail cousin.

Any ho, found out that he looks forward to the Sunday hair cutting event because it is the only day off he gets. He said labor supply is very short handed, and that includes year round work. Now if you all want to inquire,Email Jim and I will send you the particulars. One thing you would need to ask is where would I live.

So we left Cantwell and came home. Interesting observation is we did 65miles per hour, 104.6 kilometers for my foreign readers, through Denali. Now for those who have not been here, there is a bunch of hotels at the entrance to Denali Park and it is like a small town. In the winter it is completely shut down, even the stop lights are turned off and covered. I didn't see a speed limit nor did I see one person. Reminded me of the movie The Shining. Heres Johnny.

Wednesday we took a drive to Glennallen, which is about 250 miles south of here along the Richardson highway. Beautiful drive through the mountains. Here are two pictures of the many I took. Plan on putting some on cups, dishes, shirts and selling them.

Forgot on Tuesday the Yukon Quest leader came into Fairbanks to complete the toughest dog sled race in the world. Got a video of one team going by our house on Tuesday. Will post the video this afternoon. The video shows the musher riding the sled. Don't let that fool you. You have to be a real athlete to be in the Quest. Most of the time they are running beside the sled.

Well that's it for this week. Thanks to all who voted in what they thought of the Obama stimulus plan. I sent the results to CNN but they ignored it. They say 75% of Americans approve of the plan. Mine said 85% who read this blog disagree with it. Hmmmm! I really don't watch CNN, I prefer FOX for unbiased reporting!!! I just wanted to see what they would do with it. They lived up to my expectations!!!

I also opened my on line perfume store at I would like any feed back you have. Email Jim