Saturday, December 31, 2011

Holidays in Nome, AK

Getting the dogs ready
Bianca and Jannelle


Deb, Jannelle, Rolland, Sierra, Bianca and Trace.

This year for the holidays I once again find myself in Nome, AK.  Being from Michigan I know cold, every once in awhile getting down to maybe 0 degrees.  But man I am taken by surprise each time I come here how -30 degrees F is ridiculously cold.  I might have wrote this exact type of blog entry the last time I was here in the winter about the process just to go out side.  There is a sequence of questions that come before getting the appropriate number of layers on.  What mode of transportation are we taking, how long will we be out and how cold actually is it?  If its just a car ride, probably 3 layers, boots but no need for toe warmers.  If we are taking snowmobile to the destination that will be indoors, then add a ski mask, another hat and scarf so that no micro spots of skin is showing.  If we are going snowmobiling to the dogs to actually go mushing or do more snowmobiling, add another coat and bring one along just in case,  add another two pairs of socks, slip in another pair of long underwear, an additional scarf to cover up that one spot near the neck that always somehow gets missed with the first one, and by this time I hope that you didn't forget to tape the toe warmers on.  Then once you get one glove on, you might have to ask someone to get the other one on so that there are no open spots.  And hopefully you have everything else already in a bag that you want extra or else you will over heat getting that together.   Oh ya, don't forget to go to the bathroom before all this.

I learned the hard way about adding layers later after I got cold - just put every layer you own, or the most layers you can handle and still move.  Even with bunny boots, all these layers, seal skin gloves and hats...I still get cold.  I might be a bit of a wimp to begin with regarding the cold, (I complain when the temp is below 55F in LA) but I am happy if I can be out there for 1 hr and get back with only cold feet.  

My first time Mushing

I am excited to share that for the first time I took part in "mushing the dogs."  Mushing refers to journeying cross country with a sled and sled dogs.  Often I hear from the Trowbridge family when I call, we have to feed the dogs, or we are mushing tonight, Misha this or Shack didn't run with us this time.   I finally know what this entails and what dog is what.  These dogs are pretty amazing and love pulling this sled.   The landscape so white and the sun so beautiful.  Just you and the dogs.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Joshua Tree National Park

Split Rock
Found her...hmmmm

Skull Rock

Sun Rise


Jennifer under "The Arch"

Wind Farm outside the park
(Photo taken by Jennifer)
This past week my college friend Jennifer came for a visit.  We made the drive to Joshua Tree National Park.  This place is so beautiful.  I may end up coming again sometime.  We ran into some snow...been a little while for me and snow, it was strange having to drive careful because the road was icy.
I am repeatedly reminded how lucky we are to have National Parks to visit where things are left uninhabited.        It was good to have Jennifer, my fellow explorer and adventurer, here to enjoy this place with.

Out with a Bang