Take me out to the ballgame

30 06 2010

Every year on the summer solstice (longest day of the year) our Fairbanks Goldpanners play a game that starts and 10:30 and is played entirely without artificial lights.  It’s a pretty neat tradition and this year celebrated the 105th midnight sun game.  This year the panners came through for a 4-3 win in the 15th inning, meaning it ended at 2:59 am right around the official sunrise time.  Mom and I left at quarter to 2, when it was still tied, but we were there for the break in the game for the singing of the Alaska state song at midnight.  Awesome!
Warming up about 10 pm

Play ball!

Midnight!  Look ma, no lights!

Break to sing the Alaska state song!

Me at midnight!


King of the Wild Frontier

29 06 2010

Today marks the 7 year anniversary of my dad’s death.  I’ve been debating about posting something,  because, well this is a blog (an inherently impersonal medium) and this day is alway very personal for me, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share it will all my billions of readers.  But I obviously have decided to share it, so here is it.

It seems impossible that it has been 7 years, and for contrasting reasons.  On the one hand, time has gone by somewhat quickly.   I can’t believe I’m old enough to have attended my 5 year college reunion, it seems like I just graduated.  On the other hand, there is so much that has happened in the last 7 years that he hasn’t been here for, I have become an adult (well at least something that is much closer to an adult that I was at 20), graduated from college, traveled all over,  started a master’s program, and bought a house.  All of that makes the 7 years seem like such a long time.

Usually, I spend a portion of June 29th reflecting about what was so awesome about my dad, and things he taught me.  I’d like to share some of them with you all.

  • He loved Harry Potter, which is exciting to me since I introduced him to the series.  I think that was good payment for him reading to me as a kid. (He did the character voices- tweety bird and sylvester were my favs)
  • He could always start a campfire, but would always let me try first.  He was patient and eventually, under his tutelage, I was able to get almost as good.
  • He believed I could do anything.  Whenever I doubted myself he would say, “you can do it, daddies know.”  And he was right, I was always able to do it.  He taught me how important it is to believe in yourself, and how vital it can be to share how much you believe in someone else.
  • He was all about dreams and goals.  He loved fishing, and one of his dreams was to fly fish at Christmas Island.  When he got sick, he worked his butt off to get better.  He wanted to go to Christmas Island and after we finally found out his diagnosis and he spent a year doing chemo and stem cell transplants he worked very hard in cardio rehab and then pushed himself even more to get back to a place where he could enjoy life again.  He was able to go to Christmas Island and set and reach a whole new set of dreams and goals.  He taught me how to dream big, and work hard to make them come true.

He was a fantastic dad and I miss him tons.  If you wanted to do something for me today, you could tell you parents and/or child(ren) that you love them, K?

Dad achieving one of his dreams- Marlin on a fly rod (I think, it might be a sailfish).

Dad helping me release the greyling

Dad’s retirement party


27 06 2010

So my posts have been a little lacking, last week I was at my college reunion and then this past week was very busy.

On Wed morning the 16th at 1am I got on a plane to head to my 5 year college reunion (yes my college has reunions, yes I was excited to go, yes it’s OK to be jealous of my awesome alma!).  I got in to Minneapolis at noon and met Stigs at the airport with a sign that included the phase, party of awesome!  We took the bus to get to the workplace of our host for the night, a lady I shall refer to as 13 kills for breakfast.  We went to the new house of Frenchy and Ceecee for a delicious BBQ and the next day we all headed down to Carleton to sign in and get our dorm keys.

The weekend was amazing, it was great for all us girls to be together again and revel in our loudness and togetherness.  It was also super exciting to see and  catch up with the people I haven’t seen in 5 years.  Everyone is doing such cool and awesome things with their lives.

I’m attaching some pics of a fantastic weekend.

Welcome us!

Walking in the Arb!

The 7 of us girls decided to make a large timeline for us to help remember what’s happened and what overlapped with what periods of people’s lives.

Beautiful weather for hanging out on the hill of 3 oaks.

Being deliriously happy and loud at the same time!

Last day 😦

In short, it was awesome being back on campus for the first time in 5 years.  It was definitely a different feeling than when we get together on our own in various cities.  It was great to reconnect with everyone and I can’t wait for the next one! Yay Carleton!

‘Nother Brick in the Wall (Brick 4)

25 06 2010

Chinook salmon, or king salmon as they are more commonly known, are the state fish.  The Yukon River has the longest freshwater migration route of any salmon, over 3,000 kilometers (1,864 mi) from its mouth in the Bering Sea to spawning grounds upstream of Whitehorse, Yukon. Since chinook rely on fat reserves for energy upon entering fresh water, commercial fish caught here are highly prized for their unusually high levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

The present Alaska state sport fishing record is 97.25 lbs taken on the Kenai River. In fact, of the top 10 king salmon record holders 9 of these fish were taken in the Kenai River. King salmon spend from 2-5 years in the ocean so their size in a run varies a lot, the State of Alaska average for this salmon is about 20lbs., however Kenai king salmon are typically in the 50 lb range.

world record king salmon from kenai river

‘Nother Brick in the Wall (Brick 3)

18 06 2010

In 1867 United States Secretary of State William H. Seward offered Russia $7,200,000, or two cents per acre, for Alaska.  The purchase was at the time derided as “Seward’s folly,” “Seward’s icebox,” and Andrew Johnson’s “polar bear garden,” because it was believed foolhardy to spend so much money on the remote region.

Although We’ve Come to the End of the Road

17 06 2010

I think this is the last of the Homer trip posts.  When a college friend of mine, we’ll call him froggy, came to visit in 2002 we drove the haul road up to Deadhorse, the northern most place accessible by road in the AK.  Homer is the southern, and western, most place you can access by road.  Here are some pics of me at the end of the road, and then in front of the Salty Dawg Saloon, a famous Homer landmark.

Turn Around, Every Now and Then

16 06 2010

On the drive to Homer we go by Turnagain Arm.  Turnagain Arm is part of the Cook Inlet and exhibits a tidal bore. The bore may be more than six feet high and travel at 15 miles per hour on high spring tides.  It is known for it’s abundance of silt and at low tide, much of the  silty bottom is exposed, making marine navigation difficult.  These mudflats can also be dangerous to walk on, exhibiting quicksand-like characteristics, and have claimed the life of at least one beach explorer who has wandered out on them and was unable to be rescued before the super fast and high tide came in.

So the lesson is, it’s pretty to look at, but DON’T go out on the flats.