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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Hahnah's Christmas



It was a great first Christmas for Hahnah. Gifts are not exactly something an 11 month old can comprehend so we wanted to do another first for her. So we went for a snow machine ride, it was a little brisk at around 5 degrees but we bundled her up and put her in the back of the sled with mom. Definitely a good time. This was followed by a nice dinner at our good friends Carol and Jim. Couldn't ask for a better day.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas in Nome




Merry Christmas!

On Christmas day in Nome we will have 3 hrs 56 min of daylight when the sun rises at noon. It's easy to say we will be up before dawn. Our holiday tree consists of a willow as is common in Nome with gifts from many family members. We will take a group shot tomorrow so you can see your gift if you look closely-- kind of like where's waldo.

The only downside today was getting up a 5:30am to go swimming only to discover the pool was closed on Christmas eve. The upside was I managed to get a nice evening "ride". More like a 5 mile plow through not quite set up snow. It's actually more of the same, seems like it is hardly riding conditions after the most recent snow storm. I should be out boarding or something more fun than trying to run through deep snow.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Granular Sugar

This time of year the feverish build up of work and events has been intense. I honestly can't recall if it has been this way outside of Nome or exclusive to... The Savoonga and Shishmaref clinics, maintaining some kind of training regiment, enjoying family time, Sarah's musical events; all the while recovering from a terrible viral sinusitis... intensity to say the least.

However, by literally grinding through the past two months in conditioning, even in sickness, a solid base has been built. I finally passed the "dying-like-a-pig" hump during my so-called training. (The term these days is "bonking" but I grew up in the "dying like a pig" era)

We had some typical Nome weather with a splash of freezing rain a week ago. This developed a nice base by melting just enough snow to pack down. I went out on Saturday with the fatbike off trail. It felt great mashing through 10 miles of pure granular sugar snow with an ok base underneath before the swim workout.

Sarah's musician friend Willis Fireball from Fairbanks who now teaches out in Diomede came through Nome over the weekend. Sarah helped arrange a little concert at the local restaurant for him as a fundraiser. It went really well and of course I am biased but it sounded great when Sarah sang harmony on a few songs. I recorded it through the mixer on digital audio and once I seperate out the tracks and get Willis's permission I will give a try at posting a link for a clip.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lows and Highs



A nice low pressure system moved into the northern Bering Sea while I was out in Savoonga and the wind gave the standard island show. I was stuck for an extra night but it was fine. I am always impressed with the hunters out there, even at 50-60 mph they were out getting food.

Last weekend I took advantage of a high pressure cold that settled. The temperature dropped to -29 over the hill. In Nome, "over the hill", usually means the other side of anvil mountain by Dexter or Banner Creek, about 8 miles away. There is an actual temperature difference of about 10 degrees warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. I have a new inexpensive ultralight boot that I've been wanting to check out so I threw them on and went for a night ride on the fat bike. It's practically always dark so you have to get used to doing things as you would in daylight. I rode out on a snow machine trail and was able to ride much of it till the base disappeared. Then I pushed the bike through some decent size powder across the tundra for a few miles. I started getting flashbacks from last years push to Ruby. The boot held up ok, I may have to make a few modifications but it'll be worth it to have a boot weigh ounces instead of pounds.