Saturday, May 8, 2010

May in Alaska

The updates are coming fewer and fewer. Sorry. That doesn't mean it's not still an adventure here in Alaska.

How's the temperature where you are? Today it reached 70 degrees. And you know what it looked like outside?

Yeah, that's snow still on the ground. In May.

And it's all over the place.

Oh, and I'm cat-sitting Atticus again for Anthony and Erin.

Apparently he likes high places that he doesn't know how to get down from.

Oh, and for anyone that hasn't heard, Samara is back in Kentucky. I guess that makes this "Aaron's Alaskan Adventure" until September. :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April in Alaska

You might be wondering, in your warm places, what April is like in Alaska. Well, today is April 17th, and here's what it looked like outside.

Better clear the snow off the windshield.

Fresh snow on the trees, and plenty of old snow on the ground.

And a big slushy rut in our driveway. Whee!

Just last weekend, we were hanging out in the house when our neighbor Grant called. He said there were moose outside. Sure enough, a cow and two almost-grown calves were cutting through the yard.

The two calves are making a break for it--we're less than a hundred yards away, on the porch.

Hanging around, looking back at us.

Grant was making moose noises from his porch, but they weren't fooled.

Now it's time to hide out in the woods.

And there they go--the most common view of a moose: from behind!

I had my rifle, but it wasn't moose season, we were in town, and they didn't charge us. So no moose for our freezer!

And finally, some even cuter pictures. This is our niece Chimmy. Her name isn't really Chimmy and she's not really our niece, but in Yu'pik culture, you don't really have to be related to someone to be related to them, and every kid gets a nickname.

Samara loves Chimmy.

And this picture was taken just minutes ago. She's sleeping, but she wasn't really happy about the whole camera-flash thing. Such a cute baby!

There's your April update from Alaska.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bush plane to King Salmon

Last month, I had to make a trip to King Salmon with is across the bay from Dillingham for work. This was the first time I had ever been on a bush plane and I learned 2 things from the experience:
  1. Bush planes are cold...VERY COLD. I could see my breath for all the ride.
  2. It is REALLY scary being in a tiny, cold plane.
This is my coworker and good friend, Jessica. She was 8 months pregnant and flying in a bush plane. She's kinda crazy like that, but I am super glad she came with me because I had a good time with her.

This is our pilot, Robert. He was nice, but I really expected him to keep his eyes looking forward instead of looking down at the water.

You might recognize me. I'm the one who wanted to pee my pants even before I got on the plane. You'll be glad to know that I didn't actually pee my pants. I think Jessica was thankful for that as well.

This is us taking off.

This is Dillingham as we were flying over it. It's not very exciting, but it's our tiny town and I think if you look closely you can see the McDonald's sign--just kidding. We don't have one of those.
Pretty water. It might be the Nushagak, but I can't be certain of that.

Look at all of our pretty snow. Whee!

We had the privilege of eating at the D&D restaurant for lunch and dinner every night we were there. It was pretty good food and the only place open. And for the record, D&D is in the neighboring town of Naknek, not in King Salmon. But they are about 15-20 miles away on a 2 lane road which is mostly straight-a-way through the flats.

Even in Naknek the food is kinda pricey. I got the French dip one day and it is $17.95. WOW! One night the prime rib was the special for like $29.95 and I ordered it, but I didn't know that the police chief of the area was going to buy dinner. I felt kinda bad, but it was a pretty good prime rib and he was a lot of fun to have at dinner. He was a real nice guy and I was glad to have the opportunity to chat with him about the area.

All in all, it was a good trip. I really enjoyed the people in King Salmon and Naknek. They had some good things going on over that and I am glad I got to have the chance to do this.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Pictures

Christmas was a pretty sedate affair at the Baker's Alaska compound. Here's a brief update in pictures.

A few days before Christmas, Aaron decided to shave his beard. It had gotten pretty bushy...

The "after" picture was a little blurry, but here's a picture of us on Christmas eve after we opened all our presents...

Aaron is clean-shaven, and we're covered in a pile of goodies from our friends and relatives. Thanks everyone!

We have a guest for Christmas and New Year's Eve. It's our friend Atticus.

Atticus belongs to Erin and Anthony, who are in Kansas for the holidays. So we're cat-sitting. He's a pretty good cat and has gotten used to living here for a bit already. He does seem to know how to open the freezer, though, which is strange. We taped it shut for now. (With the bright green duct tape that Aaron got for Christmas!)

For dinner on Christmas day, we went to Ginger and Terry's house. (Ginger is Samara's boss.) Their daughter Aurora was there, along with their (former) foster child Lauren and her sister Ayla, as well as one of Lauren's friends. Here's Lauren (on the right)...

Ayla acting silly...

And Aaron and Aurora acting silly...

It was a nice dinner. Ginger and Terry made a ham, as well as mashed potatoes, salad and a wonderful diced cranberry dish. Samara brined and cooked a turkey, which came out great. Soaking the turkey in brine overnight before cooking is a great way to keep it moist!

The rest of our holiday weekend has been pretty tame. Aaron went next door and played some video games with Tim, we watched marathons on TV, and slept a lot! On Sunday, we felt like we needed to get out of the house, so we went to the shooting range at the dump.

Samara wanted to test out the new lighter trigger pull on her Glock. (The new trigger connector was an early Christmas present from Aaron.) She says she likes it much better now, and she's getting pretty good at hitting targets. Saramay apparently got a .44 magnum revolver for Christmas from her dad, so there may be all-girls shooting trips in the future.

Here's Samara shooting her 9mm...

If she ever gets tired of her job at SAFE, Samara could always apply to be a Dillingham cop. She's a natural with the Glock, and they definitely need the help!

Well, Happy Holidays everyone! Hope you got everything you wished for. Now it's time to do some dishes, hang up the laundry and exercise on Samara's new Wii Fit. (Sorry, she won't let me take a picture of her doing that!)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More snow pictures

We haven't been updating the blog recently. Basically, what you're getting is more snow pictures.

Check out our amazingly long icicles.

Sometimes there's snow to clear off the car in the morning.

Sometimes that requires a shovel and a beaver hat.

This weekend the snow actually melted quite a bit because it was rainy and warm. Now our driveway is just a sheet of ice. I can't wait for more snow.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Winter Freaking Wonderland

The snow was late this year. Last year, we had feet of snow by this time.

This morning, when I got up and went to work, the ground was dry. No snow. Not even frost on the windshield.

By the time I got home from work today at 4:30, my house looked like this:

Yeah, that's a good couple of inches, with the wind blowing drifts up to a foot deep.

Ahh, Alaska.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New Orleans

I recently went to New Orleans for a work related conference. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a few days down there before my conference started. I got to meet up with one of my cousins that I hadn't seen in 15 or so years. And we had a few days to hang out and run around the French Quarter.

This is Kyrstin, my coworker, eating alligator for the first time. She told me later that she didn't really like it. To me, it tastes kinda like chicken. I thought it would taste fishy, but it doesn't.

This is my cousin Gina. She live up the road a way in Mississippi, but she made the trip to come for a visit. She was a lot of fun and I hope to get a chance to go down there for a visit sometime next year.

We took a carriage drive around the French Quarter at night. It was really pretty and we stopped a couple times for drinks. It was neat being able drive though and get drinks. It was also neat walking around with fruity frozen drinks in our hands.

On one of the nights, Gina came down with Aunt Lynn and we all went to Emeril's restaurant for dinner. The wine was good. The food was great and the company was beyond compare.

The conference was good too, but who takes pictures of that? I learned a lot and it was a great experience. But the best part was visiting with Gina and walking around New Orleans.