Friday, April 24, 2009

There and back again by Ruby Burrows

Earlier this week, I flew to Anchorage for a training. The skies were blue. The sun was shining. I got some really good pictures of Mt. Redoubt and the smoke, ash and steam coming from the blown top. I had a pretty good time in Anchorage. And then the trip was over and I was on the 8am flight from Anchorage to Dillingham. I get on the plane. The plane takes off. Everything was fine.The hour and a half trip didn't seem that bad. We got close to Dillingham. I could see Lake Road. But then the jets turn back on and the plane starts to ascend back in to the clouds. It was too foggy in Dillingham and the plane is being diverted to King Salmon for re fueling. We wait around King Salmon for about an hour and then it was decided that we needed to fly back to Anchorage. SO back to Anchorage we go.

We make it back to Anchorage. I have now been on the plane for 3 hours. As soon as we get there, we get on the next flight to Dillingham since the fog had lifted. We wait in ANC for about 20 minutes and then leave for Dillingham again. This time, when we got close to DLG I couldn't see the roads or anything. We were in a holding pattern for about 30 minutes when the jets kicked back on and we were back on our way to King Salmon. By now it's 3pm. There is no lunch service on these flights and there isn't really any where to eat. My poor coworker didn't eat breakfast b/c she didn't want to have food on her stomach during the flight. Other than the small bags of snacks that were given out on the flight, she hadn't eaten anything. I packed a Qdoba burrito with me so I had lunch. (First rule of traveling: Always be prepared for anything)

We finally got an update at 5pm which was to go back to Anchorage. By now, the 8am flight people had not eaten lunch or dinner. And people were getting very cranky. We landed in Anchorage at 7pm. I called for a room and tried to get on the first flight in the morning. The morning flight was packed. So we got on the 11:30 flight, which was fine with me b/c at least I got to sleep in. But then I had to wait an extra 30 minutes at the baggage claim as it seems my luggage had been misplaced.

At about 8pm we finally made it to the hotel, got some food (went back to Qdoba--more lunch burritos just incase) and went to bed.

I found out that the 8am flight to DLG had been delayed for 2 hours this morning and as I am writing this, they are in a holding pattern above DLG. Will I get home? Sure. Will it be today? Maybe.

(Ruby Burrows is my Hobbit name in case you didn't know)

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I'm not convinced yet, but for the last few days, the weather has been warmer. Yesterday the high was 39 degrees. That's definitely warm enough to start melting snow. In a lot of places, the roads are down to the asphalt or gravel. There are also lots of really muddy puddles. (More like small muddy lakes.) Our car is covered in dirt from all the muddy water.

Today Samara had to open up the thrift shop at SAFE for a few hours, since the regular employee is on maternity leave. Left to my own devices, I decided to take a little walk. The snow isn't melted enough to make hiking a very good prospect, but it's improving.

I walked over to the next street and down to the beach. You can see that there's still lots of snow.

I had thought about exploring the shoreline up past the beach, but the snow and ice was still too deep. I decided to head down the beach towards town instead. The tide was flowing out, and there are still giant boulders of ice along the shore.

When I reached the part of the beach near that ice boulder, I realized that I was right below my apartment building and looked up at the bluffs.

It seemed like I could probably climb the cliff fairly easily. It was easier than I expected, actually. The mud and dirt tend to slide down into the retaining wall here, but where grass was growing, it's easy to get traction. About halfway up, I took another couple pictures of the bay.

This is the cliff, halfway to the top:

The only problem with that climb is that the snow at the top was still about 3 or 4 feet deep. I couldn't walk across it to our apartment without sinking in up to my thighs. So I just crawled instead. I probably looked strange if anyone saw me, but it was a lot easier than walking all the way along the beach back to town and then back up my street.

If the weather stays nice, I expect to spend a lot more time outside.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's not spring yet.

It's definitely not spring yet. How about some pictures of inches upon inches of new snow?

I'm sick of cleaning the snow off the car.

Samara is pretty tired of it too.

See, lots of snow.


I stayed at work until 6:30 on Friday, working on finishing my magistrate lessons so that I can be sworn in as a deputy magistrate before the end of this month. I've got an on-call weekend scheduled at the beginning of May, so I've got to hurry. After work, Samara suggested that we just have dinner at the Duct-Tape Eagle (also known as the Bristol Eagle--it's a burger joint). Unfortunately, when Samara, Saramay and I got there, it was closed. We went to the Windmill Grille instead.

I'm just not impressed with their food. Saramay had a steak, and it was overcooked (well done instead of medium, like she ordered) and tough. I had a French dip and some fries, which was okay, but not the best food ever. Samara said her hamburger lacked flavor. Most of the time, it seems like their food is no better than what we could make at home. It takes just about as long to get out to you, and it costs a lot more. But at least we don't have to make it. Nevertheless, I'm really looking forward to the Muddy Rudder opening again.

Oh--we blogged a long time ago about having a beer with the judge at the Windmill Grille, shortly after we first arrived in Dillingham. We didn't want to whip out the camera and take a picture of the local brew, since it may have seemed weird. But Samara had one again this time.

Comes in a pretty glass.

On Saturday, I went snowmachining with Anthony and two of his friends from the hospital, Isaac and Clay. We left at about noon and went up between a couple mountains off Snake Lake Road. We drove the snowmachines up and down the mountains, while Clay hiked up with his snowboard. I really wish I had taken the camera. On the other hand, we all agreed as we were checking out the beautiful mountain views that cameras just never do this landscape justice.

We spent a lot of time exploring the area on snowmachines. In fact, we spent 5 and half hours tooling around, until we were almost out of gas. Then we fueled up the machines at the closest gas station and took them back home. It was a fun day, but I also ended up with a headache so bad that I was nauseated. It was really unpleasant when I got home--I took a shower and some Tylenol, but it didn't really help. So I added some Phenergan on top of that. Anti-nausea drugs work wonders.

Of course, today I'm just extremely sore. My back is especially sore, but my arms are also sore. I'm just very sore. Holding on to a snowmachine is hard work.

Before I sign off... I will leave you with Dillingham's idea of grocery-store humor. Samara took these pictures at the AC.

Yes, that the cornflakes-box Michael Phelps, doing the drugs.

Poor guy can't live down his mistakes, even in rural Alaska.

As for the spring, I'll let you know when it arrives. Some of the snow is melting as we speak, but we've seen melting before. Until the snow is mostly gone, I won't believe that spring is here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Tastes of Alaska

Oh, it's 70 degrees where you live? Well whoop-dee-do for you. Here it's still snowing regularly and temperatures have been hovering around freezing.

That's good for some folks, though. For instance, if you're still commuting to work by snowmachine, you need the snow.

This was the scene just outside the courthouse today.

Life has been strange here lately. It's light until 10pm these days, and the sun is coming up just before 8am these days. Samara and I have also been tired a lot recently. I don't really know why, but I suspect it has to do with the weird seasons and light patterns.

Samara's work has been slow in the wake of the auction. (Which, as a reminder, went really well! Everyone on the board of directors was impressed with how she handled it.) The lady that works at SAFE's thrift store, Ulla's, has taken maternity leave. Since Samara is her boss, now she gets to fill in at Ulla's.

I snapped a shot of her while she was selling a Spongebob Squarepants-themed television to her boss's daughter.

Soon we'll be scheduling my family's visit to Dillingham (sometime in June) and our triumphant return to Kentucky (a week-long visit, probably in September). I'm looking forward to both. It'll be nice to show my folks and sister around our tiny little town, and I can't wait to see my friends in Kentucky.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

That's it!

It's freaking snowing again! It's never going to be spring here!

We just can't take it anymore. Alaska is stupid and we hate it here.

We're on the next plane back to Kentucky, volcano-permitting.

April Fools!

It's not so bad here. But it IS snowing.