Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Ah, misery! One of thy names, at least in the sub-Arctic, is winter rain. Our warming trend has continued and the thermometer has been camped at +40F since yesterday morning. In the afternoon it started raining. The snow is melting quickly and there are puddles on the ice. Just walking is a challenge, the surface is so incredibly slippery. And everywhere, the dripping. Followed by crashes as snow loads on roofs let go and yield to the force of gravity, a hundred pounds at a time or more. I fear for our deck, which sounded as though it had been torn from the house after one such dump last night. The whole house shook from it. Gutters around here need frequent replacement.

The usual weather pattern is for this to continue for a few days and then drop suddenly into single digits (positive or negative) for a hard freeze, which, after the rain, creates a smooth and glassy ice sheet. Ambulation doesn't improve much unless we get a few inches of fresh snow to cover it. This has been a pretty good snow year (some years we get very little), so I am ever hopeful. The forecast is for decreasing temperatures tonight; my fingers are crossed for a drop to the mid teens.

In other news, the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race over in Kenai, Alaska, finished early yesterday morning. Aliy Zirkle came in sixth, and her husband, Allen Moore, was fourteenth. The awards banquet was last night, so they will be driving most of today to get home, twelve hours from Kenai to Two Rivers, with two dog trucks and 30+ dogs. I hope to hear some details from her about how this race went, how the dogs did, etc. It is now just over four weeks until the start of Iditarod. This will be her sixth or seventh running of The Last Great Race; Dutch and I are pulling hard for her to do really well (like WIN!). Yesterday I found a nice interview with Aliy from 2001 on the Sled Dog Central website here.

I made the switch to Blogger Beta yesterday, mostly because I had no choice, and so far it has been painless. I'm still trying to upload the 43-second video clip of the puppy run on Saturday through Google Video. I'm nothing if not persistent; some, including my mother, would say stubborn. Nah.

Sorry, no photos of wet snow and drippiness to share. All my daylight hours yesterday were spent inside the hospital.



Anonymous KuskoMama said...

isn't this weather positively abysmal? I didn't care too much for last week's blizzards, but it would've been nice if there were still something on the ground other than melting snow and hard ice roads. There's something wrong when it's +40F in January in Alaska, much less Bethel...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 9:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

isn't it crazy what the fluctuating temperatures do? one week it's all freezing solid and one thinks it will last forever? then the next what fourteen days or so later.. when one hope's the Fur Rondy in Anchorage will have some snow to pile on the streets for the long awaited downtown sled races.. and.. melt down poof.. the snow is ruined for that..

your record of the sled races is beyound compare and the best of it is
it's Right There
Thank You..
much much more real and better than the media coverage Ever could record and portray

I for one am glad you do this..

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger Wil said...

TPA, you have my sympathy. After two months of above-normal temps, rain and little snow, it's been 10 days now with nights sub-zero and days in the low teens. Looks like the really cold stuff will move in next week after we fiddle-faddle with a week of snow showers of no major consequence.

Despite that, ice is unsafe -- we've got fools on vehicles of all sorts going through and open water still on some of the major lakes. Oh well, can't have everything...

Thursday, February 01, 2007 8:27:00 PM  

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