At 50 Below, Everything is an Adventure

31 Jan

Seriously. Everything. And this may be sick and twisted, but I think it’s kind of fantastic.

Gearing up two adults head to toe, and a medium-sized dog nose to tail,  in layer after layer of down and insulated boots (or booties) in order to go outside is an adventure. Trying to convince said dog to go pee once outside–and not just immediately turn and run right back inside–is an adventure. Starting the car (while crossing your fingers and holding your breath that the groaning you hear isn’t anything important cracking, breaking, or exploding) is an adventure. Walking the 25ish feet from the backdoor to the car without getting frostbite on any areas of exposed skin is an adventure. Traveling approximately 3 miles in the car to watch hockey–because even 50 below can’t stop hockey–on tires so “square” it feels like riding in a covered wagon instead of a 21st-century model SUV, is an adventure (the scientific phenomena that is square tires will definitely be explored at a later date). Driving through ice fog so ridiculous and thick that visibility is reduced to like, the end of the hood of the car, is an adventure.

Even Brian Williams over at NBC Nightly News is impressed by just how hard core we are in the interior of Alaska.

I am not complaining. At all. I was seriously pretty stoked to see temps that cold. Bragging rights are fun. And I didn’t have anywhere else to be (actually, on Wednesday, I had big plans for the weekend–running, shopping, dog-parking, erranding, etc–but then I looked at the forecast only to find that they all were going to be vetoed by mother nature, so… whatever. I can roll with it).

We actually had a super fantastic ‘inside weekend’. Friday night we headed out to the Fairbanks FunnyFest; which involved dinner at the Blue Loon, followed by great company, several beers (and Washington Apples and Vegas Bombs), some great local comedians and headliner Ian Bagg. Hilarious.

Saturday was a day for sleeping in and doing absolutely nothing… Except talking about weddings, making PadThai and braving the poisonous ice fog to watch some hockey (because you have to get out or you go kinda crazy– or maybe you already are crazy if you live somewhere where the temperature repeatedly drops to 50 degrees below 0. Maybe). Post-hockey we watched movies, drank hot chocolate with Bailey’s, cuddled with dog and laughed about how totally insane and awesome it is that we live here.

Sunday was just as cold (colder maybe?) so there were more mostly-inside adventures: apple cinnamon oatmeal and coffee, yoga, laundry, homemade mint oreos (Oren’s favorite), homework, catching up on XGames highlights, and (what I can only guess must have been cabin-fever-induced) cleaning and organizing.

I think Oren really wants to be able to wear less than 3 coats during his 5 minute walk from the truck to the classroom. Hershey would very likely give one of her legs to bring back days that don’t require dog jackets and booties or inspire record-time bathroom breaks in the back yard. But I’m pretty excited about what the rest of winter in Alaska holds for us….

The Yukon Quest. Hockey Week. BP World Ice Art Championships. Continued Aurora Borealis chasing. Denali Winterfest. Bearfoot Bluegrass. Science for Alaska Lecture Series. The Iron Dog Snowmobile Race. Nenana Ice Classic Tripod Days. More nordic skiing and “shredding” of the Moose. Ice skating at Creamer’s Field. Arctic Man.

Seriously, its like we’re just getting warmed up. Now if it would just… warm up.

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