…and now it’s winter.

Since the first snow end of September temperatures have continued to plummet, last weekend we even entered the below zero world with -4F at 8am (and I know this because we finally got a thermometer for our cabin). 

Nathan's frozen winter beard (that's ice not gray hair!) in November.

Snow in Fairbanks seems to mean three things: 1. Time to buy/upgrade cross-country skiing equipment in crazy cut-throat events called ski swaps 2. Days are getting shorter and shorter 3. Road conditions go out the window and cars sliding off roads, rolling over, and zooming through intersections because they can’t stop are pretty much common place.

Let’s start with the last one; for some reason Fairbanks the city doesn’t really believe in plowing and salting, so if it snows and roads ice over (which happens more often than not, I mean this is the Interior of Alaska afterall) everyone with a car is just out of luck and has to deal with it.  And some of us (not to name any names) are really out of luck because for some inexplicable reason we believe that we don’t need winter tires and will be just fine with summer tires.  Again – this is Alaska, we live about 100 miles from the Arctic Circle, if you don’t need winter tires here I don’t know where else in this world you’d need them.  Supposedly, at some point when the temperatures get colder yet the roads will magically cease to be icy and snowy.  At least that’s what our local friends have told us, eventhough no one has been able to explain to us why that is exactly… But now I find myself wishing for colder temperatures, ha!

Long story short, second day of snow Nathan ended up in the ditch.  Not to worry he and his grease lightin’ truck are ok, so it’s alright to tease him about it..

Grease Lightin' truck being pulled out of the ditch 1.5 miles from our cabin.

Needless to say after this little slip n’ slide we went immediately to the next tire store. Nathan got studded tires (tires with literally little nails in it) and I got  Blizzaks, which don’t have nails stuck in them but have some other fancy method of helping you stick to the ground, which I don’t fully understand but as long as they promise me that’ll be sticking that’s all I need to know. Hoorah, no more slip n’ slide!

The ski swaps in Fairbanks are pretty hilarious.  In theory a great idea; people selling used ski equipment drop off their stuff, a high school ski club or other club set everything up, public comes in to purchase equipment, proceeds of which go to the ski club. Well, in practice, there are few things Fairbanksans get more excited about than skiing so imagine a high school gym laid out with 50 pairs of skiis, boots, poles and about 250 people descend upon them all at the same time when the doors open exactly at 9am.  It’s a real competition with ellbowing, snatching, pushing and shoving.  People start lining up an hour before the doors even open.  No kidding, there were more people at the ski swap than at the Snoop Dogg concert! But we survived it and successfully came away with our very own ski equipment – now we don’t have anymore excuses not to go skiing.

From now until May or late April I will not miss anymore sunrises…(like my positive spin?).  The sun rises at about 9am and sets at 4pm.  Makes sleeping in on weekends pretty easy, but getting up on week days pretty hard..

Sunrise from our porch.


~ by yhossain on November 6, 2010.

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