Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blueberries!...

Hadn't gone blueberry picking in ages. Andy occasionally went, especially when I was working out at Nome Creek. But after our neighbors raved about how good the berries were in the valley behind the house, we figured it was time to go. We sure picked a great day to take a hike, as it was near 85° F, humid and real buggy. But we got several quarts of blueberries in a little over an hour of picking, so it worked out well. Along with the strawberries and raspberries from the garden, we should have enough berries for the winter.
More on the great blueberry season at:  http://www.newsminer.com/features/food/fairbanks-is-in-the-middle-of-a-berry-bonanza/article_08abddc6-f988-11e2-8e7b-0019bb30f31a.html

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fire and rain...

Like the James Taylor song says, "I've seen fire and I've seen rain". In this case, it was a wildfire started by the army in late June when they cleverly conducted a live fire exercise during very hot and dry (red flag) conditions. The fire prompted an evacuation order for portions of Chena Hot Springs Rd. Fortunately, several well timed rainstorms slowed the fire and allowed the state and federal fire service to contain the blaze.

Read about it here:
http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3468/
Some photos at:
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/slideshow/photos-alaska-wildfire-season-blazes-forward


Friday, July 5, 2013

Rotary roar...

For the first time in years, there was an air show in town. We  haven't been to one since they had a B-17 here quite awhile ago. Since we didn't have any plans for July 4, it seemed like a good time to go. The theme this year was a celebration of 100 years of aviation in Alaska, so most of the planes were from the 20's, 30's and 40's. And what a sound they made with their rotary engines as they did low fly-overs.
The Beech Staggerwing is a biplane from 30's, so called because the top wing is staggered back of the bottom wing. A very advanced plane for it's time, it did a most impressive fly by.
Another interesting plane was the 1929 Travel Air. While it didn't participate in the flying, it was an immaculate restoration that really gave an impression of what aviation was like in it's so called golden age.

The painting of father time on the cowling is a reminder of what happens in life; what was state of the art yesterday becomes a vintage antique tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rollin' on a river...

Some friends of ours bought a used river boat last year, so now with a new engine installed, took a bunch of us out for a cruise. The Tanana River had been near flood stage earlier in the week, so there should have been plenty of water for getting down river. Unfortunately, being a glacier fed stream, the river is braided and the water is quite silty from the glacial runoff. Finding the main channel was problematic, as many of the gravel bars were still under water. After grounding a few times in the shallow water, we found the deeper channel and motored a fair ways downstream to an open gravel bar. Following a few beers and some beach games, we had an excellent meal with no bugs to ruin our little party. A good time was had by all.