Monday, February 7, 2011


They did it. The Packers climbed to the top of the NFL mountain. As a life long Packer fan February 6th was a good day.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Local Gems

This past weekend was packed with fun ski outings just outside of Fairbanks. The winter trails in and around Fairbanks seem to be an endless resource that provide us with recreational opportunities, exercise, adventure, and nostalgia. On Sunday Ann, Luke and I skied from Cleary Summit to the Chatanika Lodge. The ten mile trip was a wonderfully relaxing; mostly down hill route.

None of us had taken this route before so there was a little map reading at a few of the trail intersections. We managed not to take any wrong turns.

Friday night Cassie and I headed about 30 miles out of town and skied into Nugget Creek Cabin. The temps were pretty reasonable for January in Fairbanks but the little cabin was still fairly difficult to warm up.

We enjoyed a late breakfast and a great ski out in the sunshine.

Cassie and Josie head down the South Fork of the Chena River.

Back at the truck we were all smiles. Another good weekend in The Great Land!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Open Heart Surgery

An oil spill responder heads into the basement to work on the cleanup.

One of Alaska's main arteries sprung a leak. The Trans Alaska Pipeline spans 800 miles from the North Slope to it's terminal in Valdez and it started leaking at mile 0. Pump Station #1 is the location where Alyeska Pipeline Service Company receives crude oil from North Slope producers including BP and Conoco Philips, it gathers the oil, then starts it on its way south. A small section of buried pipe at the booster pump building sprung a leak and the crude was found spilling into the buildings basement. Once the leak was identified the pipeline promptly shutdown which subsequently caused the North Slope oil fields to follow suit. With frigid arctic temperatures creating concerns over freeze-up Alyeska was able to restart the line for a short time while they collected the oil from the leak and fabricated a bypass line that would allow production to continue. The resources and personnel that were used during this response were very impressive and before long things should be back to normal and the artery that provides the lower 48 with energy and the state of Alaska with royalties should be operating at full capacity.

The pictures above show work being done on the bipass line.

This is just a random shot of a drill rig on an unidentified pad.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse on Solstice Eve

It was a spectacular night in the Interior. The full moon lit up the surrounding landscape and little by little the earth snuck between the sun and the moon creating a total Lunar Eclipse on the Eve of Solstice 2010.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Swan Lake

This September I was lucky enough to get a trip in with a few great buddies in some of the most scenic country that Alaska has to offer. While we were planning for the excursion we had fishing, fun and goat hunting in mind. It looked like Swan Lake would provide us with all of the above and it certainly did. The soggy weather that Southeast Alaska is known for did not disappoint and served up rain that seemed almost biblical at times. We struggled with the wet weather for the first five days but on the sixth day the weather broke and gave us an opportunity to explore in much more comfort. All in all I would say that Swan Lake is a place that anyone who gets the chance should go and visit some day.

Luke casting for rainbows at the base of a waterfall leading into Upper Falls Lake. The countryside surrounding Swan Lake is littered with waterfalls shooting off of cliffs and spilling out of glaciers but this falls was absolutely spectacular.

A newish cabin is available for rent on the Lake.

We ate like back country kings. Here Luke is flipping a Mountain Huckleberry flapjack. Mighty tasty!

The water levels were up a bit from all of the rain. We had a few interesting river crossing in route to Upper Falls Lake.

Nathan and the nicest Rainbow of the trip.

We had plenty of boulders and different terrain to negotiate just to get into Mountain Goat habitat.
Luke pictured on a snowfield in the high country.

Looking out over Thomas Bay.

Brian descending with a half of a goat in his pack.

Nathan looking over some potential goat country.

Nathan and I with an un-named glacier in the background.

Brian on a snowfield next to the site of Luke's goat harvest.

Processing goat meat in the cabin.

Teriyaki goat kabobs...very, very good! We ate about a half of a goat during our time in the field.
Looking down on Swan Lake.

This is the only group picture. From left to right: Nathan, Brian, Myself and Luke. Cascade Creek is in the background.

And on the last day the weather broke and provided us with stunning views of the surrounding terrain. Pictured above are a couple low lying clouds and their reflections hang in the Swan Lake basin.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Summer 2010

Well the Summer of 2010 has already come and gone. As usual the Interior's long days had everybody working and playing at a frenetic pace. I have not made the time to enter any blog posts but figured that I would document some of the good times that were had.

Halibut fishing with Captain Al and the gang-

Pack rafting on Windy Creek-

Floating the Middle Fork of the Koyukuk River with my dad and Brett-
Sheep Hunting with Bernie-

Fishing the Kenai with Magan-

Moose hunting the Chatanika River with Luke-

Ptarmagain hunting on the dome with Luke and Jeff-