Saturday, May 14, 2011

In Golden Light

Perhaps my favorite thing about Alaska is flying. There are different kinds of flying though -- there is bumpy flying, smooth flying, flying above mountains, flying between mountains, flying over tundra, flying over open water, flying over ice, flying next to islands. Each flying experience is uniquely exhilarating in its own way, but above all, flying in golden light -- this is the most beautiful.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

School Trip - Part 4 (UAF's Museum of the North, Chena Hot Springs, Driving Back to Anchorage)

While in Fairbanks, we went to the University of Fairbanks' Museum of the North. It was a great museum. If you ever find yourself in Fairbanks,  you should definitely visit.

 The one on the left was made by the great grandfather of one of my students.

Two of my students (cousins) took pictures of this blanket toss carving. It was made by Moses Milligrock who was their grandfather and great-grandfather, respectively.

 Talking about the carving and "Uppa Moses."

"Unknown 21st Century Family" (2009) by Sheryl Maree Reily

The girls looking at masks from the Bering Strait region.

This pair of masks is from Diomede.

"Things I Ate in Alaska" (2003) by Michael Nakoneczny


The pictures above are of the "Great Alaska Outhouse Experience" (2005) by Craig N. Buchanan.

This one is my favorite: "Oscar Scared Him with His Icon" (1977) by Alvin Eli Amason. I wish I knew the story behind it.


The next day we went to Chena Hot Springs. The water was 107 degrees! It was a beautiful day too.

Even though it was probably in the 50s when we were outside, it felt amazing. I guess when you're use to temperatures that dip into the teens during March, anything above 50 degrees is swimmin' weather. Of course, 107-degree water helps. :)

On Easter Sunday (I was sad to miss church), we drove back to Anchorage. It was a long trip, but oh-so-beautiful.

 What a lovely state...
I will miss Alaska's beauty.

Monday, May 2, 2011

School Trip - Part 3 (Ferry Ride & Drive to Fairbanks)

After skiing, we took a day to go shopping again. I went to Starbucks and got a frappucino. (Oh, Starbucks, how I have missed thee!) The drive from Girdwood to Anchorage is beautiful, and as I drove, one of my students took pictures. You can tell the snow is starting melt. Spring has arrived.

The next day we drove to Whittier, which is about a 45-minute drive from Girdwood. Whittier is an interesting place because it has the longest one-way vehicle-railroad tunnel in North America. It was pretty crazy -- driving in the dark on railroad tracks for so long.

For some reason, I thought Whittier was a lot bigger, but it only has a couple hundred people living there. Despite its small size, it has a port for the Alaska Marine Highway. We took the Aurora ferry to Valdez -- about a five-hour trip. It was amazing!

On the ferry.


While the girls were in Anchorage, all of them dyed their hair. Now my students have red, yellow, blue, and green hair.

 I didn't get any good shots, but we saw a whale jumping and flipping in the water. It was amazing! We also saw a lot of sea otters that were swimming on their backs. So cool!

While on the ferry, my principal and I worked on a puzzle. I was determined to finish it, but we ran out of time...


Once we drove off the ferry, we kept on driving straight to Fairbanks. It was a long 7 1/2 hour drive. However, it was fun because every person needs to experience a car road trip, and the village kids rarely get to go on long trips like this. I personally believe that a long car ride is good for the soul.

The weather took a nasty turn on our way to Fairbanks.

And then the weather took a beautiful turn. While driving, I introduced a car game to my students that my boyfriend introduced to me. Technically, it's called Cow, but we played Moose. The goal is to see a moose on your side of the road, and if you do, roll down your window and yell, "HEY, MOOSE!" until the moose turns to look at you. If he looks, then you get a point, but if you later pass by a cemetery, you lose all your points. Well, we saw two moose, and one of my students yelled, "HEY, MOOSE!" out the window and was able to get one of them to move his head towards our car, but then when we got to Fairbanks, we passed by a cemetery. C'est la vie.

While in Fairbanks, we visited the UAF Museum of the North and Chena Hot Springs, but I'll save those excursions for the next post!