Sunday, June 27, 2010

Picnic down at the Koyukuk River

Slate Creek where we went swimming

Picnic on the Beach

This weekend was pretty laid back, with lots of movie watching and sitting outside in the sun, although there were a few things everyone did as a group. On Saturday night, some of us walked down to the river and had a picnic. We loaded up some "to go" boxes from the dinner buffet and brought a blanket and some music down to the "beach". It was really nice to enjoy the beautiful summer night. Both yesterday and today I went on long walks along the river, just enjoying the scenery (and enjoying my time off work). Tonight Lindsey and I walked to Slate Creek. There is not much current there, and there is a perfect swimming hole near the Dalton Highway bridge. The sun was so warm this evening, we just couldn't let it go to waste. We put on our bathing suits, brought towels down, and jumped in. It was pretty cold, but not too bad. Now I can officially say I have gone swimming in Alaska!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Coldfoot gang down by the river celebrating 1:00am of the solstice

Making a pitstop on the river float for some frisbee

The girls (Caroline, me, Lindsey, Vanessa, and Lacey) hanging out on the river float

Cory, Jay, Rey, Brian (and Jacob's dog, Indy) enjoying the river float

Summer Solstice

The past couple of days have been a lot of fun. Over the weekend, me and some of the girls helped dogsit for Sadie's dog Denali while she was out of town. We watched some movies in the trailer (and ate lots of delicious food). Monday night was the summer solstice, so there were some festivities planned for the co-workers to celebrate the longest day of the year (which doesn't even seem like a big deal all the way up here, because it's always light every day). We all left after work to drive up to Wiseman. We piled into one of the rafts that they use for the tours and floated down the Koyukuk River until we got back to Coldfoot. The float was about 3 hours long, but the weather was perfect and it was so much fun. The scenery along the river is gorgeous! When we arrived on the beach of the river at Coldfoot, we grilled out hamburgers and hotdogs, and hung out by the bonfire. There were even a few people there who are working the summer in Denali; they decided to drive all the way to Coldfoot to fully experience the solstice. It was a really enjoyable night, even though I had to get up for work the next morning :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Getting ready to test out our indoor snow slide
Rey demonstrating his double shovel ski technique

Chester was so happy that we gave her a snowpile to play in!
Sadie taking a break from shoveling...funny to think that underneath that snowpile is a bed that someone will soon be sleeping on

Sadie pitching to me in our ultimate snow baseball game!

Snow shoveling in June

Wednesday afternoon we were given an interesting task at work...we had some ATCO units sent down from Deadhorse Camp (up north at Prudhoe Bay), and we were told to clean them out to get them ready for the incoming crew to move into. The funny thing was, because it is so windy up in Deadhorse, when it snows it blows under the doors and into the rooms, so we had to shovel snow out of the rooms all afternoon. We had some fun with it doing things like making a snow slide, playing baseball with snow shovels and snowballs, and eventually puting all of the snow in a pile and making a snowhill near our tents to slide down. It was really nice to have snow here in June!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lindsey and Sadie admiring the scenery

Vanessa and I walking along the shore on the other side of the river
Vanessa and I rockin' out in the middle of the river

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hanging out at the Koyukuk River

Work has been really busy this week, but we have found time to do some fun things. On Monday night most of the co-workers went down to the Koyukuk River and made a bonfire. Vanessa and I walked across the river to the other side, which turned out to be even prettier than the side of the river that we hang out on. We were on the other side for a while and then had to walk back across (which was a workout trying to walk against the current!). Yesterday was an interesting day at work. While we were making beds at the Inn, we noticed the 3 puppies from the dog yard running around loose. They have gotten so big, and so now they figured out they can get out of their pen. We spent part of the morning trying to keep them in their pen (eventually we just gave up and brought them to work with us). Last night me and some of the girls went to Sadie's trailer to hang out for a while; we ended up looking through bridal magazines, eating popsicles, and chatting for a while. Then I watched Ghostbusters II and tried to get some sleep.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Walking along the pipeline trail, one of my favorite running/walking paths

Remember the little puppies? Look how big they are getting!
At the shore of the Koyukuk River

Nothing new, just a few pictures...

I don't have too much to write about today. I had the weekend off, so I have been pretty lazy. I went for a long walk yesterday along to the "beach" as we like to call it; really it's just the rocky shoreline of the Koyukuk River. The weather has been really nice, and the wind was blowing a little bit so it kept most of the mosquitos away. Today I went on another walk, this time on the trail that follows the pipeline. I walked until I got to the pond about 2 miles away, and got a few new pictures. Other then that, I just read some more of my book, watched some movies, and relaxed. The work week starts again tomorrow!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I was trying to look cool returning the serve, and then missed it...

Rey showing us his awesome serving skills

Vanessa with her intense ping-pong game face

work and ping pong tounament

This week, for the most part, has been uneventful. I have worked every day, but we are all getting pretty good at getting things ready for the buses. On Tuesday night Lindsey (one of the newer co-workers) and I watched a movie called "My Sister's Keeper". It was really good, but sad, so we had a good cry. On Wednesday Sadie, Lindsey, and I walked over to the Visitor's Center across the street. It's actually really nice inside; it looks like a small museum that would be in a bigger city. We spent some time talking to Heidi and Kristen, two people who work there and who we know because they live in Wiseman. The other night some of the guys organized a ping-pong tournament. We put the couch up on tables so we could watch from "bleacher seats", and Vanessa even made a trophy for the winner. After many hours of intense play, Ian was declared the winner. The rest of us beginners have been playing ping-pong just for fun this week. I haven't done much hiking this week because of the bugs, but hopefully next week I will have some new hiking photos for everyone!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Standing in front of the little plane that we took to Fairbanks
The bear at the Museum of the's hard to believe they can get this big!

Looking out the window of the ice house at the ice museum
Vanessa and I posing as Eskimos

Sleeping on the ice bed in the ice house!

The artist at the ice museum showing us how they make the ice sculptures

Weekend in Fairbanks

This past weekend Vanessa and I had a 3 day weekend to go into Fairbanks. There was enough room on one of the flights that left Coldfoot on Thursday, so we arrived in Fairbanks on Thrusday afternoon. We stayed at a place called Go North Hostel, which is where a lot of Coldfoot employees stay when they come into town. It was really nice; they had a bunch of cabins, a kitchen, and an internet lounge. After we got settled into our cabin, we rented some bikes and went to explore Fairbanks. One of the first things we did was get some Pizza Hut, and then we went to see a movie. These are some of the things I have missed while being so far away from civilization! Then we rode our bikes to the store to get a few snacks. On Friday, we went to the Museum of the North, which is a huge museum at the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. They had exhibits about the Native people, climate, and wildlife of Alaska. It was really interesting. They also had a stuffed brown bear, which was cool because we got to see how big the bears up here can actually get. We ate some Chinese food for lunch, and then went to walk around downtown Fairbanks. We found the ice museum there, and went in to look at all of the ice sculptures. They had one of the artists do a demonstration for us of how they make the sculptures. Then we went to see another movie before going back to the hostel for the night. I woke up early on Saturday so I could skype with Mom and make some phone calls. I never realized how much I missed my cell phone until I could use it again! Saturday was our shopping day; we went to Walmart and Barnes and Noble to stock up on stuff before leaving town. We ate dinner at Chili's, and then headed back up to Coldfoot. It was a really fun weekend and a nice break from being in the middle of nowhere :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Vanessa and I modeling in our bug headnets!

The pile of moose legs sitting outside of Jack's cabin...only in Alaska

On the bridge over the Koyukuk River that separates the south side and north side of Wiseman

Wiseman Tour

Tonight Vanessa and I went on the tour to Wiseman. Even though both of us have been to Wiseman with Teslin, we had never gone with the Northern Alaska Tour Company and figured we should take advantage of our ability to go on any of the tours for free. While we were there we walked to the cabin where Jack, a resident of Wiseman, has lived since 1971 (before the Dalton Highway even existed!). He told us all about how he makes a living in Wiseman, hunting and living off of the land. It was really interesting, and we even got to wear the stylish bug headnets while we walked around. It was really funny watching all of the other guests that came in from Fairbanks complain about the mosquitos; at least there is no Westnile or anything like that up here, so all we half to worry about is having itchy bug bites.