Friday, June 27, 2008


Well, I'm in Barrow again but I have made an effort to go walking late in the evening after working all day. On most days, I'm finally winding down at 10:00 at night but there is still plenty of daylight for walking. One of the highlights of this trip was seeing a very large polar bear about 300 yards off-shore on the ice. It was poking around an opening in the ice, repeatedly diving in and coming out. Someone mentioned that it was probably hunting a seal. After watching for about 15 minutes, it was dragging something on the ice away from town. It must have been successful. I don't have a decent camera so no pictures. The other exciting thing is getting the phones in the BARC (Barrow Arctic Research Center) to work. I felt very bad being responsible for getting phones into the building before it was occupied and having it take so long. Oh yes, I also finished StartWalking IV sometime this week. I just noticed the number of steps was over the 1.7M needed to finish. For some reason, this one doesn't have me as engaged as the previous 3 programs. No prizes I guess...

On this trip, I'm doing much better on my diet than on previous trips. Moderate amounts of food and stopping when I first get a feeling of fullness. The Japanese restaurant here has a great sashimi selection. Sashimi, miso soup and some steamed soy beans make a great meal. I'm quitting a bit early today rather than run myself into the ground. I was originally trying to finish early and leave on today's evening flight since there is going to be a motorcycle ride tomorrow with a group from church. Guess I'll miss out on that.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


After being a slug all day, I walked into town this evening for the Solstice Festival. They blocked off several streets downtown and it was like going to the fair with all of the booths and live entertainment. It is starting to get really warm now with temperatures reaching into 80°F but while walking along Farmers Loop, there was a nice breeze blowing. I forgot to sign up for the Midnight Sun Run so I figured the walk was close enough. It was right around 9 miles. Feeling exhausted from the drive back from Seward. At least next month when we drive to California, there will be additional drivers. I almost had my son drive some but he had never driven the truck before so it didn't seem like a great idea.

Sunday afternoon - went for a couple of short walks and a short bike ride. Right now I am sitting in Macdonalds waiting for my son's shift to end. I for one will be glad when he gets his license. Lots of clouds building up to the north so it must be time for the afternoon thundershowers. I just noticed that I'm almost done with "Expedition Everest" a.k.a. StartWalking IV with less than 80k steps remaining. Should be done by the end of this week but then again, I'm going to Barrow again so who knows.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Seward is a beautiful place. Lots of waterfalls, mountains and sealife. We've rented a nice house at Miller's Landing a couple of miles south of Seward and we're here with my brother and sister and their families. Sort of a mini-reunion. There are a lot of nice gravel roads to walk on and the beach is pretty nice though it is cooler than I expected. At least there are no mosquitoes. Yesterday, I walked for a couple of hours in the afternoon back and forth along the beach road and it was wonderful. The clouds burned off and there were a number of boats cruising around. I forgot my binoculars (among other things) which would have been nice given the amount of birds and sea life around here. Several family members are opting for a cruise later today but I think that I'll be lazy again and relax. It's 5:00 in the morning and I'm awake. That can't be good.

Update - I ended up going on the cruise. The good part was spectacular scenery, saw lots of humpbacks, sea lions, orcas, and more otters than I can count. The bad part was the nausea. Initiated by my medication and amplified by the movement of the boat, after a couple of hours, it didn't matter what they spotted, I wasn't interested. We left on Friday and drove all the way back to Fairbanks. On the way in, we noticed a few thousand cars parked between Ester and Fairbanks. Wonder what was going on?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Finally, a day off

It seems that I've been going continuously for the last couple of weeks. It was nice to sleep in for a change. I'll be on annual leave for the next week so maybe I'll be able to get in some serious walking again. I haven't make consistently my ten mile per day goal for quite a while. Too tired. I ran into town a couple of times today and didn't take the bike. Just felt drained.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Out of the "Death Zone"

Today turned out to be a beautiful day with clear, dark blue skies and only a little breeze. I went for a walk this evening along the "beach" road and really enjoyed it. I kind of kept to the. I tried to keep to the NARL area since there were some reports of bears walking on the sea ice near town. I guess they rarely come into town but then again why take any chances. I shipped two boxes here a week ago via DHL two day service and they still aren't here yet. Yes, I know I'm past the "end of the road" so to speak but this is ridiculous. I guess FedEx next time. I had dinner at the Thai restaurant here in Barrow and it wasn't quite as good as Osaka's but the musman chicken curry was pretty good. Nice and spicy. I was invited by the director to have dinner with a contingent of Canadian researchers. It was a pretty interesting group and it really makes me regret not staying in school. Instead I went to the dark side of the university (administration in case you weren't sure). Oh well, we need to live with the decisions we've made in the past.

After dinner, we went to watch a group pacticing they drumming and dancing. The drums sounded pretty nice and they had an incredible dynamic range. I'll post a picture tomorrow as I don't have a way to move pictures off my phone. I'm using a different laptop on this trip than normal so it isn't set up as completely as my Mac. Windows just isn't as flexible. Today's walking put me back at Camp 3 which moves me out of the "Death Zone" on this virtual climb of Everst. It's all downhill from here ...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Frustrating day...

This afternoon, I got really frustrated and had to go for a walk. Today wasn't the nice clear, sunny day that yesterday was but I guess it sort of matched my mood today. It turns out that one of the items shipped was the wrong model. I didn't look carefully at the quote generated by the vendor and just assumed that they knew what they were doing. Very frustrating.

It turned out to be a pretty good walk and I felt much better when I came back. Managed just short of 10 miles today (it was a long walk) mostly in the NARL campus area. I guess I could have ventured towards town but it really depends on the direction of the wind. There is a sewage pond between NARL and Barrow and if the wind is blowing from any direction except from the ocean, well, lets just say it is less than pleasant.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Back in Barrow

As expected, I'm not getting very much walking in while in Barrow. More than last time but nowhere near the 10 mile goal. There is still a surprising amount of snow and ice around though all of the roads are pretty clear. Today was a clear, sunny, windy day with clear blue skies. I walked to the new BARC facility a couple of times and the wind kind of gets to you. It starts out pretty sheltered between the buildings on the NARL campus but soon you come into wide open (i.e. windy) areas and it gets cold pretty quickly. Vehicles of any kind are in short supply so I'm trying to walk whenever I can. One of the disadvantages of not having a vehicle is eating. The only option now is the cafeteria and though the food is okay, it is higher calorie than I normally eat. Lots of starches and fat.

The main purpose of this visit was to get the VoIP gateway up and running. I met with the telephone company for a short time on Friday and they are turning up the circuit Monday morning. This is giving me the entire weekend to get my end ready. I still need to do some work on the dial plan on the gateway but I still have all day tomorrow.

Late Saturday Night - The wind is really howling right now. It is blowing in through the edges of the windows. Managed a long walk around midnight around the NARL campus.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Made the Summit!

I didn't get a lot of extra walking in the last couple of days but still over 10k per day. Dragged myself over the summit today on a walk down to Beaver Sports. Someone I work with was picking up a bike that was being repaired so it was a nice excuse to walk. I also walked around West Ridge a couple of times but didn't make it onto the ski trails this time. I guess they aren't having the WIN walks here in Fairbanks this summer. Too bad, I enjoyed them but generally, the turnout was pretty low last year so I would understand their decision to cancel them. After all the walking last weekend, I didn't feel much like walking today. Now that I reached the summit, it's time to coast downhill for a while. I'll be heading up to Barrow in a couple of days and I probably won't get much walking in (as usual) and I probably won't get many steps in before leaving. Oh well. I really need to watch my eating.

I rode home the long way through Goldstream Valley this afternoon. It wasn't raining but it looked like it was going to at any minute. It seems as if it has been raining just about every evening. And it isn't even close to fair time.