Greetings from Fairbanks

I really wanted to show you the incredible ice sculptures from Fairbanks-- there are so many-- but I forgot my good camera, and I only had my phone with me in the ice park and my hands froze trying to swipe and press the right buttons, plus I am such a Luddite I cannot figure out how the heck to get the few good shots I managed to capture to this page upright instead of sideways. I have a moment right now between soaking in the Chena Hot Springs, walks at 18 below, church-- At St. Mathews they gave me a can of spam for traveling the farthest, and I heard the Lord's Prayer in Athabaskan--  and visiting the area attractions to catch up, because I skipped the morning swim with my hostess since I cannot talk this morning as my cold has migrated to my throat, and I have a class to teach today (the reason I am here.) I woke up with barely a croak. I'm also a little off balance and mostly deaf in one ear since it's plugged after the plane rides from Juneau on Friday. On the plus side, on the second flight we hovered right next to Denali in all it's snowy, sunshine and blue-sky glory. It was unbelievable, the little Horizon Air jet felt like a Haines flightseeing plane. It's another world up here, all bright and cold and dry and lightly snow covered with miles and miles of little trees and rolling hills. My hosts are very nice and fun too, and I missed a blizzard in Haines that dumped over 3 feet of snow of wet snow in our yard, and now it is raining there (-9 here this morning) and I've gained a whole new appreciation for the Iditarod racers (and I was already a big fan.)  Two Rivers, Aliy Zirkle's home, is right outside of Fairbanks on the way to the hot springs,  I'm still hoping she can regain the lead and catch Jeff King before Nome, and it was fun to visualize her training runs. Now it's time to find another throat lozenge and some coffee. Wish me luck today.

(You know, maybe a sideways photo of the ice lady is better than none at all? You can tip your screen or stretch a bit to view it. And honestly, I apologize for the technical failure, but isn't this amazing? She is made out of four huge blocks of ice and, I'm guessing, about 20 feet tall. When I get home I'll try to straighten out some of the other pictures for  a little slide show.)



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