Saturday, January 31, 2009

A foot of new snow!

I fell asleep and crashed after I got home yesterday. We had about 4 inches of snow on the ground. They predicted another 2 or 3 inches of snow through the night. I just went out to shovel and there is over a foot of snow! I have a 2 foot snow berm at the drive way. I will be shoveling for a while and I will put the chains on the old beast to get around today. Going to buy stuff to make chicken stew. I think I will put lime juice in it.

Got to get out and shovel some more.

See the car hidden in the snow? That one did not get smooshed! They shoveled it out after a week and moved it so the plows could clear the parking lot. The crunched car which I showed earlier is again completely covered with snow.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tiring week

I came home from school, ate, sat down for a minute and woke up at 11 PM - guess I was tired. Still have 6 inches of snow to shovel, guess it can wait until tomorrow. Time to sleep.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Here are some sunny day pictures. Today was not like that at all. We had super rain and then it turned to snow and then it rained even harder. Then we got some wind.

I am just hoping that we have good slopes for this weekend. The Glacier is going to be water on top of ice, since we have 40 degrees or so - yuk

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The shooter died

The fellow who shot 9 people, killing 2 died today from his self inflicted wound. The incident took place in Pprtland, OR and my daughter was at the bar where the incident occurred. It was very unfortunate.


More snow! 6 inches last night and 5 inches today, warming up though.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Find the car and boats

These are miscellaneous pictures of the snow storms we have had. The two boats were pictures taken after the 2 feet of snow. Just thought it looked interesting.
The car! This car was at Costco before I left for Oregon. It was parked and did not move for a few days. When I came back we had lots of snow and the car was still there. As the snow piled up, the huge front end loaders took the snow and moved the piles to the edges of the lot. That is where the Volvo had been sitting. Looks like the front end loader whacked the Volvo a time or two. When I saw the car in Dec, it was in OK shape, just sitting in a space, not moving but with all windows, etc.

So, I guess you can say: Do not park your car at Costco over the winter unless you want it to be covered with snow and whacked with snow plows.

Article about the shooting

It sounds like a totally random act of violence from a person with no history of violence.

Sad stuff!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Snowing - lots

We have our snow. We had 8 inches fall in the last 8 hours. It is supposed to snow through the night. Looks like snow for about 3 days and then we go back to sun and cold. This recent snow is just what we need for the mountain and skiing. I had to chain up my truck to get up the hill where I live. I figure I will probably need them to get to the slopes anyway. Chained up and ready to go.

I am emotionally settling down after the shooting incident. Yesterday was a bit surreal. Getting back to teaching today helped get me thinking about regular life stuff. Innocent people being shot is just too weird. I wish 9 families are not dealing with their loved ones being shot, I feel fortunate.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ice Skating at the Glacier

I was a bit bummed today because of the thought of 7 people being shot and 2 dead. My daughter and her friends were there too. Some families are going through some hard times right now. I was supposed to meet up with some people on the mountain but after the shooting stuff I just needed to get away.

I Went to Mendenhall Glacier and saw lots of ice skaters. I do not ice skate but wish I did after I saw them on the ice. Around Juneau, there are many frozen lakes which are used for skating and ice hockey. Since the snow is not good, people use the ice for enjoyment!
I am hoping for new snow so I can cross country out to the glacier. No snow today. 20 degrees.

Shooting in Portland, OR

My daughter, 22, was out with friends in a quiet bar in Portland. A fellow pulled out a gun and started shooting. 2 are dead and 7 are injured. The shooter ran by my daughter but she was not hurt and I am thankful for that. The gun man shot himself in the end and he is injured.

The word I have is that it was a random shooting spree. It is one of those things you read about and assume that it occurs to someone else in the BIG city.

Eagle Stories

An eagle put out the lights of Juneau, AK. A deer carcass was put in the dump. A deer tried to fly off with the head and attached skin. He could not get over the power lines and caused the power to fail. We have some fat Eagles at the dump.

This eagle was at Costco looking for a meal.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

sunny and cold

No clouds and the high was about 25 degrees. It was a beautiful day to take pictures.
While I was out, I went snowboarding. The snow was hard and ice like. I made one run down the big slope and then went off to do errands and take pictures. I took 115 pictures today - it is so easy to click them off.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Getting lighter every day!

I walked out of school at 4:30 PM and it was not super dark out! I could see and did not even have to use my lights for 15 minutes. More light daily!! Spring is getting closer and closer in Alaska.
I would still like some new snow for this weekend though.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

low 5 high 20, but sunny

We have sunshine AND COLD! I got used to warmer weather and went to school without a beany cap - big mistake! My ears froze during recess. Getting lulled by warm weather is a mistake. We did have sunshine though. The blasting wind is the pits. Looks like no new snow for the slopes.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Snow tomorrow?

We had sunshine again today. But then in the afternoon some clouds rolled in and the temp dropped. They are talking snow again. The water on the road is freezing. We do need new snow in the mountains, the stuff we have is terrible now. A new 4 inches of snow and the slopes would be good for skiing again. We still have over a foot of packed snow on the playground at school. That is after a week of 40 - 55 degrees and 3 inches of rain.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Amazing Day! Historical!

PRESIDENT OBAMA! I went to the Juneau Convention Center at 7:00 AM to help set up for the Obama Inaugural Rally! Within 30 minutes the place was packed! I was in awe of the numbers that showed up - cool!! I am still feeling elated about the change of direction for our country. I feel the last 8 years were a big error, but now we have President Obama. He sure has a mess to clean up!

I left the Convention Center to get to school and saw the most amazing sunrise! I took some pictures and pasted one up here. The other was taken on our sunny Sunday. We have lots of rain today.

I am working with some bloggers on getting food and supplies to Emmonak and Nanum Iqua villages in AK.

President Obama - He has a lot of work to do, but I feel he is the one for the job.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunny Day Pictures

More Sunny Sunday Pictures. Today was cloudy and a little rain. I got up to the ski slope and went down once. I like living only 20 minutes from a ski slope.
I am soooooo sore though. I almost didn't to to the mountain because I hurt all over but then I thought, I have 4 days to recover. I did better playing on the snowboard than ever before. I even went straight down instead of snowplowing, until I fell.
Improvement though, next weekend should be better or at least more consistant.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Was I in Heaven Today?

SUNSHINE AND 55 DEGREES IN JUNEAU IN JANUARY! It was totally Amazing! I have a bunch of pictures which I will put up this week! REAL SUN IN JUNEAU - Juneau is heavenly when the sun is out!

Pictures of Mendenhall Glacier on a SUNNY DAY IN JANUARY! They are talking about rain on Tuesday, so I was outside a lot today. I went snowboarding twice today. I hit the big slope once. I am improving daily. Tomorrow, I will either cross country ski 4 miles into Herbert Glacier or Snowboard. I actually am leaning towards Cross Country because it does a better job of stretching out the muscles.

I was just outside at 7 PM and it wss still 50 degrees - AMAZING!

80 MPH winds in Portland, OR

I just got a call from Portland. My daughter said they have been battered with high winds since last night. Electricity is out for 16,000, including her. She was driving around and lots of trees are down and whole main streets are closed. Even traffic signals are close to falling down she said. A police car was blocking an intersection with a light about to fall down.

Sounds crazy. Anchorage was shut down Wed, Thur Friday by ice and winds of 100 MPH. Schools were closed and the bus system was totally shut down.

Global Warming? Now that Bush is about to have the door hit him in the butt, can we talk about Global Warming with out being called a commie or a liberal?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mendenhall Glacier, this morning

A week ago, I was cross country skiing on this lake and breaking track on over 2 feet of snow. No cross country skiing on the lake today. 40 degrees and rain has caused melting so we need more cold weather to freeze it up again

This is Mendenhall Glacier this morning. We actually had a little sun so I went out and took a few pictures. I also went snowboarding today. I hope to snowboard tomorrow as well. Snowboarding - a little improvement but still a long way to go.

Emmonak pictures

40 degrees in Juneau and rain.
Snowmobile is the preferred way of travel in Emmonak. I saw the sleds loaded with kids, groceries, wood and even moose meat. They use the sled to get drift wood to burn.

Thia quad had cases of eggs on it. It was about 20 below zero when I took this picture.

The boat is on the bank of the Yukon River. They just get covered with snow until the spring ice melt. That is the Yukon River behind the boat. The ice was at least 4 feet thick here. People traveled on the Yukon with their snowmachines, quads and even cars. (Cars were very rare but I did see them.)

Friday, January 16, 2009


#Travel in Emmonak,
In the winter, it is snowmachine., People travel on the Yukon River because the ice is 4 feet thick this time of year. I left Emo May 20 and the ice was still on the Yukon. People had their boats on the shore getting ready for the ice to break any day.

About April, you start seeing dirt on the ground and the ice/snow melts from the town. That is when it gets time for Quads. Whole families will ride on a Quad (4 wheel motorcycle) and they stir up the dust on the street. As the streets dry out, it becomes dustier and dustier.

When the ice melts, people use their fishing boats to travel from village to village and to visit people.get berries and go fishing. The fishing boats are about 18 to 24 feet long and they have 100+ HP engines. They are not cheap to operate.

In the summer, Emmonak is a dusty place. Not many cars in Emo. there are only about 8 - 10 miles of dusty road to drive on. The cars have few miles on them but the suspensions and radiators get beat up pretty bad.

Last year, the garbage truck broke down in the middle of winter and people had to take their garbage to the dump themselves. The dump is about 3 miles out of town, by the airport.

The houses are primarily plywood shacks that are raised off the ground in case the spring ice melt backs up the Yukon river and floods the town. (This happened 3 years ago.) Last year in May, the road to the airport got soggy and people had to walk the last 3/4 mile to the airport because transportation could not get through. The day I flew out of Emo, a grizzly who was hanging out at the dump ran past the airport and I went out and watched him run.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More on Emmonak

Village life is a subsistence way of life. You hunt and fish to survive. You rely on a good fall King Salmon run to have Kings to sell as well as some to smoke and can for the winter. There are about 800 people in the village of Emo. The Yukon River was totally frozen from Jan 08 through April 08. The ice did not even break totally by May 20, 2008 when I flew out.

June - Oct, the Yukon flows and the Yukon River is used for fishing and barges bring supplies up the river to Emo.

POOR KING SALMON RUN THIS YEAR! The village people did not get many King's to sell for cash and not even enough to feed the village. In good years, they barely have enough to make it through the winter. In bad years it is so much harder.

COST OF FUEL OIL, GAS, DIESEL: The villages had to buy bulk supplies of fuels in the summer. That was when the costs were highest, if you recall. The river froze up in early Oct, so they could not get their last barge load in. They are running out and new supplies have to be flown in because the Yukon River is nothing but at least 4 feet of ice. Flying things in is very expensive. It cost me $300.00 to fly from Anchorage to Emmonak.

The conditions in the village are tough but the people are some of the greatest people you will ever meet. They take the animals they hunt and they can make traditional crafts too. I saw some of the greatest clothing made from hides which protect these people from the weather.

With the information out there about Emmonak, I felt I needed to throw out a little more information I had about my stay in the village.

2/23/13:  I wrote comments and basically updated my thinking on this topic. If you are considering teaching in a remote Village, you will see the true Alaska.  It is quite different and unique.  You will be an outsider but welcome. Even today, years later, I am amazed at the life of the Alaskan Native Populations.

Starvation in Emmonak

I was in Emmonak, AK from Jan - May of 2008. I just found out about the people having to choose between food or fuel. It was usually at least 15 BELOW ZERO in Emo at this time of year. The heating fuel prices are $7.50 a gallon and the price will soon go up to $11.00 a gallon because they have to fly the fuel in.

I can vouch for the hardships of the Villages. I saw it first hand. I see Mr. Tucker called Gov Palin but has not received a return call.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009


"Swish" That is the sound I heard when I opened my truck door this morning! A little river of water came pouring out of my truck cab. It rained a lot last night. I had cardboard for the back window and the rain tore it up pretty good. Yep, I got loaded with water. The good news is that my glass came in and it was put in today! I now have a wet truck with a back window - I do not have to get my pants wet sitting down in my truck.

Pictures: One is out my kitchen window this weekend, we had at least 4 feet of snow. There is still about 2 feet. The other two pictures were when I went cross country skiing at night. They had lights lining the way to the lake, so I took a picture.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rain and more rain!

It is raining like crazy today! There was a place by Governor Palin's Gov Mansion which had 4 feet of water on the road. Seems the snow buildup/piles were not allowing the water to go downhill, so it made a big pool at the bottom of a hill. That was yesterday morning but they have since removed the snow and it is drained. Palin should be coming into town any day now - session starts soon. It was 35 degrees and many people are talking about the warmth and glad that we are back to warmer. Personally, I liked 25 degrees and powder snow as long as I do not have to shovel multiple times during the day.

The pictures are of a couple of the biggest icicles. They are like 15 feet long - BIG!
they are long gone by now though.

SCARY! I just looked on the weather map for the weather for the rest of the week. Wed and Thurs - rain and 40 degrees - normal. THURS EVE AND FRIDAY - THEY HAD A RAIN CLOUD 3 TIMES BIGGER SHOWING A DOWNPOUR! Yikes - this constant rain we have had is just a small taste of what is to come? Yikes!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Power Lines taken out with Avalanche

Juneau Power Lines are taken out by an Avalanche! The power now gone is from hydro elecric sources - cheap power. Juneau is now running on Diesel generator power- EXPENSIVE STUFF! Last year it happened and power bills went from $200.00 - $300.00 per month to $700.00 to $1000.00 per month! Big hike.

More snow last night(8 inches): It was heavy, rainy snow and that on top of the many feet of powder caused the landslides. Teachers were talking about hearing the avalanches. They heard some big ones, I was told. My school lost power for about an hour when the power to Juneau was taken out. After an hour, we were on generators and school got going again. NOTE; In the village, last year, we only had diesel electrical generators.
Snow sure looks pretty though! I took these pictures while cross country skiing.

Rain, some avalanches heard

It has been raining in Juneau but sloppy snow where I am in Douglas. We had 8 inches of wet snow. There are reports of avalanches behind Juneau.

Here is a raven and some crows. I saw a fellow get off a bus with french fries and 4 crows were walking with him hoping he would give them some fries. The birds would walk and then fly a little if the man got ahead of them. It was kind of funny to watch.