Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Updates for all your friends

So I guess I should update once in a while.

BORIS is getting anxious; he hurt his foot and it has been stormy, both of which have kept him from exploring as much as he wants to.

MIDNIGHT is realizing how tedious his job can be, so he has been putting more effort into budgeting his time off.

THE GHOST OF JACK LONDON and BUG have been spending lots of time in the Visitors Center watching DVDs, grilling the rangers, and memorizing dates and facts.

And I, TR, have been getting over a cold. I'm done with the feeling sick and miserable phase and have spent the last four days or so in the "I feel fine but where on earth is all of this mucous coming from?" phase. It's obscene.

Also, when will summer start? Our high today is 45 degrees. Come on. They said it gets up to 80 here. I guess we'll see.

Well at least I'm enjoying the work. I have the best job of anyone here, that's for sure. Sometimes I even get tips. Hurrah.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Megafauna Monday, Week 3

Days: 7
Moose: 22
Black Bear: 0
Grizzly Bear: 0
Caribou: 0
Dall Sheep: 0
Porcupine: 2

Running Totals:

Days: 21
Moose: 39
Black Bear: 1
Grizzly Bear: 0
Caribou: 124
Dall Sheep: 8
Porcupine: 4

Total Points: 348

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Megafauna Monday, week 2

Days: 7
Moose: 11
Black Bear: 0
Grizzly Bear: 0
Caribou: 124
Dall Sheep: 8
Porcupine: 2

Running Totals:

Days: 14
Moose: 17
Black Bear: 1
Grizzly Bear: 0
Caribou: 124
Dall Sheep: 8
Porcupine: 1

So here is how Megafauna Monday will work from now on.

Moose: 5 points
Black Bear: 10 points
Grizzly Bear: 15 points
Caribou: 1 point
Dall Sheep: 10 points
Porcupine: 5 points

Bonus Animals:
Musk Ox: 30 points
Arctic Wolf: 30 points

Current score: 238

What should be my goal score for September 30?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

This Guy Walks into a Bar

Nobody would ever say that Mike is not an great unicyclist. That's not what I'm going to say here. I mean, here he is riding the thing down Mt. Fuji last fall:

See? But let's just leave it at that. He is a good unicyclist. There, I said it.

At this point I am tempted to begin a sentence with the word "but", but I am not going to because one of my professors told me that "but" erases all the words that come before it. So I will just say that in addition to being a good unicyclist Mike is also an avid hitchhiker. He was seen by a tour bus operator hitching outside of Joy, Alaska on the Dalton highway. When he didn't pick Mike up, Mike shouted and gave him the finger.

A few hours later, he was seen unloading his apparatus from a van in Coldfoot, about 200 miles away from the town of Joy. Quite a feat, considering the drive takes us five hours by car. Then he left to complete the 500 mile journey to the Arctic ocean and back. And get this: It only took him two days. When he returned he had photos of one of his two bear encounters. His account of the event was about as believable as his statement that he hitched only once, "just to get over Atigun Pass", but that he had ridden the entire rest of the journey. That was one week ago, and Mike is still here, camping on our property, sharing his dubious story, and mooching free meals and drinks off of our guests. He says he is waiting for a package in the mail here, several boxes of Clif bars.

We talked to a member of the film crew for NBC's America's Toughest Job (coming this fall), who was nice enough to drive Mike back from Prudhoe Bay.

Anyway, kudos to him for learning to ride that thing, and for riding it some fraction of the way from Valdez to the Arctic ocean (over 800 miles), however small a fraction that may have been.

Look for the article he is writing for some future issue of Backpacker magazine. I wonder how much more epic the story will be by then.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dark Clouds Gather in Alaska's Arctic

Everything here is perfect. At least that's what I would have said before lunch today. You see, there was a french fry mixed in with my tater tots!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


A lot of us here are worried that this lack of darkness is taking its toll on T.R.'s usually calm and stable disposition.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Megafauna Monday, week 1

Days: 7
Moose: 6
Bears: 1
Caribou: 0

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Silly Alaska!

Alright, GEEZ! I'll update. Gosh, you guys. So much adventure for just one person to blog about. Here is some background info though: Anchorage looks a lot like Salt Lake, at least from the airport. Too bad I took the photo with no memory card, or you would see for yourself below.
But hey! I got to Fairbanks and checked into this place.

It's called "Billie's Bed and Breakfast", but only the first half of that name is accurate.

So you know that sickening feeling you get when you realize you've forgotten something vitally important to a long trip that you've just left on? Imagine how I felt when I realized that I left home without a set of tarot cards! (Yeah, I know.)

Now imagine my relief when I found a set at the Yukon River Lodge.

Also, I made it to the Arctic Circle. (In Alaska, this has nothing to do with Burgers or shakes, which is too bad.)

This was taken at 2:00 am. Duh, Alaska. It's supposed to be dark at 2:00 am!