Hello and welcome to our blog. We have been getting many requests to join in on blogging so here we go. I hope you all enjoy the "view". Be sure to check us out at www.earthsonglodge.com for detailed information.

EarthSong Lodge in pictures

EarthSong Lodge in pictures

The view of a lifetime

The view of a lifetime
Denali in March 2012

Caribou and Sled Dogs

Caribou and Sled Dogs

two minutes of sunshine at -16 below

Sunday, February 19, 2012

End of the Cold?

These last two weeks of warm temperatures and high winds seem to be heralding the end of a multi-month cold spell that gripped the Interior.  There seems to be an interesting interaction between the La Nina Effect and the Arctic Gyre.  All bets are off for a normal winter, but we are adapting.  All the windstorms have drifted things along the Stampede Road....so much so, that the State DOT came out a number of days with loaders and graders, and now it looks like a pressure ridge of ice on the arctic coast out the front window.  Some areas have drifts of over 10' hardpack snow, and spots of the tundra are bare.  Still, we have good trails.  The warm spell threatened the Teklanika River crossing, with the water flowing over the top of the ice, eating it away.  Things are cooling especially at night, and the ice bridges are holding.  We rely on the Tek crossing to hold through the second week of April, and it hopefully will.

The dogs returned a few days ago from a week-long trip out the Stampede Trail, with Adam from Australia, and my friend Tom Reale, a free-lance writer from Anchorage.  Everyone did well, and I was happy to see Boomer responding to her meds, and leading the front team once again.  Her twice daily dose of calcitriol, calcium, and aluminum hydroxide seem to keep her para hypothyroidism in check.  Good news for our dogyard.

The end of February will have two three-day trips, and a few day trips.  March is our busy month, and we'll be out on the trail most of the time.  If the warm trend continues, and doesn't go too far, the camping trips will be much easier.  Still time to get on a few trips going in March/early April, so if any reader is interested, let me know.  Northern Lights have been especially nice the last week, as the sun's activity picks up.

On the personal front, Karin and I went to Fairbanks on Valentine's Day...I'm usually out on the trail, so this year the "holiday" was celebrated in person.  I have very strong personal views on Hallmark Holidays, but she loves it.  I get chocolate, she gets flowers.   After doing a few chores, we saw "The Vow".  Because nothing says Valentine's Day like a hard-core chick flick!  My vote for Phantom Menace 3D was somehow vetoed. 

The new upstairs addition in the lodge/house is finally done, giving us a guest room and Karin's craft room.  It seems that adding a major building project to an existing structure is always much more difficult than starting from scratch.  Next on the list is the Dog Barn in the dogyard, a shelter that will allow the dogs some safety and comfort during blizzards, and keep me from having to go out at 2am in a white-out to dig out the dogs.

For all out there looking to read a powerful book about our country and world, pick up "Shock Doctrine...the Rise of Disaster Capitalism" by Naomi Klein.  Not since "Fast Food Nation" has a book impacted me so much.  Both enlightening and appalling, this book explains how our economy works, and how our country exported this policy all around the world.  In a time of  "Occupy" and "Tea Parties", this is a must-read.  Spoiler Alert...you likely will be very angry throughout the reading process, but you'll be the better for it.

Today is our dog handler JJ's birthday, so we're leaving soon for brunch at 229 Parks...the best place to eat in the park area (except when Earl is cooking up at the coffeehouse...can't beat his Panang or Gumbo).  Beautiful sunrise, nice late-winter day.  We'll enjoy it, and hopefully all of you will too.

Happy trails,


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