Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Update from Deadhorse Alaska 10-20-10

Right now, according to weather.com, it is one degree Fahrenheit and with the wind chill factor, it is negative 12. The wind is 8 mph and it is foggy.

Yesterday, we had steady snow until late evening. I cleared about 8 inches of the stuff off my truck while it was warming (questionable) up, and about ½ inch of ice had to be broken and scraped off my headlights. Being rather short, getting enough off the front top of the windshield is a herculean effort for me, but I did a satisfactory job. In the process, I got a substantial amount of snow in my boots and on my jeans. I’m really looking forward to the arrival of those boots from Cabella’s. I have mittens and a really warm, fur-lined, Scandinavian-style hat coming, too.

This morning, what little snow fell on my truck last night had been blown away and I was happy that I didn’t have to do any cleanup before getting on the road. It seemed much warmer than when I went home yesterday, so I was surprised to find out that the temperature was 5 degrees. It fell to 3 before I got to work and is now registering 1, as I wrote above.

The first half of the drive was really pleasant, the new snow is gorgeous on the tundra; in the lights of town and the facilities that I pass, it looks like the whole place has been covered with melted ice cream. The roads are in great condition; hard as rock and drive like pavement instead of the gravel that they are. There’s a line of snow about a foot wide that appears to be a center line, and only occasionally do you find a bit of slippery area, because there’s been no warm up to create thaw followed by ice.

I once again found myself chuckling over the fact that I am here, writing this journal, instead of reading what one of my brothers or friends wrote. I am still enjoying the whole experience and it has not yet become common to me. As I was thinking these things, I thought about how proud my father was of me, and how thrilled he was that I am here. I was suddenly so overcome with grief that I had a hard time pulling myself together enough to drive.

My dad had travelled over much of the world through the Navy and work assignments later, but he never made it to Alaska. He mentioned many times that he had wanted to go to Alaska all of his life, and through my journal he was living it for himself. When I was 15, he had the opportunity to move to Alaska with Mother and all five children in tow, but instead, he accepted a job in Marietta, Georgia and we moved to Woodstock a tiny town in Cherokee County, where I finished High School. That move had a very strong influence on the lives that my brothers and I would live from there on out. We would all be very different people, I am sure, if he had chosen the Kenai Peninsula over Lockheed Marietta!

From the Artic Circle....I remain,
Deadhorse Connie

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