Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Congratulations to The Waffle Stompers

"Four Fairbanks, Alaska high school students are riding high after winning first place in 4-H Western Roundup Horse Bowl in Denver, Colo. The intense national competition tested equestrian knowledge in a “Jeopardy” style format. The girls are Molly Callahan, Elly Blake, Hanna Sfraga and Kira Freeman, all members of the Starlight Flyers 4-H club. The girls competed at nationals after winning the Alaska competition. They answered questions ranging from veterinary care and anatomy to horsemanship. Way to go girls!"

Not my Hippology Team but we've competed against these girls for two years. What a great job to go from Alaska to national competition at the Western RoundUp and win!


My daughter got to spend a couple of days with her friend at their cabin. It's a snowmachine ride in from the road system. She took these pictures on her phone camera.

The cabin - a typical recreational cabin in Alaska. It has a loft for sleeping with living room and kitchen below. It's heated with a woodstove but has a generator for electricity. The girls got to watch movies and the mom of my daughter's friend even gets to quilt on the machine!

The mountain is called Anthracite Ridge and is located about just above Weiner Lake off the Glenn Highway at about mile 100.

Not much is going on here. Except I got a new horse. I traded a saddle and a dollar for a registered Appaloosa mare. She had some issues with her owner but seems to be ok here. If the weather holds Friday I'm going to haul her and Voosh to the indoor.

Even though I haven't posted I've been following along on lots of blogs. Mugwump's latest post made my head hurt from thinking too much, Mikey makes me laugh, TBFriends has me being amazed at the generosity of horse people. Everyone's pictures are soooooo much better than mine that it almost makes me not want to post pictures. Love all the images from around the world. And we won't even talk about the food blogs. I read them before I read Cowboys Love Fat Calves.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Weather Report - High Wind Warning

Statement as of 3:51 PM AKST on January 11, 2010

The High Wind Warning is now in effect until midnight AKST

A cold airmass over the southern Alaska interior coupled with an
area of low pressure over the Gulf of Alaska is producing a
strong pressure gradient across the Matanuska Valley. Northeast
winds of 40 to 55 mph with gusts to 70 to 80 mph will continue
through the evening hours. The gradient will weaken later tonight
helping winds to subside.


The wind has been blowing since last night and causing all sorts of damage. Power is out in many places due to trees falling on the lines and debris taking out other lines. Luckily our power only went out for a bit at 1 am. My sweety was watching a movie though and really wanted to see the end so we drug out the generator and the extension cords. Just before he pulled the cord to start it the power came back on.

These high winds create hard packed snow drifts in any bottle neck. So far we have plowed our driveway five times, the neighbor's twice and the drivethru lane at Wendy's constantly. I really wonder about the people who do the site planning for some of these stores. They must not think about the wind and where it blows things. When we put in a driveway in the summer as part of our landscaping business the first question I ask is where are you going to put the snow when you plow? People don't even think of the simplest things.

At least one semi tractor and trailer blew over today. That usually makes the news.

My horses have opted to stay out of the barn. They are standing together with their tails to the wind. The goats are bedded down in their barn. The sheep are bunched up, laying down and chewing their cud. The dogs are sleeping on the couch in the house in front of the wood stove.

I have pictures and video but no time now to post.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

On A Clear Day.....

you can see the Knik Glacier!

My friend Wild Horse Annie got me interested in snowshoeing last winter. We snowshoed alot in the river bottoms where our horse trails are. She also snowshoed on her mountain behind her dad's cabin. Last year I had conflicts each time she asked me to snowshoe on the mountain. This year she called me on Friday and asked if I wanted to go with her on Saturday. I said Sure!

This is what she posted on her SparkPeople page:

"Today, January 2, the first Saturday in January just like 2009 on the first Saturday of January I am going as high as I can on "my" mountain behind my house. Last year I went by myself and it was -30F that day. This year I am trying to set a trend and an annual event and have at least 4 brave souls who are going with me. We are leaving at first light (about 11:30 this time of year!) The temperature warmed up to 15F but we have about a 15 mph wind to deal with! Not sure how far we will get (certainly not to the top), but its more about getting out and setting a monumentous statement about our commitment to taking care of ourselves throughout the year, camaderie and celebration of our environment and enjoying this great State of Alaska even in its harshest weather."

We had a blast! We left the cabin about 11:20 am, just as the sun was peeking out from the mountains to the east. The temperature was about 10*F and there was no wind. The sky was blue blue blue. I had my GPS and kept track of the time. mileage and elevation.

The first bit was pretty easy for me. I was wearing a good pair of Sojurner snowshoes with cleats and the snow was about 5' deep. Annie was our leader since she knew the way. After we crossed the creek we started to climb. Annie and Kathleen had mountain climbing snowshoes with serrated edges that helped them climb easier in the powdery snow. Margaret and I slipped several times. I had no traction with the smooth aluminum frame of my snowshoes. Next time I will wear my Sherpas with lacing around the frames which should help with the traction. I was dressed correctly (remember what I said about the Michilin Man?) and didn't get cold at all.

Annie took the picture above at my halfway point. That's me in the middle, Kathleen on my right and Margaret on the left. We ate a snack, fed the dogs, drank some water and rearranged our packs. Then we started down. As usual, I ride drag. So everyone else was down the hill and around the shoulder of the ridge when my feet slipped out from under me and I "sledded" through the alders. By the time I got stopped I was in a place where it was easier to go down than up. Then my cell phone rang. It was Annie, Margaret and Kathleen on the next ridge over! I told them I was headed down and would meet them at the cabin. So I hiked down down down to a snowmachine track and headed back to the cabin. The other girls showed up about 30 minutes later.

The final results were that I hiked 2.25 miles in 4 hours with almost equal moving and stopping times and we climbed just over 900 feet in elevation.

If you want to read Annie's version and see where they went after I headed back: