29 December 2007

Holiday, part II of III

Ahh...another Christmas holiday come and gone.
The entire family on my mom's side converged upon my grandparents house in Amherst, MA for this holiday - 15 of us! It all went off incredibly smoothly, with wonderful laughter & food.

Here are my cousins Tim and Sam, in a blurry picture from Christmas morning. It's the only one I had with the Christmas tree.
There was a little bit of a tussle over baseball allegancies...my cousin Eric lives in Kansas, and as such just doesn't know any better. It's true - he's a Yankees fan. Uncle Russ put his Yankees calendar in the wood pile for burning. Unfortunately Grandpa didn't understand and thought it had just been carelessly misplaced by one of the kids. So he unwittingly saved it from its firey fate.
Post-presents playing outside in the street. Here are four of the five boy cousins (I'm the other cousin, aside from Curren, and the only XX chromosome represented in this generation). Left to right, Sam, Tim, Chris (my brother), and Eric (the misguided Yankees fan who we love anyway)
Walking down to the pond to play on the ice. Left to right, Aunt Patty, Aunt Meg, Uncle Russ, Grandpa, CurrenTed ran into the woods to get one of the fast-flying toys the boys got for Christmas. Russ is ready with his slippers. Shortly after this, Ted was struck in the face with said fast-flying toy causing bleeding.

Tomorrow my brother heads back to Bend, Oregon. On Wednesday I fly out to Bangkok, Thailand to begin part III of III for this vacation season. It's been a lovely trip back east to visit with family and relish the beautiful beautiful New England weather.

23 December 2007

vacation: part 1 of 3.

Tonight's my last night in northern Maine, up here on East Grand Lake in Danforth with my dad brother, and Donna.
Things done:
-snowmachining with dad to get a christmas tree
-decorating said charlie brown christmas tree
-hooking up the new 'entertainment center' that dad and donna built (picture to come)
-baptist church service this morning
-shoveled snow off of the roofs of seven cabins and the house
-coffee in houlton at the organic grocery store where they still don't make enough money to actually pay the employees, but happily they're in business another year
-watched football on the new hdtv (fancy-shmancy). oh, and tom brady is amazing. it's reiterated that he's an amazing quarterback, and really hot (only when he has a hat on)
-discovered the best movie ever, fever pitch, combining two of my favorite genres: romantic comedy and inspirational sport. even better is that the sports end is all red sox!!
-recieved a phatty new grundens sweatshirt from dad for christmas
-thoroughly enjoyed the maine accents...i wish i could bring it home with me.

so sad to go, but i'll be back. someday soon it will have to be for longer than four days. i want to do an extended east coast stay, including a trip to nova scotia and newfoundland.

21 December 2007

happy solstice!

so somehow i posted a few post-defense pictures to my little brother's blog (which he himself doesn't ever ever update...)


i'm currently sittin' on the couch at my dad's, watching high definition television with my brother. i more or less just woke up after days and days of waaaay too little sleep (though completely not regretted..). the sun is shining out on the snow and it's nearly blinding - this morning i felt so disorientated.
the agenda is pretty chill -
take a shower, do some laundry.
go snowmobiling (as they call it down here) with dad and get a christmas tree
head down east tomorrow with chris to say hello to the ocean
apply to jobs
generally kick it with my wonderful family who i have missed dearly!!!

it's unfortunate when good people are spread across the country/world as you can't be two places at once (try as you might). that being said, i'm always reminded that you indeed CAN come home again, both literally and figuratively. home is truly where your heart is, and that can move with you - keeping all good people in your heart till you see them again.

happy solstice!!

13 November 2007

the "other" White Mountains!

Last week, Justine, Cory, Nathan, Michael, Michelle and I headed up north to the White Mountains of interior Alaska - very different from the Whites of New Hampshire I grew up with!

The night before I ran out to the store and purchased materials to construct a homemade pulk - a sled for Kaya to pull with my gear in it! I managed to come up with a remarkably work-able setup!! She was great, and pulled hard the entire 7 miles in and out, towing both a Paris sled with all of my stuff and me on skis behind that.

Here's Nathan and Michael (who forgot his ski boots and so ran the trail out - Nathan ran the next day -- these guys are rockstars!!)

We stayed at Lee's Cabin, one of the great little cabins maintained by the BLM up here. It was a wonderful night of **great** food (thanks to Michael, who created a fabulous dinner that morning which we only had to heat up), games leading to mad scientists and Jesus in a chicken basket, and a veritable sauna while we tried to sleep.

The next morning we awoke to an incredible sunrise, and leisurely got our things together for the ski out. Michael set up a line and hooked Yugi (one of the other dogs who was along) up for Yugi's first skijoring attempt - what a dog! He had a difficult time at first leaving the giant log he had enjoyed playing fetch with, but once he got going it was a great success!

Thanks to everyone for such a wonderful couple of days! Let's do it again, yeah?!

05 November 2007

my favorite season has arrived!!

hay nieve!!!

winter has arrived! yeah!!!
it snowed awhile ago, and though i don't have too many photos to share as of yet, i wanted to at least put up a little preview of my favorite season. kaya and i have been skijoring (for those of you unfamiliar it involves her in a harness, attached to me on skis!) and it is so.much.fun.!!!!

my thesis is coming along, my new cabin is wonderful! life has been a little up and down, but always always a learning process. it's been a great and interesting (and always so quick) transition season between fall and spring, but it don't fool around up here ... when winter arrives she arrives. no days of spring thaw from now until april/may...

you won't hear any complaints from me!!!

here's kaya at our new home...her spots, both inside and outside.

11 September 2007

nothing startles me beyond the Moment.
The setting sun will always set me to rights
-- or if a Sparrow come before my Window
I take part in its existence
and pick about the Gravel.

*John Keats

Tangle Lakes!

for Labor Day weekend, Seth, Blaine, Katie, John,Kaya, and I went down to Tangle Lakes & the Delta River for a canoe trip! (well, canoe, skanoe, & kayak trip to be correct...)
We put in at mile 22 on the Denali Hwy, in the Tangle Lakes area. After paddling through the lakes you hit the Delta River. Our takeout was at mile 213 on the Richardson Hwy, just under 30 miles away by lake/river.
We were out for three days with beautiful weather, wonderful company and lots of fish to catch and eat.
Katie and Blaine were in John's canoe, while John manned a kayak.

Seth, Kaya, and I were in 'skanoe' borrowed from my friend Dave. Seth was a great skanoe captain, skillfully navigating us through lakes and rapids alike. Kaya was incredibly comfortable in the boat, almost to a fault. To her credit she never jumped ship, even when another dog tried to bite her face...we were there with paddles in hand to defend her. (happily we only saw two other groups of people on our entire trip once we entered the river)

my first fish! Blaine, John, and Katie set me up with a fishing pole and line (i.e. string) and tackle for my birthday...The grayling were plentiful & I felt successful.

Brunch. rum and chocolate. and peanut butter. and cheddar bunnies. and a luna bar. and sausage (for them, not me). and more rum. we ate, and ate a lot, on this trip. It's possible that we were all carrying our own weights in food...with grayling to supplement.

there were so many blueberries, we were in heaven. kaya enjoyed herself in the tundra

the portage was a little bit longer than we had anticipated, but we managed.

at our second camp there was still more fishing to be done. here there was a fish caught that got off the hook and slowly swam over by the boat. blaine, seth, and john tried to catch it with their wit and good looks alone. here is john giving up, leaving the ridiculous task to the other two. (they were ultimately unsuccessful)


intrepid fishermen at work
the last hoorah down some "rapids"
we did actually hit some rapids earlier in the trip. but these were far more manageable.

i got to steer for the final 1/2 mile. well, a little bit. mostly seth just pulled us over the rocks.

Driving home after a fabulous long weekend.

15 August 2007


i made a hammock!
and that seemed worthy of photographing and sharing with folks...
that and a few pictures of the dog.
ahh, summer. (which is quickly quickly coming to a close)

31 July 2007

pictures on flickr

hey ya'll!
i updated my flickr site (finally) with more pictures from the brooks! yeah!! the link is on the sidebar.

i went down to the anderson bluegrass festival last weekend with seth, blaine, katie, john & katie's parents. we had a good (and relatively mellow) time - now it's back in fairbanks to write.my.thesis.!!! though i was quite inspired (yet again) to get rockin' on my guitar...

any suggestions on motivational techniques (for my thesis in particular), please let me know.
other plans:

-guitar playin'
-frisbee tournament/game
-dog park
-making a decision on running another marathon this year
-eating good food

and i just talked with danny last night at troy's birthday par-tay about getting out *hunting* this fall! no shit, i'm going to try and help get me some moose meat. i'm not sure i'm ready to actually kill something, but i'm all about eating it, so we'll see if it pans out. it could be a whole lot of fun...who would have thought?! for now i'd like to just go and help haul stuff...i think i'll let someone else pull the trigger...baby steps, right?

26 July 2007

rugged wilderness is good for my soul.

i just got back from a week-long trip up north to go backpacking in the Brooks Range! jason had a week off from work at Toolik, so i jumped on a bus up there and joined him on a six-day trip into the mountains. into the incredibly rugged, rocky, beautiful and high mountains.

here we are, setting off into the trevor creek valley
this is actually on our last night, Jason cooking dinner up on a ridiculously small saddle that camped on. when i reached the top of it that evening i looked around, slightly incredulously, somewhat wondering where exactly we were going to camp & eat. but indeed it was beautiful. as usual jason had pegged it right on and we were not only okay, but in a fabulous spot.
one of many stream crossings. here i am, with the water just about coming over the top of my gaitors. i did pretty well, but here and in a few other spots i got a bit of overflow into my (phatty new waterproof) boots.

jason on our first night out.
look close and see me. feeling queasy, but keeping on. personal comfort was definitely pushed on this trip...
the scree slope we went down after lunch one day. it looked like it was pretty short, but indeed it was at least a mile long to get to the bottom....

this was the ridge that we camped on for our last night. please note the sloping off on either side...
a porcupine in the roche montenee (spelling?) valley!
the mosquitoes weren't bad at all, however our last stop of the trip proved to have a small swarm in the vicinity that found us pretty quickly...
a view from our last stop, where we ate the rest of our food. from here you can see the adigun river, the haul road, and the pipeline. we hauled ass from here out, and were at the road in ~45 minutes. my voice was nearly hoarse from yelling 'hey bear!' through the willow thickets near the end.

this trip was incredible, and many many many thanks go out to jason for such an awsome opportunity, incredible patience, and a neverending sense of humor and snarkiness that i deeply appreciate.
at some point i'll post up the rest of the pictures on my flickr site (the link is over on the right)