Husky House

Posts Tagged ‘Creamer’s Field’

Happy Place

After getting caught in rain showers and hail while running at UAF yesterday, I went to Creamer’s Field to watch the migratory waterfowl.  In the spring, this is my happy place, as I am elated to see the spring migration unfold.  I love listening to the cacophonous sounds overhead as the geese, sandhill cranes, swans, etc fly over our house.  A couple Trumpeter swans landed while I was there, but they were too far away to photograph.  Although the fall migration is by far the more aesthetically pleasing of the migrations, I am not happy to see the fowl depart as it signals the coming of winter.

Canada geese in the front viewing field at Creamer's

This Sandhill crane was really strutting his stuff; I only say four of them, and they flew off shortly after I took these photos

This silly guy was really trying to impress his mate, when he jumped, he went so high he jumped right out of the frame

These two white fronted geese were the only two I saw at Creamer's Field

They’re Baaack!

Although the official sighting of the first five geese at Creamer’s Field was on April 7, I just made it over today to take some photos.  It is so good to see them again!

Coming in for a landing at Creamer's Field, looking forward to some great Fairbanks hospitality

Geese on a stopover at Creamer's Field before heading north to their breeding grounds

A happy couple resting before flying off to marital bliss

Open North American Sprint Races

On Sunday I went to the third and final day of the sprint races, first at the starting line downtown and then at Creamer’s Field to watch the teams as they exit the trails and head back to town.  The weather was perfect for viewing, and I basked in the sun as I waited for the first team to emerge from the woods.  This is a great race for spectators as there are many good viewing points and it is over in one to two hours.   You can read  more about the race here.

Mushers prepare for the start of the Open North American on Second Street in downtown Fairbanks

Is it race time yet?

The fur auction on Second Street is part of the weekend festivities for the ONA

A musher leaves the starting line of the ONA in downtown Fairbanks

A musher leaves the woods at Creamer's Field headed for the downtown finish of the ONA

March Madness Alaska Style

There is more than one kind of March Madness, and the one I am talking about is not at all associated with college hoops, rather the wonderful March weather and our  mad attempt to cram in all sorts of outdoor activities in the snow.  Sure you can do these activities all winter, but not under the brilliant sunshine and relative warmth and comfort of March.  Snowmachining: perfect.  Skiing: perfect.  Skijoring: perfect. Running: perfect.  As I grow somewhat wiser with age, or perhaps just lackadaisical, I am becoming a fair weather person.  For a long time I would run despite the winter weather; 40, 50, 60 below, bring it on, it was a challenge I relished, and there was plenty of it during our days at Eielson AFB.  Twenty years later, 20 below is my cut-off for daily running, but I will run every other day, no matter what, for the welfare of the boys (as well as our sanity), they must get out.  I am not so foolhardy as to believe that winter is over, but I am enjoying every day while this wonderful weather lasts. So when March arrives, and the severest weather is behind us for another season, we rejoice with jubilant madness and play!

Some major March events around Fairbanks include the Limited and Open North American Sleddog Races, the World Ice Art Championships and Nenana Days, when the ice classic tripod is planted in the ice on the Tanana River.

On Sunday we rode our snowmachines down the Tanana River and into the Rosie Creek area.  It was lots of fun and we found a powder meadow to play in with Bill’s Crossfire 800.  The Crossfire is so powerful it virtually floats on powder with very little effort, easily conquering terrain where I wouldn’t venture with my Arctic Cat 500.

Bill enjoying a powder meadow on his Arctic Cat Crossfire 800

Monday Bill and I skied at Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, and the trails were groomed to perfection.  Speaking of Creamer’s Field, in another month the first migratory Canada goose will touch down, signifying (hopefully) the end of another long winter.

Bill enjoying a March ski at Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge

I'm pretty sure I did that move (on the lower sign) when I was skijoring with Pelly and ET at North Star Golf Course yesterday

The next couple days were reserved for quality time with the boys, and on Tuesday we took them running at the University.  On Wednesday we skijored with them at North Star Golf Course and today we ran with them at home.  The skijoring was phenomenal, the boys amazing.  I never know what to expect when I hook up the boys and get behind them on my skis.  I had Pelly and ET; Pelly (like Clem) is a workhorse and ET is a slacker, often affectionately called lazybones.  Bill had Clem and Dawson.  To say the boys were ready to roll is an understatement.  It was all we could do to hold them back while we got into our skis, which took much longer than it should have because of this multitasking.  Since the golf course is primarily used by the Alaska Skijor and Pulk Association , the overabundance of scents drove the boys crazy, hyping them more than they already were.  Clem and Dawson claimed the first victory, dragging Bill full speed across the parking lot and launching him into the first bush at the trailhead.  At this point, I could no longer hold back my duo and off we went full speed down the trail.  While they respond well to Gee and Haw (right and left), “Whoa” is often not an option.  I can honestly say I have never skied this fast, and I have never seen ET run with such gusto.  It was a “kill mommy”  moment, but an absolutely beautiful site.  About three quarters of a mile down the trail, still going warp speed, Pelly stopped on a dime to “answer the call” and there was no way I could stop, so over the top I went, landing with a thud (see the sign above).  Eventually, after we each collected ourselves, Bill and I joined up on the trail.  We had a great time, and I can’t wait to do it again, hopefully minus the thud.

There are more photos in my Winter 2010-2011 album in my gallery.

Both Creamer’s Field and North Star Golf Course are meticulously groomed by volunteers from the Alaska Skijor and Pulk Association.

Skiing at Last!

Today I finally rounded up all my gear (really had to hunt for the boots) and went skiing at Creamer’s Field solo, just me, no boys.  I always need at least one solo outing before hooking up the boys.  I decided to use Bill’s skate skis instead of mine, since his had not been used since they were waxed several years ago and mine are in dire need of waxing.  We have about 4 inches of new powder on the trails on top of crud from the warm weather earlier in the week.  I was excited to be out and ready to skate!   However, my first few attempts at gliding told me this was going to be a workout, the skis had NO glide.  About half way around the front field I saw a skier and a skijorer going the opposite direction on a parallel trail in the woods and decided to follow in their tracks.  It was so much easier than breaking trail, and I think I had finally abraded  enough of the accumulated grime from the skis that I started to get some glide and even  managed to skate a bit, not pretty, but functional.  All the skis are  in the back of the Jeep to take to get cleaned and waxed before my next go.   Despite that, I had a great time, thoroughly enjoyed the solitude and beauty of winter and can’t wait to ski again.

ET update:   ET is much better, the Rimadyl and antibiotics are doing their job on his broken toenail and he is no longer limping. He was prancing with his tail high on his walk this morning  and playing with the other boys.  It’s so good to see him back to normal.

Skijor signs at Creamer's Field

Trail through the woods at Creamer's Field

Snow covered bridge at Creamer's Field