Saturday, January 3, 2009

Eyeball Steaming Cold.

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It's a bit chilly out today. Even the dogs don't want to go outside. Yeah I know, it's colder in other parts of Alaska, -39F in Fairbanks, -49F in McGrath, -58F (-58C)in Fort Yukon. I've lived in Alaska for a while now and have experienced many temperatures between 100F and -56F and I can say this....once you hit -31F (-35C) it's all just friggin' cold.

One time I was staying out at camp on the Noatak River. The temp never went above -56 for 3 days or -40 for the next 5 days after that. I was standing outside watching my breath billow out of my mouth. If you breath through your nose at that temp your nostrils will stick together. I held my breath but I could still see steam coming from my face, so I thought that maybe it was coming from my nose. I covered my nose and my mouth but I could still see steam. It was then that I realized it was my eyeballs that were steaming.

9 comments:

Karen Travels said...

Brrr!

I love how the high temperature for today is 5 degrees colder than the low temperature. If I am reading that right.

It was -25 in Anchorage last night...I moved to Anchorage because I heard it was warmer then the interior, but anything under 0 is TOO COLD for this girl, who wants to be outside more!

Okay, I am done whining, it suppose to be 20 by next weekend anyway!! LOL!

Ishmael said...

In high school I was in Kotzebue for a Region 1 Basketball tournament once. We landed in Wein jet during a blizzard with the windchill 103-below. Had to follow a rope from the plane to the terminal. The next day was calm, clear skies and 72-below. So what did we do? Walked from the school apartments down to the Dairy Queen. That was cold, but we really wanted a Dillybar.

Peruby said...

LOL! Steaming eyeballs! Love it.

Buffy said...

Steaming eyeballs! Cool! I'd like to see a photo of THAT...also, I'm in love with your dog Rush.

tundratantrum said...

Youlove him, eh? When I come wisit this summer I'll bring him with me for you with a big bow on his head.

gail said...

Does steaming your eyeballs affect your vision? It is amazing that you had eyeballs left after that long a time in such low temperatures -- of course, I also cannot comprehend how Ish was able to eat a Dillybar in 72-below temps. It seems like it would just stick to the skin of your mouth and throat! No question, you guys are tough.

Anonymous said...

Do you serve as source material for Gary Paulsen's novels? I sat down to do lesson plans tonight, opened up to where we are in Ch 13 of Brian's Winter, and read this: "At first light he got into his clothing and slid the door open and stepped outside. Into a wall of cold. He had read about cold - a teacher had read poems to him about Alaska when he was small -...His breath stopped in his throat. It felt as if the moisture on his eyes would freeze and he did feel the lining of his nose tighten and freeze...and when he took a step forward he felt the air moving against his eyes and he had to blink to keep them from freezing. Thirty, forty, fifty below - he couldn't even guess how cold it was - and he thought,This is how people die, in this cold. They stop, and everything freezes, and they die."

Needless to say, I will be printing off your blog post tomorrow morning to use in class. I'm glad your eyeballs didn't freeze so that you could post this so that I had real-world lesson plan material on a Tuesday morning in January!

CD

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

I always hated it when my eyelashes froze together when I was out bike riding in the cold temps. Ahhhh, memories...

Anon: My wife described it the same way. She said it was like walking into a wall of cold. There's a reason why I'm down here.

Finnskimo, its more than just a name... said...

All I know is that its cold enough for me to still let my stupid dogs inside even after they run away, nulik, nippit and come back all bloody from some fight with a big mean dog. Its gotta be COLD for me to do that!!! Alapaa!