Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sliding Yesterday


Yesterday Uyaana and I took the dogs out for a run out behind town.

As you can see the weather was starting to close in.

It was about 20 degrees ABOVE zero so it was actually pretty warm out. The wind was blowing at about 25 mph.

Uyaana and the dogs had a great time sliding down the hill and then running back up for about an hour.

Here is Mike Williams Jr. getting ready to take his dogs for a training run today. Mike is the son of Iditarod musher Mike Williams Sr. This will be Mike Jr's first Kobuk 440.

Tonight's sunset. This was taken at 9:14pm. Today sunset was at 9:44pm. Cuvil twilight, the time after sunset when twilight is gone and it is dark was at 10:40pm.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Busy Busy

Sorry I haven't been around much. It was a busy weekend and I didn't have a chance to take any pictures of anything interesting. This weekend is going to be kind of crazy. Between work, class, and getting ready for the Kobuk 440 I am going to be lucky to get any photos or posts in. I will try to get something in each day. It may not be my own stuff. Might be a link to something interesting to keep you occupied.

This weekend will be be very busy starting on Thursday with the start of the Kobuk 440 sled dog race. We have been having some trouble with logistics as the volcano has not been cooperating. People are still trying to get here with all their dogs and stuff. So far this is who we have that are HERE and ready to go...
-Chuck Schaeffer, Kotzebue/Ivik
-Ed Iten Kotzebue/Fish Creek
-Another Ed Iten team
-John Baker, Kotzebue
-Heath Coro, Kotzebue
-Mike Williams Jr., Akiak
-Dempsey Woods, Nome
-Pete Kaiser, Bethel
-Jerry Riley, Nenana
We have approximately 7 "maybes" still trying to get here.

On Friday will be the start of the Arctic Circle Championship dog races. These are sprint dogs. And on Saturday will be the Archie Ferguson Willie Goodwin Memorial Snowmachine Race. So there will be lots of photos of lots of different things starting on Thursday, so be patient and bear with me until then.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fishin' Fever

Sorry it's been so quite here. Friday was really busy with work and class and FISHING! No time to post I have been busy today with a couple mushers who have arrived for the Kobuk 440. We are having some major issues with mushers trying to get here but they can't because so many of ou flights have been canceled out of Anchorage due to Mt. Redoubt ash.

Sheefish season is now in full swing.

Friday after work we went out fishing. We caught 26 in less than two hours.

Here is Uyaana's first sheefish of the season. It was at least 30lbs and he pulled it out of the hole himself.

When he got tired of fishing he had fun playing with his cousin, Kaisa.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dog Fight


The weather has been so nice the past few days.

The dogs have been happy because they have been able to go run around out behind town.

They can run for miles.

Kaija loves to roll in the snow....

...but of course Rush always has to butt in and cause problems.

See what I mean.

Kind of like an annoying little brother.

So then of course Kaija feels the need to put him in his place.

But Rush is so dumb. He thinks she wants to play.

So Kaija opens a can of whoop ass on him......


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Super Duper Smarty Boy


Here is my smarty boy.

This quarter Uyaana made Superintendent's List for getting straight A's. Look out Harvard.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Because it's Ukiuq and it's Cold Outside


Anyone remember this? It was filmed in Noatak, Alaska for Sesame Street in the 1980's


Thanks to Maija for finding the video.


Monday, March 23, 2009

2009 Kobuk 440 Info

Race Date: April 2, 2009

Start Time: 4:40pm

Entry Fee: $440 plus $100 dog drop fee

Bag Drop deadline: All bags must be received at FBX building at the Kotzebue airport no later than 5pm on Monday, March 30th 2009

Prize Money

1st place $15,000.00
2nd place $8,250.00
3rd place $7,700.00
4th place $6,600.00
5th place $4,950.00
6th place $4,400.00
7th place $3,850.00
8th place $3,300.00
9th place $2,750.00
10th place $2,200.00
11th place $2000.00
12th place $1700.00
13th place $1300.00

For more information go to http://kobuk440.org
or email aqvaluq@hotmail.com

Two Year Blogiversary!

Today is the two year anniversary of this blog. Those of you who know me well know what an amazing feat that is for me. I'm not usually long on attention span. This blog started out as a way for me to post pictures every now and then for family and friends who live far away. At first I posted intermittently. Sometimes going weeks or months without posting. Then for some reason, in the summer of 2007 I started posting more often. Readers started trickling in. I remember being amazed that I had 20 people a day look at the blog. It was at that time that I started feeling like I had a responsibility to my readers. If there wasn't at least something new to look at I would feel bad.

Here we are, two years later and I get over 300 hits a day! Who would have thought that my simple life here in the arctic would ever be so interesting to people? I am glad that people enjoy reading and I am happy to have the chance to share this land and the people of this region that I love. It's great to hear from people through comments and email too. I have had the opportunity to meet lots of interesting people through this blog and really I think that is the best part.

So, in celebration of the two year blogiversary of Keeping it Real at 66 Degrees North Latitude I want to HEAR FROM YOU!! The regulars, the lurkers, the newbies, the passersby.....leave a comment, say hello. Don't be shy...afterall you are all the reason that I do this. How did you find us? Where are you from? And be sure to take my "What's Your Alaska Status" poll on the sidebar at the right.

Thanks again to everyone for being a part of my life because really, you all are. This blog has become a integral part of my daily existence and I feel that it has enriched it in a positive way.



Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 3- Doc Harris and Dan Snyder Sr Memorial Combo


Aww look.....

...isn't she cute.

Virgil, the official time keeper.

Tose guys man the turn. They make sure all the mushers make a right hand turn here. When all the mushers have gone through they pull up the willow barrier blocking the other trail becasue thet is the way the teams will head back to the finish.

Buddo's dog is wondering what the hold up is.

Uyaana's uncle Chuck helps Buddo hold his team before the start.

Everybody is bouncing...

...and leaping.....

...and jumping.

It takes two guys to hold the sled back just before the start.

As you can see today the dogs were marked with green paint and Chuck's leaders already had it all over their face.

Buddoo 1st.

Paul 2nd.

Luke 3rd.

Cyrus 4th.

Chuck 5th.

Final times.


Bandwidth Exceeded

Well, it seems that for the first time ever I have exceeded my bandwidth with Photobucket. I have been using them to host my photos since I started this blog and haven't had any problems with it until now.

I was unaware that the free account with Photobucket has a monthly allotment of bandwidth. It had never been an issue, but in the last two months I have seen my daily blog traffic triple, so i guess that's what caused it. I had to pony up the $40 bucks for Photobucket Pro. Problem solved.

To those of you who noticed the problem thanks for the heads up. Chances are I wouldn't have noticed until way later today.

Now back to regularly scheduled programming.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 2- Doc Harris and Dan Snyder Sr Memorial Combo

Today was the second heat of the combined Dan Snyder Senior/Doc Harris Memorial race held by the Kotzeue Dog Musher's Association.

The race was postponed for two hours, until 2pm, due to weather. KDMA has a cut off temp of -25 for racing. They won't race if it is any colder than that. The windchill was -35F. By 2pm it had warmed up a bit and the race was on. In some of the later photos you are going to see red on some of the dogs. It looks like blood, but it isn't. It's paint. Each dog in a team is marked on the shoulder with paint before each race. Yesterday's color was green. Today was red. Tomorrow will be some other color. Mushers can drop a dog out of their team, but they cannot exchange it for a new dog and the paint is a way to prove that these are all the original dogs each day. With all the hopping and jumping and barking the dogs have a tendency to smear the paint all over each others faces and bodies.

This is one of Buddoo's lead dogs.

Another one of Buddoo's dogs. I think he has some of the handsomest dogs.

Especially Mr. Photogenic here.

One of Paul's dogs napping in the sun waiting his turn to be hooked to the sled.

Paul's dogs wondering what the heck I'm doing standing behind them making kissy noises.

Little girls and their pretty parkies.

Here's somebody taking off. The mushers took off in the order that they placed yesterday.

Yoi, here's some handsome fellas.

Watching to see if the mushers are coming in for the finish yet.

First place was Buddoo Gallahorn.

Second place Paul Hansen.

Third place Luke Sampson.

Fourth place Cyrus Harris.

5th place Chuck Schaeffer.

Here is the board. The first column after the name is how many dogs they were running. The column marked day 1 day 2 shows the times for each day and then shows the two times added together. Whoever has the best time over all three days wins.