Friday, June 5, 2009

Smoky Pink Afternoon

The Wild Roses are Abloom:

The woods surrounding my place of employment are home to thousands upon thousands of wild roses. As of this morning they in full bloom. I really love their soft pink color and rich aroma. There is something about the wild roses that just shouts summer!!!

Something Burning

There is a wildfire burning nearly North Pole, in a fairly densely populated neighborhood, that is producing enough smoke to settle in the valleys and even up into the White Mountains and my place of employment. The Alaska Dog Mushers Association and Two Rivers Dog Mushers Association's Email lists are buzzing with offers of dog trucks, trailers and tie-out space for mushers in the affected area to use if they must evacuate their kennels. An aerial photo of the blaze can be seen on the Fairbanks Daily News Miner website.

There is nothing new about wildfires in the boreal forests, though. Nearly every published journal originating from the historical North West Company (NWC), Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and New Northwest Company (XY) include comments about wildfires burning through the spruce forests.

I'm sure it's just a coincidence that I'm currently reading the historical journals kept by traders in the North West Company's early 19th century Mackenzie River District - considering that the Fairbanks Daily News Miner today is reporting a huge wildfire burning at the junction of the Liard and Smith's Rivers.

Booked Wisconsin Flight:

As some readers are aware, I've been asked to do a presentation on historical dog mushing practices as the North American Voyageur Council's fall gathering in Wisconsin in November. I booked a mileage flight for that event this morning, and I have to admit it was something of an ordeal. I won't bore you with the details, but will simply state that I am now an official member of the disgruntled American flying public. Between the airline companies nickle and diming us to death and the TSA making travel as inconvenient as possible I've about had my fill of aviation bull manure. Unfortunately, they have us Alaskans by the short hairs. Our choices are to pay the money and endure the inconvenience, or spend a full week driving on the highways. At this point I would almost call the two options 'equal'. At least when I fly out for work-related training someone else is paying for the ticket.

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