Tag Archives: Northern Lights

Our Adventures in the Arctic Circle

12 Oct

Well, you may know that Captain J and I recently made the long drive to the Arctic Circle for some caribou hunting. I’m here to tell you that I survived despite the much colder conditions than what we expected (and despite my really negative attitude towards this trip!). When Captain J approached me about this trip, I thought- “Yeah, I could use a girl’s weekend! The lovely and brilliant, Sarah, will have recently said goodbye to her man so I could probably talk her into hangin’ with me!” Much to my surprise, J wanted me to attend. Really? Me… hunting? I’ve only shot at targets before and they’re never moving targets! I told him there’s no way I was going. A week later, he had some help in talking me into going with him and I caved. I suppose I am happy that he wants me around! Still, I was in a poopy mood on Morning One because we woke up to -15 degrees Fahrenheit and I was pretty sure someone was going to die on this little adventure or at the very least- someone was going to get frost bite. Captain J was trying to cheer me up so he decided to record a vlog for all of you…

As you can plainly see, I wasn’t too thrilled about this 10+ mile hike we were about to undertake. I felt like we weren’t prepared and that can get messy in Alaska. In this climate, you just can’t go somewhere unprepared. I should have trusted the four army guys that I was with. They assess risks and make important decisions almost daily- I guess I can’t argue! We decided to hike up into the Brooks Mountain Range to see if we could find the herd of caribou that was said to have been grazing there. For the first hour or so, there was nothing but white, snow covered mountains as far as the eye could see. Each peak we ascended, another one appeared shortly after.I kept picturing that game on the price is right that shows the man hiking up the mountain to get to the correct price range. That guy made it look so easy! I also kept invisioning someone passing out and finding us all in a survival situation pretty quickly. I do worry too much. The thing that really got me through is thinking about Jesus. You may laugh, but I’m totally serious! I was imagining what it was like for him to carry his own cross that he was to die on while his body physically should have given out. That made me realize that I shouldn’t complain about this lil ole mountain climb!

Anyway, we finally see some movement and notice a smaller portion of the herd close by. Unfortunately, two out of the three rifles that we had had gotten snow and ice inside the barrels so they wouldn’t fire properly (and we risked really damaging the guns). The other gun was not meant for 300 yards out, which is how far away we were. That guy took so many shots that it was comical! The caribou weren’t even phased by that gunfire. The one shot that Captain J took missed (which he blames on the ice built up in his gun). It turns out that the only things we killed were calories.

The hike wasn’t quite as treacherous as I thought it might be. We were hiking up a mountain so the elevation changed quickly. I thought that it would kick my butt because I was hiking with four army guys and one other wife (who is in excellent shape!). I was fine, though. It felt good to get some exercise and fresh air.

My hair was white because it was frozen. My attire was making me actually quite hot because the ensemble was an arctic suit the army issued J when he first arrived here. The only thing that became problematic for all of us was our extremeties-  especially our fingers and toes. After about ten hours outside in this climate, we were all spent. We made it back to our vehicles and hit the road. Hunting just wasn’t our cup of tea in Alaska in October. We defintely should have gone sometime back in August!

Here’s another video from our drive (Isn’t it beautiful?):

The best part of the trip was definitely the views. It always amazes me how quickly the climate and weather patterns change in just the span of a few minutes (or a few miles). We’d be driving along in something like this-

Then we’d drive into this-

The 12 hour drive (each way) was completely gorgeous. We had a lot of downtime where we discussed everything from zombies to religion! Here’s one last video of our group of people in our truck-

On the drive home, we got to see the most distinct and prettiest display of the Northern Lights that I have seen to date.

This adventure should tide me over for awhile. I’m satisfied. I don’t know too many people who camp when it’s below zero 😉

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Rain is a good thing…

18 Jul

It’s been rainy here a lot lately. The forecast isn’t looking very bright either, but that’s okay with me. Yesterday, Captain J and I didn’t let the cold rain stop us from enjoying his time off. We made a trip to the cultural center in town to learn more about the area. Don’t you just love random facts? Here’s two that I found fascinating:

* Ground squirels bury themselves beneath the ground, curl up in a ball, and wait out the winter while their body temperatures drop to the lowest ever recorded in a living animal—> 27 degrees!

*Moose have a filmy, fuzzy layer on their antlers that is discarded and rubbed off during mating season.

Just, FYI….haha

There was also an exhibit portraying what the Northern Lights look like (for those who haven’t seen them, of course). It made me realize how much I’m going to miss Alaska. And dare I say it? I sort of missed winter. The pristine white blankets of snow and the incredible displays of Aurora Borealis make it completely worth spending a year up here. I don’t think I’ve ever posted any Northern Lights photos for you all so I thought I’d share this one that J took right outside our place…

It’s going to be hard to pick up our lives and drive out of this lovely state. I’m sure we’ll be back to visit, though!

Later that day, we made a trip to the book store, yet again. They were having a buy two get one free sale so we definitely had to take them up on that offer. I should be set now. I have several books lined up to read and I’m thoroughly enjoying the one I’m on now. Reviews to come!

Afterwards, we drove back to our little cabin in the woods and listened to the tin roof sing as the rain poured down. It made for the perfect scenario for a movie night with my hubby. It has been a pretty good weekend. I’m going to get off here and enjoy the rest of it…Captain J is leaving me again soon. 😦

Much love,

P.S. Can you picture my dear little nephew singing “Rain is a good thing…”? He’s the cutest. Perhaps I can get my sister to send me a video to share with you all.

Mrs. Frowny Face

25 Jan

<—-Yep, that’s me today. Mrs. Frowny face. You see, it’s 7:40 A.M. and I’m awake with nothing to do. One of my favorite parts of the day is waking up early so that I can make J breakfast and spend that hour in between PT and going to work with him. Unfortunately, after I had already made a breakfast casserole for us, he calls saying he won’t be able to make it in today. Poor Jordan. He works so hard. (I ate without him and I must say, it was pretty tasty!)

The pull pork I made the other day turned out pretty well, too. It was very easy. I just got a packet of dry pull pork mix, then poured apple cider, and catsup together in a bowl and mixed it all up. Then I poured it over the pork in a crock pot and 6-7 hours later…VOILA! Gotta love crock pots.

Despite my frowny face, I’m actually in good spirits today. J and I had a wonderful weekend, although we really didn’t do much. Friday night, we went out to eat at Gallo’s, an excellent Mexican restaurant here in town. It’s nice to have date night with my hubby and still be able to talk nonstop and find out more about each other. I’m so lucky 🙂 As we were walking out the door, a friend stopped me to say hello. That was cool because I feel like I know no one here so it’s nice to be reminded that I have and am making more friends!

On Saturday, we were incredibly lazy for most of the day. I woke up early and prepared sausage, eggs, and buiscuts for us and then after we ate we fell asleep on the couch again. I’m embarrassed to say for how long. When we woke up, we did some furniture shopping and then bought some groceries for game night at a friend’s place. An intense game of Taboo broke out: girls versus guys. The guys always seem to win by a couple points, but this time it was the females who prevailed! Hooray! We then went into town for some bowling action. 2nd place…not too shabby! When we pulled back into the apartment parking lot, we could see the aurora borealis. It appeared as a huge green streak across the sky. It was the best display of the Northern Lights that I’ve seen to date. Hopefully when we move I’ll see it more often as we’ll be further away from the city.

Sunday we woke up and went to church. The original pastor was back from vacation in Hawaii. He was so tan and was freely rubbing it in where he had been all throughout the service. I was trying my darndest to not be jealous during church! Instead I tried to focus on the message he was bringing. I really enjoyed the service; it seemed to be a catalyst, inviting me to read more on the subject. So, I did (See Devotional blog http://kacysbibleblog.wordpress.com ) Anyway, we left church and grabbed two comfy chairs by the fire at Barnes and Noble. This is one of our favorite, cheap activities. We also bought some coffee and a light snack before we snuggled in the big chairs and started reading. My day can pass so quickly doing this.

There was a lot of discussion yesterday when we returned home about our purposes. We’ve been thinking a lot about an organization/missionary type project we want to start in a couple of years. It’s in the very early stages of planning. We are actually still brainstorming, but of course, we want to make sure it’s God’s plan for our lives…not our own. I just would like to ask for your prayers regarding this project. Thanks!

I have a smile on my face now just thinking about yesterday. It was a great day. Later on, Jordan decided to start up his jeep and get it running for the first time this winter so that we could go riding around in it. It’s pretty warm in Fairbanks right now (about 4 degrees!). He had to let it run for a few minutes so I signed on to skype to see if anyone was online. I got to have a skype conversation for about 20 minutes with my dad and family. It was so good to see everyone. Skype= one of the greatest inventions ever.

Partially consumed breakfast treat!