Mission

MISSION:
To spend quality time in at least one area of every state. Quality time means exploring the area; rest stops, gas stations, airports or train stations do not count. The goal is to explore the natural and cultural environments of these regions. Each location visited has a story, pictures for my amateur hobby addiction, and maybe a piece of jewelry/art.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fairbanks and the Circle

I finally made it past Denali... in fact, I did not even stop.  The plane flew over, giving me fantastic views of Mt McKinley.  Sometimes I have to admit that work travel can spoil me.  I have been fortunate enough to travel to Alaska a handful of times.  This trip was special (and more than made up for the pain of the last excursion).


This was my first trip to Fairbanks.  For some reason, I have wanted to see it.  I know, I know - WHY?  I have been warned... it was small, it was nothing exciting... it was skippable... but if it was the 2nd biggest city in Alaska, I wanted to compare.  I wanted to see the sights,  I wanted to use it as a point to visit some of the northern sites.

My journey started months in advance... I contacted a few tour operators for guidance and reservations.  Since this is a about as north as you go on the paved roads, I was interested in what the tours offered.  I also talked with a new colleague that had lived up north to get some recommendations.

Unfortunately, over those some months (and until the day before the trip), I learned that nothing was open... I was coming too early.  The cheesy tourist activities closed... the tours, both bus and flights not running yet... UGH!

Yet, Alaska luck was on my side... while at work, after animated stories of my failed tour contacts, a "new" friend offered to act as my tour guide.  In fact, several people offered to hang out and show me around.  Maybe there was and advantage to being a new face in a community just coming out of the winter freeze!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Still working on my Alaska Stuff

So - I had over 1000 pics to sort through and I really only did a few things up there.  I am still sorting through the different views.  Already there are a few that I love, and I have plenty of stories to share.  I promise to get that up soon.  Until then, I am adding a link (on the right side of the page) with a link to the pictures I have pulled from the masses.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Up the Dalton Highway to the Arctic Circle

I will write the how story soon, but I had to let it be known that I had a blast in Fairbanks Alaska.  I know that it is not much to look at, there is not much to do, it has lots of foul weather (home of the 40-50 below)  and the downtown is (in short) pathetic.  BUT - I got lucky, the weather kicked into gear when I was there.  I met some really nice people and was "shown the town". 

The highlight of the trip was my version of Ice Road Truckers, Spring Edition.  With a new friend, I traveled up the Dalton Highway past the official Arctic Cicle line.  Honestly, it did not look like anything I was expecting.  With the Black Spruce and Aspen trees, the fire damage and the wildlife, it had lots in common the with the upper Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

I have lots of stories and pictures to share... stay tuned for typical Janine travel craziness. 

I just could not wait to get that off my chest!!!