Saturday, March 11, 2017

World Ice Art Championships

The World Ice Art Championships are held here over a four week period every March. The last ice sculpture event we attended had us out in -13*F (-25*C) weather so I wanted to wait until it was warmish before venturing out to see the sculptures. It took a couple of weeks, but thankfully the weather finally complied. It was a beautiful, sunny 17*F (-8*C) today. The sculptures were amazing. The ice was so clear you could see through it. I am in awe of the talent of the ice carvers. I can barely cut meat, let alone carve something out of blocks of ice.






 A tribute to David Bowie




 

Finally, a peacock that won't chase me! 

 If you look closely at this one, you can see the snake's tongue reaching out for the bird.


 Some of the sculptures were dark and terrifying, like this Grim Reaper one. 



My favourite was The Mad Hatter's Tea Party. The detail was so precise, from the teacups to the Cheshire Cat to the mushroom. 








It's not every day you get to put your head inside a hippo's mouth. 





Tuesday, March 7, 2017

2017 Iditarod

The Iditarod normally starts in Anchorage every year, but this year there wasn't enough snow along part of the route from Anchorage to Nome so they moved the official start to Fairbanks. What's that? More sled dogging? Yes please! When we ventured out it was hovering right around -30*F (-34*C). We had discussed going to the actual starting line, but that involved parking and taking a shuttle bus and standing outside for hours in the cold. Ummm...pass. Instead we parked at a church right along the river and about 3 miles down from the starting line. We sat in our car for 2.5 hours, leaving it running to keep us warm. The church was open and provided hot chocolate, cookies, and bathroom facilities, as well as a place to warm up if you didn't want to sit in your car.  At the start time, the temperature had risen to -16*F (-27*C). We headed from the parking lot to the river to watch the teams come by. This was much better than the Yukon Quest because the teams came by minutes apart, rather than hours or days apart. We watched about 1/3 of the teams go by before we decided to call it a day on account of not being able to feel our toes anymore.

*Warning: picture overload*


video













The straw is for the dogs to bed down on. 























Pink booties! 

There was a group of young kids, probably a daycare or preschool, cheering the teams on. Their teachers set up these signs. Every time a team went by the kids chanted "Go dogs go!"