Last night I got back from my sojourn at the Alaskan Anthropology Annual meeting in Fairbanks. It was a small conference, but most of my 'archaeo' friends were there. It was good to hang out with old friends and talk shop.
Everyday I also managed to get away to go for a cross country ski at Birch Hill. I wish I'd taken a picture of where I skiied through the birches - hundreds of vertical tree trunks and shadows on the snow. As I skiied along the shadows and trunks would shift. The 'White Bear' loop in the sunlight with fresh snow is really one of my all time favorite ski trails.
One of the conference highlights was a guided visit to the Museum of the North ornithology collections. Jack W who accompanied Catherine, Sam and I to Chirikof Island last summer showed us the lab and collections. I particularly liked seeing some of the very birds he collected during our Chirikof trip last summer. Bob K came along for the visit too, and as a 'fauna' guy I think he liked perusing the collections too. He certainly took a lot of photos with his iphone!
I was surprised how cold it got at night. I left the rental car extension cord at the airport by accident and so I could not plug my car in at night and keep the battery warm. Every morning there was a bit of drama when I tried to start the car. Would the battery turn over? The last morning the car thermometer read negative 18 degrees Fahrenheit and it went, 'wughhh wughhhh' twice before it barely caught and started up.
But despite the cold night time temps it warmed up everyday into the teens. Beautiful weather. Fairbanks is a great place to visit in March. It's an even better place to visit when all your friends are there. Patrick
|Bob, Sam and Catherine at a corroding ice sculpture in front of the Museum of the North|
|The car thermometer on the second morning of my visit - will the car start?|
|Jack did not collect these 2 birds and explained that new permits were required on a regular basis just to keep them in the collections|
|Catherine and BIRD bones|