Tag Archives: Weather

Ahhh… Spring…

That expression means several different things right now depending where you put the exclamation point.  We are grateful that winter is loosening it’s grip on Alaska, the rivers have broke up smoothly this year. Although it was a mild winter it is nice to see the sun and feel the warmth that it brings.  The expression is also said in a slightly panicked tone too because summer is coming!  Ahh! Spring or Ahh Spring! have completely different meanings.

Recently I was able to help a church in Fairbanks go visit three sister churches in western Alaska.  It was a great week.  Two of the villages are desperately wanting more access to church services.  One village hasn’t had an active church in over 15 years and the other is still reeling from a bad split but it seems everyone is wanting reconciliation.  It is so neat to be able to help the body of Christ with logistics and other needs.

I (Adam) rolled into Nenana 19 years ago this May and every season someone says “this weather is not normal.”  At some point the abnormal weather must become the “new normal.”  What this meant for this year was that we were unable to fly out and have our traditional Easter weekend with friends living in “the bush.”  The weather had been too warm and the ice conditions too risky for flying Easter weekend. Thankfully I was able to get out the days and weeks before and spend some time with folks individually.

The Hangar Project is officially underway!  This is where the slightly panicked tone of “Ahh, Spring!” comes in.  It is hard not to panic when you look at the calendar and see how short of a building season we have.  I am still working with the State Fire Marshal on building safety concerns.  The current plan is to build a completely detached “boiler house” to keep the sources of ignition out of the hangar.  This change has simplified a lot of the issues raised but has added complexity and cost to the project.  On a more positive note, we were able to find a great source of “repurposed” foam board for the foundation that is saving several thousands of dollars.  That savings will more than likely be absorbed in the concrete cost.  I had hoped to work with contractors that are on a local bridge project to get a good deal but they ran into a few snags.  As a result we will need to pay a fuel surcharge to have it brought down from Fairbanks.

We are looking forward to seeing some old college friends this summer as they come up to help for a week.  Others have expressed and interest in coming up to help but so far haven’t committed.  There have been several folks here in Alaska that have offered to help, keep an eye on our Facebook page for details of when I could use you.

I will try to keep the pictures coming and keep an eye on the Hangar Page for the progress.

OK, I’ll Admit It’s A Little Chilly

So my plans to work outside today and make progress on the new addition are on hold. It’s -47 outside right now so I’m going to try and get caught up on the mountain of things stacked on my desk.

As we started the addition this summer I had to remove one of our heaters. The addition has not progressed to the stage where I can install it in its new location. So as a result we have one undersized heater for the house, trying its best to keep it 120 degrees warmer than the outside. I must say I’m impressed, it’s holding its own if only with the thinest of margins. It does concern me though that we have no back-up or second heat source other than electric heaters. Heat in an Alaskan winter is not a luxury it is a critical life support system! In aviation we have a phrase that applies here too. “One is none and two is one.” One heater is none if there is a failure, two heaters gives a little safety net. Right now our safety net is electric heat but in a power outage we would be sunk until I could get our generator warmed up enough to run. Call me paranoid or weird; but with all my training as a Pilot, EMT and Firefighter I think about this stuff a lot especially with a wife and three little girls to protect and keep warm.

With the colder weather Lyndy is having to make adjustments to her routine to feed us. Propane won’t boil below -43 so the cook stove is hard to use right now. Time to use the Crockpot! Now I have to concentrate on paper work while the house smells like a gourmet restaurant with the moose stew simmering away downstairs.

Ice Classic

This is a live view of the Tanana River here in Nenana.  The structure on the ice is how we know when spring is here, it has to move downriver 100′ for it to be official.  For more information on the tripod and the ice going out go to the Nenana Ice Classic’s website.

To view the image in a new window click here.  Want to see archived images and time lapse?  Go to Weather Underground’s webcam page.