Sunday, January 27, 2008


When we were moving to Utah in 2006, I would ask people to guess where we were moving. They either said Utah or Alaska. So how fitting is it that I got to travel to Alaska this week for a business trip?

I flew through Seattle to Fairbanks, Alaska. Fairbanks, for those who don'e know, is way inland. It's a small town of 90,000 people that's a three hour and twenty minute flight from Juneau, the state capital. It's WAY in there.

I had been looking up the temperatures in the days preceding the trip to see what I was in for. It had been ten or fifteen degrees earlier in the week but was going to dip to SIXTEEN BELOW for the two days I was there. I could not wait.

I arrived in pitch darkness at 6:15pm and took a taxi to the hotel. I had meetings on Friday with a bunch of people and so I went to bed early. Friday turned out to be one of the most memorable days I've had in a long, long time.

I was there with three other people. One women is from Orange County, CA and the other two are from Washington D.C. The four of us stuck together most of the day. Anyway, at some point early on, the woman from Orange County struck up a conversation with some man she had met there. We were going to have the entire afternoon free and she wound up actually asking this man if he would show us around. To make a long story short, this amazing man took us in his pickup truck with minus-ten degree temperatures and drove us on a two and a half hour tour of Fairbanks. What a guy!! I'll give him props. Click here to see him. It turns out he is a state representative and never told us! I just Googled him when I got home. What a nice man. He showed us the Alaskan pipeline, took us to the town of North Pole and showed us some cool air force bases there. We were just a 45 minute plane ride from Russia, so naturally there are large bases and a large military population there.

We went to an amazing dinner that night and when we left the restaurant, it was twenty-four degrees below zero outside. To describe when that felt like would do it a disservice. My pants (I was wearing khakis) immediately stiffened up and the wind literelly pecked at my face. Breathing was difficult and I started to suffer brain freeze after about sixty seconds. I felt like pounding my head against the side of the car to rattle my head a little bit. It was certainly a strange feeling, to say the least.

In Fairbanks, your car needs to be equipped with a special electric plug to the battery and oil pan. In sub-zero temperatures, you plug your car in to a standard outlet at night so the oil pan stays warm. When you go to start your car in the morning, the warm oil coats the pistons and helps get your car going. Failure to do this, or have a heated garage, will keep your car from starting until it gets warm again. Not good!

You can see some pictures and videos, as usual, right here. I hope to go back again the summer. The summertime brings 21 hours of sunlight per day and an average temperature of 70 degrees. Now, it gets light around 10:30 and then gets dark again around 4:30. They say it's going down to fifty below this weekend!!


Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Broth-r! Cool photos and vid-gee-ohs too!

vincedelgato said...

Jordy! this b john :-) i'm trying to figur out how to make a blog