Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Living the Fairbanks Life
I am in Fairbanks now working for Northern Land Use Research until September 10. I haven’t been to Fairbanks in two years so I was definitely ready for a visit. When I’m here I always feel a little bit torn. I love Seattle, but when I’m in Fairbanks I feel like I belong here too. I love the pleasant summer weather, the birch trees, and the friendly people. I have been lucky enough to have some very generous friends too. This work stint would not have been possible without a place to live and a vehicle. My very good friend Natasha (a fellow UW student) who is working in Fairbanks for the summer, rented a 10 x 18 ft cabin with no running water, and is willing to share it with me for two weeks! Sharing the teeny little cabin with an outhouse is an experience to be sure. The middle photo is of Natasha in our cabin. We have to fold the chairs up at night so that there is room to roll out my bed. It has a kitchen too and there is actually a shower – but we are too lazy to haul water for the shower. It’s just easier to shower in town. Sleeping on a linoleum floor is not the most comfortable arrangement, but it is cheap, temporary, and it makes a good Fairbanks story!
One of my co-workers also very generously loaned me a car. Unfortunately when I got into Fairbanks on Sunday, the battery was completely dead. You’d be surprised how many people in Fairbanks do not have jumper cables in their cars! Luckily Natasha was with a friend who had a car and he gave us a ride to the cabin. Natasha, however, doesn’t have a car, she bikes to work. So there the two of us were, 4 1/2 miles from town with only one bike for transportation. Later on Sunday night I rode Natasha’s bike into town, met up with another group of archaeologists – one of which had a car and jumper cables and got my borrowed car started. The car also has a bit of a problem getting stuck in “park” when it’s hot outside – usually not a problem in Alaska, but I left in parked in the sun for too long. There is a bit of a trick to getting it out of park, let’s just hope it keeps working! It’s hard to complain about a free car though – just another good Fairbanks experience.