Monday, August 11, 2008

Fond (and freezing) memories

With the Mel-o-Sphere being its usual event-free self, nothing happing worth mentioning and no particular bee buzzing in my bonnet today ... pictures, as promised. Alaska in the wintertime, counterpointing the summertime photos I put up a while ago, and the summer/winter shots of downunder.

The view from Rabbit Creek ... "Sleeping Lady," or Susitna, on the horizon. Rabbit Creek is a very upmarket subdivision on the hill right above Potter Marsh, ten minutes or so outside of Anchorage. It's an interesting drive, getting up and own there, on ice. This was a glorious blue-sky day, and cold like you wouldn't believe. I think this is 1999.
Here is a beautiful view looking northeast over the White Mountains, outside Fairbanks. White Mountains ... sounds (and looks) like something right out of Tolkien. Another glorious, COLD day, where the air was so clear, it was like champagne. This was also 1999 ... before the advent of digital cameras. I was using a couple of Pentax K-1000s at the time, and strictly rationing the shoot. Optical photography was getting expensive, and in those days you set the shot up with some serious thought and took about one shot in 10 a many as you'd take right now. Today? If I were in Alaska now, I'd be doing several gigs a day.
Through the windscreen, on the road, heading back into Anchorage ... just short of the Knick River Arm, I think ... but I could be dead wrong: it's been 10 years, and my notes are packed, along with two thirds of my library (and 100% of my slides. All my best work is on slides ... and I haven't seen them for four years or more. I need to scan them off ... but first I have to FIND them).
The frozen river, as it wanders through the heart of downtown Fairbanks. This would be February or March. You can drive on the river; they hold dog mushing races on it. And yes, I have tramped about on it. I have stacks of photos of Fairbanks in the snow ... where the heck are they?! Hunting out these pictures, I only just realized I seem to have misplaced a lot. (Shot term memory is always the first to go...)
A roadside scene somewhere in the regions of Trapper Creek. The giant Princess Hotel is not too far away ... I didn't stay there; was only passing through at the time. The hotel was also new enough in those days that you could still smell the paint and wood stain! It's a tourist stopover. I wasn't a tourist that time ... with luck, I will be next time. Who the hell wants to be in such a glorious place, and have to work?? There are numerous hotels I'd like to stay at along the way ... and I have to say, Anchorage has some of the best restaurants. There's one called the Sourdough Mining Company, which is decorated throughout to look like a Gold Rush era mine. (In real US fashion, they serve eight times more food than any normal person can eat ... but you give it a shot anyway!)
One of my favorite pictures ... the courting swans ... ice sculpture, at the World Ice Art Championships in 1999. And now I really need to find my boxes of slides, because I shot the whole show after dark, when they were lit in with colored lights. The slides are astonishing. When they show up, I'll be scanning them, and will upload some. Thank gods I shot a lot of prints too.

No news and views today ... I'm blank. But if a picture is worth a thousand words, I just gabbed for long enough to suffice.

Ciao for now,

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