Saturday, July 7, 2012

This is Where We Live

Melayna arrived in Alaska on her birthday, barely. There was only an hour left of her day to celebrate with her, so we headed to the Chena River in Fairbanks, where the airport is, and enjoyed some Raspberry Delight and the Midnight Sun. This picture was taken between 11:30 and midnight, just to give you an idea of the daylight we enjoy around here.
We spent the next few days showing Melayna how we live here in Delta. This is a pretty good view of our new "cabin." From the outside, the corrugated metal may give it more of a shack feel than a cabin feel, but the wood and angled ceilings inside give it an Alaskan cabin ambiance. We liked that. And we really liked the fact that rent was almost half the cost of our other place, so we moved just a couple weeks before Melayna arrived.
Of course we had to show Melayna our new-found skills of authentic ravioli making.

We enjoyed the gorgeous, drawn-out sunsets just after midnight. Then there's a really light dusk/dawn for a couple hours before the drawn-out sunrise. The light in the summer is just surreal. I'm still not used to it and do a terrible job of getting my kids to bed at any kind of reasonable hour in the summer.

Clearwater Creek is a beautiful spot in Delta, especially when the wild roses are blooming.

Hazel insisted on hiking the path next to the creek herself. It was more of a stroll than a hike, so we went at a toddler's pace.

After a gorgeous sunny day, we headed to Donnelly Dome just south of town for a hike, at which point it began to rain. Gratefully we brought the hiking backpack (and Aaron) along for this hike. When we arrived and weren't sure which dirt turnout was the best for hiking, Melayna accused it of not being a real mountain or a real hike, just because it didn't have signs and official trails and real parking lots. Yeah, this is just a hike for locals, I think, not tourists!

Being novices to this trail, we unknowingly took the more difficult, nearly-straight-up-the-incline path. When wet rocks were sliding beneath our feet, we decided that it was a hike not well-suited to a 3-month-old hanging out on the front, so we sent the little mountain goats ahead and waited. Just after we stopped, the "trail" was even steeper so they wisely chose to return to us.

Nevertheless, we enjoyed a beautiful view and the rain passed and we were all happy hikers. The next evening at baseball practice, which happened to be summer solstice day, we were chatting about Donnelly and how to get to the more family friendly trail when we discovered that the Delta tradition is to hike Donnelly on summer solstice and to get to the top around sunset (at 12:22, I believe). Next year.

Here's our yard, covered in the rare wildflower known as dandelions. Just behind that forested area is a path cleared over the buried Trans-Alaska Pipeline. It's a cool spot and a great place for walks.

The Buffalo Center Drive-In is our only fast food restaurant in town, and it is only open in the summer. Yes, you can eat buffalo there, raised on local buffalo farms. We also have a heard of wild buffalo that roam in our vicinity, I've heard tell, but never seen 'em with my own eyes.

And here's where Aaron has been spending most of his time since moving to Delta.

Xander LOVED playing little league baseball, coach pitch. He is hands down the most enthusiastic kid out there, and it makes him so fun to watch. He is also a really consistent batter, even as one of the youngest on the team. He made us proud!

Our new place is just a couple miles from Quartz Lake, so we headed over for a picnic one evening. We were running a bit late for dinner and didn't even leave the house until 8:30. I tell ya, the midnight sun messes with my mind.

Yes, Xnader is holding a fish head and skeleton, but don't worry, he assured me he wasn't actually toughing it, just the line that was connected to it. Ugh. Dontcha love the kids mud boots? An Alaskan must, I tell ya.

We were moving on Aaron's birthday, so I wasn't able to make his standing birthday request then, especially since we haven't been able to find Gyoza wrappers in Alaska. We had to whip out our pasta cranker and make our own wrappers, adding another step to an already labor-intensive cooking project. With Melayna and Xander to help, we were able to crank out a mean batch of potstickers sometime between sunset and sunrise.

Those are some of our favorite things to do in and around our little town. Wanna come visit?


merathon said...

i have a feeling you will be doing a LOT of blogging the next 3 months while you're here in CO since you can't do it very easily when you are home! fun to see your surroundings, though!

Marc and Miriam Deru said...

How fun! I just keep thinking how great your kids' childhood is shaping up to be-- they will love to look back at these pictures and remember your time here.

Danny,Vycci and Kids said...

It is so fun to look at the pictures. It's even more fun, now that I personally know your brother Milan, and Melayna. I hope you have time to say hi when you are back in Colorado. We miss you all.

Maryann said...

Those are some beautiful pictures! I just love reading up on your family and seeing how you are doing.