Alaska – 09-08-2012 – Alaskan Thoughts

Spent yesterday in Fairbanks, AK waiting on my flight/trip to the arctic circle.  I had called in the morning to check that everything was set.  They warned me on the phone that weather was not nice up at the arctic circle and they would call me if they were going to cancel the flight.  Sadly, by 4 that afternoon they called and cancelled my trip.  I also found out that the Aurora activity was low for the day into the evening so the chances were going to be slim to see it anyway.

Life is about how we react and not how we plan.  Strange to hear that coming from me who pre plans everything as part of my job and life.  that control freak part of my nature but when something goes wrong it is about having other strategies in place to deal with the risks and enjoy the moment not the frustration.

So, when the world throws a storm in the way, I decided to make snow-cones out of it.

I decided to see what Fairbanks had to offer.  The kind man who drove me to the airport to pick up my car was passionate about the Aurora and shared with me the Room of Listening at the University of Alaska.  A white room with a white screen with ambient colors displayed on it.  However, as you sit in the room, sounds surround you.  The music of the world dynamically created by the natural conditions of the world.  Incoming data from geological sensors, satellites and microphones.  the data is interpreted and presented as the sounds in the room.  The static energy sound of the sun, the rumblings of the earth constantly shifting and the jewel like tones of the Aurora.  I could have spent a lifetime in the Room of Listening and living through sound rather than vision.  An experience of a lifetime that made the trip to Fairbanks worth it, rather than a waste of a day.

Earlier in the day, I had visited the North Pole, AK and the trip should be considered a ‘don’t bother’ unless you have kids.

Food wise The Cookie Jar restaurant, a Guy Fieri Triple D restaurant, was good but nothing to write home about.  However, The Silver Creek Gulch Brewery was amazing food and great service and I tried buffalo for the first time which was delicious.

So Anchorage and Fairbanks have been completed and my impressions are about towns that have endured through hardships of weather and time.  Where the mining towns in the west have a romanticism about them, these Alaskan towns are more stoic and surviving.