It was a bit cold today (-24, I think, though I assume that includes some wind chill). So, I decided to do the old boiling water thing. Anyway, wait for it…
I have papers to grade. So, I guess summer is really over.
I was planning to take it easy this summer, but it didn’t exactly work out that way. A move across town took up a lot more time than Moni and I expected. Our trip to Valdez is still the highlight of the season for me, but I also made it down to Montana on a work-related trip and down again to Fairbanks to help put on the Motif Film Festival. When I wasn’t traveling or taking boxes upstairs, I was busy working on class materials and whatnot. Suffice to say, it was an interesting summer.
One of the most interesting things about this particular summer is just how long the sea ice seemed to remain intact, and how long much of it stuck around shore. It seems like this last winter got started late (snow didn’t start sticking here in Barrow until well into October), so I suppose it’s fitting in some sense that the remnants of that winter would linger a bit. It certainly made for some beautiful views. Few sites compare to the midnight sun shining down on an entire ocean served on the rocks, so to speak.
Yeah, people do swim in this stuff, usually just for a minute or two, just long enough to say they did it.
Other people do this.
(Click to embiggen.)
An ice bow, some sea ice, and an annoying little blue dot.
Sorry, for the poor quality of this video, and in particular for my very shaky hand.
So, I’ve been back in the arctic for a little over a week, and the fog has only just given me a chance to get out with my new camera. I took a walk yesterday, mostly around the perimeter of town, and yes water and pretty stuff seems to have held my attention for most of the day. The place looks pretty much the way I left it which isn’t exactly surprising. Let’s just say that with the onset of drilling in the North Slope there was some cause for doubt.
The housing situation in Barrow is never all that good, but with Shell on its way, several of my colleagues and students were struggling to find a place as landlords held out in hopes of windfall rent profits. But it was never clear that Barrow was going to get a large influx of workers, and Shell has scaled back its plans for this year. So, things seem to be easing up a bit, a little too late for at least one couple.
Sad to see them go.
Most of the migratory waterfowl seem to have left already, but a bird or two remains. Other than that, a few familiar faces are missing and a few new faces have appeared. Barrow remains Barrow, just like paradise.
…only not at all.
(Click to Embiggen)