Saturday, February 25, 2012

a taste of fur rondy

feeling sleepy after a day of rondy activities!! it's an event that is in it's 77th year apparently. started as a festival that occured when the miners and trappers came to town. as the fur rondy is it's name, there is no shortage of furs. peta people close your ears. every sort of fur is seen out and about in town. i have no fur, except the live ones that wander through my home.
i never seem to have time to stop and watch the blanket toss before. i couldn't get enough of it today. the blanket toss is a native game. a human propelled trampoline. a few of the natives did demo's and then kids lined up to take thier turns. looks like fun. they grabbed spectators to take turns assisting with the blanket. looks like all involved had a blast. just blossom and i ventured out today. rio opted for the couch. it really was perfect actually just dealing with the one dog out there. she got loads of pettings and i suspect several pictures were taken of her as well. last year the wind was howling, today there were a few flurries but quite lovely out for all. so big crowds downtown to partake in all the events. the kids love the fair rides. personally, i've never been too keen on the fair rides. never been too trusting of the old, beat up looking rides. i'm not one for rollar coasters, spinning or twirling. they make for fun photos though.took my camera gear out there and thought i'd play a bit. always my kind of fun.great start to my stay-cation. i even managed a swim tonight. the water in the pool was warm and lovely after a day out in the chill. only did 20 laps as it was my first time in the water since being sick all month.blossom was getting bored out there until she discovered that i had padded my pockets with treats. she could have stayed out for hours as long as she got the steady stream of chicken jerky.hopefully tomorrow a few of us will hike out to my favorite little secret spot in the woods to watch the mushers go by. for 3 days they have sprint races through anchorage. i believe it's 25 mile long loop. the rondy guide says dogs don't like watching the races, but mine actually do. they've watched for at least 3 years now and have always been well behaved. i keep them a good 50 ft off the trail though. when i arrived in town the teams were finished up and heading home for the day. we walked n. bivouac today and just missed them. as frequently happens, i had forgotten to eat in my haste to get out on the trails and get as much in today as possible so i was out there feeling famished. earlier it was blue, blue skies, but by the time i got back to my car the clouds had filled in. i hit subway. it was totally busy there and the one chick that worked there was loud and a bit crazy sounding. it's just sandwich making, no hearts are stopping. oh well. above are blossoms nemesis's. she is scared of these horse and buggies every year. the first year i wasn't expecting it and she almost backed out of her collar. now i have to just wait til the team has moved on then coax her past the area where they were. more blanket tossing. from the madness of downtown during rondy to the solitude of the woods. blossom had fun chasing her tennis ball. we just did a nice loop out there so she'd be exercised. as you can see it was an amazing day initially. driving around i listened to npr. caught a bit of car talk. love that show. those two crack me up. i also heard this bit about the day the oldest tree was cut down. apparently a grad student was doing core samples on these super old trees in nevada to see how old they actually were. the story i heard was that his corer got stuck in this one tree and they all decided to just cut down the tree. when he went to count the rings the total rings came up over 4800. the tree could be almost 5000 years old...and then it was dead. the tree was actually cut down in 1964. the grad student got such grief for cutting down this ancient tree that he eventually changed to a study with no chance of dealing with trees. they said some 30 years later he was being interviewed about his current project which didn't involve trees and the interviewer stunned him by asking if he was the guy who cut down the oldest tree ever known. guess he walked out of the interview. that is horrible sad though that something could live so long and in a matter of a few hours be chopped down without a thought. this particular stand of old trees had been given names. the tree's name was prometheus and the guy who gave it that name was pissed!interesting little tidbit i thought. hard to imagine anything living that long!a few other dogs besides blossom downtown, there always are. blossom was of course the cutest and most well behaved...hehe!!after i satiated myself at subway i headed over to hilltop, a local ski spot in the middle of town kinda. seems a place for snowboarders and it also has these two ski jumps. i don't downhill ski really, it's been years since i last attempted it. it was always expensive and i was in a family of 7, besides we chilled at the beach more than the mountains. there is no way i'd jump off these things, but it was cool watching people do it. the parking was a bit tight. i had swung by as there were these great alaskan bed races. i spent more time watching the jumpers though. that would be fun to go back there one day with my zoom and see what fun pictures i could get of that.always looking for new camera adventures. below you will see the ending of the bed race. basically it looked like a team, dressed up (cause in alaska in winter any excuse to dress up seems to please all) they race down the hill on mattresses. not sure how many per team, but those mattresses look pretty packed!they moved the snowball fights, also called yukigassen, over to hilltop so that was going on there as well. this is fairly close to where i live. this park abuts the trails i was on this morning. yukigassen is a product of japan. not too big in this country yet, but fur rondy is now the official host of the US championships. this is year two for it. teams of 7 in a blocked off area throwing snowballs. when i watched last year, the game went pretty fast.the snow sculptures has always been a favorite event of mine. i will have to return when they have them finished. almost all the sculptures were mostly unfinished. by tomorrow they should all be done. some were looking pretty cool. a whale, possibly in honor of the movie that was filmed up here, "big miracle". i still need to get out and see that one. missed a few that came through that i was interested in and i'll have to netflix em later. fun watching everyone work away on their blocks. so far this one is my favorite. i love me some polar bears. the lighting wasn't the best today for photography of snow sculptures on grey sky. may try to return on a day when the skies are more clear or at night when they have them lit up.the first block lets you see how all of them start. same size block for all. 8x8x8ft compressed snow. we have plenty of that this year.kitty cat...looked like a few of the high schools were partaking in this event.the scene at the snow sculptures today.gotta watch your step out there. jsut a few pictures of the rides out there.finished reading another book this morning. heather lende's , "if you lived here, i'd know your name". it was just a glimpse at life in haines alaska. not that it wasn't interesting, but it actually read more like someones blog than a book. a bit rambling and i'm not sure if i lived in haines i'd be happy she knew my name. still hoping to get out to find those owls tomorrow too. the same crew that wants to see the dogs is hoping to spy owls too. fingers crossed.this little girl looked so cute in her big fur coat. hard to get a picture. first off, i felt like i was trying to be all sneaky. had the zoom so was a bit far away. she's not really tall so she kept getting lost with all the passersby and then it seemed whenever she turned towards me for a clean shot her mom put a corn dog in her face as her mouth was open to recieve like a little baby bird. beautiful coat and adorable little girl. more of the blanket toss.a community event! little noses peak out from the trucks. there was an area where they were selling furs. blossom had to get a sniff of these wolf pelts, she seemed confused.and maybe a wee bit nervous.perhaps she should be. i kept a tight leash on her. i think she was safe. nice hat...! we wandered over to the fur auction. well i wandered, blossom wanted nothing to do with it and it was suggested she was worried i had plans to put her pelt up there. this pelt below is a musk ox. they had never had one and were hoping to get a large chunk of cash for it. wasn't looking like it was happening though. they started the bids at $5000.00 and had to work thier way down not up. i left as i couldn't bear the thought of it going for next to nothing. i think some of the pelts are sold to benefit the fish and game or fish and wildlife. they are from animals that were killed illegally or found dead i think. not sure on that one though. i do remember some illegal musk ox killings reported. those look like turds, but they aren't. this is the blanket used for the blanket toss. they take breaks and so i took the opportunity to get a closer look, as did blossom. it's made from hides. not sure from what, probably caribou or moose. the stitching and details were cool looking.everyone holds on to the ropes then the fun with any fair there are the silly games and the cotton candy. i had to have some of that of course.liked the dogs. so cute!gotta love a little crazy alaskan character.more blanket toss, see...i said i was obsessed. the natives who demo'd got some good air. the one guy i kept missing as he went really high so i just got the air under him. maybe tomorrow. guess i could have put it in sports mode. weeeeee.....the outhouse races are always a hit. i cruised over to check things out. i hung until they did the pre-race parade and then i booked. blossom and i were done for the day and i wanted to get back to rio. she gets lonely. besides, i had decided that the pool was calling me. debated hockey, but the pool was packed out there today. some little kids had squeezed in and were shoving out of my spot and then battling each other. i was good and ready to leave about then. some children can really be annoying.currently watching audrey hepburn in "my fair lady" while rio snores on her bed behind me. the duck farts seem to be expanding...gas does that.hope i haven't overwhelmed you with fur rondy pictures. it was a fun day out there though. we'll see what tomorrow brings.

1 comment:

  1. Funny what you said about Lende's book. I've never liked columns or blogs turned into books, they all seem to read that way; disjointed and nonsensical. And I got sick of the "quirky small town, look how quirky we are" thing pretty quickly. That said, Haines is a little bit of a weird town. But I like it.