November 20, 2008

Fairbanks Update: -30

So, the first semester of the Ph.D program is coming to an end, and all I need to complete between now and then is about 50 pages of written work and 800 pages of reading! I decided to update this blog today because last night the temperature hit -30 degrees F at our little cabin for the first time this winter. Funny, because down south they are still calling it Fall. Ever since I was a little tyke growing up in AK, October has been the official month of transition between Fall and Winter. Hell, we've been able to cross country ski here in town and on the Tanana river since the beginning of October!

Anyway, I thought I'd update everyone on our situation. Wendy and I are still here in Fairbanks, Wendy working at Boys and Girls Club as a caseworker with teens getting out of Fairbanks Youth Facility, me working at the Psychology Department Clinic as my Service Assistantship. Also in class and working on schoolwork a lot during the week and on the weekends. Tia the pointer/lab-husky mutt has moved down to Fairbanks and appears to feel refreshed by the more dog-like winter temperatures. She likes going running down the Tanana river while I ski and sleeping under the dining table to while away the rest of her time. Oh, and barking at the sled-dogs in training that run by our little cabin all the time.

Below: Wendy and I at our old house in Anchorage right after I got back from the 2007 Latok Expedition and got a real job doing mental health and substance abuse counseling with teens at Volunteers of America in Anchorage.

Below: A self portrait at home in our litte cabin in off Chena Pump Rd in Fairbanks.

Finally, 14 year-old Tia the mutt while en route from Fairbanks to Anchorage.

I am looking forward to free time after the end of the Ph.D semester and thinking about summer climbing plans (top secret). It looks like I might be doing several climbing-related slide shows here in Fairbanks this winter and will update as dates and topics are finalized. I may begin to develop a separate page for Psychology, Social Work and/or Alaska issues as time goes on. Additionally, I will be gradually updating this blog with links to blogs dedicated to past expeditions so look out for that if you would like to see more photos from past first ascents and significant repeats around the world.