Saturday, May 30, 2009

The truth about the weather

Paul spoke with a teacher from Deering the other day. Paul asked questions and Jim Stewart gave answers. Woven in those answers is more evidence that we are supposed to be on this particular adventure. What a tremendous feeling.

So here is the truth about winter weather. For four weeks of the winter the sun never rises or sets in Deering. It does actually break over the horizon, but there is a hill to the south of town that blots out the sliver of sunlight. We are told that it didn't get above 30 below for three months last winter. We are a bit incredulous. We are banking on the inaccuracy of thermometers below 0. I guess we'll find out in about 6 months, won't we.

We have finished reading a collection of lyric prose essays written by Nick Jans, a teacher from Ambler for 15+ years. The title is The Last Light Breaking. He vividly describes the breathtaking expanse of the land and its inhabitants. He captures the humor amid the serious business of survival among a beautiful people. We began to carefully fold these verbal images into our mental knapsacks. We will take them out at later points in our journey and hold them up like a canvas against the backdrop of reality.

We are now reading The Last Frontiersman. It is a more journalistic glimpse into a true frontiersman living 100 miles away from any sort of neighbor. Heimo Korth and this family check trap lines and endure tempuratures that dip to 50 below before you factor in the wind chill. What a life. That may be more than I would sign up for, but what do I know? We seem to be embarking on an adventure best left for some to Imax movies and Jack London-esque novels.

Anyway, here we are making our plans and preparations. We are swimming in generosity in the form of boxes. We are making lists and gathering advice from those who have shall we say: Been there. Done that. With that, today we are heading to Cabela's to check out their parka selection. We'll see what we find.

Happy Spring to all of you from pole to pole.

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