Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

"Since you're like the president and in charge of the army and stuff, could you like invade some country and set it on fire?" -Butthead, w/o Beavis


So, we decided we'd been working almost non-stop around the Casa de Wilder, and headed out for just a fun day. The other objective of this trip was to get out of the smoke around Fairbanks. It's as smokey around here now as Tommy Chong's basement, and it has been for about a week and a half. Bad mojo to leave The Mrs. with The Boy and The New Boy stuck in the house for a smoke advisory for that long. I like the kids. I don't want to have to visit their mother in prison.

Above is a clip of a satillite photo describing the smoke. You can go to get more of this sort of image here. As always, click on the picture for a bigger version. Well worth the time. For those that think there might be some sort of reason for these fires, there is. Wood burns. Alaska, like a fine old Rolls Royce, has a great wood veneer. Don't worry. If all the trees up here stopped growing today, we could only have fires like this every year for the next 340 years or so before we started running low.



Our first stop was at Chena Lake Recreation Area. This was still in the smoke, and entirely unplanned. We stopped there because we saw a sign - Big Trebuchet Event Today. Well, after watching every show on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and TLC build a trebuchet, I thought it would be nice to see one in person. My favorite trebuchet was the one that they built on Trading Spaces: Dark Ages Europe. It was next to the plague room.

We didn't wait around for them to start flinging things, although it was rumored that they were going to attempt to fling a car. That would normally be enough to make me want to stay, but we didn't bring a stroller for The New Boy, and now that, at three months' of age he weighs 75 pounds, grunting the little guy around is enough to dislocate your arm from its socket. Besides, this event was clearly still in smoke ground zero.

I read in the paper that they never got the big trebuchet working. Glad we didn't stick around for the non-flinging of a car, though rumour has it that many a pumpkin shall mourn the passing of kin at the hands of the Fairbanks trebuchet-masters.


We headed south. Our second stop was the Knotty Shop. You can buy t-shirts proclaiming that you or any member of your family is Knotty. I was marginally disturbed by the Knotty Grandma t-shirt. Mainly because it had spagetti straps. I did not feel Knotty, but I did feel like ice cream. The gentleman behind the ice cream counter scooped out Roseanne-Barr sized portions, and The Boy (vanilla) and I (massive amounts of chocolate) enjoyed our ice cream outside, after we had looked at the stuffed menagerie of Alaska critters, as shown below.


I like the managerie, because it makes it look like all of the little Alaska animals hold hands and sing "Michael, Row The Boat Ashore" at night before snack. Not mentioned is the thought that most of the animals are on the snack list of their neighbor. It's good to be at the top of the food chain.

The Knotty Shop seems to have based its claim to fame on having the place filled with knotty pine, or pine covered with "burls." Burls are places where the tree gets infected, irritated, and then grows a big scar. So, like the daredevil on The Simpons said to Bart, "Bones knit, wounds heal, and chicks dig scars."



The statue above is made from knotty pine, so I guess pine pain is beautiful. My favorite aspect is below. I was unaware they even made a sign like that . . . does it mean that I shouldn't let my dog strain? Sit? Squat?

After The Mrs. wiped the last bit of chocolate off of my face, we resumed our trek southward, determined to get out of the smoke.

Thus endeth part the first.

9 Comments:

Blogger Woofwoof said...

I am just speechless. Is this what Alaskans do for recreation (besides shooting at highway signs and writing blogs)?

8:51 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

Do you have any animals in Alaska that are not stuffed?

1:58 AM  
Blogger the Witch said...

The last picture was too funny. I believe it's meant to warn against dog sulking or perhaps slouching. Posture is most important in polite society. So is building a fine Trebuchet, which I assume the preferred method to quickly oust slouchers from the canine community. How those Alaska doggies managed to build those contraptions sans opposable digits boggles the mind.

Sigh, if only they hadn't trebucheted those flaming, oily rags directly into Kingsford National forrest....

4:32 AM  
Blogger babbling brook said...

Between the knotty moose and the paper mache moose you have this moose fan enthralled. Not to mention I like your style of posting and your blog is fun to trek around. Heck,I say run for president john if you ever get bored.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Lady Luck said...

Alaska animals hold hands and sing "Michael, Row The Boat Ashore" at night before snack. --LOVE IT!!! (Still laughing!)

Love the dog squatting sign, enterpret as you wish....

Too fun!

11:10 AM  
Blogger Lady Luck said...

P.S.
One week from tomorrow and I will be in Anchorage. I will wave at you. :)

1:56 PM  
Blogger John said...

woof,
Yup. Summer's short, so we get sort of crazy. Gotta do it all now, before it snows next month.

mandy,
We also have the animals we eat. Oh, and we have dogs. Big fuzzy ones that we use instead of bikes.

witch,
If posture is important, then my dogs will never be considered polite, though they may be considered airborne. Given a trebuchet, you know. Hey, Kingsford National is due for a torch, tomorrow. Steaks . . . ON!

brook,
Sadly, my nomination for president has been cancelled, due to good sense on my part. Dang, I don't want to get that old, that quick. Well, that didn't happen to Reagan. They kept him in Tupperware(tm). And, thanks for your kind words. Really does make a day. By the way, the real "moose" parts of this trip are upcoming. Many moose.

lady luck,
Prepare for rain! Have breakfast at Gwennies (on Spenard, real close to the airport, anyone can point you that way)- the reindeer sausage (I am not making this up) is about the best breakfast food you can eat. Fantastic. Plus they give you like seven pounds of it, or so.

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Penny Pressed said...

Dammit, John. Stop making me want to move to Alaska.

1:54 PM  
Blogger John said...

Penny,
I think BW might like it best. It's a good place for kids to throw rocks. What are they going to hit, trees?

9:16 AM  

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