This March I had the opportunity to head back to Fairbanks. The timing was perfect as the Iditarod was starting from Fairbanks rather than Anchorage this year. 70 mushers left from Pike's Landing Monday Morning, bundled from head to toe, with a sled, and sixteen dogs pulling them along.
The mushers are going from Fairbanks to Nome, with designated check points in between, and are required to stop for two 8 hour breaks and one 24 hour breaks. We cheered on Mushers and handed them hot dogs from Trail Breaker Kennels, the home of Iditarod legend Susan Butcher who had won the race 4 times.
It was -29° F when we left that morning, after throwing a cup of boiling water in the air and watching it evaporate into dust we put on many layers of clothing, including a ninja suit, under armor, snow pants, two coats, hats, gloves, mittens, and hand warmers.
The dogs were frosty, the and so were the mushers, most were covered head to toe but a few rookies had yet to cover their faces completely and risked frostbite.
Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)
The northern lights aren't always visible just because it's dark out. In reality you have to check charts of geophysical activity in the area, plan ahead, wait and look really hard at the sky. The night we went out it was a 2 on a scale of 1-10. It wasn't super visible to the naked eye buy with a high ISO, an 8 second shutter speed, and a rented lens, I was able to capture it better than I could see it.
It was only -9° F but my camera and phone batteries died after a few minutes.
Ice Art Championship
Every March there's an ice carving competition where competitors from around the world carve sculptures out of giant blocks of ice. They also have a park with a maze for kids, play houses, slides, and thrones to sit on, all made of ice.
This is the coldest place you can go in town. It was only -7° F when we got there, but my hands froze immediately, and taking photographs became impossible. So basically, awesome sculptures, but freezing place.