and now, the news:
several interesting developments have made this a particularly memorable 4th of july
but before I get into that, let me tell you about pioneer park
ever been a real yokel tourist trap?
well this place is their poster child
and it's so lovable
especially the people who work there... they are either incredibly bored or over-enthusiastic (the security guard was sleeping in his booth and barely lifted his head to glance at me biking by before returning to his slumber)
the place is huge, actually – ginny and i biked all over one evening(old town)
(at The Bag Ladies of Fairbanks store)
initially, we decided to meet there after i got off work because we found out you could rent canoes there and take a nice trip down the chena river which runs through fairbanks
but once we got there, the atmosphere of the place captivated us and we spent the evening soaking in the sights(hiuyan enjoying the local cuisine)
there’s actually a remade, old-style town with tons of shops, attractions, and even live music and an old hotrod exhibition(an accident in old town during the hotrod show)
we dined on questionable Mediterranean food (what it was even doing there, i couldn’t figure out) and spent some time playing in the park
the crazy thing about this jewel of a place is that it’s smack-dab in the middle of town – like the proverbial diamond-in-the-rough
(fun in the park)(a cute little kid on a swing)(a boat)
as i intimated in the last post, we've been getting anxious to take a sojourn outside of fairbanks
not that the place is boring, by any means
well, it is, sometimes, but that's neither here nor there
anyway, we were thinking that alaska provides some unique outdoor experiences so what are we waiting for?
the plan, as i described before, was to head out to denali ASAP
denali is definately prestigious and since we are so close (150 mi is close in AK) we thought "we have to go!"
preparations and logistics were another story, however, as we soon found out
especially transportation was a stickler, and who would pay $20 to set up a tent??
it became clear to us that denali is likely no more than a tourist trap
who wants to go to that crappy poo-hole anyways?
denali was out
but our enthusiasm was waning
i mean, where else could we go without a car?
then the clouds parted and a way was shone like a light before us
ginny discovered a local hiking club in fairbanks and we checked out their website
they were going on a hike this weekend!
the mountain was big, and the trail long, but we felt up for it
and we thumbed our noses at stupid loser-park denali
nature is everywhere in alaska!
it's ours for the taking!
i called up john, the club leader, and found out some info on the upcoming hike
what a swell guy he seemed; i didnt mind him occasionally interrupting our conversation to answer his girlfriend's call
and there was no problem with getting a ride
everything was set
our minds were made
tomorrow: the vast unknown!
....the dam broke
without warning, in the middle of the night, hiuyan was suddenly overcome by horrendous spasms and convulsions
my first thought was that some vengeful demon had possessed her body
my second thought was that it was just gas
then i realized it was not as serious: she was only sick
but the ensuing fever that broke out was pretty intense and it was a long while before we could get any sleep
the next day i played witch doctor, forcing hiuyan to take hot baths and then apply ice-cold towels, i made her special pancakes most of which she turned down and i ate, i kept a cool towel applied to her forehead, read stories to her, made sure she didnt become dilerious, and ran to the store for pain-killers, m&ms, a thermometer, and gatorade
there were periods of calm interspersed within the storm
on one such respite, hiuyan suggested we shave our heads
actually, this was something we had discussed doing on the top of the mountain
during the conversation, i had asked ginny why she wanted to shave her head
"so that i can see deeper within myself," she said
i could not have come up with a better reason myself, so i was all for it
she went on to explain that when she has hair, she can still see inside herself, but removing this 'decoration' would allow her to see herself in a different, more 'raw', way
like, in a more universally human way, i think
and the potential of such an experience inspired the curiosity in both us
so we shaved our heads
it actually took much longer than we anticipated due to the wiry, untame nature of ginny's hair
she really looks like a buddhist monk nowor a boy :)
it'd be one strange lookin' boy, at least (with klinefelter's syndrome, likely)
actually i agree with what my sister said about how it actually brings out real femininity more
anyway, this task accomplished, hiuyan promptly became sick again and we stayed at home again all the next day(our last photo w/ hair)
i actually just took a picture of a model of some alaskan town circa 100 year ago or something
pretty cool though, i guess