I promised some photos, etc., of our trip to Fairbanks for the Ice Festival. We flew up to Fairbanks with a couple of the other office couples and had a great time together. We left on Friday afternoon and came back after attending church with some of the missionaries on Sunday. While we were there we stayed in a really nice Bed & Breakfast called the Moose Manor.
On Saturday we went to the Ice Sculpture Contest after a late, leisurely breakfast. The best way to experience the Contest is to go during the day, take what pictures you can, and then return after dark to get pictures of the sculptures all lit up. Unfortunately, it is not easy to get good pictures of everything unless you have some awesome photo equipment and more skill than I have. So I have posted some of the best ones and you'll just have to use your imagination.
|This is the pond where they harvest the big blocks of ice, purportedly the best in the world for sculpting. |
Our young missionaries get to help with this every year.
|This prehistoric fish is about 6-7 feet tall and 10-12 feet long. Like most of the sculptures, it is incredibly detailed. |
Check those teeth!
|This sculpture is about 6 feet high. The dandelion head is a ball with all the seeds individually carved in place.|
|Sister Taylor next to a gymnast(?)|
|This is part of a sculpture of a dragon and a sea monster fighting each other. That fire coming out of his mouth is actually connected to the sea monster. Look how intricate the texture is on his skin and wings.|
|This Monkey God is on a life-size elephant.|
|One of my favorites. A fairy or angel chained to the earth. Probably about 12 feet high.|
|One of the largest sculptures. This thing is massive, somewhere in the neighborhood of two stories high. You can see where they have joined numerous blocks together. The Buddha was carved separately and put into place with a crane.|
All of these sculptures are placed around the edge of a large area where they have numerous ice sculptures that are designed as an ice playground for kids and adults alike. There are mazes, igloos, slides, and the like with a Warming Hut where you can get in out of the cold for a bit and get some hot chocolate and food.
|While warming in the hut we met this girl. She consented to our taking a picture of her hat. Only in Alaska! Yes, it's the real thing. On the screen behind her they were showing videos of the actual work on the sculptures. Pretty neat stuff!|
|One of the things not available in the Warming Hut were restrooms. But they did, indeed, have outdoor restrooms and each had a little heater in it.|
|Our Mission Secretary, Sister Mayhue.|
|Our Vehicle Coordinator, Elder Weston, in one of several race cars they had lined up there.|
|Ssiter Taylor in one of the open mazes. You can see a couple of the smaller ice slides in the background. Check the videos for the big one.|
|A maze you had to crawl through unless you were really little.|
This little ice-block basket kinda thing was just laying around for anyone to use.
We saw several families and tourists twirling their kids and friends.
After checking everything out in the daylight, we split up for the afternoon, the sisters going to the museum at the local university and the elders going to the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. Guess where we got pictures!
The Auto Museum was really awesome! They had 70 automobiles, all American, all pre-WWII, starting in 1898. All but three of the cars were ready to be driven off the floor, including the oldest. They had the cars all arranged more or less chronologically and had period clothing arranged among them on mannequins. The sisters were sorry they didn't come. Here are a few of the pictures I took.
|Check that Grill!!!|
|1911 Ford Cab Depot Hack.|
|Any self-respecting auto museum has to have a Stanley Steamer.|
|Like that top? Don't know exactly how well it'd do in the wind... or the rain... or even the sunshine.|
|Gotta love a 1936 Cord with rumble seat|
|One of my favorites - a Hupmobile!|
|Three-wheeler. Steer it with that rudder, kinda like a boat.|
|One of the three that didn't run, a 1910 Hudson. This one is for my friend Dennis. |
He used to own a Hudson, just not quite like this one.
|1917 Ford Model T Snow Flyer. This is Alaska!|
Okay, then after dinner and a little downtime we went back to the Ice Festival. A few photos of the lighted sculptures.
|It was COLD!!|
|If you can't tell, the seahorse's body is hollow.|
|The prehistoric fish from a different angle and lights.|
|A little "Beauty and the Beast." The rose was inside that solid ice dome.|
|The little girl's dandelion with lights.|
|You didn't expect me to pass this up, did you? That cello was only about 10 feet high. Note the music.|
|Cinderella. Sorry you can't see all the detail that went into this sculpture. It was pretty incredible|
Well, that's it for the Ice Festival. It was a great weekend. We even got to see some northern lights while we were there, but they were pretty minimal. That may have been our last opportunity to see some. Heck of a thing to go to Alaska and not see the northern lights.
It's spring here. The snow is gone (except for an occasional gravel-covered pile in some parking lot) and the trees are starting to bud out. The days are getting longer really fast. It's getting hard to go to bed at a reasonable hour.
The other day we walked around a small lake here in the city and took some photos of birds. These are Red-necked Grebes.
Raucous bunch, aren't they?
That's it for now. We love you all and are beginning to look forward to the day when we get to see you again and give you great big hugs.