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17 March, 2002


Actually my mind was far, far away from Saint Patrick’s Day today. Instead, it

was consumed in a full Fairbanks, Alaska pleasure day! This will most likely be our only day off work for the next 5.5 weeks so I made sure that I enjoyed every moment. The day consisted of a 6 mile cross country ski, watching dog sled racing and viewing the Ice Sculptures. It was a full, fun, Alaskan day!

The dog sled race was the North American Championship Race held in Fairbanks. This was the last day of the three day race. This race is a sprint race, unlike the 1100 mile long Iditarod race. Today the dogs raced 27 miles finishing on average of 2 hours. My adrenaline rushed as I cheered for the tired, hard working dogs upon their arrival at the finish line. Most teams consisted of 11-16 dogs. The dogs with their tongues hanging, sped around turns, heading to their musher’s calls of encouragement to finish the race. I am sure the dogs are looking forward to an evening of food and rest!

After the excitement of the dog sled race, it was time to switch avenues to a more restful state. The right dose for that was an outside museum of Ice Art. The World Ice Sculpture Championship takes place every year in Fairbanks on March 1. The Sculptures remain for the public to view until well….. melting occurs. The artwork was amazingly skillful and beautiful. The ice is cut out of lake ice. Fairbanks offers some of the most clear and thick ice in the world due to the extremely cold temperatures throughout the year. Some of the blocks of ice can weigh up to 9,000 pounds! That is a big ice cube! The artists use a variety of tools to cut the ice. Anything from chain saws, chisels, and ice picks are used. It was literally an outside museum of artwork!

Answers to yesterday's Hungry Math Problems:

1) 9 pounds of butter

2) approximately 60 pounds of hot chocolate so 20 containers.

The dogsled team rushing to the finish line!

A musher and his dogsled team!

Matthew Sturm enjoying a day of rest at World Championship Ice Sculpture Competition!

A beautiful Narwhale and unicorn ice scupture!

A dino ice sculpture!

A very cold phone call!!

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