04 June 2014

Volcano, Wildfire, Bikes, HAARP, and the Iron Dog

Photo courtesy of Robert Stacy via AVO
Pavlof eruption with lava fountaining, early June 3, 2014, as viewed from Cold Bay.
Around Alaska gallery

A lava fountain is seen from Cold Bay early Tuesday as the Pavlof Volcano eruption continued. Rumbles decreased under the volcano later Tuesday, prompting scientists to downgrade the threat level from a warning to a watch.

* * * * *

The Funny River Fire hasn't produced any news for a couple of days. At last report, the fire had burned well over 193,000 acres, but was roughly 60% contained. That's thanks largely to the inch or so of rain that fell in the last week.

The local newscast on KTUU this morning stated that crews were now seeking & extinguishing localized hotspots and areas that were still smoldering.

There's more rain in the forecast for this weekend; it can only help.

* * * * *

Today is Anchorage's annual "ride your bike to work" day. Some 1,200 cyclists had signed up as of 0500 today; it's unknown how many will actually ride.

Last year, organizers claimed a record number of riders. I personally didn't see any, but there are no good north-south trails to speak of. Most of the good biking/hiking trails run east-west, and go through city parks.

There are "snack stations" at some of the major intersections, with everything from hot coffee to bacon-covered donuts handed out to riders.

* * * * *

The Alaska Dispatch reports that "Dozens of scientists from universities and research institutions are campaigning to stop the Department of Defense from demolishing the world's most powerful ionospheric research facility this summer."

The HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) facility near Gakona, Alaska is scheduled to begin demolition after June 10, when its final research program ends.

* * * * *

Finally, there's this: the annual Iron Dog snowmachine race from Big Lake to Nome to Fairbanks, covering some 2,000 miles, wants to have a ceremonial start in Anchorage (like the Iditarod does).

A team in the Iron Dog, the world's longest and toughest snowmobile race, starts on the ice at Big Lake on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014. BILL ROTH — Anchorage Daily News

The Iron Dog wants to make Anchorage the start of the 2,000-mile race across Alaska, a move executive director Kevin Kastner said could increase exposure for the world's longest snowmachine race. The race typically starts in Big Lake.

"The harsh reality of the world we live in is you want to be where the population is," Kastner said. "There's a fair number of people that will drive to Big Lake on Sunday, but we feel we've kind of plateaued."

The 2015 race would begin on Saturday, Feb. 21, the week before the Fur Rendezvous World Championship Sled Dog Race and two weeks before the start of the Iditarod.


ProudHillbilly said...

Cool pic!

And...bacon covered donuts...?

Rev. Paul said...

Yep ... from the police. Insert joke here.

Cathy said...

Alaska's got it all !

Rev. Paul said...

Cathy, there are four active volcanoes within 120 miles of Anchorage, just as an example. Thousands of glaciers, wildlife, mountains, rivers, more coastline than the rest of the U.S. combined - it's a wondrous place!