First Two Weeks in Alaska

We arrived just two weeks ago and have already accomplished quite a bit. We got right to work helping cousins, George and Leslie, build their new house. Everyday the look and feel of the work site changes. We are loving getting to see this piece of work go from the ground up. Also, Andrew and I have been running or hiking with weighted backpacks almost everyday we've been here preparing for the mountaineering course we are about to start. As far as Alaska itself, the interior had a very mild and dry winter. Except for the last few days, the summer has started out to be just has dry. Fairbanks hit record breaking temperatures a few days after we arrived. Thermometers recorded several days in the upper 80s and low 90s the last week of May. Trees were green when we arrived, but a few rivers and lakes were still surrounded with ice. The wildflowers having been popping out since our first day here. It started with the blue bells and lupine, then labrador tea, arnicas, wild roses, mountain avens, wild geranium and many others have followed. The only downside so far is the dry weather. The newspaper has reported that fuel levels (in the woods) have reached a historical maximum. That combined with the third lowest winter snowfall and also a very mild winter is not a good combination. The spring started with two wildfires that were still burning from last summer. They got into the moss and made it through the winter. A few new wildfires have started in the two weeks we've been here due to thunderstorms that have brought lots of lightning and very little rain. We are praying for rain. Thankfully, a steady rain fell for about 36 hrs. over the weekend and on and off for several days before and after. It has helped some but not completely.