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Despite being one of the worst years for getting out and taking photos, I did manage to get quite a few last year that I absolutely loved!
We started the New Year in Florida. While there we visited the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge on a couple occasions. It is a phenomenal place for bird viewing, although we could only see it’s namesake bird from too far away to photograph.
After some lengthy layovers on our way back to Alaska, I finally witnessed the aurora from the air on the flight from Seattle to Fairbanks!
Arriving back in Fairbanks in early January, we were literally back in the freezer. The temperatures fell into the -20’s and -30’s F for a large chunk of January and stayed cold until mid-March (it hit -33°F on March 11 before it gradually warmed up). Even though it was cold, we didn’t see many days in the -40’s like we used to, but it was certainly steady.
The Yukon Quest started in Fairbanks on February 1. It was awesome to see so many people come out to cheer on the mushers and the dogs, even though it was -30°F!
We didn’t visit Ice Alaska’s World Ice Art Championship this year, but we did visit Ice Art Park to see the single block ice sculptures and beautiful lights. And Cat had a lot of fun playing on the slides.
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We did manage to get some hiking in this year, but not as much as normal. Our first trip out in spring was just a short mile-long hike to the Castner Glacier to visit the cave at the terminus. Not long after, I came down with a mysterious respiratory illness that put me in bed for about two weeks. After that, my recovery was slow. I never felt right all summer or fall and was having weird heart palpitations and difficulty catching my breath. Although, now, after almost 10 months, I’m starting to feel significantly better!