Is that a deer, dog, horse??? No, that's Supermoose. First moose I've seen in three weeks since I arrived to Alaska. Early Saturday morning I walked outside to water the tomato plants on the deck and I heard some kind of loud munching from behind. I turned around and hey, a moose. It's a youngen, but still the size of horse.
After an hour of grazing it plopped down and took a rest. Oh Alaska, where the moose chill in the backyard.
Here's a view from my room... to the bottom is a brown splotch, yeah, that's Supermoose.
Then it was time for me to take the 4-mile stroll into town for some food. I've been in Fairbanks for 5 nights and have hiked more than 100 miles by sandal, trust me, I've mapped it. I keep entertained with mp3s, but I also embrace the free time to decompress and meditate on my journeys. I've hitched a few rides and they think I'm crazy hiking all the way from Chena Ridge to 'downtown' Fairbanks, if anyone ever finds a 'downtown' to Fairbanks please let me know. The way I see it, life's about the journey, not the ends. I may have spent 8 hours today hiking mosquito infested dirtbike trails and the sides of highways in storms and burning sun, but that 8 hours was spent empowering my body and viewing the side shot of Fairbanks that, from what I've seen, most are too much in a hurry to witness. Take you're time kids, this life is only bootcamp for the afterlife. Where I am heading? What do I want to do in life? Simple questions... but important. I will keep doing the bipolar cooking gig, maybe get into film, but eventually build a cabin and go off the map and travel the world when not building a nest.
First stop, the Pad Thai Restaurant. Located next to the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy. There's a rich Asian vibe in Fairbanks and the authenticity of the dishes are well felt.
Hours later, after tramping plenty more miles doing errands and building plenty of blisters on my dusty, bleeding feet I found myself waiting at a stop light when an older lady rolled the window from her car and asked where the Loose Moose Cafe was. I came across the Loose Moose on my way to the bank the day before and the 'Indian Valley Meat Products' on their sign is what drew my attention at first. Her query was the trigger and that set my hunger, off to the Loose Moose I went.
Moose, caribou, bison... a good selection.
My only question was where the moose meat came from. Was it hit by a semi on the Dalton or did some villager in the Indian Valley really hunt it? In AK if you hit a moose you have to contact wildlife troopers or an agency along those lines and the moose is taken off the road for scrap meat. They use the meat in villages and soup kitchens, but one could easily make a lucrative restaurant business out of the meat too, after all, tourists come to this city looking for moose burgers. From the road or from the woods, it was a good burger. My suggestion is to cut back on the pork and beef additions and stick to the wild, gamey taste of moose.
Refueled, I hiked to the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Grandpa Bill asked what the buildings look like, well dmpa, here a few pics...
The Cold Climate Housing Research Center.
The UAF Museum of the North.
Soccer field and rec. center.
Inside the bio crypt. Nano tech. and life. I've thought many atimes about going for a Masters degree, but I'm all over the place, literally. School is enlightening behind it's walls, but so is the open road and the life of an explorer. One can learn plenty both ways. The things I used to read about the early explorers going into the new frontiers of our world made me envious, why can't I tap into some contemporary unknownness? As long as the path I trek keeps my brain turning I will keep trekking. And one thing I always tell folks that ask me if I read literature is, why read a book when you can write a book?
Off to cook some art.
The guy who I rented the room from is a doctor at the Alaska Center for Natural Medicine. The vibe of the house and fridge is that of the Earth: holistic and healing, natural and necessary. Very positive and very refreshing, something I need to cleanse out my system from the hardcore times spent in the Toolik kitchen.
Watering the tomatoes. The owners went out of town for the long weekend and I've taken up the duties to take care of the plants and feed the cats.
A crust in the making.
The white chocolate and blueberry creamcheese filling.
A gift to the owners on their happy wedding anniversary and a belated happy birthday mama, too far to taste but so near to nourish.
Next, dinner. A white sweet potato.
Ironically, the fat cat doesn't eat salmon.
Later that night/day/all the same I had my first big encounter with mammatus clouds. They were abreast a huge cumulonimbus and very bubbly. Almost tornadic.