I met two guys from LA waiting for my flight from Chitina to McCarthy and we started talking about all the cool places we’d been to in Alaska. At one point in the conversation I told them that I’d lived in Fairbanks from September to March of 2013, because I wanted to watch it get a little bit colder and a little bit darker every day.
I’ve told this story enough times that the face people make is easily recognizable. It says “who but a lunatic would voluntarily and for no particular reason choose to spend their winter in a place that’s dark 18-20 hours a day and 40 below is not an uncommon reading on the thermometer”. The question doesn’t phase me anymore. I never really try to explain it since if they don’t respond with “awesome”, there’s nothing I’m going to say that will make any sense. For any doubters that Winter in Fairbanks will always be one of my all time favorite adventures.
“What did you do up there for 7 months when it was 40 below on a regular basis”? I hiked/walked in the snow a lot (mostly on the Wedgewood property) drank a lot of beer and listened to a lot of music. I love to tell people how I saw the Imagine Dragons at The Blue Loon with about 500 or so people and the following year I saw them at The Pepsi Center in Denver with 18,000 people. I cooked and watched A LOT of DVD’s. One of the last remaining Blockbuster video stores was in Fairbanks, it just closed this year. RIP Blockbuster.
I drove around a lot on my magic blizzak tires, got up in the middle of the night to chase the Northern Lights, was constantly fascinated that I had to plug my car in so it wasn’t dead in the morning and was a “sports reporter” at the Iditarod in Anchorage and Nome. Yes a sports reporter.
”So why Fairbanks, what made it so special”? That question was easy to answer “the people” I’ve been to and lived in a lot of places but I can’t think of anywhere that has more unique, kind and amazing humans than Fairbanks, Alaska!
It had been 3 1/2 years since my last trip to Alaska (never going that long ever again) and re-connecting with everyone felt like I’d just seen them yesterday. So this post is dedicated to you friends of Fairbanks, thank you for making this wandering adventurer feel so incredibly welcome the winter I stumbled into your little town and every visit since then.
There’s a popular saying up in Fairbanks “The odds are good, but the goods are odd” I say the goods are spectacular ❤️