Thursday, October 31, 2013

Murder and Mayhem, Idaho City Ghost Tour

Frozen in time, a perfect place for a ghost.
Saturday, October 19th, 2013 I joined a group of young eager believers on the Murder and Mayhem tour in the ghost town of Idaho City.  It is an old mining town up in the mountains.  At one time very lawless with criminals setting fire to one side of town to rob the other.  Many stories of ghost sightings, sensing and photos abound this lovely archaic town where about 700 people still reside.  The proprietors of a gift store offer a guided tour of the town and show the hot spots.  We had a high incidence of ghosts in photos in our group and all had a great time.  To follow the tour, click here to see the album.  To arrange your own tour, click here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Here and There Simultaneously

I had a perfect time in California.  Jerry and Erika are fun to hang out with.  The mountains of California hold the best of Alaska (wilderness, sparse population, comfortable summer weather) and the best of California (close to conferences, space industry, and rockets).  Jerry used to work on the East side of the mountain in Lucerne Valley but has had to move his operation to the house/shop/garage in Running Springs where I was staying.  I left there so he and his son can get the shop and garage going and allow time for awarded contracts to come through.  I could have stayed but I left Idaho for a two week trip and was gone about 8 so I have returned to my sister’s house in Caldwell, ID and spend more time with her while opportunities develop in California.
I headed down the mountain through Lucerne Valley to Las Vegas on Friday evening July 5th arriving pretty late in Las Vegas to spend the night with my parents.  I headed out midmorning towards Idaho with an overnight in Wells and arrived in Caldwell about 5PM on Sunday.  It is a bit warmer here, at only 2500 ft (vs 5-6000 in California) but I will adapt quickly.  My sister has a gorgeous house amidst a few subdivisions and farms and conveniently to shopping.  It was nice here when I left but I still felt removed from the industry and things that I left Alaska for.  Now ,I am here, it is nice and I feel close to the new space industry.

The next trip will be to the NewSpace 2013 conference in San Jose at the end of July.  I will be here until then for sure. 
A little ablum, not much here but more than I orginally planned for this post

Friday, July 5, 2013

Artifical Stars for 4th of July

An annual event at Lake Arrowhead Village is the 4th of July Fireworks show.  Additionally, the area has the "Mountain Singles Club" which congregates twice a week for various events such as dinner, game night and bowling.  So the club met at 4:30PM at the organizer's home, namely Dan and Carol for a pot luck dinner with ribs and conversation.  Then many of us car pooled over to Jerry's Condo which is right on the lake to watch the fireworks.  Album includes two videos as well.
Click here for the album.

Wandering in San Diego

Click here for the photo album.  Disclaimer - still editing pictures so lots of redundancy in them.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A day at FAR - FAR - Away

Not really all that far, but, FAR - Friends of Amateur Rocketry (an organization and a place) is a few hours away from Lake Arrowhead and also a fair distance from anything else, i.e. igniting rockets that can and do explode.  Click here for the Album of the FAR facility

Preparing rocket at FAR - Friend of Amateur Rocketry
Students preparing a 2 stage rocket for launch
The Students working at the site today (Sun. June 2, 2013) had camped out at the site so they would be right there ready to go.  We left Lake Arrowhead at 5:30 in the morning and arrived a bit after 9AM with a stop for breakfast.  We arrived and the students were busily working on their rockets for flight.

Four teams were present, one each of sizable rockets from Stanford and from UCSD and I think the other two were also from USCD.  We were called in for a safety briefing which was we needed to be in the bunkers for 3 of the rockets.  Stanford was supposed to go first but they still needed a couple hours to load the nitrous oxide into their rocket.

So the first launch was a small, 1 1/2 foot tall solid rocket that took 5 tries to ignite and so I missed the lift off in the end but did catch the parachute returning to the ground.Click here for parachute landing Then the other smaller rocket, about 3 feet long I did video and which exploded soon after lift off. Click here for exploding rocket

I made a point to catch up to Dave Dunlop who I met at the ISDC conference the previous weekend and we talked for a while.  We were out in the sun and then we decided to sit in the shade of the stairs of the Vertical motor test stand.  We were talking while still, now 3 hours into the nitrous oxide fill, the Stanford rocket started making sounds of escaping gas and we noticed everyone was gone from their launch stand.  We headed immediately for the bunkers just as the call to return to the bunkers was announced.  I was able to zoom the camera in and got a nice video, albeit low resolution, video of it leaving the launch pad.  We lost site of it quickly and while it was supposed to be retrieved, the electronics didn't broadcast as expected, according to Jerry, likely because the second stage didn't ignite and it crashed early and was considered un-retrievable. Click here for the Stanford video

We finished with going into the bunker for the Vertical test stand and a few pictures from the top of the stand and us on it.  We left just as the last USCD rocket was loaded on the rail.  It would take them a few hours to load the propellant.  It flew just fine, but the parachute failed and the it experienced a "hard off-runway landing".  Click here for the activities of the day

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Catching up on the New Space Industry

Much of my reason for leaving Alaska was to get with what is called the New Space Industry.  Our OpenLuna project is part of the movement. Interestingly, we founded ISECCo back in 1988 under the exact same concept, so I was New Space before New Space was cool.  So I had the chance to come over the California for two conferences, the first being the SpaceExpo which had a free exhibit area and two speaking forums plus one speaking forum at the usual framework of a sizable conference fee.  The second was the International Space Development Conference (ISDC) which is the annual meeting of the National Space Society (NSS).  They overlapped one day and were a couple hours apart. 

In the pilot's seat at the Expo; Full Scale mock up of Lynx
The Space Expo is actually a trade show and the topic of the paid conference was the business case for space.  It was held in Long Beach May 21-23, and was a few miles from a friends home where I was able to stay.  Thank you Monika, Andrew and Isabelle.  The booths were varied but highly technical in nature.  The ISDC was just north of San Diego in La Jolla a couple miles south of LA/Long Beach.  It was May 23 thru Memorial Day.  I only attended Friday afternoon and Saturday and mostly stayed in the exhibit area tending the booth for OpenLuna with some help from Gordan Fisher and he managed it on Sunday for us, thank you.  The topics of discussion were at a much higher level in general with highly technical stuff available for those.  The exhibitors were few and the room lightly attended but the ones who did come through were good contacts. 

I left the mountain, which the locals call the "rim of the world" into the LA area.  Traffic wasn't too bad but I forgot one of the highways and went a bit out of the way, story of my trips these days,and I arrived around Noon in Long Beach, the first day of the Space Expo at the Long Beach Conference and Entertainment center.  The booths ranged from companies producing connectors to facilities in formation like The California Space Enterprise Center.  The well known players XCorp, the X-Prize, The Planetary Society, SEDS, and Boeing had booths.  The Commercial Space Flight Federation sponsored the coffee. There were manufactures, testing labs, test equipment rental companies, sensor manufacturers so very technical skiled people.  I would ask them what they had that I would need to get to the moon.  I left after 2 1/2 days
with a pile of data sheets and promotional materials. 

The best contact came on day 2, I stopped by APV Manufacturing's booth to see what they did. They engineer and manufacture any part out of many material for development (vs production, i.e. 1-15 copies).
I spoke with Bruce Richardson, a Retired Army Col, was intersted in helping with OpenLuna and has become our Marketing Manager.  He has a plan.  More will come on this soon.  I am very excited
that we could get things moving very fast.

Full Scale exhibit of Lynx spacecraft under development
Between the prospect of a marketing manager (what we have been really needing for the project) and the promotional ideas that Jerry was talking about it was very tempting to return to the mountain (Lake Arrowhead) and get started.  The problem was, the team originally planning to attend ISDC were not going to make it and I had the brochures for that exhibit table.  So Friday morning, I drove down the La Jolla amidst some slow traffic so when it finally picked up the pace I almost missed the exit.  The only reason I caught it was because I needed an exit anyway.  As it happened, traffic was just starting to back up at the intersection and I just got off in time.  When I left early at the end of the exhibit time on Saturday, I was able to say, "I am going to get working on the problem instead of just talking about it" and everyone liked that.  After 5 days at conferences, my brain was pretty full anyway.

Trying to keep up

On the dock near the convention Center.
So the last 10 days have been so busy I am barely making any status updates to facebook.  I see the blog as being a more refined version of what is happening so I like to have time to fill out the story.  If you want to keep up with what is happening/and where I am I suggest making a account.  You don't need as extensive of a profile and then just look for me as 3324wilk (one of my gmail accounts) and click the "follow" button and when I make a post, you will get an email and never have to go back.  Otherwise, know that these post will be days behind what is actually happening, which is okay.

So I have remained in California after the conferences, which I will discuss in the next post, until further notice.  While I felt very "at home" with my sister in Idaho, the professional goals that I set for myself are more readily available here and so with the successful interactions with Jerry and connecting with a marketing manager for the OpenLuna project at the Expo, I decided to stay on.  Even the possibilities for high tech work are much more prevalent here than in Idaho.  Jerry has an empty condo that I am staying in while we work on getting his new shop ready for business.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Back with the Rocket Man

Jerry and I with the great view from Erika's house.
Photo by Erika, my lousy phone camera.
As many of you know, I met up with Jerry Irvine a year ago in February on my return to Alaska from Antarctica.  We brainstormed on some ideas and generally had a good time talking rockets and other hair brained ideas.  So much the same the last two days but a bit more focused on what we can actually pick up and do either with moving the OpenLuna program forward or some other collaboration.

I still had a bit to do preparing for the Space Expo and there was time for that, seeing Jerry's new shop in Running Springs, socializing in the area (including Jerry's girlfriend), catching up on things but mostly looking for the angle to get started.

We found the germ of an scheme or two that could result in any of the following outcomes: Some significant contributions to OpenLuna, the reality TV production, and/or rocket motor firing demonstration and live event.  I will be following up on it after the Space Expo and will probably not go to the ISDC (International Space Development Conference) right after the Expo and instead come back up here to make progress before returning to Idaho.  But we'll see how the Expo goes, if it goes well enough, then I won't have to choose.

Off to be the Wizard

So Saturday I drove from LV to LA......not much time for blogging as you will see.

A day in TV Land

This covers Thursday and Friday in Las Vegas.  The pictures taken with my phone are fairly poor so they need some work.... get back to you on this.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Graduation Ceremony

Wendy, her beau, 3 kids and her mother, my sister after the
pinning ceremony. 
The timing of my visit was twofold beginning with my niece Wendy graduation from CSN Nursing program.  Click here for the photo Album.  It was Monday night, right after Mother's day.  So we had a gathering at my parents house (where I am staying for the week) Sunday.

Monday night at the Cashmen Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  She graduated with 100 or so other classmates in a nice ceremony where each one walked to the center of the stage, a special person in their life pinned the blue ribbon on them and then posed for a professional picture.  (I got down and took my own so I could make the post.)

I have been having a good time this week with visiting family, light gambling, a bit of time in the sun... etc.

I would be doing more but the other side of the trip is to attend the Space Expo and maybe the International Space Development Conference in California next week.  It is just a few hours drive to the other side of the mountains.  I will also be re-connecting with Jerry and learning more about making actual rockets (instead of just designs and equations).  The conference mean that I have some prep work to do to represent the OpenLuna Foundation.  I prepped a lot the last couple weeks but have a bit more to do.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Feels Like Home

I seem to have trouble blogging about the more casual aspects of the journey, hence the lag in the posts.  The last month has been very busy with converting a conversation on OpenLuna into a video, preparing for a conference, attempting to learn to program Android smart phones and work searches.  Naturally the first had the preference of my attention and like most projects, seemed like it wouldn't take very long but did.  My runs into town to learn my way around and to pick up little things to replace things not worthy of dragging 3000 miles waned.  One day driving home from poking around town I referred to my sister's house as "getting back home" and it felt very solid and true to think of it as that.
My Jeep in front of my Sister's house.

Being busy at the computer for several hours at a time, walks in the subdivision and neighboring ones became frequent and also the last month I started dancing several times a week and getting to know that crowd.  The combination has made a noticeable change in my tone and posture, so again, things are good.

The general tone and attitude of people here is not too different from Alaska.  Despite having considerably many more stores and shops, the area, other than Boise itself, is still more rural than urban with a few factories in between farms, in between subdivision, in the middle of a high (2400ft) desert.  The climate up until now has been like a cool summer in Fairbanks.  Even while the rest of the states were being hit my snow storm after snow storm, the highs here would be 60's to 70's and even when it didn't make 60, it felt pretty good midday with the sun up and moderate winds.  Nights were freezing but no more and last weekend, leaving the dance hall I heard crickets off in the fields.

Even as I write this, after a 14 hour drive to Las Vegas for my Niece's graduation from Nursing School (I had too much caffeine on the road), I am awake early, realizing that it is an hour earlier than "back home" - yes it feels like home.   Click here for the Album

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Comet PanSTARRS : smudge at the bottom

Even the first week, the one thing that really energized me was the clear skies here.  In back of my sister's house is a charter school and their school yard was a pretty good place to view the skies.  The house lights in the neighboring subdivisions were visible but not intrusive and the town lights also seemed to be directed down instead of creating a lot of intruding light pollution.  The March skies were really nice and I could see all the stars in the little dipper, Pleiades, Orion's sword, and even the comet PanSTARRS with a little extra effort.
It had been so long since I used my Nikon FE2 SLR film camera that the batteries had died.  I got some new ones and went out on March 15th to photograph the comet.  I got one week shot and a few of the skies.  See photo Album.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

3000 miles later

I set the trip odometer near Birch Lake in Alaska which is 50 miles into the trip.  It read 2966 when I got arrived at Miki's driveway the evening of March 9th.  So literally, I drove 3000 miles and boy are my arms tired (oops, that is for flying).  But I was both physically and mentally tired the following week.  I feel mostly recovered and had a full day yesterday (Monday).  I suspect it was not just from the drive but the last year or 5 of my life that I was recovering from.  I am not putting large goals on my list for this week either, just steps in those directions.  In fact, that is working really well;  I made a short list: doing something called a "source list", checking space news (which includes email), working on the blog, the OpenLuna website, plus a couple really big items and I check them off as I do them.  So I didn't get the blog done yesterday.  But this gives me a sense of accomplishment even when I don't get as much done on a subject as I would like.  And these first 3 small things will then transition into habits.

Thorns stuck in the soles of my running shoes.
For the tender footed Alaskans, they are called Goat Heads.
Anyway, last week was pretty light duty.  I could have done more if I pushed myself but I chose not to.  My sister's house is in a small subdivision that used to be farmland has some farmland left around it.  The main drag has almost all the stores on it so finding my way around has been easy and it is just a few miles away.  The weather is nice, cool but comfortable and it is nice to get outside after spending most of the winter in Alaska.  One day I took a walk in the subdivision and strolled through an undeveloped lot and when I got to the street on the other side it felt like I had rocks stuck in my shoes; but not rocks, goat-head thorns.  All of those thorns in the photo came out of my shoes from crossing about 80 ft of un-landscaped ground.

My sister and I are enjoying having some time together and getting re-united.  We haven't had a lot of time together as adults and have not generally kept up, just a bad habit among the Wilkinson siblings.  She is older than me so she was already here when I arrived and she was the first friend I ever had and we were very close when we were young.  She is working for the postal service 5 days a week and long days so there is plenty of time for getting moved in, organized and making my new start.  I have integrated into the household (Miki and her husband James) fairly smoothly.  I feel comfortable here and I am only frustrated to be started moving on my goals so slowly but the rest I am taking is both reasonable and wise.  I am actually going to lay down for a bit when I am done here.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Day 8 - Last day driving

The Interstate highways stayed good but continued through the mountains, high on valleys mostly.  I will get some pictures.  So loading the car was nice to have the temperature above freezing and not have to run the car to warm it up.  But it wasn't until Idaho Falls that I finally got out of the snow.  I arrived about 8:30 at my sister's house and we had a nice visit in the evening.  She delivers mail so Sunday is her day off.  The room is nice sized with a dresser and footon sofa.  Getting the blogs up to date was the first priority and now I will get things out of the car.  I have a few pictures from the drive that I will upload a bit later.....later than I expected but better late than never.  Click here for the latest album.

I am happy to be at my new home!

Day 7 - Leaving Canada

Canada in my rear view mirror
I am glad that I stopped where I did last night, 100 miles south of Edmonton even though it was earlier than I wanted.  This morning the low pressure system still had a lot of fog and smog, especially around Calgary down at ground level.  Normally the prairie has clean air.  The highways into and just out of Edmonton were also bumpy; I would say worse than the Alcan plus at highway speeds so the constant bumps were tiring.  But from there to the border the road surface was really good; have cruise control, will travel.  At the border, the US customs had a line of a dozen cars but it moved pretty quickly and I was through it is about 20 minutes.  I15 through Montana was pretty good going so I kept on past Great Falls and stopped in Helena late.  I had dinner in Great Falls so it was night as I wound through some mountain passes that would have been a great view.  I could see out the drivers window the constellations Orion and Cains Major (not just Sirius but the main stars of the constellation) almost all the way.  I stopped at a scenic view pull out that had no street lights and was awestruck by the clear sky and number of faint stars.  I could see all the stars of the little dipper and more stars than I usually see in Alaska with its arctic haze.  I did plan to write at least the paragraph but by the time I got into my room it was late and I was getting easily frustrated.  I have about 500 more miles to go, yippee!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Day 6 -- too much city for me

The Province of Alberta is hills, forest and farms.
 The farther I go, the flatter it is.
Highway speeds are 100 or 110km/hr.
Thursday morning starting from Grande Prairie, Alberta it seemed like forever to get to Edmonton.  And then I took the long way around, pooh!  I finally got going South again but I am still 300 miles from the US border.  Will take off early tomorrow and make a long day of it.  So don't worry if there is no post.  Alberta is prairie country with farms and rolling hills.  It isn't much to take a picture of.  Last weekend a snow storm came through and so I am still in snow and below freezing (but above zero F) temperatures.  The record is still 33 F back between Whitehorse and Watson Lake.  The forecast is for warming this weekend but I will be in Idaho by hopefully Saturday night.

Day 5

Rush Hour on The Alcan: 4 cars ahead of me, 3 oncoming and more behind me.
The morning weather in Fort Nelson was overcast and steady flurries which continued for the rest of the drive on the Alcan (Alaska Highway) which ends at Dawson Creek.  The road continues to be steep hills and a few tight turns but mostly the challenge is the steepness of the hills.  The traction on the road was still good despite the flurries.  The traffic was definitely picking up after Fort St. John which is the next to the last stop.  Still 3 oncoming cars, 4 ahead and I think 4 behind me is more than I would see in a day in the Yukon outside of established communities (sometimes including).  Click here for a few more pictures for Wed and 2 for Thurs.

Dawson Creek (not to be confused with Dawson City or Beaver Creek) is Mile 0 but it is still 1000 miles from the US/Canadian boarder.  Given the low pressure system coming up from Vancouver into the southern British Columbia Mountains, I opted for the slightly longer and more familiar route of going through Alberta.  The route into Seattle is all mountains and with new snow could be a stressful drive.  Turned out the system blew itself out pretty quickly and it would probably have been okay.  From Dawson I drove East toward Edmonton, Alberta.  Crossing into Alberta I lost another hour moving into the equivalent of US Mountain time.  I found myself in the first major city, Grande Prairie at 8pm and started looking for a hotel to find they were pretty full already (2 hours short of my goal).  Turns out the oil companies have employees living in the hotels and there was a conference.  I almost went on to the next town but the Motel 6 clerk said they were full too.  I finally found a place and turned in early to get an early start on Thursday.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Day 4

Bison Herd strolling down the road, the couldn't even be
rushed by the truck.
Another clear day of good driving and fairly clear roads.  Leaving Watson Lake they had signs up about 16 caribou had been killed recently on the road and the bison were hanging out all the way to the hotsprings.  Just a short distance down the road was a caribou licking the road.  It took off quickly.  The bison are mostly off the road, they nuzzle down through the snow to the dry grass under the snow along the road.  However, if they are on the road, they are very reluctant to move.

I reached my target of Fort Nelson and allowed myself an hour and a half at the Liard Hot Springs.  This is my 4th trip down the Alacan and 3 coming back. All the other times I felt too rushed to stop so I was dedicated to do it this time and I am glad I did.  It is a bit of a walk back to the pools but it is a nice boardwalk, a changing room (unheated) and stairs into the water.  The real roller coaster roads were from just after Liard through to 50 miles from Fort Nelson. British Columbia contains the Rocky Mountains and I had to drive through them to get here. (more pictures). Click here for the Hot Spring Album.

Fort Nelson is the decision point of whether to go straight south to Seattle and then to Idaho, or stay on the Alcan and head over into Alberta, down through Montana and then turn back towards Boise.  I found the weather channel here and it looks like I better stick with Alberta as I had planned.  There is a pressure system coming up from Vancouver into BC and even carry over the mountains into Alberta by Thursday night but much lower accumulations east of the mountains.  My target for tomorrow is Whitecourt, just this side of Edmonton.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Day 3

Bubbly shaped Mountain out of Whitehorse.
Was pretty uneventful between Whitehorse and Watson Lake.  The roads were mostly clear and much of it gentle slopes.  From here British Columbia will be a roller coaster.  I got into Watson Lake pretty early so making Fort Nelson tomorrow 400 miles instead of 300 will be easy and maybe there will be time to stop at the Liard Hot Springs.  I learned last time I came this way to stop here, there is nothing else between here and the hotsprings and they are expensive and usually filled up.  I ended up very late getting into Toad River and luckily there was a room open so being winter, I surely didn't want to go farther.  So this is also part of the reason I am only getting 300 miles a day,.  Once I didn't make it much past the border I was committed to 3 days this far up.  But now the blog is up to date!!!!!

Day 2

I finally got my ass out of Alaska crossing into Canada.  The border crossing was uneventful and took 10 minutes or less.  This is a good thing.  The civilized stops are a little farther apart in Canada so they keep some of their rest stops with outhouses open.  I stopped at one between the border and Destruction Bay and found the door didn't close so that made for a breezy experience but it worked out since I selected the one where the door faces the scenery instead of the road. See Album. I got a nice shot of the Yukon Flats which are just that, flat areas between mountains.  The forest grows and decays slowly so the forest fires are an inherent part of the forest cycle, leaving burnt standing trees which you can see on the right.  And of course the camera takes nice mountains on the horizon and squashes them.

I got lunch at Destruction Bay and kept on to Haines Junction and then to Whitehorse for the night.

Alaska Critters

Caribou herd in the Road coming into Northway.

As Jan was taking the picture of me and my car load at Barb and Bev's a Raven flew over which is considered a blessing by Alaska Natives.  Other wise, most of the trip was free of critters which is basically a good thing, while I like to see them, clear sailing is the primary.  

Typical is for them to come out in the evening and indeed a cow moose was on the side of the road about half way from Tok to Northway. She got off into the bushes before I could get a picture.   Farther on I rounded the corner to find this herd in the road and they weren't in quite the rush to get out of road.  Only a few miles farther this caribou didn't want to get out of the road. When I finally got close enough that it moved, it ran down the road to catch up with a few more of its herd.  I have never noticed how the hooves fling from side to side as they run.  I got not just pictures but in the second group a couple videos but they don't show the silly hoof movement I was trying to catch. See the Album.  Though this guy in the video below when he looked straight on looked more like a goat.

Day 1

Frosty trees - nice, frosty road - not.
The bridge ahead is the Black Veterans Memorial Bridge
between Delta Junction and Tok Junction.

So finally on the road after breakfast and a stop at the Dunkle Residence, the feeling was mostly a relief mixed with a bit of emotional moments on both ends of the scale. Soon after passing Eielson AFB the clouds started collecting. Most of the trip into Delta was low clouds and a bit of snow as you can see from the picture to the right.. This produces a more slippery condition so it required a bit more concentration  The frosty trees from the fresh snow were lovely.   After Delta Junction the day was clear and sunny so that was nice and the spaces of clear road and the regions still icy were not so slick and was easier going. It was nicer all the through Tok and Border City where I stopped just as the sun was setting. 

So I only got 300 miles and still in Alaska, barely. It was after six and I was feeling pretty taxed already (my endurance for long drives improves as I go along) and I loose an hour crossing the border plus it would take an hour to get to the next stop. The internet wasn't working properly so was a bummer with an early stop to get going on the blog. But I prepared the text and the photos so I could do it all quickly in the morning. The next target is Whitehorse which is another 300 miles.

Day 0

Loaded for the Road (Move to Idaho) March 2013
Didn't quite get me out of town (Fairbanks, AK) but I turned the house over to a contractor who will undoubtedly enjoy it as much as most people who lived there. It was a great home for many folks (I tend to rent rooms) and for several critters as well. It took a bit longer than expected and at 4pm while I am trying to get the tarp over the load after filling the spare fuel cans and it led to me asking if they had a sofa or floor space for me to crash for the night and Helena had wanted to meet me for dinner so that worked out well. In the morning the weather was much better, clear and sunny vs light snow and low cloud deck.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Goodbye Fairbanks

Have ice scraper will travel.

Dear friends, please do not take my eagerness to depart incorrectly.  As most of you know, I have for some time now been seeking opportunities in the New-Space Industry and have been promoting the OpenLuna Foundation as part of that.  The industry is evolving rapidly just as I projected awhile back.  It is time for me to join the fray and help bring to fruition all the things that I have talked and especially the more recent efforts to promote OpenLuna and the return of humanity to the surface of the moon.  While I am excited about the prospects of the future it is not easy to leave such wonderful friends, marked most recently by Suzanne Fenner and Liz Greig helping me cleaning the house while I packed the last items.  Another thank you to Matt Moore who helped me load the car on Wed.  I have lived most of my adult life in Alaska and identify myself as an Alaskan, but every fiber of my being is calling me on this quest.  I made a dedicated effort to say goodbye and managed to get with most of you, though not all.  I am not leaving to fade off into the night but to make history and with the internet you can follow my journeys and accomplishments.  As I was leaving Barb and Bev this morning, I passed my the Dunkle residence for whom I had not seen in some time.  They remarked that they brag about me (i.e. show off my letter from the South Pole) and I told them that my goal was to give them more to brag about.  For those of you that get around, we will meet in the future and a return visit to Fairbanks is totally plausible.  I am moved at the many of you who understand me well enough to salute my journey rather than ask me to stay or declare that I will return as many who leave the state do.  And for those of you in the Avatar program like Barb and Bev, I will see you on course at some time or another.  To all, stay tuned ....

p.s. if you are on facebook I am making posts as I go and you can follow me there as well.