Saturday, March 27, 2010

White Mountains 100

In many ways, Fairbanks is the epicenter of true Alaskan adventurers.

Just living in Fairbanks is an adventure, especially for people who move there from the Lower 48, like college kids going to UAF to get a science major and an unofficial minor in "cabin dwelling", an adventure in itself of wood burning, ski-communting, and water-hauling. Then there's Fairbanks' location, smack in the middle of Alaska's central wilderness, within view of the Alaska Range and within a day's drive of the Brooks Range. Alaska's first marathon, the Equinox, is a Fairbanks thing, and its 20 year recored holder a Fairbanks Resident. Fat tired snow biking was born on its musher trails and the first double width rims were produced there in the early 1990s. For a town that's like a fifth the size of Anchorage, it produces amazing skiers, bikers, climbers, and even boaters, not to mention mushers who win multiple enduro-races back to back to back to back

All the good stuff about Alaska, its cold winters that clean out the population, its beautiful springtime which is really the first few months of summer, 24 hour sunlight during the summer, vast open vistas in amazingly clear air, landscapes dominated by the natural, people with full-bodied characters living a semi-subsistance lifestyle. It's all there and with an eclectic mix of liberal college-town dwellers, moderate military, and more conservative-minded resource-extractors. Oh Fairbanks, how I miss you.

This is all lead-up to Ed Plumb's "White Mountains 100" which looks like it offers up what is best about Fairbanks and Fairbanksans in a multisport loop through what is the most beautiful yet accessible landscape in the Interior. From all accounts -- like Ned and Jill it was a great event, one that I will have to start training for and get my entry in early, too.

It sounds like what the Iditaski was like in the 1980s and the Iditbike in the 1990s but with better scenery and far better weather.

Congratulations Ed on a race well run!

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