Monday, June 25, 2012

Fairbanks and Denali (1990s)

Rodney with salmon (see below)

My first project at JPL was the Alaska SAR Facility, a receiving station for radar data from Earth-orbiting satellites at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

JPL sent me to Fairbanks nine times in the 1990s. Because of my teaching schedule, almost all the trips were in the summer. What a deal!

On my first trip in 1993, I went a day early to do some sight-seeing. At a scenic overlook, a small dog came scampering up to me and wanted to jump in my rental car. No one else was there. The dog had tags with a phone number, and when I called, they had just realized the dog was missing. As a reward for returning the dog, they gave me a salmon they had caught the day before. I brought it to the B&B where I was staying, and we enjoyed it that night.

Alaska Range (Denali N.P.)

Fox with Arctic ground squirrel lunch (Denali N.P.)

I extended my second trip in 1994 to spend two days in Denali National Park, where I saw bears and moose and Dall sheep and caribou (from a distance), marmots, foxes, and lots of mosquitoes.

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