Monday, October 13, 2014

Summer Update // 2

Sometimes I get to go on amazing field trips for my job. I had two fun ones this summer: Denali State Park and the Palmer Farm Tour. The Denali trip was fantastic! The state is building a new (and pretty awesome) visitor center and expanding one of their campgrounds. The above photo is the view from the campground, and it really doesn't do it justice. That's Denali (Mt. McKinley) on the right and the Moose's Tooth Range on the left. I hate to talk about the weather here, but it was gorgeous! Pretty regularly, you can't see Mt. Denali because of a thick mist that likes to hang around it. We got lucky with a super clear day.

In fact, the weather was so nice, that my travel buddy and I decided to spend a little extra time at the lodge to soak up the sun.

On an equally beautiful day, I got to go tour some lovely farms in Palmer. Alaska agriculture is pretty interesting because of our weird growing season. The summers are short, but the days are long. As a result, this is the only place in the world where peonies bloom in July. The wedding industry has caught on and Alaskans are starting to capitalize on that fact.

We learned about sod, CSA programs, farmer's markets, raising yaks and got to sample a bunch of vegetables I never knew existed (and I've already forgotten what they were called - bummer). The quote of the day came from the sod farmer: "It's instant grassification!" Ha!

The reindeer was a pet at the farm where we stopped for lunch. See that wire around its pen? It's electric. Ask me how I know that… 

That's all for now, more soon!

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