in the spirit of posting shots of the Fairbanks vicinity i have had a dig through the 1500 some shots i returned home with last December after my initial voyage into the vast and harshly magnificent winter wonderland that is Alaska. for some reason none of those Fairbanks shots have ever really seen the light of day (i had back-posted a few odd shots when i had first joined Am3, but quickly took them off again as i had decided to focus on my much warmer and certainly more colorful desert shots). by the time i got around to posting winter shots, i only posted photos taken during the quite surreal but glorious hours i spent above the Arctic Circle.
but in all reality, i was only in the Arctic Circle for 18 some magical hours. the rest of the remaining 7.5 days was spent squarely in Fairbanks. the 6 hours of semi twilight usually found me wandering the rather large perimeter of this very spread out town in search of a true outdoor 'winter' experience. as a preface, i lived in NY for 3 years, and thus had experienced some decently frosty east coast winters... but i had wanted to know more about extremely cold temperatures and how it might feel far from the city traffic and the churning crowds of huddled individuals on the streets of a large metropolis. i wanted to be out in the middle of nowhere... somewhere most people rightfully didn't go... somewhere well off the beaten path. after some quick research, i realized that there was really only one place in the USA to go that fit all those criteria -- so Fairbanks it was!
well, of course, the end results of that inner discovery regarding extreme 'winter' in the middle of wilderness was that it was absolutely, mind chillingly cold. a complete and utterly different reality than anything i had experienced before. however, apart from the stark physical experience of feeling 'half numb' most of the time, and the worrying, ever present 'mental panic' that i would never feel warm enough again, i eventually came to discover (quite amazingly) the wonderfully transcendental beauty to be found in cold winter isolation... and i came to the understanding that i too could survive in a deep wilderness freeze -- that it was very possible for me to adapt to extremes of this magnitude.
all said and done, my voyage into the extraordinarily unknown became a voyage into the surprisingly familiar as i eventually found my inner strength to persevere: to explore, to create, to behold, to rejoice -- and to believe in yet another of the myriad unknown possibilities waiting to be experienced on this planet. it was a wonderfully purifying transformation that began the very first day with a simple walk in the woods on a tranquil and snowy evening.
i dedicate this photo to the majestic visual work of Ansel Adams, poet Robert Frost for his beautiful and magically eloquent winter poetry that inspired me without end as a young child -- and to my mother who graciously read his poems to me. x
all work protected by Creative Commons