A Chilling Tale

Discussion in 'Anything Goes Coffee Shop' started by Tall Timbers, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Tall Timbers

    Tall Timbers Imperfect but forgiven

    I've been going through our filing cabinets and throwing out as much of the cabinet contents as I feel comfortable doing. I came across the following article that was published by the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer in 1989:

    Coming in From Cold Doesn't Always Work by Tall Timbers

    The night was January 30, 1989. The temperature in this quiet, low-lying neighborhood just outside of Fairbanks was precisely 62 deg F below zero. It had been 12 days since the temperature here had risen above 50 below. I was contemplating the fairness of always being at least 10 degrees cooler than the official Fairbanks temperature and never getting any credit for it. Then the phone rang. My neighbors were having a difficult time coaxing No. 1 fuel into their oil-burning furnace. Could I help?

    On square tires I slowly rambled over to Badger Road's own community hardware store. The proprietor graciously opened his doors for us after normal business hours. With heat tape and insulation in hand I made it to my neighbors'.

    The next two hours required that I be outdoors with thin gloves that would allow manual dexterity. Two hours! It went something like this: Two minutes outside applying heat tape and wrapping insulation around the oil lines, then five minutes inside where I would stick my hands in the awaiting hot oven. After a bit of hand warming and hot chocolate with marshmallows, I'd return to 62 below temperature for a couple more minutes. Out, in, out, in.

    After finishing the work I went home, took off my coat, and proceeded with reading a book. It must have taken me 15 minutes to discover that my own furnace had quit while I was gone. I was relaxing comfortably in a house where the interior temperature had plummeted to 20 degrees. A wood stove, a furnace repairman, and a warming trend in the Interior brought a happy ending to this Alaska experience.
    I hope you enjoyed this true story.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  2. DMac

    DMac Well-Known Member

    Where I work we have a large walk in freezer that gets down to 10 below zero. Whenever I am in there I wonder just how people handle this temperature up north for extended periods of time. In Houston, when it starts getting into the low 40's and below that is cold enough for me. I realize that is balmy for people truly up north.
  3. chaser

    chaser Well-Known Member

    Just reading that made my skin hurt, those temperatures are brutal.
  4. Tall Timbers

    Tall Timbers Imperfect but forgiven

    At this time of the year, it feels really cold when it's like 10 above or so. I don't like going outside because it's real uncomfortable to my old body. When spring comes and it's 10 or 20 above, I can go outside in a t-shirt and do some work and be downright comfortable because I've gotten acclimated to the extreme cold during the months of winter... but right now I prefer to stay inside as much as possible... That's why it isn't uncommon for Alaskan's from the interior to claim that 10 above is t-shirt weather... it really is, but only at the end of winter... not at the beginning... but of course it is said for the shock value...

    During the years that I was a cook in various restaurants, sometimes I'd step into those freezers just to cool off after a particularly busy time in the hot kitchen.
  5. vmoon

    vmoon Well-Known Member

    I've never been to Alaska but a client used to live there. I don't know where exactly. She said it was so cold that a friend brought her a big salmon and just left it on the hood of her car. hehehehe no need to bring it inside I guess.
  6. Tall Timbers

    Tall Timbers Imperfect but forgiven

    A lot of people in the interior leave their chest freezers outside and unplug them during the winter... While we can unplug the chest freezers, we have to plug in our cars and trucks.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  7. Cindy S.

    Cindy S. Well-Known Member

    I have family that live in Anchorage.
    I can't imagine living in that extreme cold.
    I live in Michigan and it's starting to get cold. The mice are coming in. We got 4 in 4 days.
    The snow birds are heading to Florida.
    Do you ever feel like moving to a warmer state?
  8. bap

    bap Well-Known Member

    :) my fellow TExan
  9. Kem

    Kem Citizen

    Agreed, I remember sitting on the roof of a fire training tower for a truck company operations training class. The temp probably was about 15 degrees F and I had on heavy leather gloves but still felt that frostbite was getting my fingers and the rest of me was really cold. Sure glad to be living in South Carolina now.
  10. Tall Timbers

    Tall Timbers Imperfect but forgiven

    Anchorage as a much more temperate climate than the interior. I like it here... I guess I love it here. I am in the process of preparations for a possible move in the future. What will get me to move is when I'm no longer able to adequately maintain our property. Over the next couple of years I plan to visit the Cheyenne Wyoming area. My research tells me that's probably where I'd want to settle if I ever leave Alaska. I'll visit there during their warmest month and then during their coldest month and will explore the area. Right now I live a ways out from the relatively small town of Fairbanks. If I can't maintain the property and feel like maybe I need to transition to an apartment or some such thing I'd just as soon do that in the lower 48 than do it in Fairbanks. Fairbanks is surrounded by beauty, but is a town that doesn't really have much to offer... so I don't see myself moving to Fairbanks. If I'm gonna give up rural living then I might as well go somewhere where I can go to the store and find what I'm looking for rather than seeing that the shelves at the store are still empty...

    While our extreme temperatures in the interior are close to as cold as our planet gets (Antarctic is a bit colder, and lots of Siberia is similar to interior Alaska, and a few other places too), the climate here seems easier to live in than what I've experienced in Nebraska and the Dakotas due to winds and a higher moisture content in the air in the northern mid-west.
  11. Cindy S.

    Cindy S. Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear you love it there
    Hope you can stay put.
  12. caligal

    caligal Well-Known Member

    I love the cooler weather, it just doesn't love me very much anymore.
  13. Cindy S.

    Cindy S. Well-Known Member

    Just shut the door it'll be over in 6 months ugh. That's what I do.
    Brother Albert R. and caligal like this.
  14. bblnizflln

    bblnizflln Revelation 18:2

    I'm in Colorado and when my oldest brother lived there they had warmer times in the winter than we did! When our mother passed away 10 years ago in December and they came for the funeral it was 10 degrees out and my sister in law complained it is colder here. Baffling. We don't see 60 or 40 below where I am. Usually 15 below at the coldest and don't always go below 0 every year.
  15. bblnizflln

    bblnizflln Revelation 18:2

    I have also heard it can reach the 90's there in the summer. Is that true?
  16. chaser

    chaser Well-Known Member

    Western Nebraska has much lower humidity, it can be 104* temps but only feels like 80-85 because humidity is running 15-30% and as you move to the eastern side it gets almost unbearable at times with dew points in the 70's. I have lived in the western third of the state and hope one day to move there if it is in God's will. The temps and climate more times than not will parallel what is happening in Denver. They seem to get much more sun and the arctic fronts that drop down seem to run more through the eastern side. I can't remember how many times my relatives in the western part of the state are enjoying 40's and we are in brutal -0 temps for extended periods. It is windy there though, must be something to do with being closer to the eastern slopes of the Rockies.
    Tall Timbers, caligal and bblnizflln like this.
  17. Tall Timbers

    Tall Timbers Imperfect but forgiven

    It's not common but it does happen. During most summers in the interior we enjoy temps in the sixties and seventies. When we get a hot spell in the eighties it's a good day to go spend some time at a nearby lake. Upper eighties is stifling and our homes get too warm. I don't know anyone up here who has air conditioning in their homes... I love summer days that are in the upper fifties/low sixties. Those are perfect temps for me.
    caligal and bblnizflln like this.
  18. Tall Timbers

    Tall Timbers Imperfect but forgiven

    Plus, I think western Nebraska may have a lake in an area with good winds for windsurfing (I used to be a windsurfer in my younger days).

    I lived a total of 8 years in the area of Bellevue/Omaha NE. Of all the placers where I've lived, it was the one place I just couldn't learn to like, and it was due to the climate. I didn't like their summers... I didn't like their winters. Fortunately, I was in the Air Force and half of the time I was deployed overseas somewhere :)
    caligal, chaser and bblnizflln like this.
  19. bblnizflln

    bblnizflln Revelation 18:2

    I would agree with that. The 80s and 90s here are intense at 6000 feet.
    Tall Timbers and caligal like this.
  20. chaser

    chaser Well-Known Member

    I live here and do not like the winters or summers , my feet get cold and I am feeling like popsicle, summers so humid every stitch of clothing is stuck to you or what you are sitting on, spring is rainy, cold, damp, cloudy and can run from February to early May. MY favorite season here is Autumn, some years it is our best weather of the year. Stable weather with NO fronts coming through, 40*-55* at night and 60*-70*ish days, but not this year, it was cold with not too many what I consider top 10 days. Seems like since February this year we have some kind of weather front coming through every 3-4 days, wettest year in about 150yrs I think.
    Tall Timbers likes this.

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