Murphy Dome Diaries

A journalist observes life in the far north.

Farewell party and a volcano erupts

Some of our friends gathered at a local watering hole to see us off. I just hope we indeed get to go. The latests tangle is Mount Redoubt, a volcano about 400 miles away that has been erupting since Sunday night, sending ash to within 100 miles of Fairbanks and grounding most flights in and out of the city yesterday.

A local columnist wrote this morning that planes are flying today but the volcano could erupts for days, weeks or months. Planes don’t like to fly through volcanic ash, which can cause them to stall and fall out of the air.

There’s not much to do but wait until Thursday and hope conditions are in our favor. I am lobbying to make a plan to drive to Anchorage, where we could hop a plane south if the planes in Fairbanks are grounded. The plan is being met with some scrutiny because it’s a seven hour drive and Alec is spending Thursday setting up the Alaskan Granite booth for the annual Home Show. We are scheduled to leave late Thursday, more like early Friday, at about 1 a.m.

I have all of my gear but a rain hat, and I am not sure what to pack beyond that. I have a habit of taking too many things on vacation. I am trying to use some self control this time and not lug half my stuff halfway around the world.

By the way, Alec decided to take a pass on the sponsorship offer from the offshore online betting company. I think they got too pushy and he just told them to forget it. I’m glad. The whole thing seemed rushed and I feared that possible future sponsors would be turned off by associating with an online gambling company.

Here on Murphy Dome, a loud wind storm, which continues to blow today, disturbed everyone’s rest last night. It makes me wonder whether there’s some cosmic connection between the winds and the volcano. At least we are making electricity. Last night, the gusts were so strong the windows were bowing and at times the wind mill sounded like a freight train. The Bottle Washing Fairy, who is sleeping on the couch, said Jade was awakened a few times.

Yesterday at work, I was assigned the volcano story and I lucked into an interview with one of the last people to set foot on Redoubt before it blew.

Assuming we don’t make a bonsai run to Anchorage, my plan is to spend Thursday on the dome with Lucky. I’ll try to make a last blog post before we depart. I also hope to blog from Nepal.

Me and the Bottle Washing Fairy.

Alec and his friend, Jeff.

My friend, Mary, and Jade, both working their big baby blues.

My pal, Jen, and her baby girls.

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This entry was posted on March 24, 2009 by .
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