Winter is coming...

While today's temperatures are supposed to have a high around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, we are getting close to freezing at night.  This morning, we were almost at the point of frost on the windshields, and I suppose, depending on your home-in-Fairbanks, there may have been frost this week.  This is just one way I know winter is coming in Fairbanks.

Two weeks ago, classes started.  I can't believe two weeks of classes have already passed and that the next 10 weeks will go by much faster than I anticipate.  My classes are interesting and I don't dread any of them.  This is just one way I know winter is coming in Fairbanks. 

90% of the deciduous trees have changed from the summer green to autumn oranges, reds, browns and yellows.  The putrid scents of the Alaskan wild roses and other plants preparing for winter are upon us.  I love all of the seasons because the scenery always changes too. This is just one way I know winter is coming.

Soon, all of the amazing summer colors spread among the flower beds across campus will be prepared for winter.  This is just one way I know winter is coming.  

Starvation Gulch, a Nanook Tradition, is next weekend, September 24-25. Every year that I've been in Fairbanks, some snow has fallen during this weekend.   The schedule for this awesome weekend looks like this:
Friday, September 24th
Nappy Roots Concert - 8:00pm
SRC Latenighter 10:00pm - 1:00am
Saturday, September 25th
Bonfire Set-up - 8:00am - 2;00pm
Blue/Gold Hockey Game - 6:05pm
Bonfires 10:00pm - 2:00am
Pizza&Police / Nanook Theater 12:00am
Every year that I've been in Fairbanks, some snow has fallen during this weekend.  This is just one way I know winter is coming.   

The start of the Alaska Nanook Hockey season starts during the weekend of Starvation Gulch with the Blue/Gold game. Other athletics have also started, which brings on the Alaska Nanook Pep Band.  I'd have to say I love watching Alaska Hockey the most and so, that is just one way I know winter is coming.

All of these hint that we'll soon be below freezing temperatures during the day, and that reminds me of things I need to do before the snow actually falls.  

I need to make sure my car is ready to survive -40 Fahrenheit temperatures.  I need to make sure that all of my accessory heaters I plug in are functioning.  If you've never had your car here in the winter, you should definitely make sure you get an engine block heater, an oil pan heater and a battery blanket/heater.  These heaters help keep parts of your car warm and makes it easier to start after sitting for eight hours at really, really cold temperatures.  It is also pretty important to make sure all of your vehicles fluids are clean and full.  The last thing to prepare your vehicle for a winter in Fairbanks is to put studded tires on.  Studded tires help find friction on icy roads, but they do not make you super man.  If you are driving around Fairbanks in the winter, don't expect your studded tires to be the fix; please slow down and pay even more attention to everything.  

Another thing I need to do is find all of my winter layers.  It is extremely important to stay warm and dry in the winter, as being wet will make you colder faster.  The best layers to wear closest to your skin are materials that will wick away the water.  Materials such as polyester and silk are good to put against the skin. 
The next layer should keep you warm; wool and fleece are good options.  The outer layer should be something that is waterproof and breathable. has a good article on layering.  Outdoor Adventures, here at UAF, is also a good resource.   Hats, gloves and warm footwear will keep most of the heat that easily escapes closer to your body.

One last thing to note, if you are on the UAF campus and notice that there is an unsafe condition, please do not ignore it.  Facilities Services only has so many people watching and needs our help to ensure campus safety.  Please report those areas and they will get someone on the scene quickly.

Things I look forward to during the winter:
- dark skies that allow the Aurora Borealis to be seen
- hockey games (both playing and watching)
- skiing
- sledding
- ice skating
- ice sculptures
- hot cocoa
- winter break and vacations to warmer places

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