It is getting…cold again

No need for an explanation here. This is Tok, Alaska.

The Aurora Above Tok

Last night, the aurora was active around 10 o’clock at night.

If you’ve never seen the Aurora Borealis, depending on how clear and intense it is, it can look like a glow stick has been emptied into the dark night sky and is flowing across the sky, back and forth, up and down, around, in and out. It can have an otherworldly feel to the way it moves, like alien lights, alive and dancing.

Here’s an image we took looking above our house from our driveway at the greenish glow.

Nature’s laser light show!

Baby, it’s cold outside…but hot in here!

While it reached the minus double digits again this morning in Tok, it was more than balmy inside. Practically like Hawaii. But without the sun, the sand, the surf and the umbrella drinks.


And it got hotter a little while later, topping off at 86 degrees

I guess the wood stove is working. Really, really well.

How are you keeping warm this winter?

Another Head Lice Outbreak at Tok School

It is an epidemic and only gets worse each year. Lice infestation of our children at the Tok School.

What can be done about it?

Here’s a fact sheet that can be helpful:

You can find a head lice removal kit online here:

What are some of your best head lice prevention and removal tips?

Wild Game and Greens

Typical dinner around here:

Caribou steak (broiled in the oven with salt and pepper), sauteed greens, corn on the cob.

End of Summer in Tok

Summer is coming to a close. Actually, did it ever begin? I seem to remember a couple of gorgeous, sunny Alaska days somewhere in the mix, but for the most part, rain. Here are a few scenes from Summer 2011 in Tok…









How was your summer? Ready for winter?

Saturday: Tango Music in Tok

There is another concert coming to Tok!

Tomorrow: Saturday, July 16 – TANGO IN TOK!

At Off the Road House
Duct Tape Radio & Off the Road House are excited to host Folias Music bringing the tangy zest of tango to Tok. Refreshments.

Tango Lessons 5:30 to 6 p.m.
$10/person or $15/couple. Bring your dancing shoes!

Tango Concert 7 – 9.
$10/person donation. Bring a chair and a friend.

Scenes from the concert in our front yard this month with singer/songwriter Paul Thompson aka Buskalaska. A lovely evening of music and dancing.

Are you having a great summer?

-44 Degrees Again in Tok

Enough said…

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?

Winterpocalypse Pics

Because every day is a winterpocalypse in these parts (compared to other parts)…

Trick or Treat Street and PTSA Carnival in Tok

From Shannon Geese:

Coming up for Halloween: Trick or Treat Street & PTSA Carnival

WHEN: Sunday, October 31st

3:30-5:00pm Trick or Treat Streeet

4-6:30pm Carnival

The events do overlap. Everything takes place at Tok School.

The Trick or Treat Street is totally free.

The Carnival is a fundraiser for the PTSA. Tickets will be sold at the event.

Hope to have everyone come out and show their community support.

Per Shannon: They also need oa few more bodies to help operate the 23 booths. Contract Shannon Geese if you can help.

What are YOU going to be for Halloween this year?

10 Things People Don’t Believe About Tok Alaska Winters

When I travel the country and tell people where I live, jaws drop, both out of awe and incredulity. “You live THERE?! Why in the world?? Boy, I’ve always wanted to go to Alaska!!” I explain that my husband’s job brought us here, first to Anchorage and almost two years ago to Tok.  It’s beautiful here in the summers, cold as all get out in the winters.

My first winter here was the coldest, with our home thermometer capping off at -60 degrees Fahrenheit. Last summer was mild with many more minus 30s and 40s  than past the minus 60 mark. Here are some of the things that happened to us, especially the first winter, that still cause friends’ eyes to pop open:

1. Temperatures can get below -60 degrees Fahrenheit for long stretches of time and most thermometers just don’t go any further.

2. We put cardboard or leather inside the grill on our vehicles to keep the cold air from freezing the radiator.

3. We get what’s called the “Tok Package” to insulate our vehicle engines – not just an engine block heater which is common in colder states but also an oil pan heater and battery blanket.

4. We get “square tires.” When we start our vehicles and start driving in the colder temperatures, the tires clunk and thunk like a flat tire. The tires freeze flat and take a while for the air inside them to warm up and smooth out.

5. Your breath freezes on the inside of your car windshield. After a certain point, even your car heater can’t keep up, and your breath turns into a crust on the inside of your windshield. Helpful to have a little credit card-sized inside the windshield ice scraper. Yes, they make them in Alaska.

6. School buses run until -45 degrees. We don’t have snow days here where kids get out of going to school. We have cold days when the temperatures become impossible for the school bus to operate properly and safely.

7. Our walls are 12 inches thick. Not everyone has the same kind of walls, although the log houses do have thick walls for insulation. But our place looks like a regular house but with walls a foot thick to keep out the cold and keep in the heat.

8. Wine does freeze. I learned this hard way when I brought all the wine gifts from friends from Anchorage on our drive to Tok. Needless to say I let the bottles thaw out and drank it anyway.

9. Moisture in your nostrils crystalizes. When you go outside in the colder temps, you can literally hear the moisture in your nostrils crackling and freezing up. Needless to say breathing in the air at that point is not good for your lungs.

10. We did see a thermometer at minus 71 degrees. My husband took a photo of it and  it caused quite a ruckus across the Internet amongst weather geeks. Eventually, a representative from NOAA came by Tok to explain why it wasn’t an accurate reading. But we still have the picture! 😉

I haven’t experienced what happens when you throw a cup of hot water into the air outside. Everyone keeps telling me to try it, but I keep forgetting and going outside when it is cold enough to freeze midair isn’t my idea of fun!

Here’s a little video to give you a sense of winters at minus 60. Driving to General Store in Tok

– Watch more Videos at Vodpod.
Are you ready for winter?

Gordie Tentrees and Sarah MacDougall in Tok

Thanks to Bud Johnson of Acoustic Accents who hosted Canadian musicians Gordie Tentrees and Sarah MacDougall in Tok last weekend and put on a very enjoyable house concert literally in his living room. Sarah kept every entertained with her quirky style, gorgeous voice, and even had us howling (like wolves as part of a sing-a-long).

Yes, she’s in her socks!

Gordie offered up rambling, bluesy tales and storytelling banter in between.

Matt King on slide guitar and backup vocals.

Check them out on Facebook!

Sarah MacDougall Facebook Page

Gordie Tentrees Facebook Profile

Up for a concert in town featuring talented and lovely Alaskan singer/songwriters Marian Call and Britt Arnesen? Prefect winter-time event with great music to warm the soul! Working to make that happen. Stay tuned here or to our Facebook Page for updates.

If you’re into the arts in Tok, don’t forget to check out Duct Tape Radio and Humanities Forum on Facebook as well.