(Above: The team stopped for a break in the BWCAW)
It was fifteen below (Fahrenheit) this morning. Typical, even mild, by Minnesota standards but a bit colder than we’ve had in a while.
I relished it.
“How does running up to 100 miles a day across treacherous ice, through biting winds and blinding snowstorms, and in subzero temperatures sound?” Michelle Feinberg wrote last month in an anti-sled dog piece for a People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) website.
Been there, done that. Sounds kind of normal, to be honest, and gives me flashbacks to the UP 200. But then, my sense of normal has always been a bit skewed and, as I love to say, my life is not normal.
Michelle goes on to add “I think it sounds like hell - cold hell.”
Now I don’t know Michelle and, although we come from very different philosophies and I’m no fan of PETA as an organization, I am a proponent of treating animals ethically, so we have common ground there. I’d be happy to introduce her to the world of sled dogs that I know, which I’m is very different than what I gather she’s read. I’m also going to bet, from her writing, that she’s never experienced true cold.
I doubt Michelle has run any miles, much less a hundred, behind a team of dogs whose response to subzero gusts of swirling snow isn’t to balk but instead charge forward with enthusiasm and glee. I doubt she has ever felt ice frosting on her eyelashes or sat with a team of sled dogs while the aurora borealis dances on one horizon and the moon rises on another, their breath fogging into a small cloud under stars so bright they seem threatening.
I doubt she knows that snow smells different depending on the temperature or that snow at zero degrees has a completely different feel and consistency than snow at freezing - so much so that it hardly counts as the same thing at all. I doubt that she’s seen snow materialize out of the air on a clear night or seen the sun circled by a rainbow refracting from ice crystals. I doubt that she has spent hours nestled in a straw nest with her dog team, massaging their legs and muscles with rosemary oil, wind chapping her bare hands since this is a task that doesn’t lend itself to gloves.
I doubt she has ever seen sled dogs first-hand, much less as they delight in running - leaping and barking at the start of a run or race, still leaping and barking a hundred miles or more later during a stop, demanding to know why we are stopped. I doubt she has stood with her foot on the drag brake of a sled for hours just to keep the team from going too fast, the spray of snow from the drag gradually coating her boots.
Have you ever thrown boiling water into the air and watched it vaporize before it hits the ground? Have you ever watched ravens fly on the most brutal of winds, as if it were the most fun they could ever hope to have? Have you ever sung to your dogs on a day where even the sun doesn’t warm the land? Have you ever seen dogs oblivious to the cold run and play or witnessed how much more excited they are to run on a sled team when it is approaching zero? Pulling a sled, far from cruelty, comes as naturally to them as their odd howl-barks that sound more like yodeling than “normal” dog noises.
Frozen hair, clouds of breath, the hot snuff of a dog’s muzzle on your cheek, the entire world coated in crystalline cold. You may call it Hell but we call it home and it’s where we thrive.
Whenever I try to describe how a deep freeze feels, I always come up short. It’s hard to describe, but it’s hard to describe in a good way.
Growing up in the muggy Southeast, the idea of true cold was a foreign concept, one that my friends and relatives there still have difficulty grasping. Why would I purposefully move to the subarctic wilderness to live my life and why would I purposefully go out into it again and again.
Cold can be scary to those unfamiliar with it, who don’t know how to deal with it. It’s something strange and bizarre, something to be respected but it’s also inexplicably beautiful and being out in it is an incredible experience.
If you are a husky then you, like your wild wolf cousins, are physically built to not only withstand the harshest of Winter conditions but to thrive in them. You have a thick double coat - the woolly undercoat insulates and the sleek outer coat deflects wind, snow and moisture, not to mention a tail you can drape over your nose while resting.
For those of us who aren’t huskies, however, it is still possible to dress for such cold weather - Northern peoples have been doing it for centuries. Inuit and Yup’ik anoraks, mukluks and parkas are still some of the warmest clothing and even some of the more modern arctic gear is modeled off these traditional garments.
But it’s not just about what jacket or boots you have, dressing for the cold involves learning how and where to layer and what to layer with. Terms like “wristies” and “neck gaiters”, which mean nothing to many people, become household words for essential pieces of gear that you wouldn’t dream of venturing into the cold without. Tiny things like this can completely change the cold weather experience.
Do we still feel the cold? Yes, of course we do! Much moreso than the dogs. For us, warm is relative but it’s worth it for the experience of being out in the cold with said dogs.
Of course it was the dogs that drew me here - the amazing, wonderful huskies that I love and which my life circles around. As I write this, two of them (Wizard and Poe, to be specific) are snuggled up next to me, fast asleep. My little cold weather-loving friends who practically embody the spirit of the cold.
Our subzero playground might sound like cold hell but, for us, it’s another day in frozen paradise.
voltron force sven redesign to go with hunk, allura, lance, keith and pidge! i couldn’t leave out the second blue lion pilot, especially when his story is so interesting!
this design pulls up the elements of sven being a resident of pollux and also a father - instead of his modern-looking arctic gear he gets something a little more in line with the fairytale aesthetics of arus and pollux, combined with a norse/viking feel to elicit sven’s own heritage. the embroidery on his tunic mirrors this set’s redesign for allura, connecting them as blue lion pilots. his general appearance vaguely mirrors king alfor, drawing connections to someone associated with royalty, maturity, strength and bravery; as well as that protective sense of fatherhood allura remembers so fondly.
additionally, the severity of sven’s haggarium infection is enhanced, giving a far more visual explanation for his retreat to crydor with his son
(and if it’s unclear, he’s holding the baby in swaddling under his cloak). the white streak in his hair - which mirrors daniel’s once his own haggarium infection takes over - is a further result of the poisoning, but is braided away from his face to minimise negative focus on it.
i’ll probably post all these as a set later on now all the pilots are done! i had a huge amount of fun with these designs and i’d like to draw more sometime if i get the chance, i hope everyone enjoys them! ヽ(･ω･ゞ)
Up here in Alaska we started the week with a sudden slightly early Immediate 6 Inches of snow that fell intermittently for about 3 solid days, then the temperature went back up to thirty-frickin-four and now we just have rain that turned all the snow it didn't wash away to slush. COME ON. It already pretty much rained all summer. Early or not, if it's going to precipitate at all it could at LEAST be precipitation I can play on. Also, just-above-freezing is the worst temperature. THE WORST.
Like for -20? You know it’s gonna suck. You can go full on Arctic survival gear, and also the snow and ice are dry. No one blinks when you’re wearing a balaclava, earmuffs, wool mittens, and long underwear and a ski suit at -20. But they scoff if you wear that at 30 above.
Just above freezing, when the sleet soaks into your clothes? And the wind whips it into your face? So you just end up soaking wet and shivering and miserable?
Full prompt: “Let’s go away, just us, just for a night or two.” + “I can’t remember the last time I’ve smiled this much.”
“Do you ever get tired of just being in Seoul?” Sunghwa asked as you handed him another dish to dry.
“Yeah,” you said honestly after thinking about it for a few moments. “Definitely.” He always offered to let you come on tour with him, but you never accepted; you usually couldn’t get that long off work and anyway, you didn’t want to be a distraction. “Why?”
He shrugged. “I was just thinking.” He set down his dish towel and turned to you. “Let’s go away, just us, for a night or two.”
Your eyebrows shot up. He usually wasn’t one for making big plans; in fact he typically shied away from them. “Is that you, Sunghwa?” you joked. “Not a clone?”
He laughed. “Yeah, it’s me. I just…” He picked up his dish towel again and kept drying. “I feel like we haven’t had much time together recently and I want to change that.”
You smiled warmly. “I would love that.”
“Really?” he said and you nodded enthusiastically.
“Of course! Where do you want to go?”
“Hmm… Wanna look at places after we finish here?”
You jumped onto the couch, tucking your legs under you and shifting closer to Sunghwa, who had just opened his laptop. “First of all, should we stay in Korea? Or go to Japan or Hong Kong or some other country?” he asked.
You considered. “I’m not sure… What do you think?”
i used to hate lognecks because the old ones (skirmisher, mender etc) are really ugly. BUT! they’ve been getting better and better? cuter?
the ones from ghostlight & those ones with the arctic gear were already good but the revamped Arena ones are perfect??? fun emo hair friends! thanks whoever is responsible for the new ones!! staff pls update the old ugly ones and make them Good too
note: not in a gross way. in a happy Look At Those Good Llamas way.
I love getting deployed at the beginning of a mission and watching everyone frantically input their strategems to gear up b4 we start getting swarmed. Everyone’s always got an important role they play.
I really genuinely appreciate that even tho there’s no “classes” in this game, everyone on the team generally feels different, and yet at the same time manages to unite everyone rather than alienating a specific class type due to some kinda bias or animosity (although i will say i get stepped on a lot by peoples mech suits..) and as the mission progresses the players are fleshed out.
And all the animations for our characters regardless of being a top down view, are very solid and good at relaying information about what ur doing. I dunno Im really kissin ass right now but im just very pleased with the quality of the games assets, sound effects, music and art direction. its just all around satisfying.
Some different outfit ideas for Belost. They were fun to think up!
Casual - When Belost is out and about on the ship and doesn’t feel like wearing all of his gear. Basically you could consider this out of uniform.
Standard - This is how Belost gears up most of the time. This is for urban / jungle / desert / mountain environments. Sometimes the lack of sleeves can make things a little chilly, but usually he’s moving too much to really notice.
Arctic - Definitely one of Belost’s least favorites. Sleeves, gloves, furs, a scarf and goggles all so he can hopefully not freeze to death. Any time he’s got this gear on you can bet he’s going to be doing his best to get his mission over with as soon as possible.
Low Oxygen / Biohazard - This one could actually use a lot from the Arctic gear as well if the situation warranted it. There are a lot of planets that don’t have enough oxygen for a galra to be able to breath. Granted the galra are pretty well adapted to a wide variety of factors, Belost especially given all of his on-planet training, but even then there will be some where it’s impossible. But a re-breather and oxygen tank combination can help put Belost on those planets no problem. Of course Belost hates these scenarios. Fortunately they don’t come up often.
In the following essay, excerpted from BLM’s 2016 Dalton Highway Visitor Guide, recently retired BLM Alaska park ranger Lisa Jodwalis uses a recent Hollywood science fiction movie to highlight the challenges (and thrills) of a winter visit to the remote Dalton Highway, which connects Interior Alaska and the North Slope.
Lisa Jodwalis worked as a park ranger and ran the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center in Coldfoot from 2001 to 2008. She assisted the BLM hydrologist with snow surveys along the Dalton Highway from 2011 to 2013 and has driven the road in every month except January. She always made it home without freezing any digits.
In the book and movie “The Martian,” astronaut Mark Watney struggles to survive alone on a desolate desert planet where the average temperature is -80ºF. Although he has trained for this and @nasa has provided some awesome tools, anything that can go wrong, does. Only his determination, resourcefulness, and know-how keep him alive. But that’s science fiction, right?
so reblog this if you post stuff about
-the big bang theory
-how i met your mother
-the fault in our stars (and other john green stuff)
-pirates of the caribbean
-the hunger games
-any british comedians/panel shows