Friday, July 13, 2007

Costa Rica

Costa Rica (2007) by Brian L. Frye; video, color, sound, 3.5 minutes.
Quite some time ago, Carrie and I visited Costa Rica on a lark, over the weekend. Of course, I brought the Vidster and captured bits and pieces of the visit.


Alaskaland (2007) by Brian L. Frye; video, color, sound, 6 minutes.
Fairbanks boasts its own Alaska-themed amusement park, once dubbed Alaskaland, but rechristened Pioneer Park to fend off the mouse. It's a lovely, slightly ticky-tacky little park, which makes it all the more charming. The centerpiece is the Tanana Queen, a decommissioned paddlewheeler. And the main deck of the boat boasts an aquarium-like display of dioramas, depicting pioneer and native Alaska in minute detail. The dioramas are charming and fascinating, especially as one gets to visit the town still standing on the site, and realize not so much has changed.

Mukluk Land

Mukluk Land (2007) by Brian L. Frye; video, color, sound, 3.5 minutes.
Last weekend, Carrie and I visited Tok, roundabout on the way to McCarthy. Tok is the Alcan Highway's gateway to Alaska, and rather a tourist haven, if not exactly a destination. But Mukluk Land is one good reason to visit Tok, and it's plenty. An Alaska junkyard cum workshop done up as an amusement park, Mukluk Land features a series of sculptural spoofs on iconic Alaska motifs, a comprehensive collection of historical (busted) snowmachines, a wicked doll congress filling three rooms, a field of cast-iron stoves, a rusting linotype, skeeball, whack-a-mole, and Santa's listing rocketship, which didn't quite make it to North Pole. As a start. In any case, we were the only visitors on a rainy Saturday, and got a guided tour.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

White Mountains

White Mountains (2007) by Brian L. Frye; video, color, silent, 1.5 minutes.
A few weeks ago, I hiked out and back on the Summit Trail in the White Mountains. It had rained all week, and the trail was a creek in places. Spent two nights in a little BLM log cabin shelter in a saddle, and saw two porcupines. They like to chew on plywood.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Alaska Midnight

Alaska Midnight (2007) by Brian L. Frye; video, color, silent, 1.5 minutes.
I shot this video at midnight from a ridge in the White Mountains just before the solstice. The peculiar qualities of the Vidster emphasize the contrast between the almost-setting sun and the alpenglow bathing the hillside.


Breakup (2007) by Brian L. Frye; video, color, silent, 1.5 minutes.
Breakup is the shortest season in interior Alaska. All of the sudden, winter ends, the snow soaks into the tundra, and the ice on the river begins to crack. Everything is a muddy bog for a bit, perhaps a week or two. And then it's done, just as quick, the last bits of ice floating in the glacial silt.

Granite Tors

Granite Tors (2007) by Brian L. Frye; video, color, sound, 2 minutes.
In late April, I decided summer was sufficiently close to permit hiking. And the Granite Tors Trail off Chena Hot Springs road looked perfect. The tors are masses of rock jutting from the muskeg in various formations. It was a lovely walk, as the sun dissolved the waning snowpack. Unfortunately, amidst the trees, the snow was still waist deep, requiring a good deal of postholing. And on the way down it covered the rock cairns marking the trail, obliging me to follow a still-frozen creek back to the road.