Sunday, June 23, 2013

Alaskan Orientation

This first week has been quite the learning experience as far as the Alaska experience.
When I went to Walmart I noticed that they had outlets at almost every parking spot out in the parking lot and I thought to myself, "Wow, they are really RV friendly here!" Then, I went to my work they had these plug in's as well in the parking lot. So that kind of confused me, but I reasoned that maybe they had a lot of electric cars here. Then, noticed them at my apartment and they even had a switch I could flip in my apartment to turn on my plug in.
Well, I was a little confused, but didn't really think much of it until I was in orientation at the hospital, and because so many of us were from out of town the security officer decided to enlighten us. He said that if we were going to be here through the winter we would want to get our cars "winterized". I guess they put some kind of warming device around the engine of the car. He said, we would then have extension cords coming out of our front bumper like all the rest of the true Alaskans, and we could plug in during the winter to keep the insides of our cars from freezing in the 40 below weather.
I had already noticed the plug in areas, but I had not noticed the extension cords yet. So right when I left orientation I started looking closer at all the other cars in the lot and sure enough probably 60% of them had cords hanging out of the bumper. I guess you learn something new everyday!
Can you see the plugs?

 Speaking of learning something... I think I am going to learn a lot on this assignment with all the different kinds of patients I will be seeing and working in an outpatient setting full time will be a new and challenging experience too.  I hope I am up for the challenge.
There are some interesting differences in the things you have to teach patients too. Check out this sheet we give out for crutch training...
You don't see this in Florida. :)

There is another PT traveler that started at the same time I did. He and his wife travel together and they invited me to go on a hike with them this weekend. It is one of the most popular hikes in the area called Angel Rocks Trail. It was a little overcast, but there was a lot of pretty scenery! It has been hot here recently and the overcast day actually helped to keep it nice and cool. The only problem was it was the perfect weather for the mosquitoes too. So far the mosquitoes have been the bane of my existence since arriving here. They get into my apartment and they get into the car, and on this hike they were worse then I have ever seen in my life! There were hundreds swarming around us. As I was walking down the path and my hands were swinging at my side I could feel my hands hitting mosquitoes with each swing. Thankfully, I doused myself in so much repellent that none of them wanted to bite me, but that didn't stop them from hanging around us until we got above the tree line.


We saw a moose on the way there!
This weekend was also the summer solstice which Alaskans take very seriously. They have a festival all weekend. Part of the festivities is the Midnight Sun Run. This is a 10K run all through town that starts a 10pm, but of course you don't have to worry about the sun going down if you are taking a while to finish it. I signed up and ran, but the most interesting thing about the run was the costumes. They had some good ones. The key was, in order to be considered for the costume prize you had to run the whole race with the complete costume on. Could you imagine running 10K in this...
 Yep. The army group pushing a cannon passed me... I was humbled... ;)
 It was a fun run and since this was one of the first times I was home pretty late I thought I would take another one of my late night pictures. I just can't get over how bright it is outside!
If you can't see the time stamp. It says 1:34 am!

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Well, I have completed my goal. I can't believe it! I have loved the journey that this goal has taken me on and its not over yet...
I arrived in AK on Thursday evening and spent the last couple of days settling in and wandering around town just seeing what Fairbanks has to offer. It is not a "beautiful" city, but it does have everything I will need and there is some beautiful wilderness just outside the main part of the city.
The extended stay/ resort I am staying in is nice with large rooms and the Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge right behind the property. I can access the trails through the refuge from right out my back door.
 It really is daylight here all the time. I think it is funny that I have not yet seen darkness here. It is light when I fall asleep and light when I wake up. It takes a little getting used to, but I love the fact that I do not have to worry about the sun going down while I am out on a hike or driving around in a strange part of town.
Here is a view out my window at almost 11pm.

Tomorrow I begin orientation at the hospital. I will hopefully be meeting some of my co-workers. Can't wait to start to get more inside, local knowledge about what there is to do.