Today was wonderful. One of those days filled with happy synchronicities. I went to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Large Animal Research Station. My goal: to see qiviut on the hoof and interview Sandy Garbowski, musk ox wrangler, qiviut expert, and heck of a cool lady.
Musk ox are amazingly tiny, see how I’m looking down in the pictures of these cuties? The were only about three feet high at the shoulders, not the six-to-seven feet tall I’d imagined.
One of the highlights of the interview? See that? That’s a garbage-sack worth of qiviut spread out before me. And then Sandy went looking for the highly-advanced tool that they use to comb out the qiviut, and turned her back…
grabbed up the entire pile and ran pell-mell for the hills, microphone trailing behind me kept my hands jammed firmly in my pockets the whole time.
The high-tech tool used to harvest qiviut?
Afterwards I walked five-ish miles in 90-degree heat to reach A Weaver’s Yarn, a delightful LYS run out of the bottom of the owners’ house. Well worth the trek. All those stories you hear about Alaskan hospitality: all true.
More about that visit later, it’s past midnight and I need to pack.