Kathleen Collier takes the Interior Alaska cold in stride.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks ornithology student bounded north on Farmers Loop Road on Wednesday, running home from campus in minus-36-degree air. Her feet squeaked with each step on the ice-crusted bike path. This was the coldest weather the Colorado transplant had seen yet, she said.

“This is pretty new to me,” Collier said with a smile from beneath the icy rim of her blue hood. But the upbeat student has a simple strategy.

“Wear a jacket and keep moving,” she said.

Collier seems like a good fit for Fairbanks. It’s not hard to imagine that sentiment on a sign to greet visitors at the west end of Airport Way: Welcome to Fairbanks. Wear a jacket and keep moving.

There are colder places on the planet and colder places in Alaska. But perhaps no other American city pulses quite like the Golden Heart City in this weather. People still go to work and school in the city of 31,000. Cars and buses lurch through the ice fog as people keep to their schedules. Pedestrians are fewer, but not uncommon.

 

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