Common place in an uncommon place

When most people think of water in their homes they give very little thought to how it got there. Why would they, aside from knowing that it is drinkable the process for which it got there is probably very uninteresting. In Alaska however, people take a very hands on approach when it comes to their drinking water. Littered throughout the state and in many different settings there are watering holes. These watering holes can come in many different shapes and sizes from large banks of pumps where one can drive up and fill 250 gallon tank in the back of their truck, to small pipes stuck into the hillside were a spring slowly fills a 5 gallon jug. The idea is all the same, good clean water that you know exactly were it came from, your local watering hole. I wanted to share with you a few photos of my favorite watering hole near Fairbanks, Alaska.

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The Fox water shelter has been around for many years and has seen some improvements over the years as well. It started out as a small pipe you could hold a jug under, and is now a nice shelter complete with a holding tank and two dispensers. One thing hasn’t changed though, the people you meet there are friendly and will not think twice about holding a conversation with you. That’s because they’re your neighbors, it doesn’t matter if you don’t live across the street, when you are at the Fox watering hole you might as well.

Now it might seem strange to some people that Alaskan’s go through so much trouble to get water when they can just turn the faucet on right? …Wrong. Due to the remoteness, cold weather, and expense of putting in a well or water tank, many of us Alaskan’s simply do without. And why not, you wont miss it when you hear about your friend who’s heat quit and he ended up with a nasty flood when the heat came on and revealed all his burst water lines.


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I took these shots after work when I got the idea to go and photograph common places for locals that would seem uncommon to many others. I took along my new wireless flash triggers that I mentioned in my previous post which allowed me to get creative with the lighting. By placing a flash behind the half wall on the ground I was able to illuminate the inside of the shelter and show the people filling up even though I was loosing sun light (it is only February in Alaska).