Alaska's Winter Horizon

Alaska's Winter Horizon

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday, March 30

Spring is officially here. Our daytime temps have been above freezing for the last several days. The snow and ice are melting a bit more each day in places that the sun can reach. This road to Goose Lake has been shaded quite a lot and is still covered in ice and snow.
Our days are getting a lot longer. Officially today was 13 hours and 12 minutes long. However, you are able to see visible light for 14 hours and 41 minutes!
 We rode over there after getting out to get Greg a much needed haircut. It was once again a beautiful sunny afternoon, it felt delightful out there! We saw a few people on their skis enjoying the trails.

It was so wonderful to get out and just walk around the lake.

 As you can see, the lake is still frozen and you are able to walk on it.

 Looks like they cleared an area for ice skating.
I monitored any activity from the lifeguard chair.

Luckily, no action by me was required!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Iditarod 2014

The 42nd Iditarod dog sled race began this past Sunday in Willow. The ceremonial start was held the day before here in Anchorage. We managed to get out and get a few pictures of some of the mushers.
 The day was very sunny and the temperature was quite tolerable. This year's roster includes teams from 7 different countries, including this musher, Newton Marshall, from Jamaica.
Perhaps taking a page from the Jamaican bobsledding team as far as participating in a sport foreign to their country, you could probably count the number of dog mushers in Jamaica using just one finger. Robert Sorlie, from Norway, has won the Iditarod twice before.
 He is a strong contender again this year at the midway point. This year's trail has proven to be very harsh. As of today, at least 13 teams have scratched or dropped out of the race. This musher suffered a broken ankle and had to drop out.
Lisbet Norris is a rookie in the race this year.
 John Baker won several years ago.
We will let you know how it all turns out for everyone. As far as me, I'm going somewhere warm for a week!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fur Rondy begins!

This past weekend was the start of Fur Rendezvous! This traditional festival celebrates the time when trappers would return to town with their furs to sell. I think it lets all of us get out and shake any cabin fever from the long winter. There are many activities during this time. You can go and enjoy a carnival, view the snow sculptures, take in exhibits at the train depot and museum, or watch any of the other many original Alaskan activities. One of these fun events is the Frostbite Footrace and Costume Run. I only caught a glimpse of the participants from the balcony. I was too lazy to travel any further!  Saturday night we did watch the fireworks.
These were probably the best Fur Rondy fireworks we've seen.
 Greg took many pictures but finally stopped and just enjoyed the displays as they lit up the sky.
Sunday was the final day for the World Championship Sled Dog races. This 3 day event has been taking place every year since 1946. Teams run a 25 mile course each day down our city streets, across trails, over bridges, and through the city's forests.
Here is this year's winner, Arleigh Reynolds, coming down the home stretch.
You can see the snowmachines right  behind him to signal the end of the race.
 Lance Mackey, a 4 time Iditarod winner, was a rookie in the race this year.
  He and his puppy patrol finished second to last in the event.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday, Feb. 9th

We haven't had much snow lately.
As you can tell by these pictures,
the snow covering our nearby Chugach Mountains is a lot less than it normally is this time of year.
 There is even talk of moving the start of the Iditarod dog sled race to Fairbanks this year. Poor trail conditions and lack of snow may force the move. They are going to decide soon because the race is set to begin in three weeks. Hopefully, we will get some snow this week but I think the forecast only showed a small chance.
In this pic, you can see the moon just waiting for its turn up there in the blue sky.
It has been windy and cold. We did go out to dinner with our friends, Emily and Mindy, last night. Other than that, we have pretty much stayed indoors for the weekend.
We did manage to see a very brief but awesome display of the aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, on Friday night. We have seen it fill the sky much more than it did on Friday night.  However, we had never seen the lights dance across the night sky as they much as they did this night. In some cases, when the lights were stationary they seemed to pulse and grow as if keeping time to a musical beat. It is still amazing and breathtaking every time we are lucky enough to experience this display of nature's light show.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Crazy weather!

We haven't gotten out much in the last few weeks due to the crazy weather. We've had highs from the lower 30s all the way up to 48 degrees here in Anchorage in January! Needless to say, this has created an icy mess.
The parking lots and sidewalks are like ice skating rinks.
 They are treacherous when walking. Greg even took a spill crossing A Street this Monday morning. Luckily, he landed on his head and therefore was not injured. Just kidding! Before hitting the ground too hard, he caught himself with his coffee mug at the last second. He said only his knee actually touched the pavement. The hard part was getting enough traction to stand back up again. The parking lots are quite a bit better today after these last few days in the 40s.
 I took this picture outside my library door this afternoon.
  I have never seen the grass and ground before in January since coming to Alaska.
This has been unusual weather to say the least. Predictions show that we will back closer to our normal weather conditions for this time of the year by the end of the week. Of course, our 20s will look warm to some of you in the lower 48 having that brutal cold snap!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Happy New Year!

Greg and I made it home to Alaska in the wee hours of January 4th. By that time, temps were warmer here than they were in Tennessee. Actually for the last week it has been quite pleasant weather for this time of the year.
Tonight we decided to walk down to Town Square and look at this year's ice sculptures.
Surprisingly, for 9 o'clock on a Sunday night there were several people out admiring this year's creations.
The green light behind these sea turtles really helped emphasize the movement in this sculpture.
 Greg and I agreed that overall these seem to be the best collection we've seen so far.
 Each one seemed to be quite elaborate and detailed.
You can tell that many hours went into each one.
 This is a pretty good likeness of the Statue of Liberty, complete with a city skyline behind it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Anniversary Trip to Homer

This is the post for our trip to Homer in October. I'm sure it looks different there now as our winter is definitely here! Plenty of snow on the ground and cold temps!

Arrived in Homer about 8 on Friday night after leaving Anchorage early that afternoon.
We stopped by the grocery to try and buy herring to fish with on Saturday. Unfortunately, they no longer had any herring as it was no longer fishing season. And as we soon found out, the stores all across town had stopped selling herring. As a last resort, we purchased chicken gizzards to fish with on Saturday. Finally arrived at our beach rental at Land's End about 9:30. It was windy, rainy, and cold. We got up Saturday morning and hit a few of the local shops and had lunch while we waited on the low tide. When it was finally time to fish, we braved light rain and high winds as we made our way to our selected fishing spot.
We shivered and fished for over an hour before I caught the first fish of the day, a rockfish.
 I fished for about another hour before deciding that the jetted tub in our room would be more comfortable than trying to fish in the wind and cold rain.

 Greg fished about another hour before also catching a rockfish about the same size.

 It was only after his fishing chair blew away for the fifth time that he decided to give it up as well.