Alaska's Winter Horizon

Alaska's Winter Horizon

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Denali Trip

We packed up our bags and headed north to visit Denali National Park. This family can now consider themselves members of the 30% club as we were able to see Denali on the drive up. This mountain is so massive that it creates its own weather systems!
Thus, only about 30% of visitors to the area get to see the mountain. In fact, we pulled over and snapped these pics at the north viewpoint and by the time we had driven about another 30 miles, the mountain was fully shrouded behind the clouds again.
The next day was quite cooler and windy. We took a bus ride into the park to look for animals and enjoy the scenery.

This bear put on quite a show for us. He walked along the bus for a bit and then crossed the road right in front of us.
 He crossed two creeks and then stood up on his hind legs and scratched his back on a tree! I wasn't quick enough to get a pic of that but others captured it on their phones.

 Nearby, a mom and her cubs were grazing on the mountainside. We also saw a few moose, Dall sheep, and caribou along the route.

  Hope they had a good time! They should be home in a few hours enjoying the heat and humidity of the South.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Trip to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Hope everyone had a happy Fourth of July! We enjoyed our day by traveling down the Seward Highway and taking in a few sights. Our first stop was Beluga Point. 
 If you look closely in these pictures you can see the Godwins out on the rocks in the Inlet.
 As usual, it was a bit windy but the views were awesome.
 We pulled over one more time to see a Dall sheep and her baby up on the mountainside.
 The Wildlife Conservation Center was our next stop. These animals certainly know the sounds of the food wagon.
 As soon as the worker drove in with their meal, these reindeer immediately began to follow her!
These antlers that Chris is modeling are quite heavy. Velvet was still on the antlers of the reindeer, moose and elk that we saw today. It will remain on the antlers for a few more months. Many of the animals were resting in shelters or under trees. It has been very warm for us here these last few days. 

Hoping it stays sunny and warm because the family will be out on the water for a boat tour tomorrow.

 We made it home and ate some yummy grilled food that Greg cooked for us. Competition was tough during the few games of croquet we played. Melinda and I hold on to our Championship Titles for the summer! We took the bikes over to my school to ride for a bit.
Don't think the sound of those fireworks is going to keep me awake tonight. Kinda tired and we've got a busy day tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Friends visiting Alaska

I returned home from Tennessee on July 1. Early this morning, the Griswolds, also known as the Godwins, arrived in Anchorage! We got out and enjoyed this quite warm but beautiful day. Even as tired as they were, they were really good sports and got out and walked all around downtown.
 We walked around Ship Creek hoping to see some fish.
 The kiddos just had to test the water and see how cold it was.
 They also met a few new friends in front of the giftshop.
 We walked on the Coastal Trail to the Westchester Lagoon area.
Here's an action shot of them playing on the equipment.
 After walking several miles today, I'm sure we will all sleep well tonight. Gonna travel down the Seward Highway tomorrow for some more outdoor adventures.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Last week of school!

 On Sunday morning my friend and I went for our walk on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.
 This eleven mile trail often offers up some excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. During this time of year you need to be extra vigilant for moose and their newborn calves. Luckily, we didn't meet up with any aggressive moose moms but we did see some large birds out on the mud flats.
There were some Sandhill cranes enjoying their Sunday morning brunch and paying us no mind whatsoever.
They seem to be enjoying our slightly warmer weather. Daytime temps have finally climbed into the mid 50s.
 As you can see from this photo, these cranes are excellently camouflaged against the old vegetation.

We left them to eat and continued on our walk. I had to get back home because Greg and I wanted to get the garden planted today. We did get two raised beds planted with lettuce, kale, spinach, carrots, and radishes. Can't wait to harvest those yummy veggies!

Here is a view back toward downtown Anchorage with the mountains forming a beautiful backdrop. I will miss seeing these mountains for a month as I am headed to visit family next week. I will be back home in Alaska at the first of July. That snow will look mighty refreshing after sweltering in the southern heat!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Walk around the Lake

Well, it has warmed up a bit since our last post. Our temps have been climbing to the mid 40s each day. Some days have made it to 50 degrees! The majority of snow is gone from our yard.
 Greg did manage to fire the grill up last weekend. Hopefully in the next few weeks we will be able to get our raised beds ready for planting.
 Today I took a walk with two friends around Lake Hood. This is a base for many of the seaplanes here in Anchorage.
 It didn't appear to be a lot of activity because the lake is still frozen. In a couple of months this lake will be a hub of activity. Planes will be waiting in line to take off from the water.
 Someone took the floats off their plane. Maybe the plane is getting serviced and ready for summer action.
 The lake has a picturesque setting with the mountains as a background.
 You do have to share the road with aircraft. There is a runway right across the road! You can see quite a bit of snow piled up behind the fence in this photo.
This field of planes looks ready for takeoff! Dirt runways are very common here in Alaska.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

End of winter?

Finally, the first days have come since last fall that our temperatures are not going to fall below freezing overnight! Well, that is what they have in the forecast. We'll see. Either way, the sun and the warm temperature of 50 degrees today felt fantastic!
 This morning a friend and I took our weekly walk. The lakes and streams are still frozen.
 The parkstrip has lots of snow remaining on the ground.
 As we walked along the coastal trail, we could see a boat headed toward the port.
 Here is Mount Susitna, also known as Sleeping Lady. You can see how it got this nickname from this view.
 That boat looks kinda small next to those big mountains!
 Another view across the frozen mud flats of Sleeping Lady.
 Here is the trail we walked upon. I am still wearing my hiking boots while walking. Maybe I will be able to switch over to my tennis shoes for our walks soon.
 Hopefully the forecast will come true and we will be able to dig the grill out for next weekend. The sizzle of burgers and hot dogs will be the official start of spring for Greg!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Valentine's Day Eagle and Snow

Greg and I were able to just relax around the house today on this Presidents' Day holiday. Sure is nice to have extra days off from work. Last week on Valentine's Day, it began to snow really hard with these large fluffy snowflakes.
 I sure enjoy watching it snow!
Driving on the other hand can be a bit dicey.
 As I turned slowly onto our street, I could see that the local eagle was sitting atop a light pole.
 He looked so majestic as he scanned the streets and skies from his perch.
When Greg got home, I begged him to go take some pictures of the eagle.
It wasn't snowing as hard by then but coming down at a pretty good pace.
He managed to get close enough to take a few photos before trudging back through the nearly six inches of fresh snow.
Hope Greg enjoyed today's holiday off because he doesn't get another until the end of May!
I, on the other hand, leave two weeks from today for Spring Break in the South!