Alaska's Winter Horizon

Alaska's Winter Horizon

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Saturday, July 19th, Home in Anchorage

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Martina and I decided to explore the downtown area near our home. We walked down to the market and did a little shopping. Lots of veggies were available.
 Check out this cabbage. According to the sign, it was a 'baby"!

Town Square was ablaze with beautiful blooms.

The color combination was quite unique and striking.

We just walked and marveled at them.
The flower beds just overflowed with color and foliage!
The weather was a bit warm, but a rain shower came through in late afternoon sending our temps back down.

Sunday afternoon we will be heading back down to Homer to pick up Greg from his McNeil River bear adventure. Can't wait to hear his stories and see the photos!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Friday, July 18th, Seward to Anchorage

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In the words of Santayana, “The earth has music for those who listen.”  Today she played a symphony, a combination of Vivaldi and Bach as the sky exposed her beauty and the sun glistened across Resurrection Bay. Words cannot capture and express the majestic scenery as we made our way from Seward back to Anchorage today.
After a breakfast of lemon shortbread and espresso, we leisurely traveled Exit Road to the Kenai Fjord National Park.

 We headed toward Exit Glacier and hiked just to the Toe to watch her grey rushing waters swiftly pass us as they flow into Resurrection River and eventually the Pacific.

What a sight to behold! Seeing her icy blue walls etched by time and receding as our climate changes.
Exit is only one of the 38 glaciers in the Harding Icefield, which stretches 700 square miles.

 We enjoyed the natural beauty of this area before hitting the road home for Anchorage.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thursday, July 17th, Homer to Seward

Woke up to a glorious morning after sleeping with the windows open and the sounds of ocean waves lulling us to sleep.
After a yummy breakfast, we walked along the beach back to our room to prepare for our day's journey to Seward.
We picked up a few supplies at an international market and hit the road. Of course, we took a few detours to enjoy the sites. At Anchor Point, we walked along the beach and enjoyed the majestic views of Mt. Iliamna and Mt. Spurr. We swore we could see little puffs of smoke from the supposedly inactive volcano.
 We also visited a Russian Orthodox Church which is perched high upon a bluff near Ninilchik.
 As we proceeded toward Seward, we followed the aquamarine waters of the Kenai River nestled within the plush green mountains.
 Here's Martina right after dipping her hand in the chilling waters of the river.
Hoping to catch a glimpse of moose and other wildlife, we toured the rocky paths of the Skilak Wildlife Refuge.

 We reached today's destination--Seward--a quaint town situated right on the edge of Resurrection Bay.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday, July 16th

Martina and I arrived back in Anchorage around 6 pm last night. She has come to spend a few weeks with us in Alaska. Today, we had to drive Greg down to Homer for his big trip. He will be gone for 5 days on a bear adventure to McNeil River. The float plane lifted off from Beluga Lake around 5:30. You can see Greg sitting up front in this photo as they are getting ready to leave.
It will take them about an hour to get there. They have to set up their tents tonight and be ready to hike to the river tomorrow.
He has really been looking forward to this trip! Only 10 people a day are allowed to go out and watch the bears. People are chosen through a lottery system and Greg got lucky and was picked the first year he entered.
They spend nearly 10 hours a day out on the edge of the river watching the bears fish for salmon.
Thankfully, there is an armed guard walking you the two miles to the river and then staying there with you all day!
That helps me not to worry so much because this is the largest congregation of brown bears in the world. It is a once in a lifetime adventure!

Thanks to everyone for the kind words and actions during the last few months. My Dad was a wonderful man and I miss him every day. It helps knowing others also loved him and knew how special he was. I was fortunate to be able to spend those months with my family and friends.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spring is in the air! The seagulls are back so that unofficially heralds spring to me!Today was in the mid 50s. The sun was shining and it was beautiful! Our last snow was almost 2 weeks ago. We got a little less than an inch of accumulation. Downtown, anyway, most of the snow has gone. Our neighbor still has 2 large piles of snow in his backyard that were several feet high a few weeks ago. Now they are struggling to hang on. I'd give them another week before they are totally melted. In the last week, our overnight temperatures have managed to stay above freezing. Our days are officially about 15 hours and 15 minutes long. But actual visible light is from about 5:45 a.m. until around 10:30 p.m.
As it is Easter, we baked our traditional ham. It turned out pretty good and needless to say, we both ate way too much. So much in fact, that we've both sworn off least until tomorrow night.
After dinner, we were looking at Mt. McKinley from our balcony. Greg spotted a pretty big moose walking down our street.
 By the time he could get downstairs with the camera, the moose was already pretty far down the street. It looks like it was headed toward the bus stop!
As you can also tell, they don't abide by any traffic laws and are quite the road hogs.
 They make the streets their own.
It is still funny to us to see these large animals just walking along the downtown streets of Anchorage.

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!