Alaska's Winter Horizon

Alaska's Winter Horizon

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 30, 2011

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Saturday morning I worked on a college paper and Greg got out and ran a few errands. That night, we went out to dinner at the Spenard Roadhouse with Jacque. We decided to see what all the fuss was about. Turns out the food is pretty good and the food and drinks are reasonably priced. Thanks again Jacque for dinner!

Sunday morning our friends, Doris and Wes, called to see if we wanted to go for a Sunday drive and lunch. Once we shook off the cobwebs from the night before, we were awake and delighted to go. We took a long drive up the Glenn Highway toward Glenallen. After we passed the town of Palmer and began to rise in elevation, the sunny morning we left in Anchorage became overcast, snowy, hazy, and cold. We stopped at several pull-offs to take some pictures and enjoy the view. We drove on and the roads, which still had some of winter's snow and ice on them, began to turn completely white. Even though our original destination was about 20 more miles up the road, we changed our plans and stopped at the Long Rifle Lodge in Glacier View. This neat lodge would have had an incredible view of the Matanuska Glacier from the dining area windows if the falling snow hadn't obscured it. The log cabin lodge was filled with many preserved animal trophies, including a musk ox, grizzly, black bear, mountain goat, and lynx. After a nice lunch, we headed south toward Anchorage. Several miles down the highway, we spotted a few men ice fishing on a frozen lake. Their trucks were parked right beside their temporary ice huts on this frozen body of water. Wes also had to tempt fate by driving out onto the frozen lake. Hope you didn't hear my gasp of horror as he had to put the truck in four wheel drive to get back to shore! We did enjoy the beautiful mountain views and thanks again to Wes and Doris for lunch and adventure.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday, March 23rd

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Wow, we're up to a little over 12 hours of daylight now. It is starting to melt much of the snow and ice. There is still plenty to be found as you can tell from the photos. In fact, we got about 5 inches of fresh snow just last Thursday night!
Saturday afternoon I took a break from school work to go walking with Greg and Jacque. We walked through downtown and got on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. It was somewhat slippery in places but it wasn't crowded along the trail. This made for a quite peaceful and relaxing walk. When we reached the lagoon, we stopped to watch people play hockey and skate. The lagoon is still frozen and a few people were practicing on the ice. Come summer time, this lagoon will be full of birds and water. Along the Chester Creek Trail, Greg and I stopped for a photo above the creek. The ice has begun to melt in places and the water was rushing along. The packed snow on the trail atop the bridge was about 7 inches deep. You did have to be very careful because of the ice under the trees and such. Unfortunately, we didn't see any moose. We walked along the slick sidewalks of A Street back home after the two hour stroll.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March 15, 2011

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The sun has really been hanging around a lot these last few days. The sidewalks and parking lots are still sheets of ice but some does melt during the day's sunshine. However, at night they freeze over again. Taking advantage of the bright days, we set out on Sunday to go view the snow sculptures created during Fur Rondy. It seems we were a little late as the sculptures had been pushed down. They had probably started to melt a bit. Bummer. We did get to walk along Ship Creek and enjoy the peace and solitude of a late winter's day. Jacque went along with us and we all enjoyed being outside on such a nice day. Cold but nice. Saturday night the three of us went to Benihana's Japanese Steak House here in Anchorage. Quite entertaining, and pretty yummy food! Thanks to the Scarbrough family for our Christmas gift card to this restaurant. I can't believe my spring break is over! Last week is just a distant memory now! I did enjoy shopping with my friend, Terry, and visiting with some friends around town. Didn't get much college work completed, but I was on spring break! Not that you could tell it was spring by this photo. There is at least 2 feet of snow still on top of the ice covering the creek. I'm sure the big melt is just around the corner.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 8, 2011

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Got up Saturday morning to watch the ceremonial start of the Iditarod. The course ran right beside our apartment. Greg got a few pictures of some of the racers, including defending champion Lance Mackey. He has won this race for the last 4 years in a row. We'll see if he makes history by becoming the first person to win 5 consecutive times. Greg spent the afternoon cooking his famous chicken and dumplings for our dinner guests. SBFs Mindy and Paul came by after watching the Running of the Reindeer. Mindy's cousin, Hunter, was one of the runners in this event. Here he is, wearing #57, and running for his life from those beasts of fury! This is Alaska's light-hearted answer to the Running of the Bulls. Luckily, no one usually gets gored or seriously hurt. We enjoyed our delightful dinner and introduced Mindy and Paul to some of our British comedy DVDs. They didn't seem too knocked out by the Britains, but Jacque joined us and we watched a few episodes and laughed for hours!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fur Rondy begins

Whew, what a weekend. I've been so busy that we haven't had time to post any new messages. I'll try to tell you what's been going on. Fur Rendezvous began this past weekend. This began as a celebration when fur trappers returned to town to sell and trade their furs. It has turned into a festival that celebrates that tradition as well as a way to cure the cabin fever caused by the long winters. Hopefully, spring should be right around the corner.

You wouldn't know that by this weekend's weather however. The wind was vicious! Friday morning it was so windy that it was blowing much of the loose snow across the roads downtown. We were able to begin watching the festivities from the balcony Saturday morning. I snapped a few photos as the Frostbite Footrace and Costume Run participants ran down 6th Avenue. After breakfast, we headed over to the museum to watch some performers demonstrate traditional dances from their native countries. They were all very exciting to watch. Some graceful, some boisterous. All around the museum were exhibits from different countries. At one booth, a gentleman wrote our name in Korean on a bookmark. There were many interesting things to see here. We braved the bitter winds and walked on over to watch the Outhouse Races.These are hilarious to watch and the names of the teams are quite humorous. At least two people pull the outhouse while another person rides inside. Unfortunately, we couldn't stand the sharp wind for too long. The wind blew snow into your face and was so frigid that we soon came on home. We ended Saturday night by watching the fireworks show from our balcony. We capped off the weekend by going for breakfast with SBFs Mindy and Paul on Sunday. They came and picked us up for breakfast. We ate at Harley's Old Thyme restaurant. Oh my goodness, it was yummy. One of the best parts was this pancake they serve on the weekends. It is topped with pecans that are in a sugary glaze, almost like candied pecans. Delightful.