Alaska's Winter Horizon

Alaska's Winter Horizon

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Well, it's that time of year for our Christmas trip to Tennessee. We'd like to thank everyone for checking the blog out and we'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We'll be back in Alaska in two weeks. See you then!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Enjoying the new snow

 In the middle of last week, we emerged from the deep freeze... briefly at least. We enjoyed the first snowfall in several weeks. We probably got about 10 inches of snow downtown.

Enough for me to make a fairly good snow angel.
 The snowfall did set a record for the day.
 Just seeing the temperatures in the mid-20s to around 30 for a couple of days was worth the extra trouble of driving through all the new snow. Greg and I took the opportunity to get out briefly Wednesday night to walk over to the mall and check out the official Christmas tree in town square.

 Sorry we still haven't taken the night photography class so these pictures leave a lot to be desired. We'll call them abstract art!
 Greg wasn't feeling well so we stayed in most of the weekend.
 Next week we will be getting ready for our trip to Tennessee for the holidays.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 2, 2012

Judging by these pictures, you can tell this entry's theme is COLD! For over three weeks now, it has been sunny, clear, and cold every day. We have not had this many sunny days and clear weather in any month since we've been in Alaska. Snowfall is definitely below average. We barely had any snow the entire month of November but last year we had over 2 feet during that month!
 Just by looking at some of the iced over roads and parking lots you'd think we'd had some type of precipitation. Instead, it's a buildup of the heavy frost we have experienced.

 With the daytime highs hovering around 15 degrees and below, it just doesn't melt.
 I am within a week and half of finishing these 3 Master's courses for this semester. It has been overwhelming but I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

 Greg is loving his job detail at Campbell Creek Science Center. He really believes in what they do there and is amazed at the dedication of the staff.

He snapped these artsy pictures when we got out and about Saturday.

 These are a little different from our usual photos, we welcome your comments and critiques.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November begins

Remember to click on the pictures to make them larger.

Sunday morning we got up and went to the big book sale at the Loussac Library. We bought a few books from the Alaska collection. We had a fun time just browsing through all the books.
It was a beautiful day so we stepped outside and snapped a few photos.
 You will notice that the Chugach Mountains are getting very white with the new snow. It has been creeping down from the higher elevations recently.
 We still have very little snow on the ground here in town.

We usually have 8 inches of snow by the end of October and this year we only had about 3 inches. I'm sure more will arrive soon.

We stopped by the election building and got in line to take advantage of early voting. It took us an hour and 15 minutes to cast our ballots. The line was outside the building when we first got there.

Greg began a new job detail Monday morning. For the next 60 days, he will be working at the BLM's Campbell Creek Science Center as their Public Affairs Specialist. When I dropped him off for work Monday morning, it was only 2 degrees out there! This morning there was a fresh blanket of snow on the road to the center. He saw snowshoe hare tracks as he walked down the trail to the building. I'm sure he will encounter an array of wildlife during his detail!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Snowy end to October

We got out and walked around downtown this weekend. We checked out the food and craft show but walked out empty-handed. Stopped by the bakery and got a fresh baguette of bread. As we were walking in front of the museum, we noticed this new bronze sculpture.

 It's a beautiful representation of some of our unique animals.

Tuesday morning we woke up to a few inches of snow on the ground. Our temps have gotten colder and this will be the snow that stays around til spring. It will be the bottom layer under several feet of winter snow. There is actually more predicted for this weekend. Our playground at school looked so calm and peaceful this morning.
 By the end of the day it certainly didn't look like this anymore.
 Soon our students will be skiing on this field.
 Most of them will try sledding and sliding down the back hills.
 We have had a good layer of snow on the ground every Halloween since we moved here and this year is no exception. What a way to welcome November!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday, October 14

This past Friday night, we grilled out hamburgers, bratwursts, and hot dogs on our new grill. It was our anniversary present to each other. How romantic is that?! But we had really missed grilling so it was a sincere gift. We had a great feast and afterwards I had to unfortunately work on Master's classwork. It was a little after 10 and Greg had gone out onto the balcony. I was getting ready for bed when he came rushing back in to tell me to come look at the Northern Lights.

 When I made my way out there, a beautiful sky of green dancing ribbons awaited me.
 We were both surprised at their intensity as we had never seen the Northern Lights downtown before.

 As they traveled across the sky and seemed to have diminished, I decided to get out of the cold and go to bed. Greg, on the other hand, was more vigilant and came in to wake me up several times insisting I come back out and look at them now.

It was quite a display.

 Our pictures do not do the aurora justice.

It is hard to capture their brilliance while the city's lights blaze intently and interfere with the photo.

Our local newspaper has some awesome reader photos if you want to check them out at You may have to search under reader submitted photos or it was entitled Aurora over Anchorage. It was quite an unexpected and magical night especially since the aurora forecast was very low for the night!

On Saturday, we woke to a chilly day and our friend/nemesis- the snow- was back!

 It started out as really light but gradually began to build up to big, fat, fluffy snowflakes.
 We probably got about an inch of snow here and by Sunday afternoon it had all melted away.
But stay tuned, because there is more in the forecast. It will soon cover the ground and not leave until spring!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday, September 30th

We haven't been doing much lately. As now my Master's classes are taking up most of all my free time, and then some. The wet summer has carried on into fall. We have had many rainy days lately. This past Friday night, September 28th, we got an early treat. SNOW!

It had been raining most of the evening. As we looked outside around 10, the rain had changed to big wet snowflakes.The snow carried for most of the night. When I got up Saturday morning, I saw nearby homes' roofs still covered in snow.

 There was a bit of accumulation on cars and even some still on the ground.

The streets were clear.

The official snow was measured at 0.2" at the airport.

However, on the hillside they received as much as 7 inches! Since the snow didn't accumulate Friday night, Saturday, September 29th, will be the official first snowfall of the season. Hope this is not a sign of things to come. Ths is over a month earlier than last year's first snow. Hopefully, next weekend we will be able to get out of town for a few days on our anniversary trip. If the weather cooperates, of course.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

We woke up this morning to the first frost of the year! Fall is most definitely here. In fact, you can see the termination dust on the mountains here in Anchorage.

Termination dust is the term given to the early snow in the higher elevations of the mountains. This snow terminates the growth of the vegetation.

Although here in town the days have been sunny and reaching mid 60s by the afternoon- perfect fall weather. Last Tuesday night, however, we had a huge windstorm that swept through the Anchorage bowl.

Winds were clocked at hurricane force levels in many areas.

These winds caused a lot of damage throughout the city.

Trees were uprooted in part from the wet summer combined with the high winds.

It was so bad that school was cancelled on Wednesday. As of Sunday night several areas were still without power.

Most everyone in the city was affected in some way or another by the windstorm.

As you can see by the picture, we were also affected!
It took Greg 3 whole minutes to tidy the balcony!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

 As you can tell by this picture, the geese are heading south.

We know winter is right around the corner. With that in mind, we decided to get away for the day on Sunday. We had thought about going away for the whole weekend, but as rooms were either filled or costs as much as a house payment, this would have to make do.

We decided to head down to the historic mining town of Hope.
 It is about an hour and a half south of Anchorage. Hope was another Alaska gold mining boom town in the early 1900s.
 In its heyday, there were around 3,000 people living there. There are still several of the original buildings to see, such as this social hall from 1902.

A couple of shops

                                                                                        and cafes
are here to tempt you.

A few of the old homes are still in use today.

This town is situated about 16 miles off the Seward Highway.

It sits along the Cook Inlet.

 Here is Greg making use of the fish cleaning station on a small stream.
 We walked around a bit but a combination of the continuous rain and hordes of mosquitoes forced our eventual retreat to the car. After a delightful afternoon in this small town, we headed home.