Alaskan Winter Meets a Portland Spring

ImageTwo days ago I drove out to Eklutna Lake to let Hank run around and get some pictures. We first stopped at Thunder Bird Falls because I wanted a picture of the half frozen water fall two miles up the trail. Unfortunately, I was no more than 20 yards up the hill when I slipped, spun wildly around and fell flat on my back–camera and all. The known dangers of Alaska like blizzards, negative temperatures, avalanches, ice rain and moose attacks have nothing on the terrors of this years winter.

Imagine getting about a foot of snow, then imagine the temperature stays in the mid thirties for a couple weeks, things are trying to melt but it all just freezes again at night, then out of nowhere forty degree weather hits and is then followed by a week in the low twenties and a fresh coating of dry, airy snow. That entire combination seems much more dangerous than being attacked by a moose or getting caught in a blizzard. The warm weather melted everything on the roads and sidewalks into one big goupy, brown slush, then the temperatures dropped again and that goup became terrible sheets of ice.

Westchester Lagoon, where people skate and play hockey, melted through in the middle this week, but no worries, we have the streets and sidewalks to ice-skate on… literally. Check this article out from Anchorage Daily News.

Long story short, the weather created this ice sheet that is impossible enough to walk on without adding another 10 inches of snow on top of it. Now the snow packs into your treads and creates a flat, snow covered sole, which is worse than walking on ice in Sperrys. I fell so hImageard walking up that path toward Thunder Bird Falls.

I cursed the winter gods and stomped (literally) back to my truck, rubbing my sore spots and watching Hank slip and slide his way back down to me.

On a brighter note, at least it was a very pretty drive!


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