Sunday, September 27, 2009

Snow and Skis

I was surprised on Tuesday morning when I was driving to work. There was white stuff all over the mountain tops behind the house! At first I wasn't quite sure what it was. I mean, we had certainly never seen it in Georgia before (well maybe once a year). SNOW! It makes the mountains very pretty and with the tourists clearing out of Alaska, there is less traffic and the restaurants downtown are becoming less crowded. It is officially fall and winter is quickly approaching.

Above is a picture that I took on my way to work. The mornings are becoming a little chilly, but nothing more than a light fleece is needed! I know the time is coming nearer for my preschoolers to need snow pants, coats, snow boots, hats and gloves before going outside to play! We will see how long it takes for them to get ready.

Yesterday we went to a winter sports swap at the Sullivan Arena. People can bring their old skis, ski boots, snowboards, coats, sleds, hockey skates and ice skates and sell it there. Steven and I each bought a set of skis and some ski boots.

So we are all set for skiing. Except for helmets...very crucial. We don't want to end up with a concussion like Tim Tebow did during their game yesterday!

Today we drove up past our house to Glen Alps Trailhead parking lot. I really wanted to see some snow-in person. I ended up a little disappointed though because there was only the tiniest bit of snow on the ground. For some reason, I expected there to be a foot of snow already. It was beautiful though!
Here is a picture of the snowball that I threw at Steven's car...

Here is a picture documenting my first experience with Alaskan snow. Notice my red fingers; I need to use hand lotion about 5 times a day. The air is way too dry here.

Nothing else is happening here. Working and watching football and some quilting. I have 3 quilts almost completed, so I will post some pictures when they are all done! Hope everyone stayed dry from the floods.

Don't forget to leave us some comments! Right now we are convinced that Sarah is the only person who reads this blog!!!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

This and That

Well, the summer is over in Anchorage...and it has been for a couple of weeks. The nice weather (the couple of days that were left) were surrounded by cold and rain. So, we haven't really taken any trips recently but we have done a few things around town.

A couple of weeks ago we FINALLY decided to climb Flattop (#35 on the list). The weather was nice and warm and we had the day free. The trail slowly eases uphill for the first part past Blueberry Hill (where you can pick berries) and then turns up some flights of wooden stairs built into the mountain. After about a mile you reach some benches which are the resting point before the final ascent. A lot of people turn back here, because this final part is more difficult. It is much steeper and quite rocky (some scrambling around boulders necessary), but we saw kids as young as 5 making the climb.

(view of Anchorage from part of the way up the trail)

By the time we got up to the top, some clouds had closed in on the side of the mountain destroying our view but it was still a nice hike that we will definitely do again.

From the top you can typically see down into Anchorage on one side, down into Potter's Marsh and part of Turnagain arm on another, and back into Chugach State Park from the other 2 sides which leads to some really cool views in all directions.

(you can see people scrapping up the beginning of the final ascent)

On another weekend we drove up to Eagle River and took the 10 mile trip back into Chugach State Park to the Eagle River Nature Center (#22).

There is a nice information center here with trail maps and information on animals, the park, and the history of the area in general. One of the main hikes is closed this time of year (it goes past the river which leads to bear-human problems) but we took a stroll down one of the short loop trails.

On this trail is a salmon viewing deck where you can look down into the pools of the river and see some Red and Chum Salmon.

They weren't huge fish, but some looked to be at least a few pounds.

The Nature Center is also a point on the Historic Iditarod Trail, which we already saw started down in Seward. It ran up from Seward through Girdwood and Chugach State Park, through the Nature Center and up from there. There is a hike from Girdwood to the Nature Center that goes along that path, but it is 24 miles long one-way.

Afterwards we drove the rest of the way up to the Alaska State Fair in Palmer (#63). Since it was a nice day we apparently weren't the only ones who had this idea as we waited in about an hour of traffic to get to the parking lot. The fair was like any other state fair with high prices, lots of food, and lots of country folks. Rebekah ordered a giant block of fried potato chips, which she only managed to eat about a third of.

We spent a few hours walking around and looking at the award winning vegetables, farm animals, and arts and crafts before we headed home. On the way back we stopped by the bluffs past Earthquake Park in Anchorage to get some pictures of the city from across the water.

The airport is right across the street, and as you can see a few planes flew right over our head while we were there.

Winter is almost here and soon we will be writing about skiing instead of hiking!