Saturday, November 28, 2009

Better Late Than Never

Well this trip actually happened on Labor just took us about 3 months to write the post. But like the title says, better late than never...

One of my customers who has a cabin up near Fairbanks suggested that we take a trip up towards Denali. She said that the tundra turns colors in the fall and that it is definitely worth the trip. So, on Labor Day we left early in the morning to make the long drive up the Parks Highway.

We picked a perfect day as it was very calm, sunny, and warm. As we worked our way North we started to see a color - yellow. The leaves in Alaska only turn yellow. No orange, red, brown, etc. I am not sure if that is due to the cold or the type of tree but they all turn that one shade.

We were just planning on going up to Denali State Park, but it was such a nice day out and we hadn't really seen any tundra yet so we kept going. A short drive from the furthest point we had gone before led to an exciting discover - our first sighting of a real Alaskan igloo!

Finally, we made it all they way up to Denali National Park (#43 on the list). To go most places in the park you have to take a bus (or win a ticket in a lottery they do every year to drive in), however you are able to drive about 15 miles into the park for free. There is nothing really exciting in those first 15 miles, but we had already come about 150 miles so we decided to make the trip.

The nicest part of the drive was the ability to see Denali from the North, and it was out on this day.

The tundra was definitely worth the trip (and probably another trip around the same time next year). As you can see, the tundra turns several shades of red and when combined with the green of the evergreens, the yellow of the trees, the blues of the sky, and the brown of the mountain above the treeline it leads to some picturesque views (new item on the list #97 - see the Fall foliage of the tundra).

And even just the contrast of the yellow trees with the evergreens leads to some nice views.

On the way back down we stopped in Denali State Park to get some views of Denali from the South.

This trip was one of our favorites from this summer and I am glad my customer mentioned this to me. Since then I have talked to several people who have lived in a Alaska for a long time (in some cases their whole lives) who never knew the tundra changed colors and have never driven up to see.

It has snowed about 6 inches in the past couple of there may be some more posts coming soon with our first winter adventures!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Snowy Day!

The snow is finally here! So exciting! Tonight after it had been snowing for a while, Steven and I went to return a movie and the roads were covered! Steven even tried out his new studded snow tires. I learned something new today too...snow makes a crunchy sound when you drive on it! Here are a few pictures from this evening.

First, my boots and the snow covering the walkway to the condo! The snow isn't very sticky. I tried to make a snowball, but it wouldn't stick together. It is very light and fluffy!
Here is my car covered in snow. Good thing I will get to park in the covered space for the rest of the week!!

This is what we saw from the grocery store parking lot. Pretty snow, falling quite steadily.

Finally, I saw these footprints in the neighborhood and it reminded me of the children's book, "The Snowy Day".

Now, its off to bed. Now that there is snow, we will have to get all 20 preschoolers dressed in snow boots, snow pants, hats, mittens and coats to go outside. I will try to take some pictures one day of the kids getting ready to go out!!

Steven and I are super excited about coming back to Atlanta for the holidays in December!!! :)