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22 March, 2002

March 22, 2002

OK - day two of experiencing the far north. Officially, I am not in the Arctic, yet, but snow abounds. Anchorage received 28 inches of snow in 15 hours, 6 days ago, so things are white! The weather today was incredible, though. Blue skies, no wind and temperatures around 1 degree celsius. And, you guessed it, I took advantage of the great weather with a little sightseeing and hiking.

I drove down HWY 1 (Seward Hwy) to Portage Glacier located south of Anchorage. The road follows what is known as Turnagain Arm, tracing the ocean shoreline. As it is saltwater, there was some open water (what does salt do to freezing point???) spotted with huge, dirty chunks of ice. The tide was low as I passed, so much of the ice was stranded on what is known as the flats. An amusing part of the drive were the warning signs along the road - "Warning: Avalanche Area. Do Not Stop". So, what was I really out driving around and hoping to see? An avalanche of course! I struck out, though. I didn't even have the good fortune of seeing large mammals. While walking around Portage Glacier, I saw many tracks - arctic hare and moose, primarily - but no live animals. Even without the animal life, the area was incredibly beautiful and rewarding, as I hope you'll find the pictures below to show.

I am standing near Turnagain Arm, South of Anchorage.

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