Snow! It's finally snowed! November 8th--which makes our snow contest winner Cindy.
I had to go up on the hillside on Saturday and I snapped some pictures just for you--those these were taken on Saturday before our house saw any accumulation.
This is a picture of Cook Inlet from the southwestern edge of town close to my parents' home where I grew up. You can see the bluff with the birch and spruce in the foreground (great places for frog hunting down there) then beyond that are the mudflats. We'd never go out that far because it's easy to get stuck then drown when the tide comes in.
Then past that is the ocean and the southeastern end of the Alaska Range, one of the largest mountain ranges in the state. Denali, (or Mt. McKinley) the highest peak in North America, is in the middle of the range and about 300 miles from Anchorage and easily visible on a clear day though you can't see it from where I was at, you have to be on the north side of town or going north on the highway to get a good look at it.
In the top picture you can see the dark spot that is Fire Island which is an uninhabited stretch that sits out in the Inlet across from the city.
This is a Mt. Susitna, directly across from Anchorage to the west. For some reason it hasn't got any snow yet but you can see why Susitna means "sleeping lady"--can you see her lying on her back looking up at the sky with her hair flowing out to the left?
Anchorage is completely surrounded by mountains. If you go clockwise around the city, backing us up on the east where I was standing when I took this shot are the Chugach mountains, one of the largest national parks and has the highest concentration of glaciers in the country, covering 30,000 square miles. The warm air comes across those mountains, down through the pass toward the south and when cools as it gets to the other side it dumps huge amounts of snow and rain on Valdez, down in the Prince William Sound area (where the Exxon Valdez spill was located?)
Then, farther south are the Kenai Mountains, moving around to the southwest are the Aleutian Mountains (home to Mt. Redoubt, one of two active volcanoes you can see from town), then the Alaska Range starts about due west of us and continues around along the north side. In between the Alaska Range and Anchorage are also the Talkeenta Mountains of the Matanuska-Susitna valley and the less-well known Tordrillo Mountains where Mt. Spurr is located (the other of the two active volcanoes). Six mountain ranges, two active volcanoes, the highest mountain in North America and the ocean all in one spot. Quite a view.
This picture shows the Seward Highway, the main road running north to south through the city and this southern view shows the Kenai Mountains with their dusting of snow. I'm including it because I was out about 1 or 2 o'clock in the afternoon but the heavy cloud cover made it so dark and gloomy that you can see the headlights on already. You can see the line of the clouds in most of the pictures directly overhead.
The darkness is coming . . .
Have you entered this month's Write-Away Contest? It goes perfectly with a side of stuffing--the topic is "Grateful" and time is ticking away . . .
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