Monday, November 09, 2009

A Winter Mountain Tour of Anchorage

The Alaska Range West of Anchorage AlaskaSnow! 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.

The Alaska Range West of Anchorage AlaskaThis 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.

Mt. Susitna in Anchorage AlaskaThis 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?

The Alaska Range West of Anchorage Alaska
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.

The Kenai Mountains South of Anchorage Alaska
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 . . .

Sponsored by Pak Naks--decorate your stuff!

27 comments:

Sage said...

Surely you mean November 8th and not a month ahead in December?

Congrats to the lucky winner.. and you for the first snow xx

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures!!! Such a late first snow, but I'm sure no one is complaining :) Congrats to the winnner!!!

mannequin said...

How beautiful. Congratulations Cindy! How did she do that?

patty w said...

LOL December 8th ?? If so, that's my 20th anniversary and I've behind on making a card for hubster !

The pic is beautiful though !

branda50 said...

Love the pictures..

Jackie At Lilolu said...

Very nice pictures.

The Source said...

Gorgeous mountains! You live in such a beautiful place!

Here I sit whining because it's 65 degrees and my toes are cold! And it's getting dark by 6:00pm. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't survive up there.

Susan said...

I love these photos - great job, Scribbit. You're making this Alaskan girl homesick. Thank God I'm living here in Switzerland for awhile - the mountains are pretty nice here, too!

Scribbit said...

Oops. Yes NOvember. Can you tell it was a long tired night last night?

a happy heart blog. said...

Thanks for that fun tour of Anchorage!

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

I love these posts - I hope the Tourist Bureau is throwing you some love, because you always make me want to come to Alaska some day!

Dolly said...

Such beautiful pictures. My parents are moving to Alaska this month. They are going to be stationed at Ft. Greely. I'm looking forward to learning more about Alaska and visiting them. In, the summer, of course. :-)

Flea said...

It's so dark and dreary looking. I want snow!

Reno said...

Beautiful!

Sam said...

snow at last!!! ;-) Even though I didn't win! It is funny to think I rarely get a white Christmas and that you never have a green one! I just can't imagine how cold it must be where you are.

Mommy, I'm Home said...

Beautiful pictures!

I can't believe we've had two snowstorms here in Colorado already and you just got your first one. Hope it's not a sign of the winter to come...

(BTW, I moved my blog to mommyimhome.com and my new email is mommyimhome@gmail.com)

Jackie Blue said...

I love mountains ...I am going to have to put Alaska on my bucket list...lol. Great pics...thanks for sharing!

Congrats to Cindy.

Kara said...

Wow - it's so neat (and beautiful) to see your 'view of the world' up there in Alaska. I love how different it is... at least from here in DC. Stay warm!!

Michelle said...

Absolutely gorgeous pictures! I'm not a fan of winter, and yet the view you posted is enough to make me want to move to Alaska. Thank you for sharing!

jan in nagasaki said...

which part of anchorage did you grow up in???

i can't remember which is east or west but I lived out near earthquake park and went to Turnagain elementary school...

thanks for the photo of sleeping lady... very good memories of viewing that...

Cindy said...

Yay!! What did I win? I hope its an all expenses paid trip to Alaska!!(just wishing LOL). I'll get there again someday and I'm looking forward to it:)
Thanks to your blog I can enjoy it from very far away (Florida). Great pictures!

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I remember last Feb when I was in Anchorage, I stayed at the hotel that connects to the Hospital. There is a passage between the two, with one wall of just windows. The view was of one of these Mountain ranges. (I think it was facing North, but I'm not positive). Gorgeous. When I needed a minute to look out and see something beautiful, to help me relax, I would sit in that hallway and look at those gorgeous mountains. We don't have anything like that here.

Scribbit said...

Cindy--I emailed you so check your inbox.

palmettohardwood said...

Great pictures. My mom is from Kings Island. I only been to Alaska twice I need to go back. thanks for the pictures

shannon said...

Great pictures. My mom is from Kings Island. I only been to Alaska twice I need to go back. thanks for the pictures

amy said...

We were stationed at Elmendorf for four short years and had a house in Turnagain West. Our second child was born there and tells everyone that's where he's from. (He doesn't get the "military brat, not really 'from' anywhere thing yet".) Seeing your photos reeeaaaallly makes me miss it there...

Alaska Guided Tours said...

Wow what a beautiful picture really.