It’s Spring…errr…break-up

Oh my goodness, April is almost here!  (Thank you for sticking with me!) 

It’s officially windshield wiper fluid season here in Alaska.  We all have a spare gallon or two of the stuff in our garages, ready for the road spray from the melting snow.  This is a good time of year to be a car-wash operator too!  Although the clean look rarely lasts all the way home, we keep washing them to keep the damage from the chemicals on the roads to a minimum.  Mornings we wake up to below freezing temperatures and icy roads and go home in the afternoons in 30-40 degree weather with water coming at our cars from all sides and the danger of hydroplaning. 

Even cleared, the drains don't keep up very well

Anchorage residents are worrying this year about where all this snow is going to go.  At work we have stocked up on sand bags to stave off the annual flood in our basement due to backed up storm drains on our street.  City workers armed with huge plumbing snakes and ice choppers are already attacking the slush and ice that clogs the grates.     

That tiny dark spot is the hole they drilled through the 7 foot high snow berm to access the storm drain!

Folks who live in snow country will appreciate that our “spring” is also known as “break up.”  We even have an annual wager placed statewide on when the ice on the Nenana River will officially “break up” and begin sending its ice floes downriver.  It’s known as the Nenana Ice Classic and tickets cost $2 each.  You fill out your best guess as to when the tripod will fall and start watching the weather reports.  Don’t get too excited just yet…we have another month at least before it’s likely to go. 

At the Cabin, break-up means a few weeks of not being able to cross the lake.  The ice will be too rotten to be safe, but not quite rotten enough to allow for a boat.  Trudging in and out by way of the trail system is easy in summer, but will likely be a messy and dangerous workout in slushy, rotten, and very deep snow, so I and my wimpy knees will stay away for the time being. 

No, really...don't park here!

Meantime, my adventurous little gang of girlfriends is gearing up for the first road trip of the season this weekend.  We’re going to Homer just for the joy of being able to drive in daylight and on relatively ice-free highways.  We are very likely to see Dall sheep, moose, snowshoe hares, and eagles,as well as the remote possibility of coyotes, wolves, or lynx.  I will be sure to post some shots from that trip next week – current shots for a change!

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