October 23, 2010

Weekend Adventures

This was on the way home from work this week, looking north over the Gastineau Channel

So today was the first day of what looks to be a four day weekend. Due to some time off coming up for a hunting trip, I am covering other managers while they get some time and just so happened to create this nice chunk of time. Which is good, cause Sarah and I really needed to get out in the woods and experience some "wild" time. As it works out, the weather was pretty good, high over cast skies with the occasional sprinkles, but all in all a good day, not so good for the photos though. This is a major bummer due to the stark contrast on the mountains with all the freshly fallen snow. I could barely see the difference between them and the clouds so I didn't even try with the camera. We decided that due to the late get up and go time, coffee and reading on the couch seemed better at that time, we wanted to stay low and keep it short. Sheep Creek it was! This for those that are not from around here is a quaint little valley that runs somewhat parallel to Silverbow basin and was also at one time a major gold mining area. Now it supports a local dog sled team in the summer and acts as a power corridor for the local service. Also the mouth of the creek has a hatchery, but the run is terminated at sea level. Its about 800 ft. up at first at a very steep pitch and then into the valley floor. The mountains and hanging glaciers in the back of the valley are just awesome and sprinkled throughout are ruins from the mining days. Found some old steam parts from the mining train and other various things, but never felt to pull out the camera. Then on the way back I found a side trail and landed in a private area, posted, oops! Anyways, there are some pieces of equipment around and looks like someone tried to mine but possibly a cave in stopped their progress, also there was an old house that I remembered from my younger days and so I got a shot of it too. Not too much else, after that headed out the road for a drive and just caught the tail end of a very pretty sunset.
This was apparently the superintendents house of the mining railroad

pretty handy looking contraption, wish I could use it to shovel the drive. ha ha

How would you like to commute to work in this thing? Into a hole in the ground?

View south from the trail, looking over the tip of Douglas Island

October 11, 2010

After the Storm

The weather broke today, oh what glorious sites too see!! The snow level has dropped yet again and is down to the tree line. Thunder Mountain has snow on its top peak and all the mountains around the glacier are capped in fresh white snow. Most of the sky was cloudy on the way home, but just as I headed towards the back of the valley the sun shone through onto Mt. Bullard and oh what a site it was. I had to immediately pull a tourist move, slam on the brakes and hit a side street to get a few shots. The glimpse only lasted a few seconds and this is the best shot I got. Then unfortunately it was home, change and off to school for me, more Shakespeare awaited my arrival!! Oh whoa is me, to have time to play in the trees and beget thy studies!! ha ha ha
This was another good shot for lighting, but the composition is not as good.

October 9, 2010

Fall in Alaska

Haven't had time to post lately, sorry. We actually have had some pretty great weather lately off and on and managed to get out and enjoy some of it. The rest of our time has been filled with work and school. Things are going pretty well up here, enjoying the beautiful place we live. Today the weather is pretty cool. We are enjoying a huge wind storm with some rain. 45 mile an hour winds in exposed locations, but strangely warm due to the fact its coming from the southeast.

Picture of fall colors that I enhanced slightly to look like a painting
We got out one evening and ran around Dredge lake area, near the glacier, and caught just the tail end of the sunset. The fall colors were out and the sky was clear that day. Unfortunately I was too lazy to carry a tripod and so most images were not worth posting, but I got a few and thought to share them. Those that know the area remember that this used to be overrun with ATVs and they really tore it up, but now it is protected and the area is beginning to heal. The loops of trails now are utilized by walkers, joggers, and mountain bikers and with no loud engines one can here the birds and such. This area is across the main road, Back Loop Hwy, from the neighborhood we live in, thus giving us two areas within walking distance to enjoy the outdoors, yay!!
Mt. Bullard in the reflection

reflections on Dredge Lake
Then unfortunately the weather went south on us. When next we could see these mountains they had a dusting of snow on them. First the towers at the back of the glacier and then Stroller white got dusted and then McGinnis got a dusting too. As of yesterday the snow level seems to be about 3000 ft. and dropping, fast.

So last Sunday the weather was pretty good and Sarah and I headed up to Herbert Glacier. Its a smooth easy trail that is frequented by runners, bikers, and hikers. They have really done a lot of work in the last few years to this trail. We got to the end of the trail and continued up the side of the river and got some great views of the glacier. For my folks these shots of the glacier will be surprising just how far Herbert has receded.
I call these Rose Fungus, some really look the part.
As we headed up the trail, the sun came out, this is steam rolling off the forest, kinda cool
First view of Herbert and the river delta at the terminal moraine
The glacier is split in half now by this small mountain and this shot is of the division.
This the right hand side, much smaller and less melt off, river coming from left side.
Coming around the corner to the left side, notice the dark line in the ice

Upon closer inspection, one can really see how a glacier moves rock. Amazing
Looking up to the slopes for goats, found some, but too far for photos
All in all a great hike for first of October, I also found some gold flake in the river sand. Sarah just laughs at me, but, "THERE IS GOLD IN THEM THERE HILLS", ha ha ha. Maybe try my hand at some panning sometime, would be cool! Well that is all for now, time to grab another cup of coffee and watch the trees sway in the wind. Take care everyone, ttyl.