We moved into an apartment in October, just before the first snow fell. By the end of October we had 4-5 inches accumulated and we have not seen grass since. The last 2 winters were unseasonably warm here with very little snow so everyone was hoping for a real winter. I was still able to walk to work into November because I started at 4 pm. Rollie was working as a school bus attendant so he worked early mornings. We share one vehicle which takes some planning.
|Kasilof Beach, Cook Inlet|
|Kasilof River before it froze|
|Looking east, Kenai Mountains|
Soldotna is on the western side of the Kenai Peninsula near Cook Inlet. The eastern half of the peninsula is mountainous with the largest icefield contained entirely within the United States, Harding Icefield.
Looking west across Cook Inlet we can see the mountain range that makes up the Aleutian Islands farther south. There are many active volcanoes including Mt. Redoubt, which I can see looking west up the street we live on, Redoubt St.
|Redoubt St. and Mt. Redoubt in the distance|
On one of our drives we saw a dogsled team training and it reminded me to check for local races. The Tustumena 200 was held January 28/29. the race starts and finishes near the Sterling Highway just south of Kasilof which is where we spent the end of the summer at Crooked Creek. The route goes through the Caribou Hills almost to Homer and back, 200 miles. They were looking for volunteers so I did. I helped with teeshirt/sweatshirt/hat sales at the start and had a great view of the activities.
|Preparing to enter the start chute|
|One team started every 3 minutes|
The dogs really love to run!
We see moose around our neighborhood frequently. I think It is the same cow and calf but I could be wrong. They are not afraid or aggressive when the dogs and I pass by and the dogs don't bark at them. They are obviously used to humans since they live in town. I have gotten to know where they hang out in the wooded lots and I see tracks and droppings, even right outside our window!
Their long legs are great for walking through deep snow
|Moose droppings look like pecans in their shells|
|Two eagles in the top of the tree|
And we have bald eagles in the neighborhood. It seems as though the local fur shop tosses animal carcasses out behind their building which attracts the eagles and ravens. It's about a block from our apartment. There are 2 adults and two juveniles (don't have white yet) so I assume it is a family.
|They watch the dogs and I watch them|
|Two juveniles feasting, the adults were up in the trees. |
A raven and a magpie watching and waiting.
The winter was dark, cloudy and snowy but the last 3 weeks have been sunny which we all appreciate. With longer days, melting has started but we have a long way to go before we can move back into our RV. We have accepted workamping positions May to August at Denali RV Park and Motel just outside Denali National Park. Another new adventure!
Some miscellaneous photos:
|One of our favorite dog walks, Beluga St., with fresh snow|
|Had some serious fog which frosted the trees.|
|Frozen Kenai River from Soldotna Park|
|The sun did not rise very high in December and January.|
|Sitka Spruce, typical countryside for the west Kenai|
|Heading east on Sterling Hwy towards the mountains|
|The spruce trees are good at catching snow.|
Frequently there was bare ground under them.
|How sand, snow and wind make art. Kasilof Beach.|
|A true Minnesotan cannot let 2 inches of snow lie on the driveway!|
|Mia and Sonny taking it all in stride.|