Winter Classic on 78th Ave

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The front page of the Anchorage Daily News website is the lemonaide some found out of the weather lemons we were handed over the weekend.  It shows a girl in ice skates, skating down the street.  As in … ice skates … on … the … street.  You can play street hockey, with actual blades not the sissy roller skates. 

Since Saturday, we have had rain, at times a good steady rainfall, at times a drizzle, but near constant of the wet stuff.  In total, 0.50″ of rain (which would have been 6 inches of snow if it was colder). 

It wasn’t freezing rain, as what happened occasionally back in Kansas – where the air was cold enough to freeze the rain to trees and things.  It was too warm for that.  But the ground here is still frozen mostly, and we still had a good 7-10 inches of snow on the ground before the weekend began.  So what happened was:

1) Much of the snow on the ground melted, meaning not just that we had lots of rain water, but snow melt water everywhere.

2) Water not warmed enough by the air freezes to the ground. 

I soldified my regret for not buying studded tires for the car.  Not wanting to be uncool and get studded tires I was convinced by my realtor that snow tires were the way to go.  While it works in the snow, I have been on more icy roads than snowy roads this season.  This weekend solidified that problem — depending on the road, you weren’t sure if you needed a few feet to stop, or a few miles. 

Walking seemed to be a challenge everywhere too.  I carry traction devices (rubber soles with metal chains or metal spikes that slip over shoes) to help get through the rough areas.  But my hopes to knock off a good 9 miles of hiking this weekend turned into a couple miles at most.

Snow is on its way for later in the week, which should make things a lot more crazy.  Keeping safe will be a bit more of a challenge.  But I guess, that’s why I moved to Alaska and not someplace boring (yes Indiana, I am looking at you).

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