Monday, March 15, 2010

The Snowy Trip to Matanuska

Early last week, we decided we couldn't wait around any longer for clear weather to suddenly appear, and the forecast of scattered snow showers on Monday sounded better than a forecast of numerous snow showers for the next day. So we bundled ourselves up and headed toward Matanuska Glacier, not knowing if we'd make it. (Well, some of us bundled up. One of the Real Alaskans was totally unbundled.)
The view out the window looked like this.
The Knik River on a dark, snowy day looked like this.
After stopping briefly in Palmer to get snacks and coffee...

By the way, don't ever get coffee at the Fred Meyer in Palmer. Go somewhere else. Worst coffee barring Alcan coffee that I've ever had. We survived and escaped with our lives.

...we pulled over at the Matanuska River overlook, seen more clearly on a sunny day in my Matanuska River post. The river was frozen solid, and a ground blizzard was blowing the snow across the river in sheets. The ground blizzard also obscurred the road, and snow continued to fall from heavy clouds.
I was fascinated by the frozen river, which was often covered with blowing snow and snow dunelets, and which occasionally had a visible channel of running water. The ice was often a light turquoise color, reminding me of glacial ice. Photo taken near Sutton.
Another shot of the frozen Matanuska River: turquoise ice and white snow. Photo taken near the confluence of the Kings River with the Matanuska.
While coming into Chickaloon, we saw a spot of sun - exactly one small spot through otherwise dense, dark clouds. The sun lasted for a couple minutes, then went back to hiding until late in the day.
The road beyond Chickaloon was white. This is one of the clearer moments. I thought we might have to turn around, so I took random pictures of white nothing in the distance, prepared to say the pictures were of a white glacier in snow. We went on. I was riding with Real Alaskans.
Long Lake in the snow, with a homey-looking cabin on one side. At the next lake up, Wiener Lake, we saw an ice fishing shack, and on the way back, we saw some ice fishing in progress. Great day for it, I hear.
After about two and a half hours of sideways snow, ground blizzards, and whiteouts, we arrived at our destination, the Long Rifle Lodge. We proceeded into the lodge for warmth and a good lunch.

Matanuska River photo locations


Anonymous said...

I sure have been enjoying your pictures of your trip to Matanuska Glacier and the Tunagain Anu mud flats. They are so different from what I normally see in Louisiana. It makes me want to take a trip there. I just wished it wasn't so far away. Ann Willis

A Life Long Scholar said...

Your photos make me homesick! I miss that sort of weather, and those mountains.

Silver Fox said...

Ann, hope you can get up there sometime! It's v. different, though I've only been to the New Orleans part of Louisiana.

LifeLong, while the weather was great in one way, I would have preferred our day to Matanuska be just a little clearer! When we left, my goal was pretty much having lunch in an Alaskan setting - we succeeded at that. :)

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

I feel cold just looking at those photos!

Silver Fox said...

It was cool, but I don't think it was much under freezing (25-28 F?), except for the wind chill. Brrr... :)