Monday, November 18, 2013

First Snow In AK

   So, we moved to Alaska. I made it here in the summer, when the sun was still shining at midnight. Hubs and 2 of the kiddos arrived right before "rainy season" so they didn't get to experience the awesomeness of rays of sunshine stabbing you in the eye at 4 a.m.
    Prior to the rainy season, Alaska seemed like a magical wonderland of sunshine, fresh air and majestic views. During the rainy season (seriously. no one EVER tell you about the rainy season until you ask if a week of continuous downpour is "normal". Then they just look at you and laugh.) the days were dark and dreary. This lasted for almost a month (which, it turns out, is the longest rainy season they've experience in many, many years. Also, the summer was a record breaker & something about this past winter was too. AK knew we were coming!). Then the days seemed like typical Colorado fall days. Okay, maybe typical Colorado winter days. It was cold. Even when the sun was out. And...a few weeks ago, it turned into winter here. (Yes. Calendar still says "fall", but this is Alaska-where the sun shines whenever it wants for however long it wants. Because it can. And apparently no one but God can tell it what to do.)
      A week ago Saturday it snowed. Well...it was more like a dusting. A warm-up to what Sunday afternoon held in store (which was more like a dump. The sky just dumped buckets of snow on Anchorage. For no reason). And that was awesome because we discovered that 1. No one plows the roads right away, 2. They wait a few days before administering any kind of traction to the roads, 3. Driving on roads of ice is possible and tons of people do it every day, 4. When someone finally decides to throw some traction on the roads, it's a mixture of gravel and sand (because salting the roads doesn't work here. Ever.), 5. Stores and other places to shop/visit toss gravel all over their parking lots and sidewalks (seriously. no one uses salt outdoors), 6. A day or so *after* they (whomever. state, city, county. whomever.) toss traction onto the frozen roads, they clog up traffic with a double helping of extremely-slow tractor-like-things that grate the ice. So, instead of sliding on flat ice, you get to bounce when you slide. Way. Too. Fun.

         Un-plowed roads:


 
Road-grater-thingie-do-hickey

    So far, no one's died and by this past Saturday, parts of some roads are clear. Until it snows (or rains) again.

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