Rondy Snow Sculptures, 2014

In January it is ice carving, February it’s snow sculptures.  The Fur Rondy snow carving competition starts with huge blocks of concrete colored snow.  As the sculptors work the snow seems to become whiter, although the emerging sunlight may help.  My favorite was “Arctic Bowling” although I rather like the homey cabin.  Minions seemed a favorite among some of the folks.  KNBA has a radio, … Continue reading Rondy Snow Sculptures, 2014

They Put the Fur into Fur Rondy.

The Anchorage Fur Rendezvous (Rondy) is a festival designed to drive PETA mad.  There is the running of the reindeer, safer than running with the bulls. There are horse drawn carriages.  They’re bad, just ask New York’s new mayor.  There is a fur auction, “Where it all began” according to the banner over the auction stage.  Trappers, many of them kids, have their caches auctioned … Continue reading They Put the Fur into Fur Rondy.

Anchorage Fur Rondy Sled Dog Races.

Suzi and I started going to sled dog races in the early ‘70s when we covered the All American Champion Sled Dog Race in Ely, MN for NPR.  Alaska’s George Attla, the Husila Hustler, finished second.  Other sprint race greats like Dr. Roland Lombard from Massachusetts met in Ely for that race.  In the late ‘70s we covered the Northern Minnesota sled dog circuit for … Continue reading Anchorage Fur Rondy Sled Dog Races.

Gallery of Crystal Ice, 2014. Everyone Was a Winner

Here is the final set of pictures from the Anchorage Town Square Crystal Gallery of Ice competition.  Although they didn’t win you can see how they were put together from the initial sketches to the finishing by fire.  I love the chess piece, it’s transparency and finish, and the angel fish.  The ice sea turtles were a favorite for me.  The artist played around with … Continue reading Gallery of Crystal Ice, 2014. Everyone Was a Winner

Crystal Gallery of Ice 2014, the Carvers’ Choice and Runners Up.

The Second Place award in the Anchorage Crystal Gallery of Ice carving completion went to a team of Chinese artists who carved a dragon.  The dragon won first place in the artists own balloting. The third place went to “Embrace” carved by Nathan Turnbull and Denise Portmann.  They used a blow torch to finish the piece and give it the smooth finish.  I love the … Continue reading Crystal Gallery of Ice 2014, the Carvers’ Choice and Runners Up.

Crystal Gallery of Ice, 2014 Frozen Window Pane

One of the Anchorage’s delights is the Crystal Gallery of Ice.  Ice artists carve blocks of clear ice in Town Square Park each winter for the delight of Alaskans and to be judged by both a panel of judges and by the artists themselves. This winter I was able to show up when there were blocks of ice and watched design sketching on ice, rough … Continue reading Crystal Gallery of Ice, 2014 Frozen Window Pane

New Year’s Eve, Albania — Anchorage

New Year’s Eve is not my holiday.  I’ve attended New Year celebrations in lots of places, but mostly as an observer, not a celebrant.  The forced gaiety makes me uncomfortable.  This year I observed New Year’s celebrations in Anchorage.  Each year the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) sponsors Anchorage “Fire and Ice.”  It includes a carved ice playground with rides made of ice that … Continue reading New Year’s Eve, Albania — Anchorage

College Fjord, Glaciers in Prince William Sound.

Visitors to Anchorage who come by cruise ship dock in Whittier.  Whittier was a secret port on Prince William Sound built during World War II.  It was almost always covered with clouds so the Japanese planes could not see it most days.  It worked.  It was on no Japanese charts or maps.  One of the town’s unofficial slogans is “It’s Sh!@#ier in Whittier.” Whittier is … Continue reading College Fjord, Glaciers in Prince William Sound.

See Alaska before it melts! Portage Glacier

In 1991 I took my mother to visit the Portage Glacier an hour drive south of Anchorage.  We went to a program at the visitors’ center, heard the lecture and saw the movie on glaciers.  At the end of the performance the ranger opened the curtain behind her and there was a close up view of Portage Glacier including a lake filled with little ice … Continue reading See Alaska before it melts! Portage Glacier

Aurora, 2004 (Glennallen and Anchorage.)

This year we are in a high Aurora cycle.  These pictures were taken during the last high period in the winter of 2004.  The first pictures are from near Glennallen.  The later pictures are from Earthquake Park with the lights of Anchorage and a full moon.  I wish I had a professional camera for these shots.  I took them with a simple point and click … Continue reading Aurora, 2004 (Glennallen and Anchorage.)

Alaska Highway, Autumn, 2004

We have only driven the Alaska Highway in the winter and the autumn.  In the summer there is dust, there are potholes and there are mosquitoes.  In the winter the potholes are filled with water and frozen over, there is no dust and there are no mosquitoes.  It is a great time to drive.  Autumn has few mosquitoes and gorgeous colors.  When we drove through … Continue reading Alaska Highway, Autumn, 2004

Anchorage, Sept 2013

These pictures are all taken within the Anchorage City Limits.  The first two show Anchorage on Sunday, without “termination dust” (snow) on the near mountains, the second taken on Thursday shows the termination dust has taken hold.  Both were taken from Earthquake Park.   The pictures of Denali and the Alaska Range are also from Earthquake Park.  The Swans were in Potter’s Marsh, the Moose … Continue reading Anchorage, Sept 2013

Mat Su Valley, Sept, 2013

We got to spend two days driving with our friends Dave and Carol Lam, one through the Matanuska-Susitna valley (MatSu) and one down Turnagain Arm to Girdwood.  We enjoyed the last days of summer and the first of fall in Anchorage and environs.  The colors up on the mountains had turned and the mountainsides were red, rust, yellow and green.  When we arrived the tops … Continue reading Mat Su Valley, Sept, 2013