Saturday, February 9, 2008

the colors of winter....

We don't have a lot of color in Juneau. Mostly different shades of gray. You'd think when our weather was so gray all the time that people would paint their homes a bright, lively color! But we don't.... Gray and various shades of gray.... grayish blue, concrete gray, pale gray, slate blue (which is similar to gray in our gray weather). Okay so you get my point.

Today we're in the middle of our winter storm. We're supposed to get 16-28 inches of snow by tomorrow and then more tomorrow.... It's snowing but not accumulating too badly just yet. We did go for our daily ride this morning (per our dog, Sadie's, orders and expectations....) and I took some pictures along the way.

Like I said, Juneau is just a lot of gray.... whether it's a rainy/dreary gray or a snowy darkness. But I promise, starting tomorrow I'll try to get more color on to my pages! I hope you enjoy the ride!

Egan Highway; our highway into town. Up until the 70's, we had a two lane road that went from downtown Juneau to The Valley. If there was an accident, the road would be tied up for hours with traffic having no other way in or out of town. Egan Highway is a fairly new highway as it was built in the 70's when sand was dredged out of the Gastineau Channel (a body of water between the mainland and Douglas Island), forming this road. Most people traverse to and from town on this road now. We drive right along the Channel and have a gorgeous view of the water and even whales some times.

This is "the Channel." When it's cold, the salt water will freeze over and then as the tide comes and goes, it breaks it up into these ice flows. It's pretty awesome looking in real life. You feel as if you're up in the Arctic.

This is one of our boat harbors downtown. The harbor water freezes in the winter too. We have a lot of people who live on their boats year round. Blue tarps are a staple for Juneauites. It also adds a little color to Juneau's skies!

Okay, we're almost downtown now. We're just passing our high school area. The dry snow is squirreling along the highway. The winds can get pretty bad down town. We have what are called "Taku Winds." These winds come from Canada, across the ice fields, and are strong and cold. One thing you don't want to do is get caught in the middle of one of these gusts unless there's a car, a building, or some other object to grab a hold of. I've seen more than one person get blown across the road as if they were a rag doll. Taku Winds. Not fun.

Okay, we're here, downtown Juneau, the southern part of it anyway. This is the tourist part of Juneau. It looks pretty desolate this time of year without hoards of tourists milling about. This is our sleepy little town in the winter. Snow is blowing. It looks deserted!

This is uptown Juneau, the main business district and shop area. Juneau is an interesting town. It's built at the base of two mountains--Mount Roberts and Mount Juneau with the Gastineau Channel on the other side. During the mining days, downtown space was expanded by building on pilings driven into the Channel. But, still, downtown Juneau is only a few blocks in size, just a small area.

Here we are, home again. Hope you enjoyed a little bit of our blizzard conditions today!


tracy said...

cool that you got a picture of all the ice in the channel; I kept wishing I had camera with me on our drive into work this week.

Yolanda said...

It looks very cold and wintry.