"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Knock, knock, knockin' on Heaven's door...

The two lane paved road that cuts off the Seward Highway and travels the southern shore of Turnagain Arm  to the small enclave of Hope has a posted speed limit of 50 mph.  When the road is plowed and sanded, it's possible to drive that fast comfortably, even in winter.

Most of the time I see sights like this.

Last week, however, wet snow and warm temperatures slowed my drive.  That night, freezing temperatures froze the road surface into a solid, 19 mile long sheet of ice.

 Then Mother Nature's Zamboni came along and watered the ice, and the few vehicles that braved these conditions were creeping along at 25 mph.  Me especially.

Today I was back to 50 mph, until I reached the section directly along the Arm.  Then I had to stop and take pictures of dark storm clouds, an out-going tide rushing towards Cook Inlet, Chinook winds picking up saltwater spray from the white caps, and intermittent sun hitting the mountains across the waters.

Near the road's junction with the main highway, is this avalanche.

 Click on the picture, then click again when it enlarges and you can see the channels and patterns carved into the snow by tumbling snow.

There's something else, though, that slows me down on the Hope road.

See that little black spot there in the middle?

Or these?  They're pine grosbeaks or cheery little redpolls, and something else I haven't been able to get close enough to identify, pecking at the sand the highway guys spread on the road.  Sometimes they fly away when they see this maroon Honda Pilot coming their way.

But most of the time they love to wait until the last possible second, then fly up in a flurry of gray fluff while I  hold my breath and pray I don't hit any of them.

Then there's Summit pass on the Seward highway, and the sun playing on the peaks..

Thirty miles along the Seward highway, I reached Cooper Landing, where I saw this guy.

 It's skunk fur, boys and girls.  Skunk.  And doesn't his beard just fit right in?

Tonight, Chinook winds are pummeling the side of my house, reminding me of lyrics...

"Knock, knock, knockin' on Heaven's door,
Knock, knock, knocking on Heaven's door..."

Oh, tomorrow's drive is gonna be fun.

1 comment:

  1. Did you tell the fellow with the skunk hat that he would be on your blog! If not, I bet he would have loved to know.

    Have a blast tomorrow!?