It’s 42 below zero outside my front door. Brrrr! It would be a good day for a “boiling water into snow” experiment, but I think I’d rather stay inside where it’s warm. There’s a layer of ice fog hanging over town, creating a misty view from my windows. It looks cold out there!
When I wrote last, I was planning a road trip with my friend Lori. I wasn’t feeling safe about driving my car 320 miles in 34 below zero temps, so Lori offered to drive instead. She has a jeep, which performs much better in the cold than my car does.
I packed a bag with emergency gear: arctic boots, extra socks, gloves and mittens, snow pants, a hat, several energy bars, and water. I wore my heavy parka and several layers of fleece, as well as long underwear. Many miles of the Richardson Hwy are deserted - even more so in the winter months.
As we left North Pole behind, the temperature gauge in Lori’s car was reading -34F. Brrrrr! Fortunately, it warmed up as we headed south on the Richardson Highway. By the time we reached the Delta area, it was a balmy -14F. Even further down the road I think we saw -4F, but the wind was really starting to pick up. It may have been -4F on the temperature gauge, but the windchill made it feel like -50F. I am so thankful to live in the Fairbanks area, where the wind is pretty much nonexistent. It was brutal down there. I felt like I was being stabbed by a million needles, standing out in the wind to take photos.
We hoped for a beautiful sunrise, but there were low hanging clouds in the Salcha area, which obscured most of the sky and the mountains. The range was visible from the first overlook, however, a little further down the road, the sky was dark with clouds again. Then they lifted as the sun came over the mountains.
We decided to take a side trip to Bolio Lake. I love the view of the lake when you approach. The road is higher in elevation, so you get to look down on the lake and get the full effect of the mountains behind it. This time of year, the lake is quite frozen (3 feet thick, from what I’ve heard), and there are a couple of ice fishing shacks on the ice. You can rent these shacks and try your hand at ice fishing (arctic grayling, rainbow trout).
In the photo below, you can see two ice fishing shacks on the frozen lake. It just so happens that my online friend Hayley (her blog is linked in my Blogroll list), was in one of those ice houses with her husband and daughter. I do hope to meet her in person soon.