On Thursday, my friend Amanda and I took a drive to Chena Hot Springs. Amanda’s son Marc (age 4) also accompanied us. Marc is a pretty good road-tripper. He has his own camera and often fills the memory on it within an hour of starting our drive.
When we left North Pole, the temperature was above zero. We were prepared with snowpants and heavier coats, as you never really know what kind of weather you might encounter - especially in winter. We were glad to have them when we got to our destination, as there was a slight wind blowing the cold right through us.
On the way, we stopped to take photos of the pretty streams and frozen ponds that are quite plentiful once you get within the Chena Rec Area boundaries. The road was pretty deserted, and we only passed a handful of cars going out and coming back.
As you enter the resort area, you cross over a stream on a short one-lane bridge. The trees and bushes around this stream are always so beautiful, wearing thick coats of frost.
We walked over to the dog yard to see what was going on, as we heard some commotion over there. There was a large group of tourists waiting for their turn to go on a dogsled ride. Just as we arrived, so did a long sled being pulled by a dozen or more dogs. Happy smiles were on the faces of the passengers, dressed alike in their blue parkas.
We enjoyed walking around the area, taking photos along the way. The steam was so thick over the hot spring pond, that we couldn’t even see the bathers. The duck pond was full; mallards, geese, and quite a bit of quacking. Marc enjoyed them a lot and we had to remind him not to get too close to the geese - who tend to be a bit mean.
We stopped to warm up at the Activities Center. Marc and Amanda shared a hot cocoa. I peeled out of my parka and layers to cool down. There were quite a few people there waiting for the next tour of the Ice Museum. I’ve been inside the ice museum several times. It’s really *cool*, for lack of a better word, but at $15/pp it’s not something you do over and over again.
After bundling up again, we wandered out to the goat pens. There weren’t any goats, but there were reindeer! What a treat to be so close to them, with only a wide-link fence between us. Marc was able to pet the snout of one curious reindeer, who approached the fence to check us out. The others were content to stay on the ground resting.
The drive home was as beautiful as the drive out. The sun was lower on the horizon and the sky was beginning to change colors. All in all, a perfect day for a drive.
This is the beautiful sunset on the way home:
It was a beautiful drive, and a lovely day with a friend. I’m so glad we went!
On Friday night, since Steve was working night shift, I met up with my friend Kathee downtown. We did some of the First Friday circuit, and then went back to Kathee’s house to eat and watch movies. Since I planned to spend the night, Kathee allowed me to bring Raven with me. Raven was so nosey and curious about everything, which kept me from truly relaxing. Kathee also has two cats. Raven is used to Airborne, so I knew she wouldn’t be mean to the cats. Fiona showed herself, but made sure to hiss and swat at Raven everytime she got too close. Molly hid the entire time. Raven knew she was there somewhere though, as she kept sniffing under beds, etc.
We watched the movie Camilla, which Kathee played from Netflix. When we got up the next morning, we had breakfast and then watched the movie Freedom Writers, which I brought with me. I didn’t head home until 2:30pm - just in time for Steve to be getting up. It was a great evening with my friend. So relaxing!
I’m really looking forward to the Girls Trip to Anchorage in a couple of weeks. We’re really hoping to get down to Seward for a visit. It turns out that the Polar Bear Plunge is that weekend in Seward. That would be fun to attend! I hope the others will consider it, and I hope the weather is nice enough to make the drive to Seward possible. The Seward Hwy around Turnagain Arm, and over Turnagain Pass can be treacherous during winter storms.
Until next time…