Friday, February 15, 2008

So I lied...

....or at least understated my intentions. The last post I mentioned the mountains across the bay and how they look so enchanting in the morning alpenglow with their illuminous glow. And I also mentioned that I wouldn't even try to take a picture of such beauty because it would never do justice to what they really appeared to be before the naked eye. But on one particular morning on my way into town the other day at the crack of dawn.....9:00AM.... I saw some pretty breathtaking footage, and as I quietly cursed myself for not having the camera, again, it dawned on me that in fact I did have it that morning. And so it took only seconds to devise a way to pull off and try to give to you some kind of visual image of what the morning alpenglow looks like. In all fairness, I have to submit a disclaimer, that what you are about to see is only a photographic re-enactment of the real thing. Nothing you are about to see gives the actual sense of calming allure that one would observe with ones 'tangible' senses. Nonetheless it gives you a striking idea of what the alpenglow is. Technically it is the refraction of light through the particulate ice matter in the air. As we have stated in the past, this is visibly present throughout the clear daytime in the winter, as the sun never really comes fully up in the sky. Now, it is best seen in the evenings and early mornings on the clear days, which we were fortunate to have for the past couple of weeks or so. Mind you the temps were absolutely sub-zero for those couple of weeks thus enhancing the morning sunrises, as you can see here. By the time I was done with each picture, the lens was frosted over, and my fingers hurt from the extreme cold. I would have to stuff the camera into my body warmth...along with the ol phalanges to warm up for the next shot. The cool thing about these pics is that I caught them before the sun even crested. Here you can see Mt Redoubt. The next photo is of Redoubt and Mt Illiamana. The first couple miles out is completely encrusted in ice. Then there was this fog bank that was developing where the mouth of the Kenai River, meets the inlet. Like I said, does nothing to seeing it in the real. As I worked my way on down the road a little further, the sun continued to make it's way to crest. What really threw me into an absolute excited frenzy, was after I got through Kenai and was making my way across the tidal flats. As I looked over towards Mt Redoubt, I nearly lost control of the truck and went off the road. In some drug crazed flashback from Woodstock, one could easily have thought Mt. Redoubt was about to blow due to it's glow. I on the other hand thought, screw if I am late for my appointment or not, this is fabulous! Can't find the words to describe it. I did pull off the road, and managed to capture the moment. As I panned over to the right I caught that fog bank from the other side!What was really neat was as the sun continued to rise, the colored hue reflecting off of Redoubt got bigger, eventually encasing the entire range. Then of course is the culprit of all this eye candy, "Our friend, Mr. Sun". Remember that film from science class??? What a great start to the day, this all was for me. It just kept getting better from there on. I was late for my appointment as a result to all of this, but hey, sometimes you just have to stop and smell the roses.

The other day I was walking out of Safeway in Kenai, and as I was strolling cautiously down the ice ladden sidewalk towards my truck eating my container of Cashew Chicken from the deli, cold wind gently pelting my face with blowing ice, I had a revelation. It hit me at that moment. What the frig did we do! I mean, the fact that we picked up everything we owned, left a successful business and our loved friends and family, and just did it. A dream of mine for 18 years finally came true. Now I have had enough and am going back home! Naaa. Just kidding about that. But really, anyone who truly knew me for the past 18 years, knows how badly I wanted to someday move to Alaska. Mind you, in later years as Maryann knew of this dream she too wanted to see it become reality. But here we are. And doing so much better than we could have ever expected in just 9 months. And it just keeps getting better! Sure, we do have our moments, and things do go awry as things will always do. But an 18 years dream come true. What a story for our grandkids.

So I leave you with something rather unusual yet undeniably Alaskan, that I saw a few weeks back. As I was coming into Nikiski at days end I pulled into the gas station to gas up. I am pulling to the pump, and I see in the island next to me this guy in one of those small miniature Sports Utility Vehicles. He is sitting in the driver seat bundled up in a heavy arctic coat, gloves, and a full-on motorcycle helmet. I am thinking....ok. Then I notice his front windshield is gone. Now this is starting to make sense why he is so bundled. Then I see his girlfriend coming back to the vehicle, also bundled up in arctic gear, get into the vehicle, pull the other full-on motorcycle helmet off of the dashboard and proceeds to strap it on and pull on her gloves. After making sure her seatbelt was fastened, he starts the ride up, and barrels out onto the highway and heads on down the road. And I though up to that point that I had truly seen everything. Have a great weekend. Our love.

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