Editors note…I meant to go out and take some new winter pictures but the day I wrote this posting my camera finally died completely. I have resurrected one of my daughters frost and snow covered tree picture and hope this will work. Also I should mention that the 1 minute 45 second video of a grizzly hunt camp has failed to load to the blog on four different days. I do apologize but I am making this posting without the video. If I can figure out what the problem is I will let you know. I would also like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for making these long winter days more fulfilling……..
Walking up from Kara’s house today, after our morning coffee, my beard frosted over from my heavy breathing, and the water from my eyes froze on my face. At only -9 it was not an extremely cold day, but the brain freeze I felt, caused by the light breeze blowing over my face, made it feel much colder. This was almost forgotten as you looked up at the trees, covered in frost, glistening in the bright sunlight. Then there is a unique sound to your footsteps as they crunch the frozen snow when it’s 20 below. It’s hard to explain to anyone that has never experienced an interior Alaskan winter but even that sound of your footsteps brought a smile to this old man’s face. But not to accept, enjoy and seek out the beauty of our winter weather would defeat anyone no so inclined.
I also remember a spring when I was an assistant hunting guide and we arrived at a spot where the outfitter wanted to establish a grizzly camp. It was near the end of April and that in Alaska meant still cold weather, but I loved this part of the job of setting up a camp for the client/hunters. Most of these men and women I had met when we did the outdoor shows, across the US, booking clients for our different hunts and fishing trips. They were paying a lot of money for the experience and I wanted to ensure they had a great hunt and part of that was the camp they would use as there base.
The old rutted dirt road traveling miles from the nearby native village it brought the hunters close, but they would still have to travel the last mile or so up the mountain on ATVs. There was two of us doing the set up and we each went to work first erecting the round canvas tents that would be there sleeping quarters and kitchen. Then the work of building a firewood pile and later a latrine. A humorous side note on the latrine was that my partner said he would handle it and went off for a good part of the day. When he returned he had a smile from ear to ear, and said I would have to see it to believe it. The latrine was located on the far side of the crest of the hill and it was spectacular! I kid you not. It was set up so that it was covered on three sides for some privacy, but the front was completely open. If I managed to attach a video to this posting than the opening shot of the far mountain and the valley below it was the view from the latrine. In Alaska even the outhouses sometimes have great views.
Back to the point of my story the cold and snow. While we were setting up it was cool in the 10’s and 20s and as we were finished it snowed. Not a heavy snow just enough to lightly cover the ground.
It was as if winter was giving us a last glance at it’s beauty.