its soggy here in the gray north, with soggy being the understatement of the week.

what began as an epic start to an early ski season is now an avalanche prone, slushy mess just waiting to happen. with early season cool temperatures and a few nice snow storms, alaska was off to a great wintry start. but, just as we were getting into the groove of the winter thing, warm air moved in and temperatures rose into the high 40s, leaving nothing but thick, wet cement everywhere.

aleyeska resort reports that over 200 inches of snow has fallen at the summit of the mountain since november 1st. last week the resort was bragging that patrolers were up to their knees in fresh powder, leaving the rest of us with tongues wagging, waiting for opening day. opening day came and went and now, the mountain is temporarily closed due to the looming avalanche danger. and to compound matters, downtown anchorages many beloved cross country trails, groomed to perfection for the past few weeks, are now nothing but slush.

we drove to seward yesterday, leaving the valley behind in a gray haze. as we rounded
turnagain arm, the waterfalls pouring off the ledges to the left of the highway multiplied. we are used to seeing lots of water pouring down along the ride, but i would say there are at least five-fold the normal amount of gushing, pounding, sheets of water. we also spotted many avalanche shoots with 10-20 foot piles of heavy, wet, mud and snow, some reaching within feet of the highway and railroad tracks.
i wasnt able to get photos because i was driving, but i plan on being photographer and passenger on the way home so i may capture whats going on here.

seward is sleepy this time of year.

we are cozied up at r & l's sweet abode with a fire in the woodstove, watching the clouds cover the peaks with intermittent, heavy rain flattening the once deep snow on the ground.

today, we hit the sea life center (jade loves that place, can you tell?) yolys (which we love) and the coffee shop. what could be better?

the sea life center is a respite this quiet time of year. were it not for the birthday party going on in the "research room" we would have had the place to ourselves.

here are some photos of our day. the sea life is largely from right here in resurrection bay. can you believe the colors of these cold water creatures?? the octopus was amazing today, very active and stretching out all over his tank. although you cant tell by his smiling face, jade was none too impressed to be asked to pose in front of this guy as he was wriggling his tentacles all over the place.