Monday, September 23, 2013

First snow flakes of the winter

Well, well, look what I woke up to this morning. Remember, you can click on any photo for a larger view.
BTW, it's all pretty well melted away by now, only mid-afternoon.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hatcher Pass, Almost Fall

I've never actually been inside the Mat Hatter but love their sign and the whimsey of the decor outside. It's located just past the Wasilla-Fishhook Road after I turn left off that to head up to the mine. (Go right for Palmer!)

The colors weren't as active as I'd hoped but that in itself made the trees with major leaf color changing going on really stand out in the crowd.
Hints of what's to come.
Fireweed fluff. It was so thick in some areas that at one point, when I had both front windows down on the car, a couple pieces got sucked in one window, drifted through the car, and then got sucked back out on the other side.

The parking lot at the Little Su overview as too busy but was able to stop long enough to snap this view on up the road a bit.

This is the view coming up on the Mother Lode Hotel
View back at the hotel and the road, barely visible sorta center, I'd be taking, up the mountain.
Cue the song "I Shoulda Known Better." Archangel Road looked decent at its beginning so, silly me, it sucked me in and I headed up.
Please note, more avalanche signs.
I don't know if I'd made it a block into the road before I realized this had been a bad idea. Why? Maybe cos at one point I was concerned my car had bottomed out or, at the very least, some big, pointy rock that was sticking up had poked a hole into something vital. Since there was a more than decent drop to the right, even if it isn't visible in the pix, I had to keep going for just a bit to get to the first pullover and turn around, tho'. Yikes! Nope, not doing this again unless I'm with someone else with a vehicle with higher clearance and 4-wheel drive. My car has been great but there are just some places I don't ask it to go and out this road at this time of year is obviously one of 'em.
Looking down toward the Mat-Su Valley at the bottom of the "V".
Hatcher Pass Lodge area, left, and Independence Mine.

Can you find Willow-Fishhook Road?
Better, closer views but still a tough find. Please note, not guard rails!

Heading home, the view from near the end of Willow-Fishhook Road as I look back and down the way I came and will go out.

I'm not quite sure why I was so obsessed with W-Fishhook Road that day but here it is again, a bit more obvious from this angle. As noted above, no guardrails. Thinking about it, despite some steep drop-offs and a narrow, winding road, I don't recall any all the way through, at least till you get across and closer to the Willow end. 

Hatcher Pass Lodge, usually open year round.
Random shots taken on the way down the mountain. Pretty, pretty day.

Dang, it was still busy at the Little Su on the way out but was able to stop long enough to snap this on the way past the bridge.  Love this place!