Hi everyone! Happy Friday! Today’s Friday Five Linkup with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney is all about fitness. So I decided to focus on something I’m struggling with this winter here in Alaska: snow. Or, to be more specific, the lack of snow! First of all, let’s address a common stereotype I’ve heard a lot since moving here. Everyone just assumes that Anchorage is the coldest and snowiest place in the US. But sadly it’s not! You can check this awesome website to see if your city is currently on the top 25 list of snowy places this winter (I want to thank our snow storm back in November for helping us stay on that list!). It’s almost always snowier and colder in certain places in the Lower 48 than in Anchorage (like in certain places in the midwest and the places where lake effect snow happens) but the past few years have been even more snow-free than usual. I will say that our winters are longer and darker than anywhere in the Lower 48, and whenever it does snow there’s not enough sunlight to melt it for a while. But considering the fact that it’s been above freezing and I can’t even tell you the last time we got snow (like an inch back in January?), I’m pretty bummed about the grass and ice that is everywhere. Last weekend I had to drive an hour to get to a place where I could cross country ski, and it was up in a mountain pass!
What’s a winter-loving girl to do in Alaska when it’s in the 40s and ice is everywhere? Today I’m going to take a look at five winter activities that you can still do regardless of how much snow is on the ground! Hopefully you can do some of these activities if you’re also dying for some snow:
1. Ice skate: This may seem like a no-brainer considering how much ice is all over the ground. My husband and I are hoping to be able to get out to one of the outdoor rinks at the parks/elementary schools to practice before we head out on the lakes!
2. Run: This must be done verrrrrry carefully on the ice though! I got my shoes studded at the local running store, and the screws they attached really help me gain traction on the ice. It’s still hard to stay upright on really slick ice, so I’d recommend actual studded shoes like Icebugs that can be used on both clear and icy trails.
3. Find the fake snow: For the diehard cross country skiers among us, Kincaid Park makes fake snow for one trail in the park. I haven’t tried it yet, but I have driven up into the mountains to find the only remaining real snow! No matter which option you choose, be prepared for hills and fast, icy conditions!
4. Go aurora hunting: The days are slowly but surely getting longer, but it’s still dark enough at night to see the northern lights! My favorite places to go are 45 minutes north around the Knik River bridge, but I saw the lights last weekend from Earthquake Park although it was hard with all the light pollution. Pro tip: I like to park somewhere where I can sit in my car to watch the lights. It keeps me warm and comfortable, which is perfect considering that it sometimes takes an hour or more to see them!
5. Stay indoors: This may sound like admitting defeat against the ice, but sometimes a cup of coffee and a good book is the best way to spend a winter afternoon! I have a rule that I need to go outside at least 10 minutes each day, so at least I don’t spend all day getting sucked into Netflix.
Curious about what life is like in Alaska? Feel free to check out my weird facts about Alaska Friday Five post from last year! And I’ll have to write another one considering how many stereotypes there are about Anchorage and Alaska. In the mean time, please send lots of positive snow vibes our way!
Do you have snow where you live? How do you deal with a non-snowy winter?