Thursday, April 18, 2013

Girdwood and Portage, make it a two-fer!

Such a lovely blessing this high pressure continues to bring to south central Alaska. The bright blue skies, the blindingly white mountain tops, the clear air. Most of the air that is, with the exception of roadsides. Pedestrians are victim to the gravel dust being disturbed by everyone one out for a sunlit drive. 

If you need some encouragement for taking a scenic ride this weekend, the Portage Glacier Daylodge is open Fridays through Sundays in April until full time opening in May. Your lovely hosts are baking delicious treats such as cookies and cinnamon rolls and steaming up frothy lattes for your morning respite. If you are going to Alyeska for Slush Cup, just add an extra hour to your morning. The Portage Lodge opens at 10 am, you can have a quick late breakfast. Afterward, head back to Alyeska, the mountain does not open until 11 so nothing will be missed. The Portage Daylodge is only 15 miles from Girdwood, and a beautiful drive. Above is the view in Portage Valley with the Portage Daylodge to the right and the Begich-Boggs visitor center ahead. Below, Byron Glacier is still covered in snow as seen from the Portage Daylodge. 

While soaking in the views on your sunny jaunt through the mountains, be aware of the traffic. Our neighbors to the south are already streaming in for early season specials and all the adventure the great land has to offer. I have seen numerous small RV’s already camping out in Girdwood. On my drives along the Seward, there are countless boats being shuttled to water (mostly from the Valley I am guessing). Also be aware of late season snow machiners heading toward Turnagain Pass. The high pressure weather system has been holding the night temperatures down enough to keep the snow from melting rapidly. I imagine most of the snow is just evaporating under the dry air and sunny skies, oh, and the incredible winds. 

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