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Anchorage Alaska in January

Updated on February 18, 2017
peoplepower73 profile image

My wife and I visited our son who has lived in Alaska for 14 years. Here is an article about our experience.

Anchorage Alaska

Our son is a 747 pilot for Atlas Air Cargo. He flies all over the world but is based in Anchorage Alaska. He has lived in Alaska for over 14 years. He was an air taxi pilot for many years and lived on the ice with the natives, while flying them from village to village.

My wife decided that we should visit him in the month of January because she wanted to experience what it's like to be in a really cold weather. You have to understand we live in Southern California about 10 miles from Disneyland.

From front room window, 7 a.m.
From front room window, 7 a.m.

Mama Moose and Her Calves

This picture was taken from the living room at about 7 a.m. the day after we arrived. it's a mother and two calves. You can't see the other calf. It was around the side of the house. They're eating the leaves off the trees for breakfast.

Palmer's Pond

This is the pond that is behind my son's house. There is a path from here that leads all they way into the town of Anchorage. During the winter they cross-country ski on the path and during the summer, they ride bicycles and walk/run their dogs.

Hood Lake

This is Hood Lake. During the summer, it is one of the busiest sea plane airports in the world. In the winter, it is frozen over and covered with snow. Planes equipped with skis still use the airport.

Pack Ice

We are on our way to the Mount Alyeska Ski Area. This is a picture of the pack ice along Cook's Inlet. Pack ice is frozen sea water. You can hear it crunch and groan as it moves up the inlet. It is dark and mixed with all kinds of debris.

Mt. Alyeska Ski Lodge

This is the ski lodge with Mt. Alyeska in the background. They have some of the best chicken soup and hot chocolate in the world here. Most of the mountains in the Anchorage area are not that high. It snows at sea level. You think you are at a high altitude, but it's because of the latitude. Mt. Alyeska is only 3,800 feet high.

View of the Ski Lodge from the Summit

This is the view of the ski lodge from the top of Mt. Alyeska. There is a tram that takes you from the lodge to the top of the mountain. The view is spectacular.

Observation Tower

This is the observation tower at the summit. From this view point, you can see almost 360 degrees around the valley below. It includes a restaurant where you can get warm food to warm the cockles of your heart. The temperature was about 10 degrees F.

View of Turnagain Valley

This is a view of the Turnagain Valley from the summit. You can see a beautiful panarama of almost 360 degrees. I would like to show the panarama pictures, but it would probably take up too much space. The reason it is called the "turnagain" valley is that there is a highway that goes to Seward, but make almost a U turn before it gets there.

Really Cold

This is my wife and me at the summit at Flat Top mountain. You can see the city of Anchorage in the background. The wind was blowing very hard and with the wind chill, it was about minus 2 degrees. It was so cold, the battery in my camera stopped working. It was very icy and we had to be very careful walking, The paths were all marked where we could walk. You can tell we are from California and not really dressed for the occasion.

How to Dress for Cold Weather

Our son gave us some tips on how to dress for cold weather. He had us dress in three layers. The first layer is a light layer that will wick away sweat from your skin. The second layer is the insulating layer made of bulky knit materials to keep you warm.. The third layer is the protective layer that shields against the elements. It should repel water, snow, and sleet, and block the wind.

He said the reason that people get frost bite is because they start to sweat and do not have the proper clothing to wick away the moisture from the skin. The sweat freezes and could cause frost bite.

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    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      Nell Rose: I hope you get there someday. It's truly amazing. Thanks for dropping by.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, beautiful photos, and so cold looking! I have always wanted to visit Alaska it is such a mesmerising country, thanks for sharing, nell

    • peoplepower73 profile image
      Author

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      Thank you LaThing. Thanks for dropping by.

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Beautiful pictures! I can just imagine the cold! Lived in Fort Kent, ME, for a year and a half.... Remember the cold .... -40F with the wind chill factor!!

      Enjoyed reading, sharing and very interesting :)

    • peoplepower73 profile image
      Author

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      That's so very true about children. Thanks for dropping by.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      The Turnagain Arm drive is amazing no matter what time of year one goes. I did not think I would ever go in winter, but a January visit was a special treat. Experiencing the cold season there, seeing the astounding amounts and effects of the snow, watching the ever changing landscapes due to the ever changing weather makes for a wow trip! Thanks for sharing your Alaska photos--I may pack this afternoon. Children and grandchildren can take us to places at times we never expected, yes? :)

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      Thanks Bing for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Bing 5 years ago

      Very beautiful and interesting. Your article is a confirmation that Alaska is worth visiting at least once in our lifetime. That'll be my next vacation destination. Thanks Mike.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
      Author

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      I think there are many special people who fly those small planes in Alaska. They live on the edge and support each other in ways that enables them to endure thier adverse conditions. Thanks for the comments and have a great day.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I can see by the photos Alaska is a beautiful place and worthy of a visit, even in the dead of winter. However, I endured too many brrr cold, icy winters in NE Kansas to ever again consider living where I have to dress in three layers of protective clothing to avoid frostbite. I don't live so far south now that I totally avoid cold weather, but far enough that it's a rare day I have to leave my Crocs in the closet, or chip ice off the windshield just to go to the store for a quart of milk.

      It takes a special type of person to live (and fly small planes!) in Alaska in the winter time. Your son is obviously one of them.

      Voted up, awesome and beautiful! 'D

    • peoplepower73 profile image
      Author

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      Thanks so much, glad to be of service.

    • alipuckett profile image

      alipuckett 5 years ago

      Great photos, and thanks for the tips about staying warm. It's definitely a concern if it's so cold out, your camera stops working! :)

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      tillsontitan, thank you so much. Actually, after about a week, you get used to it. We saw locals walking around in summer clothes while there was still snow on the ground.

      I have to apologize for not writing in your fan mail. I'm still learning hub pages and I clicked on send withour writing in the space, but I'm a fan of yours. Thanks for stopping by.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      How lovely Peoplepower! I visited Anchorage (and Turnagain) in May and was in awe. (I wrote a hub about it.) I'm a warm weather person so wouldn't have the nerve to go in January. Loved the hub, your photos are beautiful and your son's advice very wise. Voted up, interesting and Sharing.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      You are welcome. Thsnks for the comments.

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      metta 5 years ago

      I loved the scenery! Wish I could live there and be your son's age. Now the sun feels better on my weary bones than snow. It's a beautiful sight though! Thanks for sharing~

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      Ha, Ha, that's cool...No pun intended. Thanks for dropping by michiganman.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
      Author

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      Ha, Ha, that's cool...No pun intended. Thanks for dropping by michiganman.

    • michiganman567 profile image

      michiganman567 5 years ago from Michigan

      I hope that you enjoyed your trip. Thanks for sharing your story and the beautiful pictures. Next time you go make sure that you invest in a coat!

    • peoplepower73 profile image
      Author

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      Thank you Marcy. I'm glad you enjoyed it. As my son says: "Anchorage is just ten minutes from Alaska." I hope you get to go there some day.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      This is gorgeous! I've always wanted to visit Alaska - and now I want to even more. Thanks for sharing your trip with us! The travel tips are great, too. Voted up and beautiful as well as useful.