Sunday, November 1, 2009



For lots of reasons, some more grandiose than others, I have started walking after work. Since today was such a beautiful day I decided to get out and enjoy the sunshine while I could.

Due to the time change sunset is fairly early, around 5:00pm.

The picture below is from almost the top of a slope off Spenard Ave. near where I access the Chester Creek Trail system. Its facing east looking at the Chugach Mountains with Valley of the Moon Park at the bottom.

Even though temperatures have been below freezing for several days I was surprised to find Westchester Lagoon frozen, probably 1.5 to 2 inches. I stomped on it a couple times and got one good crack to form but couldn't break through.

Westchester Lagoon, in past years, has had a large trail plowed in the snow snaking around the lake. I've read that its the longest maintained trail in the US. Hopefully they will plow and maintain the trail again this year. I'd like to give skating another try.

Below is Westchester Lagoon looking west-ish. (Guess I should start bringing my compass on my walks)

I walked around the lagoon, through a pretty nice neighbourhood (I bet they wondered what I was doing there) and since it was still relatively light I decided to investigate what I suspected was a trail on the east end. After making my way down a steep hill and finding a trail made of wood chips I decided to find out what was at its end. Trudging through the woods, making tons of racket as I went, I looked up and saw a man standing about 75 yards from me. He had a bicycle, not the mountain bike you'd think he should have on the trail, was smoking a cigarette, and looking right back at me. It didn't take long for me to decide that it would be better to just turn around and leave the way I had come. I found the first hill up to the road and continued on.

Sadly, there are a lot of homeless people in Anchorage. There has been a so called crack down on homeless camps the last couple weeks and I kind of wonder if this guy was homeless looking for a place to spend the night. Maybe he was a creepy guy lurking in the woods. Or maybe he sneaked out for a smoke and ducked into the woods so his wife and neighbours couldn't see. Who knows. I decided it was better for me not to find out.

Another strange thing happend closer to home. A young man, at least 16, stumbled down a hill and out of the woods onto the trail. As his pants fell down he dropped his cell phone. After picking it up he had a really hard time with his pants. His belt had gone missing and his rear was well exposed. He was either high or drunk. Again, who knows what was going on. He got in a truck with some people who had been disk golfing and that was the last I saw of him.

I also saw a lot of people running, skate skiing on those fancy pavement ski deals, and people walking there dogs. I even witnessed some kids trying to break through the ice by pounding it with large rocks. All pretty normal if you ask me.

Anchorage is a nice place but its still the largest city in the state. All cities have their problems but I guess Anchorage isn't too bad. Where else, with such a large population, can you be stepped on by a moose or mauled by a bear?