So studs rule. I blew out of work today just in time to catch the last hour of depleted daylight - the 3:45 p.m. sunset and subsequent hour of twilight. Most of the ridge roads are packed snow and ice - a little precarious on treads, but as solid as pavement with studs. I climbed up a steep hill, one that's gravel in the summer and loose enough that you really have to throw all your weight on the back tire. Today I just cruised up it, standing, as sunset's shadow inched over the crest. I thought I could beat those last orange rays to the top, but the packed road quickly gave way to a soft snowmobile trail. I upped the RPMs but just kept grinding into the powder and falling over. I'm learning that when you're an ice biker, powder is bad. Especially when there's two feet of it, and a handful of snowmobiles do not a packed trail make.
Oops ... I forgot that I'm in Alaska now and need to call them "snowmachines." But I'm rebelling and keeping my native tongue. I'm from Utah, and I can say "fark" instead of "fork" and "crick" instead of "creek" if I want to. But to me, a snowmachine will always be one of those contraptions that spits powdery fountains of fake snow all over ski slopes when the real stuff ain't comin.' That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.