Sunday, October 26, 2008

First snow

Date: Oct. 25
Mileage: 32.3
October mileage: 409.7

Although we've been seeing snow in the surrounding mountains since mid-September, the actual city limits of Juneau weren't hit with snow until Friday night. Oct. 24 is actually a little early for Juneau's first snow, located as it is in the banana belt of Alaska. It means winter's not here to stay, but it's always fun to see white stuff before Halloween.

Riding through 6-8 inches of fresh powder up a moderately steep trail is the best full-body workout there is ... you know, besides running, yoga, cross-country skiing, pilates and swimming. For the second day in a row, I came home coated in sweat with legs tired to the core after spending four hours covering 32 miles. Still, the downhill runs are amazing ... steamrolling down singletrack in a white powder blast, wheels nearly silent in the snow, bouncing over partially-covered rocks, carving wide turns with the fat tires, eyes streaming with tears in the cold wind, kind of like a happy cry. Downhill snowbiking is always the best at first snows, when the dirt base allows unchecked speed, but the soft powder muffles inhibitions.

The rest of the time, you're moving slow enough to notice all the changes in your world. This is the spring-growth tree that I photographed the other day, looking a little forlorn. I don't think those baby leaves are going to last much longer, but I still admire the tree's effort.

Eventually I will become more accustomed to winter scenery and I won't deluge my blog with so many photos. But for now, I figured, eh, it's my blog. Might as well post the waterfall picture ...

Silverbow Basin ...

Salmon Creek Road ...

Salmon Creek ...

And a single sun shot to part with. Now, back to rain.


  1. Jill, what do you use to measure your mileage? I want to start recording my mileage on trail and road. Thank you

  2. Looks like a remarkable place; and a slightly crazy way of getting around !

  3. I thing your photos are great! For me, it's an inexpensive way to see Alaska.

  4. Beautiful scenery, Jill. I could almost imagine myself being there, then I remember that white stuff only exists where it's *cold*.

    Last week I pulled out my winter gear, long-sleeve shirt, long-fingered gloves, because it was cold here. About as cold as it gets here anyway, 50 degrees.

    Just few thousand miles South of you, in the Valle of the Sun (Phoenix).

  5. Great shots, Jill. My Pugsley is having snow envy. We have a forecast for today for snow showers and 50 mph wind gusts. So maybe mine will see some early snow!!

  6. I agree with Doug on the photos. 30-40 mph winds right now with higher gusts. We even have a wind chill today.

    Just took the dog for a walk in some snow flurries. Yeh!

    Time to head for the trails and some mtn. biking.

  7. love the pics....

  8. I just discovered your blog (through a circuitous websurfing route), and wanted to say Thanks for bringing back fond memories of Alaska. I spent eight great years in Sitka, and I still have many friends in Juneau. I just started my own blog, and I will definitely link to yours! I am not an avid biker, having just started riding mountain bikes in New Mexico, but hopefully one day...who knows?
    Thanks again!

  9. Jill,

    The pictures are gorgeous! Keep the "deluge" coming. It's 90 degrees here every day lately, so the snow is wonderful to see. Wish I was there...

    Bob in Glendora

  10. oh, sigh. that snow looks wonderful. have a blast, pugsley.

  11. hey what kind of tires are you using? do you use studs?

    i live in seattle and we are getting the first of your snow.

  12. Beautiful pic. I liked how you revisited that tree. The contrast is remarkable.



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