Christmas Joy Lives Year Around In North Pole, Alaska
Who doesn't know about the North Pole and all the stories about Santa Claus? But what most do not realize is that there is a town in Alaska, where this Santa is believed to be at work. Here he is said to live year around. He is always busy in his workshop making people happy. Here, joy fills the air no matter what time of year, but especially during the winter. Regardless, if you believe in the man with the jolly red suit or not, you can not escape the joy that is in the air as winter approaches. North Pole, Alaska is the home of winter time delight, astonishing creativity, and county charm.
A Journey Of Faith In North Pole Alaska
Through the thick winter fog, comes the faithful to partake in the weekly celebration of corporate worship. Regardless of the weather, if at all possible, the journey is made to the location where they meet others each week. Spirituality is alive and well in the many communities that make up the State of Alaska. Sometimes winter is a little precarious, at best, and then people may not make their weekly trip to their house of worship. But most of the time, the people who call Alaska home, make the trek come rain, shine, fog, or snow. It is just another part of daily life in the far north.
In North Pole, Alaska, you are never quite sure what the day may give you. One thing is for sure, winter arrives with diligence each year in late Autumn and the people that call North Poll home are well prepared. It's called, layer up, bundle up, and head on out for another adventure in Alaska's frosty north.
Driving In The Ice Fog In The Subarctic Of Alaska
Driving in the ice fog takes talent! Keep your wheels in the tracks of the last vehicle, your eyes on the road ahead, and your lights low, so as to see right in front of the tires. Slow and easy is the motto of the day. The slower you are going the more likely you are to see your side road when it appears for a brief second. Miss your chance and you are out of luck, there is no where to turn around. This is a slice of life in the ice fog!
The legacy of the simple log cabin is woven into the very framework of everyday Alaskan life. The thick logs provide insulation when caulked properly and the cabins are easy to keep warm. Most are quite small and are heated by a single wood stove.
This log cabin has a sod roof which is extremely friendly to the environment. The weight of the sod bears down on the logs, which compresses the logs together even tighter than a regular roof. It helps in the insulation of the cabin during the long cold winters. The walls have almost no draft with a sod roof, which lowers the cost of heating and cooling the cabin. The sod also provides a place for the rainwater to soak in, and reduces the run off happening all at once. Rather the rain water gently is allowed to run to the environment, and run off woes and flooding is avoided.
The sod roofs are also a friendly place for wildlife to utilize the native grasses in their daily life. Small animals find nesting material in the spring, and often utilize the roof as a home. Often people add a few wild flower seeds to the sod when planted. This provides a very appealing roof in the spring, summer, and fall. The plants filter the air, produce oxygen, and provide shade.
Exploring The Alaskan Back Country As Winter Sets In
Exploring the vast back-country of Alaska's interior is exciting any time of the year, but as the snow begins to accumulate it is even more so. Everything is so still and white, that small animals are easy to see as they prepare for the leaner months of winter in the far North. Many animals store up food for the upcoming months and still others just eat enough that they can live off of the extra during the months of deep snow and ice. This is a time of preparation in Alaska's vast interior!
This is also a time when you will see many moose eating the twigs that are still not covered and frozen in the deep snow. They are easy to see with their tall legs and brown color in this sea of white.
The Willow Ptarmigan hiding in the thickets at Denali National Park
One of the most adaptable birds and the most common across Alaska is the Willow Ptarmigan. The Willow Ptarmigan is a beautiful brown in the summer, changing to almost snowy white in winter. They are so adaptable to their surroundings, that they are hard to spot with the naked eye. In 1955, the Willow Ptarmigan officially became the State Bird of Alaska.
Winter In The Delta Mountains Of Eastern Alaska
The magnificent Delta Mountains is a sub-range to the Alaska Range forming it's Eastern border. The Delta Range is one of the most accessible mountains within the Alaska Range. It usually has an abundance of snow in the winter, making it a prime winter get-away destination. Three of Alaska's major highways surround this beautiful wilderness, the Glenn Highway, the Richardson Highway, and the Alaskan Highway. It is perhaps one of the most accessible winter play grounds in the Alaska Range.
Summer sports in the Delta Mountains include climbing, hiking, mountaineering, boating of all kinds, and just plain mountain fun. Fishing is great in the different streams, rivers, and lakes. There is a lot to enjoy about this amazing mountain area. Winter time, of course, brings a whole new array of sports, and there is always the magnificent glaciers, just waiting to be admired.
The Rugged Wilderness Of The Delta Mountains
Glaciers In The Delta Mountains
There are several glaciers and ice caves in this mountain range. Gulkana and Castner Glaciers are two of the most scenic glaciers with easy access. Both have trails leading to the glacier fields. You can also hike into Castner Ice Caves at certain times of the year. If you enjoy winter, then the Delta Mountains will be a delight.
A Moose Enjoying The Twigs From The Trees Not Yet Buried In Snow
Moose mainly eat the toothpick size twigs from the Birch, Poplar, and Willow trees that grow in Alaska. Winter can bring on hunger, and a nice patch of twigs is a great discovery.
Moose are one of the most sought after subjects for photographers in all of Alaska. Many visitors are extremely surprised at their extremely large size. Adult males usually weigh at least 1,000 pounds, and often males can weigh as much as 1,500 pounds. They stand well over six and a half feet tall, and often as much as seven feet. They are best recognized by their long spindly legs.
Most cows give birth to one baby and by five months old, most babies are usually around 300 pounds. These fast growing babies are a lot of fun to watch as they begin to emerge from their secure dens and follow their moms around looking for twigs.
Alaskan Moose Resting In A Bed Of Soft Snow In The Tundra
When the temperatures reach 23 degrees Fahrenheit, moose begin to feel overwhelmed with the heat. It is during this time that you will find them resting in a bed of snow, as they try to get cooled down.
The Beauty Of The Cold Long Winters On The Robertson River
The Robertson River is one of the most scenic rivers in Alaska. In various places it has a thin to a thick layer of glacier ice during winter. This glacial ice is beautiful with a bluish tint. As the winter sun gleams on the ice, this bluish ice is a photographer's delight.
Ice Fishing In Comfort On Chena Lake In Alaska
Only seventeen miles to the southeast of Fairbanks, in Alaska's interior, is beautiful Chena Lake. This is a 2,000 acre recreation area shared by the Chena Lake Park and the Chena River Park. Both areas are filled with wildlife and the lake is a favorite spot for ice fishing during the cold winters after the ice is completely solid. Chena Lake is a 260 acre lake that freezes extremely solid in the long cold winters. The park also includes about 4 beautiful curved miles of the Chena River that is quite beautiful. The river also is a major wildlife watering hole, making it an awesome photographers paradise.
The photo above is a very deluxe ice fishing camp on the lake. This is a very professional camp and is much warmer than the normal way of ice fishing. When most locals are fishing, they cut a hole in the ice and feed a line down into the water. If a fish is caught, then it is retrieved through that same hole. Ice fishing is a way of life in the Interior of Alaska, providing much needed fish for the table during the long winters.
Beautiful Spruce Trees Laden With Fresh Snow
Snow covered spruce trees decorated by nature for the upcoming winter festivities. They are a beautiful sight to see during this season of brisk temperatures? If you love the sights of winter and you are not afraid of temperatures that can often plunge way into the negatives, Alaska, is the place to be for winter fun.
Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race In Fairbanks Alaska
There is absolutely nothing like the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in the world. It is 1,000 amazing and beautiful miles of some of the toughest, most challenging snow country that nature can dish out. This event is full of mountains and cliffs, deep snow and ice, and temperatures way below zero. The ice fog can be so thick that all you can do is trust your dog. This is an event that is man and dog verses nature, and nature can be cruel. Only the best of the best come here to compete in this remote and dangerous race. This is Alaskan winter fun at every level and most Alaskans appear to watch somewhere along the way. It has often been called the "Last Great Race On Earth."
Braving The Cold To Watch A Tradition
Every time a racer passes through a village of any size, there will be a crowd lining the streets. There will be a full house at both the starting line and the finish line. This is more than a race, it is a way of life. It brings back not so distant memories of another time, when things revolved around these dogs. This is an Alaskan event, and every racer will be given a hero's welcome. These teams are the best of the best and they come from all over the world. There may be only one team that is number 1, but there are no losers.
The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
Christmas time in North Pole, Alaska is considered by most locals as the highlight of the year. What makes it even better, is that Santa Claus House has Christmas all year long. A visit to Santa Claus House is one of the most exciting things to do in North Pole, Alaska. At Santa Claus House you will be able to visit with Santa's reindeer, receive a letter from Santa postmarked from the North Pole, and the shopping is unbelievable. Here at Santa Claus House you will find gifts that are made in Alaska, ornaments with an Alaskan theme, special Alaskan jewelry, one of a kind clothing, and of course lots and lots of toys. If you are looking for that special one of a kind touch for your own celebration, then Santa Claus House is the place to go.
The Decorations Are Special At Santa Claus House
Enjoy the reindeer as they guide you To Santa Claus House. This is one of the most festive times of the year, when there is snow or ice fog on the decorations.
The Northernmost Denny’s In The World Is uniquely Alaskan
Can you find another Denny's that serves Reindeer Sausage with it's potatoes and eggs? This is a treat for the taste buds, as it is so delicious. If potatoes and eggs aren't for you, then how about a stack of cakes with Reindeer Sausage on the side? While you are there, be sure to look out the window, as moose are often seen passing by.
The Long Polar Night In North Pole Alaska
The North Pole is at it's maximum tilt away from the sun, making it the shortest day of the year and the beginning of winter solstice. The Northern lights and the stars are spectacular this time of year! On a cold clear night, there is so much light from the moon and stars that the snow gleams in the darkness of the long night. These beautiful clear nights are excellent for viewing the Northern Lights.
Ice and Hoar Frost makes Fairbanks Alaska A Picturesque Winter Wonderland
Even though the nights are long and dark during the long winters, the short days are beautiful as the sun beams down on trees covered with ice and frost. This is an amazing place, with spectacular beauty wherever you go. If you enjoy winter, then come on North and enjoy the land of the long polar nights with it's beautiful, though short, sunny and brisk days.