My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Cordova Alaska, 2012 Record snow, 2015 NO snow!

Feb. 3/4, 2015

I have visited Cordova a lot over the last few years, but it is stunning how different a few years can make.  3 years ago they were buried in snow and today there is NONE… the white stuff on the ground is frost. Here is the post from 2012 and some photos from today!  They made national news in 2012 because of the snow and the National Guard was called in to help shovel the snow off of roofs.


IMG_2960 IMG_2958

Much like my last blog I am here help the board hire a superintendent, this is the information they put in their ad.  Enjoy

“Cordova is located at the southeastern end of Prince William Sound in the Gulf of Alaska. The community was built on Orca Inlet, at the base of Eyak Mountain. It lies 52 air miles southeast of Valdez and 150 miles southeast of Anchorage.  Winter temperatures are mild with average snowfall of 80 inches though this winter they have made national news with their record snowfall! Cordova has become home to those that enjoy the natural beauty of the area and for those that love the out-of-doors. Fishing, hiking, hunting, and most outdoor activities make Cordova’s unique surroundings desirable for many. Summer temperatures average from 50 to 63. Cordova is accessed by plane or boat. It is linked directly to the North Pacific Ocean shipping lanes through the Gulf of Alaska. It receives year-round barge services and State Ferry service.


The area has historically been home to the Alutiiq, with the addition of migrating Athabascan and Tlingit natives. Orca Inlet was originally named “Puerto Cordova” by Don Salvador Fidalgo in 1790. The town of Cordova was named in 1906 and the City was formed in 1909. Cordova became the railroad terminus and ocean shipping port for copper ore from the Kennecott Mine up the Copper River.


Cordova supports a large fishing fleet for Prince William Sound and several fish processing plants. Over 300 of the 2100 year-round residents hold commercial fishing permits, and nearly half of all households have someone working in commercial harvesting or processing. In the summers, Cordova doubles in population as fishermen and others flock to town for involvement with the fishing industry. Copper River red salmon, pink salmon, herring, halibut, bottom fish and other fisheries are harvested. The largest employers are Trident Processors, Cordova School District, Cordova Hospital, the City, and the Department of Transportation. The U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Coast Guard maintain personnel in Cordova.”

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Guided Trek on Mendenhall Icefield with local company, Northstar Trekking

July 22, 2014

What better way to celebrate our 14th anniversary than to go on a helicopter ride and trek on Mendenhall Glacier Harry and I once again took advantage of a certificate we had gotten during a fundraiser earlier this year. We have gone with Northstar Trekking 3 other times and each time it is a new adventure.

After realizing we were locals AND had gone with NST before our pilot Tracey wanted to know ‘what we wanted to see’, after telling her where we’d been before she headed N almost directly over our house then curved over towards the icefield.


flying over Herbert Glacier. We ride our bicycles to the face of this a few times a year


Eagle Glacier is receding quite rapidly.


looking into Canada, this is probably Camp Peak


some of the smaller glaciers in the icefield


the pointed tips were never covered by glaciers, but the more rounded peaks were made rounded by glacier ice smoothing them out.


other than being on the glacier this is my favorite picture of the day. This is Snow Tower Peaks

First we flew over Mt. Stroller White towards Herbert Glacier and continued N to Eagle Glacier. The amazing part of the flight was that we could begin to see Canadian Peeks. Along the way we also saw so many peaks that it is hard to describe let alone name them all, though Snow Tower Peaks were stunning.


swinging around to head down to our trekking spot


we’ve landed and I want to point out the people in this picture, it gives perspective of how large the glacier is.

The Juneau Icefield is the 5th largest icefield in America covering 1500 square miles. It is about 100 miles deep and 50 miles east to west. This icefield is about 3000 years old, so indeed there are pyramids older than this ice! Think about the icefield as one big lake with many rivers flowing out of the lake, these rivers are the glaciers. There are approximately 40 significant glaciers flowing off this field and about 100 smaller ones.


in front of a ‘cave’ that was not here last week and will probably be gone in a week..

Yes Mendenhall melting and yes it is moving. It takes about 10 feet of snow to create one foot of ice, so each winter a layer is established on the icefield, but it is not growing as fast as it is melting. I have seen significant movement in the glacier in the 19 years I have lived here, it is the sad truth.


filling water bottle to drink some of the clear, cold water flowing through the glacier.


just as we were to depart, the tent is there for staff to store things in or to get out of the elements on not so nice days.


These crevasses are about 150 feed down, you don’t want to fall.


again for perceptive, this has tent and helicopter as well as people.

This is the same glacier that we were able to hike in the ice caves earlier this year, sadly they have started to collapse and it is very unsafe to return now.  http//timistravels.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/mendenhall-glacier-ice-caves-and-some-northern-lights/


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Mendenhall Glacier Bear Activity

June 1, 2014

This was sent in an email to my by Laurie Craig the Lead Naturalist at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.  She wrote that “A few of us observed a fascinating bear family interaction. No camera was handy so I recreated the event in a different manner. Enjoy!”  I asked and she gave permission to share these.  cartoon 1 cub climbs tree 2014 june 1 cartoon 2 bears dangle 1june2014 cartoon 3 bear chew branch 1june2014 cartoon 4 munch 1june2014 cub tree2 cub tree

Then, I found some photo’s taken by Janice Gorle that go along with the adorable story.  Thanks Laurie and Janice.


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Mendenhall Glacier Ice Caves (and some Northern Lights)

March 1, 2014

Almost every Feb. or March Juneau has a cold snap where Mendenhall Lake freezes enough that individuals can get out on the lake to cross country ski, or hike etc.  Typically during that time it is also quite sunny and the rain or snow subsides for a few weeks.

These explorations around Mendenhall Glacier are typically astounding, and the photos that come out of the visits make our Christmas Card each year, it is truly part of what makes Juneau such an incredible place to live, these things are in our back yard.

This year the glacial caves are getting a lot of attention from National news outlets but here are a few of my photos from the weekend of March 1 and 2, 2014.  I went on my own Sat. but did not enter the caves.  I made Harry get up early with me on Sunday and get out there when 1) there were not many people there at all and 2) I felt a little more safe with it being colder in the morning.  There is danger doing this but it was worth the risk!

The few Northern Light pictures are NOT taken by me, rather a friend of a friend.  Thought you may enjoy seeing them!


out near the face of glacier


harry inside the cave, yes, real colors, not altered at all


me enjoying being silly


over my right shoulder is a ice column in the cave, facinating


just outside the cave with the peaks above my head being higher up on glacier.


harry at the face being silly himself


while in the cave we are looking up out of these holes…


this ice cave I would not venture into, there were sounds coming out of it and that triangular piece above Harry’s left arm looks to scary to me.


I hiked out to face on Sat. by myself, but did not venture into the caves


just as you enter the cave


that ice column that is in the middle of the cave, not quite sure how it formed, possibly a water drip that grew???


the natural heart cut out I found hiking around the face of glacier


out near face so much BLUE


not touched up at all, the colors were simply incredible, almost looks fake doesn’t it?

Dylans house aurora 1

during this same time period we also get great Northern Lights. I did NOT take this photo rather it was taken by David Reed, a friend of a friend of a friend.

North Douglas

again by David Reed, this is taken out on North Douglas. the lights along the bottom are car lights. the light over the hilltop to the right is near our home!