40 degree temps & ice-free roads really make me want to de-winterize the motorhome. It’s a gamble, this time of year because the weather can flip like a switch.
It’s that time of year, Alaska’s full of activity and coming back to life! As the days get longer Alaskans come out hibernation. This reemergence is an amazing feeling that can only be explained by gaining daylight and changing of seasons. It also means RV season is not too far away!
The winter of 2014/2015 has been good and bad.
The Good: We haven’t had to shovel/plow much snow this year and heating costs have been reasonable.
The Bad: We haven’t had any pretty snow days to go out and have fun.
So far there’s only been one big cold snap this winter, conveniently it spanned the entire time we were on vacation. While Alaska was locked into the bitter grips of Old Man Winter, we were off to Europe!
Aside from being miserable, cold snaps are also expensive. The fewer cold snaps the better because most of our town uses heating oil #1. Oil prices fluctuate like gas, but falling gas prices this winter have been a blessing. To keep costs under control, we use firewood for heat and the boiler for hot water and as a back up heat source.
In Alaska, daylight comes as fast as it goes and this time of year we are gaining almost 6 minutes of light per day. This amazing gain peaks at over 7 minutes per day. To put this into perspective, if you take a 10 day vacation you’ll come home to 1 hour more light. Furthermore, multiply it by three and that is over 3 hours more daylight in a month!
This time of year it’s still gets plenty dark. This week, thanks to the power of social media we heard the lights were out. They indeed were, it was one of the best shows we’ve seen from our back deck. Seward usually doesn’t see the lights on a regular basis. We set up the tripod and took a few photos. Right now we only have one camera that has the features to capture the lights and it’s a 7 year old pocket Canon. It’s not the best camera for the aurora because the pics turn out grainy but it works. Ironically, our nicer Sony camera does not have the shutter capabilities to capture the lights.
Sunday, March 1st was a beautiful sunny day. On days like this Seward’s popular hiking trails like Tonsina Trail transform into places to catch up with friends you haven’t seen in months. Our friend Kristen called about hiking out to Tonsina, but we had loaves of bread in the oven and were unable to go. She sent us this awesome picture.
We opted to go flying later in that afternoon.
In the Springtime, life begins to flourish again in Alaska.
Our garden is free of snow, but the ground is still frozen. Memorial Day is usually when we can plant without concerns of a frost.
Every Alaskan knows we are not out of the woods just yet. Most likely there is going to be another cold snap and we regularly get our last snow fall the first week of May. If we are lucky we might get a modest amount of snow, followed by 5 days of 30 degree weather, just enough snow and cold to have a little fun. Until then, we will take the nice days when we can get them.
Ultimately, we decided to wait to de-winterize the motorhome. From the time when I started to write this post to when I’m finishing it, there is a weather change coming. Next week a high pressure system is pushing cold Arctic air into the region which will make RV’ing rather unpleasant.
Thanks for reading, please leave your questions and comments below!