Monday, September 17, 2012

Strong Winds and Smoke


So read the prediction from the National Weather Service last Friday of high winds and smoke for the weekend. On Sunday morning, the wind had picked up and renewed at least one of the smoldering brush fires on what appears to be on the military training area across the Tanana River. This was the view at 7:30 this morning just after arriving at the university. The photo is non-hdr and un-edited except for cropping. The strong gusts made riding this morning a little more interesting than normal. For most fires in Alaska are allowed to burn unless it is near populated areas. This has made for some grim summers in the past due to smoke.

Partially due to the wind but more due to all my aches and pains from the Equinox, I decided to pass on the "1st Last Ride" yesterday afternoon to Chena Hot Springs with the loosely organized BMW group. There is usually a pretty good turnout and the temperatures were pretty nice yesterday, warming up to 60°F by mid-afternoon. Our leaves have all changed and the wind is now blowing them all off of the trees. You could barely see any asphalt on our driveway this morning due to the layers of yellow leaves. Soon we will just have the grim grey appearance of late Fall until the snow arrives.

18 comments:

VStar Lady said...

Richard, maybe the hotsprings would have been just the ticket for aches and pains, that is if you could float in them. I love the leaves turning but am always cautious of the wet, slippery slick they create on the roads. So little time left ...

Martha said...

Good photo. I get that feeling of being there (wrapped up in coat and hat and scarf and gloves) watching this.

We have our first windchill of the season this AM- 41 degrees. Our leaves are still firmly attached and most still green, but much more rain, wind, chill and they will start dropping. That bleakness between then and snowfall can be very, very challenging.

Go make a pumpkin pie, Richard.

Trobairitz said...

It is a pretty photo, but the cause of the pretty colors is always sad when due to fires.

Highs of 60 seem pretty warm for you this time of year. I am not looking forward to the chilly weather, but we could use some rain. Not weeks on end (we'll get that soon enough), but a day to two to freshen things up would be appreciated.

Conchscooter said...

Don't sound so apocalyptic Richard as this is the season for skiing and the hot toddy and...bugger me seasons really do suck don't they? Hawaii is a short flight away, remember. Like forest fires renewing forests you deserve renewal on a black sand beach. Go now go often.

Unknown said...

Richard:

I am also not looking forward to this colder season. It is depressing to think that it is going to get worse before it gets better.

when I need cheering up I just think what it must be like where you are and I feel better already . . .

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

I was thinking about soaking in the hot springs but was concerned about riding all the way out there when I was so physically drained.

Even without moisture, the leaves seemed slippery this morning. It turned out to be right at freezing but still dry.

RichardM said...

All of our trees are starting to drop their leaves now. It almost makes one look forward to the snow as things always look so clean and fresh.

My daughter in-law made a green tomato pie and felt sick after trying a piece. No one else felt compelled to see if it was the pie or not...

RichardM said...

We have a lot of fires up here. Some even go into the tundra and slowly smolder all year before starting again the following summer. I think that most of the fires are started by lightening strikes.

RichardM said...

It's hard not to get depressed by the drap and bleak appearance in that gap between leaves dropping and nice fresh snow. But you're right in that I should be looking forward to the opportunities winter brings.

RichardM said...

Glad to help. I feel the same way when you post videos of Vancouver traffic. I'm so glad we don't have any... traffic that is.

Unknown said...

Richard:

that's why I like to travel somewhere "less busy" when we vacation. Our traffic is a nightmare, hard to get around town. Same with riding. It takes so long to get out of the grid, most times I just forget about it.

This morning the sun angle was very low again, right at road level. I deemed it too dangerous to ride as you can't see. It will be much better when it is just cloudy . . .

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

The sun is not only below the horizon in the morning when I rode in but it was actually dark enough to see the headlight on the road in front of me. This is the first time since riding from Enterprise back to Joseph when I could see the light on the road. At least the sun isn't on the horizon...

Martha said...

Hum. That's really too bad about the pie. I can not imagine that it was the green tomatoes. People eat green tomatoes all the time.

Well, try a red one and if you don't like that, get the pumpkin out and surely pumpkin pie will be enjoyed by all!

Bluekat said...

I agree with others, the hot springs would be just the ticket for sore muscles! 60 sounds pretty good for your area I would imagine. I love it when the leaves fall. Not so good for riding unless it's dry and they blow all over. I kind of like that too. I hope the smoke clears soon.

RichardM said...

I may try the green tomato pie again this weekend as we seem to have quite a few. And looking forward to pumpkins.

RichardM said...

The weather guessers are saying that it will be getting up to 65°F this weekend. Sunny and warm...

I can't smell smoke anymore and this morning it was foggy and raining so I couldn't see anything in the valley. But still a nice ride in.

BeemerGirl said...

Ah...so sorry you missed the 1st last ride of the season! Don't push your limits, but still... :)

I didn't know they normally just let the fires burn. But given the remoteness, that is probably the best bet. In addition to the entire...forests have been burning for millions of years thing. :)

RichardM said...

I did ride some that day as it was a whole lot easier than walking but just didn't feel comfortable going out to Chena Hot Springs with their dirt parking lot as well as all the wind.

The fire that flare up has been burning for a couple of months but since it isn't threatening anything, they tend to just let them burn. There have been some million acre fires in the past....