So, let's see...after 2 weeks at subzero, then a week of slipping about at a melty 45 degrees+, we're escaping, Piña Colada Song style to warmer, sunnier climes. Sunday night. After the Superbowl.
'Tis a tricky time of year to travel! Here in Alaska you run the risk of foul weather-ice, snow, freezing rain, and the possible mechanical problems that go along with it. Oh, and let's not forget the EFF-ING VOLCANO THAT'S ABOUT TO ERUPT AND THE ENSUING ASH CLOUD THAT COULD CANCEL FLIGHTS OR EVEN KNOCK DOWN THE SORRY-ASS PLANE THAT MIGHT BE FLYING OVERHEAD AT THE WRONG TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our trip could be cancelled, we could crash, or we could be prevented from returning when we need to. Very fun this life riding the cusp of Alaska extremes! And to top if off-I'm sick. Huz had the fever and cold last weekend. Now it seems I'm gearing up for it, too. And I bought my pretty dress for the Diner/Auction tonight and, and, well.....WWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!
For that volcanist deep within you:
Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory raised the alert status Sunday to the orange "watch" level, the second-highest, based on seismic activity detected January 23. The most current report from the AVO:
"2009-01-30 07:57:51Seismicity at Redoubt is varying in intensity but is still well above background. We have seen higher amplitude seismicity for the past several hours but appears to be subsiding a bit at this time. The Aviation Color Code remains at ORANGE and the Volcano Alert Level remains at WATCH. No eruption has occurred at this time."
Mt. Redoubt last erupted in 1989 and lasted until April '90. The largest ash fall amount measured was 5 millimeters. The ash fall was widespread-recorded as far away as Fairbanks, along the Richardson Highway, and the Yukon Territory border. There were several millimeters of ash on the Kenai Peninsula and trace amounts of ash in Anchorage and more distant locations.
Volcanic ash is nasty stuff consisting of tiny jagged pieces of rock and glass. It's hard, abrasive, mildly corrosive, conducts electricity when wet, and does not dissolve in water but gets incredibly heavy. It's recommended that you sweep ash fall off of your roof before it can get rained on! It'll scratch up your windshield if it gunks up under it! Ash is spread over broad areas by wind so we could potentially be affected here in the Anchorage area. When Huz left his office in the Conoco Phillips building downtown last night they were handing out masks to everyone at the doors. FUN times!
Here's an interesting volcano preparedness read.
*Mount Redoubt photo glommed from Goggle Image Search