Adventures with ice

The Nenana River (mostly) broke up on Sunday afternoon, making for some exciting viewing of water and ice.

On Sunday night I went in search of photographic opportunities, and got lucky with warm weather and beautiful light that lasted until 11:30pm.2013 May Denali  067 - Version 3

2013 May Denali  079 - Version 3

The aftermath of breakup. The shore of the river is covered with huge ice chunks, many 3-4 feet tall.

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Heading south from the park entrance area, I stopped multiple times to capture some of the different scenes.2013 May Denali  105 - Version 2

Turning east on the Denali Highway, I was struck again by the amount of water.  Water everywhere.  One portion of the dirt road was washing out, making for an interesting drive.

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The light last night was magical – soft yet directional, with perfect clouds.  It was a shame that the water made it impossible to reach a few of my favorite spots.

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2013 May Denali  171 - Version 2

The previous two seasons, this spot had a relatively small pool of water.  Not this year!

The previous two seasons, this spot had a relatively small pool of water. Not this year!

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2013 May Denali  188 - Version 2

Tonight things got a little more interesting.  At 1am, the river suddenly got a lot louder.  I stepped outside and was greeted with water.  What had been snow and ice over normally dry ground was running water with icebergs floating into our parking lot.

“Adventures In Kevin’s World” indeed!  So began the adventure of waking employees up to move our vehicles.  Thankfully the water (as of 3am) didn’t create a danger, though that could change.

Moving water and river ice 40 feet from my cabin.  Not a fun sight.

Moving water and river ice 40 feet from my cabin. Not a fun sight at 1am.

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I shot video as well (of course), but you get the idea I’m sure.

And for those of you wondering what it’s like in the middle of the night in an Alaskan summer, remember that the last 2 photos were shot after 1am!  I did not need a tripod.  As I write this at 3am, it’s still just as bright.

How weird has our weather been?  April was the coldest on record in Denali, beating the record by 13 degrees F.  It was also the 3rd snowiest April on record.  We got 7″ of snow on Friday May 17, but it was 60 degrees F two days after.  Today’s high is forecast at 78 degrees F.  “Typical” May temperatures are 60 degrees!

Adventures in patience…

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