Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ice, Ice, Ice!

One of the standards of living in Homer is the ice. Oftentimes for months at a time there will be 6 inches or more of ice coating all the side roads on the 'bench' (below the ridge that rises above Homer). This seems to be caused by a combination of factors. Because we are at sea level, the temperatures often warm up at some point after it snows (or else it rains instead of snows) and the snow begins to melt. Also, all of the roads below the bench are south-facing and sloped. Water runs off the ridge, heading to the sea, and it freezes into thick swaths of ice. Oftentimes there will be fields covered in thick swabs of ice as the water ran down the slope and froze.

A few days ago my husband and I walked the loop near where we live, with trails connecting between roads. What is normally a boggy trail was transformed into a thick ice trail. Luckily we had our Yak-traks on, otherwise we would not have been able to make it without a number of falls, especially as there were uphills and downhills. And in some places the ice encased the bases of the trees, several feet thick.

Most of the winter our driveway looks much like this: a sheet of ice that requires careful maneuvering and caution and that gets covered with stud skid marks, indication that our studs are doing their job.

When I first moved to Homer I swore I would never live in this area where the roads are so icy, but here I am, living on the bench and dealing with ice daily. It is not as bad as I thought it would be. One learns to live with ice as one learns to live with snow or the cold or whatever other conditions face us!

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