Monday, November 25, 2013

The Silence of Snow in Alaska

A few weeks ago we ventured about an hour outside of Anchorage to Hatcher's Pass, a dead-end road near the top of a mountain where we like to play in the snow.  The small European-style lodge is nestled among the mountains that form a quintessential glacier-made U-shaped valley.

Me x-country skiing in my Skhoop, with the kids, Nala and Bruce up ahead.
Warm fuzzy mitten made it into the picture too :)
The first thing I noticed when I stepped out of the car was the silence.    Snow has an incredible muffling effect.  Even if a car is driving up the road, its sound is subdued.  And more often than not, there is not a car driving there.  Aside from the generator occasionally running to make electricity and the crunch of skis or snowshoes trapsing across the snow-covered tundra, it can be completely silent.  In some places in Alaska, you can still encounter a noticeable absence of man-made sounds.

I had forgotten about the silence of snow.  The peaceful chill of a snow-covered valley.  After nearly a year living in Mexico last winter, the silence of a mountain valley full of snow was impressive and made me pause.  I breathed in the silence.  It filled me up.

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