January in Homer & Wynnter Sunday Funday

While our family and friends back in the midwest have been dealing with near or subzero temperatures for most of the month, we’ve been enjoying much warmer temps in the mid-30s. Before you all turn green with envy, though, here’s a taste of what we’ve been experiencing this winter instead:

Vanilla, take it away.

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“Holy buckets, it’s icy!”
Pretty confident that driver didn't park that truck there by choice.
While this is a common parking technique here, we’re pretty confident this vehicle was parked by mother nature and not the human behind the wheel.

Ice…and lots of it. I mentioned in a prior post that we had a lot of rain over Christmas, and that left our world under a thick covering of ice for several days. While that has since melted, we got a fresh covering last night. What started out as a pretty snowfall turned to rain, and we woke up to a slick world again this morning.  Since we have four wheel drive and studded tires, the streets around town and main roads outside of town aren’t a big deal as they’re relatively flat and sanded regularly. Today, though, was our first experience with what life will be like when we get moved into our new home.

We headed out East End Road to run an errand after breakfast this morning. East End itself is a state maintained road and had been sanded; no problem. When we got to the street we needed to drive up to get to our destination, though, we quickly discovered we weren’t as invincible as we thought we were with our studded tires. We started to slide just making the turn onto the street. After getting corrected, Papa B attempted to drive up part of the hill. A few hundred feet up the road, we started to slide backward toward the ditch, and both realized this wasn’t happening. The hill was covered in a good half inch of solid ice. Thankfully, Papa B managed to keep us on the road, and we were able to navigate into a driveway entrance and off the street. Papa B then continued up the street on foot to take care of our errand. When he returned, he successfully got us to the bottom of the hill and back onto semi-clear pavement. Phew! As we headed back into town, we saw several people stopped at the side roads putting chains on their tires. Noted. Chains are definitely a worthwhile investment if you live or travel outside of town around these parts.

After stopping back home so Little B could nap, we headed up to the Wynn Nature Center for their first Wynnter Sunday Funday event of the season. The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies runs the Center, and hosts a free, kid-friendly gathering on Sundays for several months during the winter. I believe each week has a different theme/activity, and followed by a bonfire and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.

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It was raining this afternoon, and the snow was a bit on the slushy side but Little B finally got to go for a ride on her sled. (The snow all melted in town right after we bought it for her.)

Of course, the first thing we discovered after we arrived was that we had forgotten to grab her mittens before we left the house. Way to go, Mom & Dad! So she got to struggle with Mom’s massive mittens instead. We won’t make that mistake again… or at least not again this winter. 🙂 She wasn’t quite sure what to think about riding in the sled once we hit the bumpier trail, and instead opted to walk on the icy snow on the way back to the bonfire.

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This was also her first experience with roasting a hot dog and marshmallow. She loved observing everyone, but wasn’t too interested in actually holding the food over the fire herself yet. All in all, it was a fun day, and we hope to make it back for future weekends. Hopefully we’ll get some fresh snow and be able to enjoy the sled a bit more in weeks to come.

 

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