The snow has really been coming down on us this year. It is safe to say that the city and borough of Juneau, Alaska has forgone any responsibility toward keeping our roads safe to drive on.
I can understand a place like Seattle not keeping their roads clear of snow an ice. Weather conditions like the ones they have recently suffered, have been dubbed SnowPocalypse or SnowMageddon, are not a daily, monthly, or even yearly occurrence. They are just as random as achieving a critical hit in Dungeons & Dragons. So I can let places like Seattle slide on having bad to unsafe road conditions every few years. It’s hard for a city to justify having plow trucks for a meteorological even that happens randomly and lasts for such a short time.
A place like Juneau, Alaska on the other hand is much harder for me to forgive. The city and state know that each year it is going to snow. They know each year what the roads are going to be like. Yet, for some reason this year they do not seem to be taking the task seriously.
In years past I could rarely drive down any road in Juneau and not see a city plow truck scraping snow and ice off of the streets during the winter. This year it has been a rare occurrence that I have seen a city plow truck and when I do they are not scraping the streets as they plow the snow. This has resulted just about every road in Juneau is covered in ice. Everyday that I have driven to work or driven home in the last several weeks I have seen a car accident of one kind or another.
What is more astonishing to me is that it is currently January, almost February now, and the city has still done nothing to correct this behavior. Even after citizens have complained. Sadly, I think it is going to take a vehicle accident involving some kind of official for them to step up their responsibilities to normal levels.
Hannah has been back from Anchorage now for just under two weeks. I was worried about her because of the Mt. Redoubt Volcano. It is still making a fuss in Anchorage, but has yet to blow it’s top.
The last two weeks in Juneau have been pretty nice for the most part. A mix of cloud filled snowy skies and bright sunny days. Today is one of those more sunny days. The main roads through out Juneau are clear of snow and ice. But some of the lesser traveled roads are still covered. The turn off to my house for example, is still all ice. At least an inch thick I would guess. I am glad I picked up a pair of Yaktrax for my shoes. Walking our dog everyday without them would be a slip and sliding adventure for sure. The snow on the ground where I live is higher then my car in most people’s yards.
The sun is out now when I wake up in the morning and go to work. Better yet, it’s still out when I get home from work. The first day I came home from work last week and the sun was out I was pretty exited about it. I am so looking forward to the summer when the sun is out all the time.
For anyone who wants to see what Juneau looks like on a daily bases you can check out some local webcams here.
When Hannah and I got back to Juneau last Saturday we found our vehicles barred in lots of snow. Sunday I asked Hannah to video tape the un-barring of them just because there is so much snow around here.
We’re back in Juneau after a much needed two week vacation in Washington state. It was such a fun and relaxing trip visiting with our families. We got to just hang out and visit. It was exactly what I wanted. A stress free trip.
We arrived in Seattle on the 20th of December which was a Saturday. Our plane touched down sometime in the early afternoon. The first thing that Hannah and I noticed looking out the plane window was that there was more snow on the ground in Seattle then in Juneau at the time. We knew getting to our folks house might be interesting because of this.
At the airport we met up with Hannah’s father and older sister Audra. We visited and had lunch with her sister and dad for about an hour which is about the time when her sister had to catch her next plane. She was on her way to California and we would meet back up with her next week.
After Audra left to board the plane Hannah, her father and I drove from Seattle to Oak Harbor where we met up with Hannah’s Mother. The four of us got back in the car and drove to Anacortes and took the ferry to Guemes Island and had dinner with my mom and younger brother Abe. It was so nice to be home.
The snow in Washington was not bad at all when compared to Juneau standers. But it becomes an issue when you think that none of the roads had been plowed. Everyone was driving a little bit slower and safer. Guemes Island was the worst, I would have to say. In the one week we spent on the island I got the car I was driving around the island stuck in the snow three times. Nothing that bad really. Nothing a little push could not fix.
While we were on Guemes for that first week, Hannah’s folks came over for another dinner and visit with everyone. My brother Abe, put up a festivus pole and the two of us engaged in a couple of games of Axis & Allies. Hannah, Abe, and myself built a pretty big snowman man who eventually fell over after his second day of existence. Poor guy.
The three of us went to the park on the island to try and build a snow fort. But we quickly learned that building a snow fort takes a lot of work. Plus, the snow on that side of the island was not as packable.
The day before Christmas my sister Tracy came from Bellingham with her home made fudge. The snow was bad enough at this point that she could not drive all the way up my mom’s drive way. So, we all went down and helped her carry her things from the car, up our driveway, and into the house.
The next day we had Christmas. Mom instructed Abe to hand out the presents from under the tree because he was the youngest. He was happy to learn shortly after that Hannah was the youngest and that he no longer had the responsibility.
The following Saturday we packed up our things into the car, and said our good byes to my mom and brother and headed out on the second leg of our vacation. We drove to Vancouver Washington where we would end up at another of Hannah’s sisters, Amanda and her husband Scott’s house. The snow had melted quite a bit since we got to the island so driving was much better this time around. The drive was about 5 hours long. There was still snow on the ground in Vancouver, but nothing bad.
When we arrived in Vancouver we were greeted by both Amanda, and Scott. We spent the next hour or so chatting and catching up. Then, one by one the rest of Hannah’s family arrived. Her parents, grandmother, her sister Audra, her brother Shaun, and wife Jennifer with their kids Hailey, and Paige. There were lots of people, smiles, and chatting as everyone got caught up with each other.
In the following days we celebrated Christmas with the whole family. Played gift exchange games and opened our stockings. Christmas dinner was quite the feast and gave us all a chance to chat and thank everyone.
In the evenings everyone but Scott, Amanda, Hannah, Audra and myself went back to their hotels. Scott and Amanda took this time in the evenings to get us caught up with “How I Met Your Mother” thanks to Tivo. It was Awesome! I gave Scott a copy of the film “Never Back Down“. Which is quite possibly the greatest cinematic masterpiece to come out of 2008. Over the course of that week we watch that movie at least two and a half times.
For new years the five of us went out to Applebee’s for dinner and then went back to the house to bring in the new year with some of Scott’s and Amanda’s friends.
The next day Amanda did Hannah’s hair. Scott and I joked around while watching “Never Back down” and geeking out on our MacBooks. That evening we packed up our things and got ready to hit the road for the next day.
We drove back north to Oak Harbor and to Hannah’s folks house. My mom came over for dinner that night and I was really glad I Got to see her one last time before we left for the airport the next day.
We we got back to our place our vehicals where just barried in snow. Getting them out was fun.
Last night Hannah and I ran to the store. From the time we left our place to the time we got to the store the It started to really snow down on us. We don’t live that far from the store at all either. It was coming down in big, white, thick clumps and sticking to the cars and our cloths. I snapped a few pictures right before we ran inside the store.