Friday, December 14, 2007


There is something about a sunny Alaskan winter day.

The sun slowly snakes up between 10 and 11 am, giving me a full view from my office window of purples and oranges against an ice blue sky. It hits the clouds so the edges glow as if electric currents run through them.

The sun glows white up here. Everything is clear and crisp. When you see the sun Outside (as in not Alaska) for the first time after months here, you can see it has a distinctly yellow glow. Alaskan sun burns clean.

It tricks you into thinking it is warm outside; then you step out and the first blow of bracing cold takes your breath away. When you can breathe in again, the cold travels all the way to your stomach. However, instead of horrible, it feels wonderful: like you are breathing your first breath, ever.

Life is covered in freeze-dried perfection. The trees are preternaturally still, all slender branches and waxy winter berries. The roads are packed down from millions of studs from thousands of tires. Telephone poles and street lights glisten with a thin layer of frost. It is preserved in a Currier and Ives picture print.

Night ascends quickly on Anchorage. Light turns to dusk in the blink of an eye, dusk to dark in another blink. The last bits of orange and blue hang on as long as they possibly can, before they are pushed out by the deep purple that will remain throughout the Alaskan night.

These are the days that make Alaska legendary.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful description.
I just met some Brits yesterday who spent last summer traveling around Alaska and they could not stop singing its praises.

She Likes Purple said...

This is great (post of the day material). And it makes me want to visit Alaska that much more.