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Alaska: Portage Lake Redux


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Last May I posted a Ride Tale (Alaska: Spring at Portage Lake) describing a local and personal favorite ride primarily for the exceptional scenery en route and at the destination. This trip is never a bore because the scenery is affected by the often extreme Alaska seasons and weather--it's just never the same ride. To provide proof of this phenomenon, I re-shot a few photos now in August from approximately the same locations used earlier.


In May, the Portage Valley was just beginning to thaw, the lake was just open, and the peaks still heavily coated with last winter's snow fall. Now, in August, things are melted about as far as they will this year and we expect termination dust any day. For you Cheechakos, "termination dust" is the early season snow line on the high peaks, that signify the end of summer.


Portage Lake and its Peak in early May:




Now in August:




The Byron Glacier across Portage Lake was barely visible under the snow in May:




Now, in August, you can see how much is left:




August is a good time to enjoy the hanging glaciers above Portage Glacier, as the annual snow pack is gone, leaving the "permanent" ice. This one is Explorer Glacier:




An ice cap hanging above the lake also is visible:




And Bear Valley, just a snowy white trough in May, is now open for delectation:




The Portage Valley and the ride to it is a gem around here. I hope you get to see it for yourself someday. One thing is certain--it won't look exactly like these photos, and that's its real charm.


Best wishes,


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Excellant shot's! thumbsup.gif


This was the year I was "supposedly" going to travel to Alaska but like most things in life, things change. Oh well, there's always next year. Or someday confused.gif.


I am curious tho, during the month of August,do you now have a somewhat normal sun up/sun down kinda day, unlike in June when the sun never seems to set?

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My eyes! I've been blinded by the beauty!


Your photos are always stunning.




P.S. Have you been up to Copper Center lately? Have they sold the hotel?

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Thanks for the nice comments.


Portage Valley is about 50 miles south/east of Anchorage along Turnagain Arm on the Seward Highway. I wrote a bit longer piece in May about the route for more information.


Currently we are getting about 14 hrs or so of daylight. It's definitely dark by about 1030pm and we're losing about 6.5 minutes of light per day.


The Copper Center Lodge is still going strong last I heard. It's a great old road house--a classic. Check out their web site--www.coppercenterlodge.com



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