Alaska: snow, DUIs, and memories of spring

I lived in Anchorage, Alaska, for six years. It was an amazing experience, with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I still follow the news from the state, and this week had two stories that brought back a flood of intense memories, good and bad.

– The Municipality of Anchorage recorded the most snow, ever, in a single season this week. For those of you who have not had snow on your lawn until May, you really will never understand what this story means. Let’s just say it was a big deal. As of April 7, there has been 133.6 inches this winter.

– Sadly, another drunk driver (driving a three-quarter ton pickup no less) murdered two more innocent persons and critically injured two others near Fairbanks (no date  given, but I believe it was this Easter weekend). In Alaska, DUI is not a felony. This story just tears at the heart, because such deaths are completely avoidable. In my two years studying public health at the University of Washington, not once did I study the issue of DUI, or come across the topic in any class-related project. I have urged faculty there consider the topic in health services courses offered.

So, with spring in the air, I dug up a few of my Alaska spring shots. I took these while running, climbing, and biking in the Turnagain Arm area, just south of Anchorage. Spring is a time of renewal up north. It was always welcomed when it arrived, even very late on most folks’ calendars.

Turnagain Arm, from the top of Bird Ridge, near Anchorage
Scene near Girdwood, Alaska
Spring hike in the Chugach, near Anchorage