We're less than a week from the shortest day of the year. Winter solstice is Dec. 21.
It makes me think how quickly weather can change here in Southcentral Alaska. For proof, I offer these four pictures: one taken by Bob Hallinen on Dec. 12, another taken by Evan Steinhauser on Nov. 23 and two taken by me during my brother-in-law's visit in early July.
All four photos were taken at Portage Lake, south of Anchorage along Turnagain Arm. The lake and the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center are one of the top visitor stops in the area.
Evan's picture shows an ice skater enjoying the clear, thick ice during our cold November. Just a couple weeks later, that 8- to 10-inch thick ice had broken up and was stacked along the lake’s shore (Bob's picture).
Back in July, the only ice we encountered was at Portage Glacier and in the icebergs floating on the lake. Portage Glacier Cruises offers one-hour trips on the lake to within a few hundred feet of the glacier on the mv Ptarmigan.