Yep, it's winter up here. I know many of you are experiencing warm weather down there but up here many of us are VERY happy it's a cold and snowy winter! YAY!! Even on TV tonight they interviewed a couple people said they love it and that's why they live in AK! So my plan has been to go out when it's way below zero F but that's only happening at night and I wanted to get some "winter wonderland" photos. So I headed up into the hills knowing there was a good chance of some killer photos with all the snow and frost we've been getting. I was very very excited to see it, ride in it, and photograph it! It was the coldest I've ridden in thus far. -4f (-20c) when I headed out around 1pm and colder up in the hills. I'm looking for an easy to read thermometer to put on the bike but haven't found one I like yet. It dropped down to -7f (-22c) by the time I got back home. For you hockey fans, Scotty Gomez and I grew up on the same street. He kept that house for his summer place and bought his parents a place up in the hills. My brother still lives in our ol house and I'm just a couple blocks away and this rink is just a few blocks away as well. My brothers and I used to go looking for hockey games to jump into almost EVERY night. This is one of the rinks we'd often skate at. Nowadays my dog, Comet, and I still go chase a puck around about once a week. My next stop was Snowzilla, also in the 'hood. http://www.usatoday.com/weather/news/2006-12-26-anchorage-snowzilla_x.htm As I was pulling up there were 4 well dressed attractive young females taking pictures. You could tell they were from out of town. I asked if one of them if she would take my picture. Turns out they were LDS Missionaries! So up into the hills I go. It's a road that's been called "Stuckagain Height's Rd," "Campbell Airstrip Rd," and "Basher Rd." Yep, the sun is low on the horizon this time of year and casts a long shadow. That's a steam plume from our local power plant. Can you see Mt. McKinley in the background? There, is that better? "Mt. McKinley," "Denali," "The Great One." It's about 150mi(250 road mi) north of Anchorage. I had gained a fair amount of elevation. I started down there near sea level. That's the lovely city of "Los Anchorage" down yonder with Mt. Susitna, aka "Sleeping Lady" in the background. Oh yeah, I got my first flat coming down outta the hills while rounding an inside corner. The tire tracks led me off the edge of the pavement and I guess I pinched the innertube of the front tire. It went flat within a couple miles! I was able to limp home mainly through some back neighborhoods and parking lots. Good thing it was the front and that those knobby tires have such hard casings! VERY squirrelly ride home! YIKES! Oh well, made it safe and sound anyway. Stayed pretty warm but man did my fingers get cold takin over 40 photos including this "action photo." Well, that's it. See ya, Mark H.