It's not very often that we get to go out on frozen lakes up here except on a snow machine, skis, or snowshoes, because it usually snows about the same time it freezes. This year has been clear and cold so the lakes are like glass. Today's destination was Portage Lake located about 65mi south of Anchorage near the end of Turnagain Arm. I had hoped to ride across the 3mi long Portage Lk to the glacier. I was imagining what fantastic backdrop that would be for a photo! Plus maybe I could get a photo for the 'Watercrossing' thread (albeit frozen). The temp is always a lot colder back in Portage Valley than the surrounding area so I was curious if I'd be able to keep comfortable. Look at these temps from today: Portage: The table I had on here has been deleted. Temps back in Portage Valley got below -20f! Yeah baby, THAT'S cold! I almost didn't go because I've been a tad "under the weather" and wondered if I should just rest up and take Comet for a nice leisurely Thanksgiving Day walk. But since I work the next couple days and there's snow in the forecast I was afraid it was now or never or at least till some other year anyway. So on with the trip down the Arm! You heard of "black ice?" Well the road was full of it for the first 37mi down to Girdwood. Man is that scary on a bike! I'm so glad I have dirt riding in my background to be a LITTLE more at ease with the bike getting loose under me! Down and back I actually caught up to and PASSED a few cagers!! Goofy drivers. Let's start here just a little past Girdwood. Notice the Arm's full of sea ice. Into the shaded and oh so very cold valley we go. That's the Visitor's Center on the right. I was surprised how many people there were out ice skating on the lake with the temp being so cold. A truly hardy bunch up here I guess! Plus, like I said, we don't get to skate on the lakes up here that often. When I pulled into the parking lot there was a rental car with a few people in it that took notice of goofy me on a motorbike. Turns out they were with the cast of The Nutcracker out of Portland, OR! Of course they thought I was nuts. I had one of them shoot this shot of me. After all, as usual, I was traveling alone and shots with me and the bike are a bit harder to get in these conditions! This shot has since been used on Scorpion Helmets website as Barb @ www.alaskaleather.com told them how much I liked their Winterhawk helmet with heated visor. Well, I had a problem. The only way down to the lake was a snowy and steep set of stairs that I could get down ok but no way get back up! It's a relatively newly remodeled area so there's big rip-rap rocks surrounding the parking lot and the handicap access ramp doesn't get plowed. I was bummed. I walked and rode around the area looking for an access point. The creek draining the lake had overflow and open water so it wasn't an option either. I took a side road that leads to a tour boat operation in the summer but it was gated. I decided to do some " "single tracking" past the gate as some 4wd rigs had "broken trail." I couldn't get anywhere near the boat operation area. I also ran into a cow moose with 2 calves standing in the middle of the road. I got this pic before they walked away. Shortly afterward the mother came charging back around the corner towards me. I started revving the mighty KLR w/Big Gun exhaust and honking the feeble little horn which thankfully made her stop and turn around! You can barely see the moose up in the right hand corner of this photo. Remember this IS a wide angle lens. People in the parking lot had commented on how frosty my face had gotten. It was so cold at speed back in the valley that when I got near the end of the road my breath deflector was hurting my delicate little face! I think I may put this shot into the 'Self Portrait' thread. The Scorpion heated visor worked perfectly throughout the day. I took this when I got back out of the valley and back into some sun. I decided to stop on the way back and photograph some more of the icefalls that are really "thick" this year. Somethin just a little different for many of you viewing here probably. And this is the road leading home to Anchorage. Well that's all folks. Believe me, today I was truly thankful for making it home w/o having any serious issues with the slippery conditions. And yes my toes hurt as they thawed out! Just another glorious day in the "Last Frontier." Take care, Mark H.