Monday, October 20, 2014

River of Ice

I've been watching Yukon freezing up for a couple of weeks now and photographing the river as it changes. This would make a great time-lapse photography project with a more consistent schedule, but this fall almost all of the photos are from different vantage points.

I first saw ice in the river on the trip to Ruby that I wrote about previously.  
Charlie's depth gage was reporting water temperatures between 31.9 and 32.1 degrees F. 
After snow and a few nights in single digits the ice was getting thicker.
 It takes a while for a river that's a mile wide in places to freeze. 
The sun sets in the west over the river now instead of far to the north. 

The ice is starting to build up along the shore now. 

One of the cool things about the icebergs floating down the river is that it makes it a lot easier to see the current. The wind seems to have much less of a visual affect on the ice. I'm afraid my iPhone video does the actual visual poor justice.
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First photo update: There hasn't been a lot of change since the original post but the sunsets over the river are nice.





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I stood on the ice at the edge today and it seemed solid. Would anyone like to hazard a guess on when the Yukon will freeze solid enough for me to walk across?

Second update: It's November 3rd and, though choked with ice, the Yukon is still flowing slowly along. The locals say it will freeze any day now and be safe to walk across within a week of freezing.

Corrie and I took a walk down to see the river a couple days ago. 
Probably the first time Corrie was the one throwing things in the water while I took pictures. 
Looking up river earlier today.
Bike parking in Galena.

Third and final update: As of the 5th of November the ice is still. There are still a few patches of open water, but a few nights at -10 F sealed the river's fate until spring.



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You can see the steam rising from one of the few remaining patches of open water in the video above. I remember asking my dad long ago how water could be making steam when it was so cold. I'm glad he took the time to explain it to that curious kid. I still think physics is awesome 30 years later...

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