2 Aug 2015--We went to see the Aurora Ice Museum at Chena Hot Springs Resort on Friday...didn't go into the hot springs itself, but could follow our nose to find it..haha...heavy sulfur smell in those warm waters.
Love these flowers outside the museum...look how long they are!
Inside the museum they keep the temperature at 25 degrees year round, and display beautiful ice sculptures by world champion ice carvers. This 1st one you see is 2 warriors jousting on horses, which is a little hard to see due to the lighting, but really nice in person.
Some young people went inside with short sleeve t-shirts and shorts, but those of us with any sense not only dressed warmly, but took the heavy coats they offered once inside the door.
They used lighting with some of the displays that really made them all that much nicer, like on this Christmas tree, and there was even lighting inside the "shower" Ellen is coming out of.
Lots of flower displays throughout the museum. The ones that were lit up were the nicest...especialy the 1st one in the 2nd row here.
Even the overhead chandeliers were made of ice. I don't know how they did the lighting without melting all the ice, but they pulled it off. haha The 2nd pic shows the museum from front to back and some of the people starting to belly up to the "ice bar"!
Ellen and I enjoyed the featured "applteini", where even the glasses were made of ice. The appletini was an apple martini, which was pretty good, but the 1st sip was like a liquid sour apple. haha
On our way out the door, one of the sculptresses was talking about how she did what she did, and they had a bunch of Disney characters displayed in snow globes.
After we warmed up a bit, we headed down the road to take one of the hikes we were told about that was supposed to provide a really good view of the Chena area. It was pretty smokey from all the wildfires, so we weren't expecting much in the way of sights, but decided we would do it anyway. This is really the 1st time since we got here that the smoke has come into play, so we have been lucky. Anyway, we were just at the entrance to the trail when Ellen noticed something big and brown cross the path ahead us...turned out to be a moose, but all we ended up seeing were its hoof tracks....boo!!!
We weren't long on the trail when we starting climbing and met with some rough road...None of us were expecting this, but Ellen was convinced we knew in advance...haha...I swear, we didn't!
We had to stop more than once for no other reason than we were laughing at Ellen exclaiming "You gotta be Sh------ me!" haha
There were several spots we stopped at to check the view, and although cloudy, it was still pretty.
Check out Ellen's face in this 3rd pic...too funny! She is "defeated"! haha
But only temporarily...she recovers and conquers!!!!
A few pretty colorful mushrooms...and check out the size of the 1st one!!! The other 2 were normal size, but that 1st one was bigger than my fist!
Cathy climbs a steep crevice here, while Ellen and I cheer her on...Ellen even throws in a few cheer moves.
What goes up must come down!
Still pressing on to the top, which we were having a hard time locating. We were told the trail was a 3.7 mile "loop", but we never found the loop spot, so we turned around just short of the peak.
Last stop before we retreat...Ellen is exhausted, but not as much as her 1st hike almost 5 weeks ago, so she has made great progress. To show you how much she actually likes this, she is even talking of finding some hiking trails when she gets home!
A lot easier coming down than going up, and a lot faster, too! But the best part was how Cathy caught this sun behind the clouds...I guess because Cathy has a polarized filter on her camera, what looks like 2 suns here, or a sun with a moon, is actually just one sun...and a shadow, I guess? I don't know what caused it to show up like this, but it is very pretty...especially the 3rd pic, huh?
Back safely and resting in our car for the ride home after a pretty full day, we saw 5 moose in the space of maybe 5 miles and 10-15 minutes. Two of the moose had babies with them, and one moose was by herself. These 1st 2 pics were of the 1st moose we saw, in and then getting out of the water, and as we were watching her the moose in the 3rd pic crossed the road ahead of us trailed by her baby. I was furious that I couldn't get a picture of the baby...a car that we tried to get to stop came whizzing by and scared them quickly into the woods before I could get my camera in place. UGH!
But then a few miles down the road we were able to stop again...we saw this mother moose in the water, and behind her on shore, and in the bushes, was her baby. So although they aren't the greatest pics we have ever taken, the 2nd row here shows the baby actually peeking out at us through the brush it is hiding behind.
So as our time here winds down, we had a pretty good day topped off with a handful of moose...not a bad way to spend a day!!!