Alaska March 10, 2019
9 Crazy Things Alaskans Have To Do During Breakup
Breakup in Alaska is the hurdle we have to get through to make it to spring! With warmer temperatures comes the inevitable melting of all of our snow, and all of the accompanying activities. Any true Alaskan will know that breakup heralds greater things to come, and so we grin and bear it!
1. Change our studded tires.
There are state and municipality laws at play here! May 1st is the official date to have them removed, but many do it sooner due to the long lines at many tire changeover places. While we may get hit with later snowstorms, you may be better off to remove them earlier if the roads are clear!
2. Wash our car. Probably multiple times.
With all of the snowmelt in the roads and the bare ground meeting air for the first time in months, things are getting muddy! While we love the sunshine, the resulting muck and mire get all over our cars. It's hard to withhold washing the car, even if you know you'll have to do it again in a couple of weeks!
3. Run out of windshield wiper fluid.
All winter long our windshield wiper fluid gets a little bit of a break. But now we find out just how little we had left, once break up starts! The smart Alaskans have extra windshield wiper fluid on hand, because many of us head to the store and find them sold out!
4. Watch out for the potholes.
The pot holes are Alaskan's spring-time nemesis. What has been covered over all winter, is now bare in all its glory. Unpaved roads are undoubtedly the worst, but even paved roads have usually developed pot holes due to winter plowing.
5. Avoid the bears.
With springtime comes wildlife! This is amazing, especially for nature watching. Seeing the animals come out of hibernation and begin to mate is absolutely fascinating. It does however mean that we now have to be on alert for bears; especially ones looking for recently unfrozen trash.
6. Smell the previously frozen... smells.
Ahhh, the delicious smell of spring in the air. The best estimate we've seen for the amount of dog excretion melted during breakup is Anchorage's estimates of 20 tons of dog poop expelled per day. The city of Anchorage has an estimated 74,000 dogs, and a good amount of that poop has been frozen until now. This is an excellent argument for picking up and bagging that poop!
7. Discover new sources of trash everywhere.
As the snow melts, it reveals many treasures. Things like discarded pieces of clothing, trash tossed out of car windows, and general litter and debris. Breakup is hard because our cities and towns look like we don't care! There are some excellent groups of volunteers that get together to clean up in early spring, however. We owe them a lot of gratitude!
8. Try not to splash pedestrians and bicyclists.
With large puddles pretty much everywhere, every time you go out for a walk or bike ride you risk getting drenched. Most drivers are pretty conscientious about making sure not to splash pedestrians, but there are some that don't care. A good rain jacket and boots go a long way towards staying dry!
9. Embrace the coming spring!
Alaskans may love the winter, but we adore the summer, too. The warmer weather and longer days of sunshine have us longing for the snow to melt from our favorite trails. It's always thrilling to see some of the early spring wildflowers starting to peek up through the snow, or seeing the green begin to bud on our favorite trees. Spring is coming, and we are ready for it!
Did we miss anything on our spring breakup list? What would you add? Let us know in the comments below!
Starting to plan your spring adventures? Here’s
12 Places You Absolutely Must Visit In Alaska This Spring!