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Indian River Confluence (81186 bytes)

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Indian River Confluence

I was a little puzzled as I started on the trail and Indian River seemed to be less frozen than what I had seen the night before in the park. I knew it had not been above freezing overnight, and I could not figure out what else would make the ice melt. As I went up the trail I saw that it was not that the ice had melted, but that the river had less ice further upstream. This seemed a little strange unless there was a source of relatively warm water. When I reached the confluence I saw the west fork was entirely ice free while the other fork was entirely covered in ice. I am not sure what keeps the west fork so warm, but it takes a couple of miles for it to cool off enough to let the river get significant ice in it again.

Location: Indian River Trail, Sitka, Alaska

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