Monday, May 25, 2009

Let the Summer Begin

Even here in the semi-frozen north there is a season--albeit a short one--known as summer. How do we know it's summer? The snow is gone, except for a few shadowy, north-facing patches here at almost sea level. (The stuff still on the mountains doesn't count.) The kids are out of school until August 20-something. And the tourists have begun to arrive.

Unlike our previous location, the town we are in isn't easily accessible. You can't just take a drive and end up here. But there is a small cruise ship that comes over every Wednesday, bringing a few folks to spend the day wandering the two main streets of town or to take an hour-long jaunt down the mostly gravel highway to Child's Glacier and the Million Dollar Bridge (no, no, not the Bridge to Nowhere. That's somewhere else.). Standing a quarter mile away across the river and feeling the cool breeze come off unmeasurable tons of ice while Volkswagon- to building-sized chunks calve is awe-inspiring and exhilarating. You just have to be ready to bolt inland in case one of those chunks creates a wave that will wash up and over the river bank on your side, flooding the picnic/viewing area. Yeah, it's happened. Apparently there were salmon tossed into trees during one big calving-induced wave.

We'll be taking my mother and nephew out there when they come up in July. I'll remind them to wear their running shoes.

Other than relatives visiting, we do have a few things to keep the kids busy and me sane. Camps, both sleep-away and day, will fill some of my daughters' days. Family fishing trips will dot the calendar. We're planning to go Outside for a couple of weeks before school starts. But overall, the plan is to take things nice and slow.

What will you be up to?



At 7:15 AM, Blogger Writer and Cat said...

Mmmmm salmon! I hope the treed fish were put to good use!

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

I think bears got them, shook them out of the trees. You don't fight a bear for a salmon, treed or otherwise : )

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Sierra Donovan said...

Happy summer! How warm do your summer days get in Alaska?

We'll be escaping the Southern California desert for a few days of camping in the mountains, a couple of hours away. Definitely a shoestring budget this year!

At 3:34 PM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Hi Sierra!

In our neck of the woods, southeast of Anchorage in the Banana Belt, it gets into the mid 60's or lower 70's. That's if there's really a summer. Last year, not so much.

The Interior, near Fairbanks, reaches the 80's or sometimes the 90's. Yeah, it's weird being there for a full year when you can experience a 140 or 150 degree temp difference from summer to winter.

Your escape sounds lovely! Even getting two hours away can make for a nice time. Enjoy!

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Tracy Montoya said...

I'm kinda cracking up over the flying salmon. And ice anywhere in the summer just seems sick and wrong to me. But given that we're in a bug-ridden, purgatorial summer heat wave that's only just beginning, I'm a little jealous right now....

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Tree salmon would be a site to see, Tracy, and I'm sorry I missed it myself : )

The ice and snow are gone now, and we've gotten a few blistering 70 degree days. I know! Swelter! But we've also got bugs the size of B-52s as well as no-see-ums that take chunks from your flesh. Folks practically bathe in Deep Woods Off around here : P


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