8/26/2008

Absence of Summer

Sitting in my favorite chair by the fireplace, thinking back to the early days of spring where there was such excitement of all the adventures the summer months would bring; many of us now wonder when or if summer is ever going to start. As of today, summer has never really showed up for us here in Alaska. This summer will go down in the record books as the most off summer as far as cool temperatures and just a lot of rain and too many cloudy days to count.There are very few days that actually got up to 65 degrees. The days hitting 70 degrees I can count one hand. Now closing in on Labor day weekend and saying good-bye to August, the arrival of summer is fading away as a mere memory from previous years. Though I still got out and traveled on road trips to certain destinations and hiked to a few mountain tops for the view. Even the adventures of the green kayak were minimal, with just about 3 days I can recall. That in itself my trailbuddies is highly unusual for me.
The weather just didn't cooperate for any of us up here. In my travels around the area of which I call home, people still got out and fished. Hiking up a slippery trail to the top of a mountain is just not fun at all because decending was a slow process on a well worn, steep muddy trail. It was hard to avoid falling, which I did anyway! One should not make excuses just because of the weather going afowl. After all, to many of us and anyone who loves the outdoors, I revert back to the code I live by and have said time and time again: no such thing as bad weather, just inadequate dressing!

With high gas prices many of you I talked to on my road trips just bit the bullet and didn't let that keep you from going on those adventures where ever they lead you to. To jump forward here a bit. Denali National Park has a road lottery every year that we all put in for hoping to get our names drawn to be able to take our vehicle and drive the 90 miles of dirt road in this wonderful national park. Well, this year I got lucky and Buford's name was drawn. Ya-Hoo, now there in itself is an adventure. Passes are good for 1 day- 6am til midnight to be on the road. Looking forward to the drive, creeping along so as I don't miss any of the wildlife that one might see along the roadsides. Cameras are ready! What summer reports I did get from around the lower 48, you all had the sunny hot days and humidity to follow. I guess I do love the cooler temps now that I come to think about it. With just days to go, Labor day weekend will be here. Many of us flock to our favorite state park trying to get in the last campout before the kids head back to school. Head north to the cabin one last time before fall color hits. Families come together for one last outdoor picnic. Here our State fair has been a happening thing. All the food you wouldn't normally subject yourself to, and free entertainment if you like to go and just watch the people - along with rides, music, barn animals and all those other frills to take in. Well, I decided to go on the day that was supposed to have the biggest fireworks display in fair history. I think everyone in ALASKA decided they wanted to be there as well, it was just too much for me. Trying to get out of the fairgrounds was a test to my patience to say the least and about 3 hours later, I was finally at home and ready to hit the hay! My Labor day adventure will be heading north on a uncharted adventure well off the road for some backpacking fun into new territories where I've never been before. Peace and quiet abound with mountains surrounding you and whatever wildlife I can seek out. You?
I must admit though, over this so called summer here, I did run across a variety of wildlife such as: snowshoe hare, which are in their high cycle up here, Pacific Loons, scrub jays visiting me on a daily basis, even had a couple black bears come a calling around the cabin. One I sweet talked to, actually climbed the tree in front of me and posed for me awhile, he was a yearling and just about as curious about me as I was of him. Got to love those kind of neighbors. So I hope for you all over this Labor day weekend, you are all safe and in the good company of family or friends, maybe doing one last adventure before settling into September. Next stop fall color hunting!

Hey see you down the trail somewhere.
Buford T. Porcupine

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