A week from today we'll be driving up to Haines Junction, Yukon to camp overnight before joining about a thousand other cyclists in a race to Haines.
Food for thought: last night at the Fireweed (it was very busy, with a wait for tables) the special was a delicious shrimp curry.
There was a really big ship in town yesterday-- so large it made the hefty Port Chilkoot Dock look like a toy. It seemed as if the ship could pull the dock away with it. From one angle just about all of Mt. Riley was blocked. It was windy, kind of cool in unprotected areas and there were scattered showers, which may be why the three thousand or so people on board weren't everywhere. There were some tourists certainly, but the town did not suddenly more than double. It didn't feel like the beerfest or the fair crowds do. Many must have stayed inside. Which is too bad.
At Shelly's talk last night at the library I learned that it is a good thing to wear rose colored glasses, and that people who do, are happier, and that there is data to prove it, thanks to practitioners of the relatively new field of positive psychology. Shelly said the experts have proven that 50% of the way we view the world (happy, sad, just fine thanks) is genetic. Some of us are born on the right side of the bed, 10 % is circumstance, and a whopping 40% can be learned by intentionally practicing a realistic form of optimism.
I am so sorry not to have told where I went and when I would return-- I thought I'd be able to visit from Skagway and would check in after I arrived-- but my motel did not have internet-- And, like a delay from a canceled flight resulting in a five hour layover, I decided to make the most of it, and stay unplugged for a few days and totally tuned into the people I was with.
I left the comfort of grandbabies and a big family breakfast Sunday to fly to Juneau to attend a friend's memorial service ( you may recall elementary teacher Rene Walker's obituary? It was for her.) I boarded the plane on the lovely, clear, warm and calm morning, and the pilot said we'd be flying over the ice field. I kind of wondered what that meant, but figured it was just the little jag near the Mendenhall Glacier the flights from Haines sometimes take near the end of the (about) 90 mile flight to Juneau. Well, he flew us straight up and over the mountains across Lynn Canal from Mt.
Summer is here right on time for the beer festival, the salmon derby, planting the garden, and getting on the bike to prepare for the race on June 15- The weather is supposed to be warm ( the 7-0 word is in the forecast) but a little cloudy for the weekend- that's okay, better than snow, and as my friend Sitka author John Straley said, after the horror in Oklahoma we Alaskans should never complain about the weather again. Last night we had yoga class on the end of the cruise ship dock. That was worth at least six months of winter.
Our lumberyard did not burn down this morning, although the fast roaring fire next door was pretty scary, and thanks to the great Haines Volunteer Fire Department it was contained to one substantial shed at Leo and George Ann Smith's place. Leo lost his boat, and tools, and they had full freezers in there, and one window in the house broke from the heat, but that's it.
High pressure is in the forecast for the entire week, and it's supposed to be 67 on Friday, just in time for the beerfest. This is technically not news in Alaska in May, or at least according to my friend Tom. He says news by definition is when things don't go as planned. Snow in May is news, not sunshine. Well, this spring normal is worth noting. Still, it is supposed to be very cold the next few nights ( 25 at the border, areas of frost around the valley) and yesterday we were hailed on while cycling. Little centimeter sized ice pellets. Another reason to wear helmets.
"Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over the dunes, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over a pond...get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work." -- Anna Quindlen