What You See From a Bicycle in Alaska With the Roof Off

These are bicycling days. Sunny and warm with roads banked with mounds of bright yellow dandelions.  My oldest daughter was here for a few days  from Juneau and we pedaled all over the place. It's amazing what you notice on a bicycle. Along the Chilkoot River there were dozens of immature bald eagles, great big brown birds sitting on rocks, swooping from trees, hopping in the road. I have never seen anything like it. Then yesterday we were headed toward town when we did a double take. The neighbor's roof was off. Completely off like a dollhouse lid. We turned back to get a closer look. I admired the woman who surely was behind such a drastic, and in this rainy country, brave move. I have never seen an occupied family home un-capped before. How did she talk her husband into this brand new upstairs? This morning on our way out for a ride along the Chilkat River, the roof was still off, naked, exposed for all the world to see. Not  a protective tarp in sight. I half-expected to see my neighbor climb out of a bed up on what is now a nice eagle perch and wave, but no one was stirring. All the sights are not as joy filled or happy image making. We slowed down at 9-mile about a half hour later when we saw the wrecked car in the ditch, upside down. Maybe its occupants were on last night's medevac flight, the one that flew over the house at about 2 am. Even though we were on bicycles, we lowered our speed reflexively, hoped everything was okay, and prayed for someone we probably know.  Understanding how suddenly a beautiful summer day can turn dark and ugly has a way of making me even more grateful for all this blue sky. It makes me want to tear the roof so I won't lose a moment of it. 


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