I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

It’s ride your bicycle to school day, which meant we had a lot more company than normal as we pedaled in from the highway toward the Haines School this morning, usually we might see two other riders and very few vehicles, but today there were policemen, teachers, parents, children all in a kind of parade. The sun was out, the wind was at our backs and everyone was smiling. I hope more children (and parents, and heck policemen too) make cycling a habit. Our tourism department likes to call Haines Alaska’s best kept secret, cruise ship wise– which is sort of a back door compliment  when you think about it. The real secret is how great a place this is to ride a bike. This morning my husband noted that coming around the corner at the airport  on smooth pavement, with no traffic at all, a strong tailwind, sun flashing on the river full of birds with the glorious snow covered mountain backdrop was probably the best bike ride in the world– “People can’t comprehend this,” he said. “You can’t even tell them how great it is because they wouldn’t believe it.” Also, to be fair, the kids were lucky. He has ridden a thousand cold, windy, wet, snowy miles this spring for one morning like this– but oh it was worth it!  

In other news, clean-up week continues, since it was kind of halted with last week’s snow cover– and there are still plenty of trashy ditches and roadsides to pick up. From the haul in my bags (collected downtown) we survived the winter on mochas and beer and an alarming number of us tossed the empties out the window. Need another reason to shop local? I have never seen a Haines Brewery growler in a ditch. (And Whiterock has great cucumbers that require no packaging at all. They don’t even have a pesky sticker.) The Friends of the Library has yellow clean-up trash and blue recycle bags at the library, so you can fill them for a good cause if you don’t already have a group to donate to. (The Friends receive 2 dollars a full bag.) The annual Tlingit Park clean-up is today too, call 314-0608 for details, the 5-8th grade school concert is tonight at 6:30, and tomorrow night at 6:30 is the DDF/Music awards night at the school.Now, you really should turn off the computer and enjoy the view, pick up a few beer cans, ride a bike, or try doing all three at once? (Please wear a helmet.)