Every once in a while, a day comes along that is just so perfect, so wonderful, that it can’t be wasted. When the temps are in the 70s and there is just the slightest breeze, just enough to waft the scent of fireweed and wild pea blooms to your nose. There are days when everything is just as it should be, when the beauty of the day is such that it causes chills to run up and down your spine.
Late July hasn’t had many of those days this year. But the one that I happened to experience has more than made up for it.
I knew it looked nice out when I decided that I would take off from work a half hour earlier than normal to get some extra miles in before heading home. Once a week or so, I find myself needing to get out and put some more miles in just for sanity’s sake. I didn’t realize just how nice it was when I left for the day. I just knew the sun was shining and there was a breeze. Heck, on most days having the sun shining is enough.
As I made my way outside, I realized how beautiful out it was, which energized my desire to ride even more so.
I hit the trails and put in some miles. Many times on these pre-bus rides I’ll head down towards Ship Creek to check out how the fishing is going, how the tides are turning, and to gawk at the gawking tourists. Somehow, I get a strange tingle in my funny bone when I watch tourists watching the locals, but that’s probably an issue best left to the professionals.
What’s cool about the whole thing — living here and all — is just how great this place can be. There are times, in certain lights, when Anchorage and the vicinity are indeed heaven on earth. Usually, for me, those times come when I’m on my bike. Then again, anywhere can be heaven when on a bike. Just goes with the territory.
But there are other times, as well. Such as frolicking in Fish Creek as two of my three progeny dipnet for the few remaining fish on our permit this year. A thunderstorm breaks out overhead with the sun shining all around through the rain drops turning the sky to one giant disco ball, making the hairs standing up on my neck because of the big metal rod in my hand. Lightening and metal. Yeah. Good times.
Times such as getting sand all up in everything as we dip Kasilof, dead tired and the slow-going of the fishing making it so that we fall asleep
Even just walking around Kincaid or Mat-Su Lakes parks with the dogs and the kids can be an amazing experience. Then again, almost anyplace can be amazing if you open yourself up to it. I think that people who spend a lot of time in the elements — running, skiing, biking, or even working outdoors — are able to more easily see this inherent beauty in a place.
In some places, when the planets align, it is easier to see that beauty and want to drink it all in.
Get out there in it folks! Summer is quickly preparing to change the guards and then autumn will come in — a beautiful two hours of the year, for sure, but we all know that following autumn comes snow. I’m looking forward to that, but am not ready to give up my grip on blue skies, tee-shirts and shorts, and the feel of the sun’s warmth on my skin just yet.
Read more from Phil B. on his blog, Multimodal Alaska Adventures.