There’s little about Alaska that is not dramatic. Mountains. Seasons. Rivers. Even the people.
Like anything, however, when you’re living it the changes seem incremental. It’s looking over the past in photos that makes everything seem so sudden.
Our first year in Alaska was one of milestones paired with the changes of the seasons. Summer, the start of school, suddenly fall, suddenly winter, back to outdoor adventures after our recovery hiatus. In one blink winter had turned to what we call “break-up,” as the thick layers of ice that coat parking lots, sidewalks, driveways and parts of streets start to melt in the increasing sunlight.
A few weeks of gross mush and dirt covering everything and – bam! – spring was summer. Sunlight, temperatures in the 50s and 60s, and green covering all the things.
For Alaskans there is no real off season. Oh sure, there are days in the long and dark winter months where you have more time for things like sipping coffee by a fire with friends or hitting the movie theater — things we most definitely do not have time for when the sun sets for a mere four hours a day but it’s actually light all the time. But Alaskans just put on more layers and do snow things instead of summer things — snow-machining (or “snowmobiling” in the rest of the U.S.), skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, dogsledding, ice fishing.