In early May avalanches had become a danger in the mountains, so in an attempt to salvage the last of winter, I drove about 200 miles north while gaining two degrees of latitude. Recent snowfalls in the Alaska Range had blanketed the mountains and lowlands near the Denali Highway in pure white satin. On May 7th skies were mostly clear and there was hardly a breath of wind. But at mid-day, the temperature was in the high 40s. Was this winter?
This past winter the trash fairy returned to Anchorage and Eagle River. And as always, she gleefully deposited tons of refuse along our streets and byways. From May 1 to May 8, thousands of citizens will mount an assault on this miserable, mephitic, malodorous mess, asking themselves the same question over and over: Where does it all come from? Here’s a number for you: 4 million. That’s the amount of trash, in pounds, that was collected during one of Anchorage and Eagle River spring cleanups.
I’m crabby. Yes. I said it. I’m really crabby. I know! It’s ironic. I’m the life coach that teaches people to be happy. I teach about love and appreciation. I’m being honest. I’m human, and I’m crabby. This winter was a long one – for me. We had some hard times this winter and a heart-breaking event. There was that spell in February where the temperature was negative-below-stupid for a while. We took a short trip to Southern California. Cold. In March, we went to Las Vegas hoping for some warmth. Guess what? Cold. At least there wasn’t snow and ice.
It was a bluebird morning. There was no wind and the sun was warm on our faces as Pete Panarese and I skied into South Fork Valley, headed for Eagle Lake. It was my first major outdoor trip in more than a year after knee surgery, and in every fiber of my being it felt like a physical and spiritual rebirth.