Friday, April 28, 2006

Snow and light

Date: April 27
Mileage: 22
April mileage: 451
Temperature upon departure: 38

Warm day today. Temps even thought about hitting 50, but didn't quite make it. I seem to be writing an overabundance of extra-bloggy blog posts lately. The past month has been awash the mostly gray, windy, semi-warm, still-won't-melt-the-crust-on-my-driveway permanence that dominates "spring" in Alaska. My muse has been running a bit low, so I complain about the weather and take pictures out my bedroom window.

We now have officially more than 16 hours between sunrise and sunset, makes it hard to get those requisite 8 hours of sleep in. I'm one of those people that can barely dress myself in the morning, but I build energy as the day goes on, so it's also hard for me to go to bed. I had a really tough ride today, basically inexplicable as to why I was struggling so much. Lead legs on the commute. Dizzy up the hill. Spinning low gears on the gravel. It's probably just a matter of needing more rest than I anticipate, but my body just doesn't understand. When there's light on the horizon and snow on the ground, it just feels early, no matter what the clock says.


  1. When I lived in Deadhorse, the hardest adjustment for me and the Mrs was the 2 longest days of the year......Winter and Summer!::GRIN:: I had to live by the clock and use blinders to sleep, and the Mrs was hit badly by SAD in the winter and had to use a light visor to keep from going 'round the bend! Arctic Blue ain't pretty. As the light gets longer, you have to discipline yourself to get enough sleep, before I learned the lesson, I realized one day I had been up 32 hrs and my brain was refusing to shut down because of the light. That's when I got a sleep mask, because I was EXHAUSTED, and I drove my truck off the haul road and had to be pulled out of the mud beside it by a D-9 dozer! Essentially, I got so exhausted I fell asleep while driving. I can only thank the lord that never happened down in Anchorage or Valdez while I had a loaded tank on the back of the truck!

  2. Greetings from southern Finland

    We haven't quite gotten to 16hours yet here in the south (although they're well over 18 hours in the north) but the snow has pretty much melted and lakes are getting pretty dangerous. I make a pint of sleeping with the curtains open so I get as much light as possible. It's difficult to get to sleep at first but I feel it's better to get used to the light now rather than suffer in the summer. Anyway, with my upcoming cycling trip to Lapland I better get used to light since the sun is going to be blazing day and night.

    Eric (a fellow winter biker, now enjoying smooth tyres)

  3. 16 hours...unbelievable. Man, it would be tough to convince the bod to hit the hay.

  4. wow -- I was dreaming of 16 hours of sleep -- the problem here is not the light -- rather it is the heat -- we are about to breech the 100° mark. All the folks from the north (MN) will go home.

    You have 16 hours of sun and it is 38 -- thank god I don't -- with 16 hours of sun my skin would be toast. abd it would be 195°F.

  5. We hit 16 hours in a few days. It messes with my head. When I lived in MN, it would be 80 degress out when it was this light out at night. Here it is in the 40s. It feels like it should be summer, but we have no leaves yet.

    In a few days, I am heading to India where it has been 45 degrees celsius. I don't even want to know what that is in F.

  6. Hi jill
    I came across your blog when I was looking for downloadable exe files (as you do) but was captivated and fascinated by your blog.

    I love the photos, and the stuff I've leant already about Alaska is just great! Because strangely, I am about to start writing my next children's book where my hero travels across the arctic circle,to have adventures with polar bears before arriving in the murky damp of springtime in the UK. I have been quite absorbed by your blog, and all that I have read in it, so I hope to see you again soon.
    In case you are dead curious (like wot I am) about the people who leave messages randomly on your blog, you can learn more about what I do at
    Keep those legs wobbling on that bike!
    Helen McGlasson


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