Sunday, April 15, 2007


Signs of spring everywhere lately. Not new growth, per say; not sun, either. Just melt and light. Melt releases a world long smothered by winter. Streams flow free again. The tips of small willow trees peak out from the mushy snowpack. I go snowshoeing on an old, familiar trail and it becomes new again.

Early in my walk, I found a green plastic Easter egg. It had a fun-sized Hershey bar inside. It was all alone in the snow, in an odd enough place that it must have been dropped, not hidden. This is where I found it, near a half-frozen waterfall. And I was in a strange enough mood that I carried it with me on my hike and made it the subject of photographs.

My outdoor activities as of late, as sparse as they've been, have been fairly uninspiring. I'm reading nonfiction books about long-distance bicycle touring again, which, if my past habits are any indication, is a fairly clear sign that I'm slipping into a rut. I've been envious of Geoff and his training. I try not to let that sentiment show when he describes his latest adventures to me, but sometimes I find myself tempted to turn the conversation back to baseball.

At least I still have snowshoeing, but likely only a couple more weeks worth. Rain showers strip the snowpack away like acid. April is the beginning of the dry season in Juneau, but that's definitely relative. Dry season here would be monsoon season in Utah. At least we're not having snowstorm tornadoes like the rest of the country.

I also have Folk Fest to drain me of all of my energy, and a 3 a.m. night does that well. Last night at the Alaska Hotel, I ran into a friend from Anchorage plays fiddle in an old-timey band. Her real life is filled with legislative lobbying and bar exams and "good, old-fashioned Asian discipline." But fiddling is her passion. "Folk Fest changed my life!" she screamed with startling intensity that could have been the Alaskan Smoked Porter speaking, but I think any self-restraint would have only stripped away the truth. I envied her too, because she had lifelong love where I only had a flirtatious night out.

Today, while burning my way through 90 cardio minutes at the gym with a Runner's World magazine, I read twice an article about marathoner John Kelley. In his story arc, it seems he never experienced a life half lived. He just started out strong and kept going. He's still going.

"The things we do should consume us," Kelley told the reporter. "If they don't, our lives won't have any meaning."