Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Life in the clouds

Date: Aug. 4
Mileage: 37.4
August mileage: 69.6
Temperature: 52

So those partly cloudy yellow sunshines promised by five different weather forecasting services never materialized. I'm OK with that. Really. Not bitter at all. I have perspective. I once lived in the desert. I remember the seemingly endless strings of days when the mercury soared into the triple digits. I remember the oven rides, dripping so much sweat and rubber that you could have scraped pieces of me off the pavement to make gravy. The hard sun soaked through my skin and I swore that someday I'd find a home where summer wasn't so stifling. It's true. I wished for it. I have everything I deserve.

But dragging myself outside with everything I deserve is a different story, and my motivation is hitting new lows. I headed up to Eaglecrest today for a hard climb, which is nearly always a good way for me to deal with grumpy. I approach the hill reluctantly while thinking about random things like salmon berries and California, but launch furiously with renewed vigor and focus. I become angrier and angrier as the pain festers and the clouds close in around me. And just when I'm certain I have to quit, when sweat percolates through my clammy cold-weather layers and sharp breaths of thick air tear at my lungs, my senses begin to retreat. All sounds are gasps and breaths; all thoughts are gasps and breaths. All scenery is fog whether it's cloudy or not, so it's strange how much clearer everything seems. Life in the pain cave is a life without details. 1s and 0s. In and out.

I emerged at the end of the gravel road. The construction no further along than last week, I slowly caught my breath as I stumbled toward the east bowl on foot. As my heart rate slowed, details began to re-emerge. An old army tank. An excavator. Weather-worn paint adding splashes of color to ski run signs. Everything obscured by the swirling clouds, and the sun was still 92 million miles away, but I felt so strong, I could almost see it.


  1. If it helps, we're all dealing with weather issues. Triple digit temps and high double digit humidity sucks, too. Maybe a swap's in order.

    Way to get out and get it done!

  2. This morning it was 80* as I rode into work, I actually thought of you and how it would be really nice right now to be riding in the cooler temp and some rain. Since I'm from Alaska- the fact that I'm riding in 100* heat index on the way home frightens me! Wanna trade?

    I loved the line.."scraped pieces of me off the pavement to make gravy" I totally get that and have felt that way recently. I'm not sure how funny it is though considering I'm getting into our hottest time of the year....

  3. No matter where you end up I bet you will never ever ever forget what 52 degrees and rain feels like. I would have a hard time dealing with that day after day after day after...

    Where can a top notch graphic designer journalist play in mountain snow in the morning under relatively frequent bursts of sunshine and commute to work in the afternoon? The Rockies are a pretty long chain and the Cascades and the Sierras got snow too. Does it have to be a newspaper? Does it have to be a United State?

    Having moved to Juneau and turned into an ultra sport snow biker chick you obviously think outside the box. But are you thinking far enough out of the box regarding your next phase?

  4. You ARE strong. Always amazing posts.

  5. Great post. You can put the big pen back in the holster now.

  6. I'm not sure of I have understand all you have said (my english has a limit), but the photo is wonderful!

  7. It won't be long before you'll be posting about taking the Pugs out for a ride in the first snowfall of the year.

    I long to live in the west or southwest, but I know I couldn't handle the three digit summer heat. Unless of course I was at some altitude where it was cooler. Here in MN it's the humidity that kills me. I have a great deal of difficulty dealing with.

    Southern Cal would be perfect. Anyway, the grass isn't always greener elsewhere. Love reading your posts Jill and as always...

    Nigity - "Always keep a smile in your heart."

  8. I lived in the blazing hot sun of the Cal. desert so I know what you mean. And it's not all it's cracked up to be down there. Lots of people and fenced in everything. Although we're on an 'island' at least we have endless masses to roam in the forest. Just when we think we can't handle another cloudy, rainy day, we wake up to sun and blue skies (at least until 2 pm or so). Reminding me of all the reasons why we chose to live here!

  9. Loved your shot. I need to start climbing around here.....thanks for the inspiration.

  10. I would like to say that this shot is awesome!
    You are an excellent photographer but also I think Juneau lends itself to spectacular imagery.

  11. Miami CSI

    Juneau BFE


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