Sunday, December 07, 2008

Like spring, summer, fall

Date: Dec. 7
Mileage: 35.7
December mileage: 162.2

I've been in a bit of a weather funk again. Sometimes I just can't help it. Sometimes I feel like Juneau's been between seasons since, oh, March or so. Summer was always peeking just over the horizon but never really came. Since then, we've had a few quick gasps of winter, but the rain always returns. Always the rain. The 12-month season. It doesn't matter whether it's March, July, October or December, I struggle to slink out the door when it's 42 degrees and raining (and I have ridden in this exact weather in all of these months.)

And yet, for all the times I remember reluctantly gearing up and wheeling my bike out into the blah weather, I don't recall a single ride when I came home and thought "I wish that never happened." Sometimes I push hard and feel strong. Sometimes I learn something new about my gear. Sometimes I listen to good music. Sometimes I see something exciting or beautiful. And I always end up being glad I went.

Take today for example:

I don't know whether it was the warm weather or if there was some kind of salmon run, but False Outer Point had a huge gathering of marine mammals today. I saw a small pod of humpbacks (two or three, it was hard to tell) and several large groups of sea lions and harbor seals. I was working on some intervals, but ended up stopping for a while just to watch them. The humpbacks were too far away to see much beyond the occasional spout, but the sea lions and seals were especially entertaining. A few caught giant fish and lunged out of the water, violently whipping the fish around like a dog playing tug-of-war with a sock. Then they'd dive back in and disappear, probably enjoying the spoils of the meal they just shook to death.

Eventually I became a little bit chilled from watching the animal show and headed out to the Rainforest Trail to ride a few fast loops on the twisting, tight singletrack. (Ah, dirt.) The Rainforest Trail looks rainforesty even in December.

On the coast I came across the remains of a startlingly pink sea creature strewn over a piece of driftwood. Maybe a jellyfish? Then it was back for more sea lion entertainment and some hard intervals home in the rain.

Really, not so bad. Maybe, in the future, I'll remember today as a pleasant respite from the snow.


Also, I'm working on organizing the info about my book (brief description, first chapter, ordering details and reviews) into its own blog site. It's still very much a work in progress, but you can find it here.


Finally, don't forget to enter the raffle for an Olympus Stylus 1030 SW camera today, tomorrow or Wednesday! For every $5 you donate to the LIVESTRONG CHALLENGE through my donation page, you'll receive a raffle ticket from Fat Cyclist for a chance to win this great camera! (And I'm going to throw in a few books as consolation prizes.) Donate here!


  1. My goodness..what happened to the snow?? It certain looks like spring. The weather is odd this year. Down in florida (panhandle) we've got 30 degree temps into the mid mornings. My bird bath is frozen over still... Sheesh. I love the pictures today though. Cute little sea lions :D

  2. That's red algae, aka Rodophyta. It's red because its pigment is geared toward absorbing just he blue light that makes it down to the bottom where it is anchored.

  3. I sympathize about the weather. It's wetter than Oprah during the final four down here in Seattle.

  4. I like the rain forest.... The weather here in Colorado has been very nice. I have been able to get out in 40-50 degree temps the last few weekends...Suppose to change today with snow and lows in the teens....

  5. I concur with Roadrider as to the identity of the remains of the sea creature. My best guess is Porphyra. Tasty.

  6. Rainforest in Alaska? I learn something new every day.

  7. Thought you meant the blood disorder, "porphyria". You know, the one that afflicted ole King George with colored urine and a madness that may have contributed to the birth of the US of A.

    Didn't know there was an algae with almost the same name. You DO learn something new every day. I'm gonna go out now and get some raw fish wrapped in porphyra.

  8. I just heard that y'all got 11 inches today...brief respite from winter, indeed! :)


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