Everyone I know keeps complaining about seeing snow on the mountaintops and how it’s creeping toward us, how any day we are going to wake up with this horrid snow – gasp! – in our driveways and covering our cars.
That time is now, too. With a late-September snow, the fleeting days of autumn seem behind us already. But is this reason to mourn? Absolutely not.
I, too, would be cursing the snow – if it was late April and I was done with winter. Ask my friends and family, and they will tell you I love the warmth of hot summers and the freedom of flip-flops. I crave vacations to warm places, where going running in the morning is a refreshing activity rather than a bundle-up endurance event. I scan for flight deals constantly, dreaming of the next vacation to some tropical locale. I feel like a person revealing their addiction, guiltily acknowledging that yes, I live in Alaska, but I prefer warm weather. It’s sacrilege.
The truth is, though, I get bored easily. Living somewhere that is perpetually sunny and hot would get old, fast. While visiting places like Mexico, Arizona or Hawaii are fantastic, I couldn’t live there. In reality I’m an all-seasons gal, and I require the changes that come with the seasons. It’s why I might grumble about the snow if it’s falling in springtime, but honestly, the thought of it showing up any day right now is thrilling.
This time of year, the beautiful changes of October are so very evident, and the coming of the snow is gorgeous, expected and comforting. It’s one of those in-between months that graces us with bright-yellow leaves and eye-achingly bright blue sky one day; to a cold, gloomy rain the next; to, eventually, a frosty, ice-on-the-windshields morning. The changes are subtle yet noticeable, and welcome, because it is autumn and it’s what should be happening.
I invite you to embrace October this month. The days are fleeting and come with so much to offer: trail running through three inches of fallen birch leaves; bonfires as the sun sets (at a reasonable time); an opportunity to pull out that chunky sweater again and feel its woolly warmth; stream casting for a trout without a crowd swarming you; a hike to a mountaintop that starts off surrounded by greenery and ends on a snowy summit. The list is endless.
Our Coast columnists share their insights on this time of year, too. Running Wild’s Mike Halko reminds us to use this time of year to re-invest in our running fitness. Create a new habit that will carry you through the winter running season stronger than ever. Mark Bly, our Trailside Gourmet, encourages us to celebrate our inner German and live it up Oktoberfest style. His recipes for sauerbraten and pork ribs are the perfect meal for a chilly night.
And, once the weather forces you indoors, be sure to check out Katie Pesznecker’s rundown of the winter theater and arts season. All of these stories can be found on our website and in the pages of our magazine, which you can find in most coffeeshops, libraries and other venues across town.
Meanwhile, I’m pulling out my mountain bike’s studded tires and making do (the jealousy factor has been raised a notch after reading Janice Tower’s review of the latest in fat bike research and development), and setting up the Nordic ski rack in the mud room. It’s that time of year and I’m excited for the changes to come.
Talk to me come April, and you’ll get another story.