Yellow leaves have begun to dot the yard, and mushrooms are sprouting in small colonies across the grass. When a breeze blows, tiny white fluff from the season’s fireweed drifts everywhere, and I have to be careful not to inhale it on my daily runs. These subtle signs of fall awaken my inner hibernation gene, and automatically my mind shifts to the colder days to come.
The shoulder season of September is both a time of good-byes – no more tank tops and lounging in warm sunshine – and hellos. It ushers in a new season of beauty and adventure waiting to be had. End-of-season hikes can be breathtaking as the mountainsides turn a kaleidoscope of colors, and trail running through piles of accumulated birch leaves is a short-lived treat that soon gives way to winter.
This month, change is in the air, both figuratively and literally. As you tuck away your summer toys – boats, fishing rods, road bikes and the like – remember that there is still plenty to do here in Alaska. This month is when true Alaskans emerge, undeterred by the chillier temperatures and spurred on by the sense of change and what it brings: the autumnal activities that prepare us for what lies ahead in the snowier months.
In our pages, this month, we offer some suggestions for what to do come September. Check out ideas for extending your summer running season. While many runners have already tackled their yearly marathon or half-marathon, there is still plenty of time to “run for a reason,” as freelancer Jill Jordan shares. Release the competitive pressure and add another 5K to your schedule as a way to give back to a cause that might be important to you.
Or use this month to back off on your cycling training and take a well-deserved breather. Singletrack Mind columnist Janice Tower shares insight on how to get stronger on the bike by backing off just a little. Who doesn’t like to work less for more result? We love that kind of advice, right?
And if you’re just not ready to let go of your summertime pursuits, don’t fear. Fishing season can extend well into fall, and Alaska Angler columnist Chris Batin shares some tips on fishing for salmon and trout this time of year. Not only can it be done successfully, but also the crowds have thinned and the serenity of tossing a line in peace can be restored.
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