In overdrive

by • May 6, 2013 • ToastComments (0)971

Summer’s fleeting; make every moment count

As soon as the sun began to linger into bedtime hours, I caught spring fever.

Zachary Bonham takes a break from paddling to enjoy the peaceful sounds of Little Tutka Bay, outside of Homer. BY Melissa DeVaughn

Zachary Bonham takes a break from paddling to enjoy the peaceful sounds of Little Tutka Bay, outside of Homer. BY Melissa DeVaughn

I don’t know exactly when it happened – sometime in late March, when, as I crawled into bed to read before nodding off, I looked out the big windows in my room and it dawned on me that, A) I’m either getting too old, climbing into bed so early, or B) winter’s over.

I’ll go with option B.

Springtime in Alaska is a time of great ideas – our minds go into overdrive envisioning the fun summer trips we’ll take. We dust off our camping gear, stored in some back closet, making sure it’s ready to go. We park ourselves at the computer at just the right time to reserve a coveted public-use cabin. There is so much hiking, biking, running, camping, fishing and boating to do, and we only have a precious dozen or so weeks in which to fit it in. Summer is fleeting, and we want to take every advantage of it.

This month, Coast brings you our annual Adventure Unlimited Guide, which offers a sampling of some of the fun trips you could take. It’s only a small snapshot of what’s out there, though. Take a look at it.

On Page 15, you’ll find out why riding the rails this summer could be one of your most memorable trips. Or take to the air (Page 23) to put your appreciation of Alaska into perspective. Road trips are always fun, and the McCarthy Road (Page 30) – while bumpy and dusty – is one worth experiencing. You can even see Alaska by zipline. This ever-growing activity has spread from Southeast to Talkeetna (read more about it on Page 25) and – this just in – even Kennecott, which is opening its operation next month (see

As for me, I’m dreaming of yet another boating adventure. Chris Batin this month shares his experience on a small-ship adventure cruise (Page 51) in Southeast, but I’m envisioning something a bit more intimate. From Shoup Bay to Little Tutka, Shuyak Island to Resurrection, some of my best Alaska adventure moments have come from within a kayak (Not so for AK on the Go’s Erin Kirkland; read her riveting story of kayak-a-phobia on Page 46 this month). There’s nothing more peaceful than hearing shorebirds calling and waves lapping on the shoreline of some remote cove or bay. I’ve watched sea otters pop up in front of my bow, witnessed tufted puffins dive bombing into the water and looked into the water as transparent jellyfish have slipped under my boat by the dozens. The summer won’t be complete until I experience another kayak trip or two. What’s your ideal trip?

No matter how you choose to experience Alaska, we invite you to share your stories, adventures – and misadventures. Plan your trips carefully, use common outdoor-sense and be safe getting there. It’s a big state out there, and the outdoor opportunities are endless.

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