If it feels like January has been a solid ice block of a month, yeah, you’re right — and science backs that claim. According to weather records, not once has it gotten above freezing. It’s been colder than 31 degrees, and even colder than zero a few times.
Holy Fahrenheit! You know what’s weird about this cold? We might actually be getting used to it. Last winter we might have thought we would slip into hypothermia if it got to 10 degrees, and now we call that warm. If this goes on, we might be like those University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks who strip to shorts and pose in front of the UAF temperature sign. We’d have to take our selfies by the Alaska USA sign.
The Betster saw a sure sign the other night that it might be warming up: a teenager in shorts out walking his dog. “Must be tropical,” yours truly thought. Sure enough, it had warmed up to 15 degrees. Fifteen! That’s halfway to freezing. If this keeps up we might see 45 by Valentine’s Day.
Never mind that Mud Bay has frozen halfway to Halibut Cove. Forget that sand on the beach is something we lost saw before Christmas. Ignore all the stalled cars, the cranky batteries and the fluffy parkas you haven’t dragged out of the closet since the Obama administration. We Alaskans bounce between stoicism and optimism. Yes, we can handle anything this state throws at us, but, yeah, we also hope things will get better.
And they will. Groundhog Dog is Sunday, which means we’re halfway to spring. Winter Carnival will be here soon enough. The cold can’t last forever, even if you live in Fairbanks.
So buck up, put on another layer and embrace that which makes us Alaskans, perhaps with some of the Best Bets:
BEST THE OTHER FLEW WEST BET: Back before
Jack Nicholson got really famous, he starred in “One
Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” as a career criminal
who thought he could get a better deal by faking being
mentally ill. Yeah, that didn’t work out. The DeStig
Cinema Series shows the classic movie based on the Ken
Kesey novel at 6 p.m. tonight at the Homer Theatre. The
Destig Series looks at wellness through the eyes of pop
culture. Learn how you can help remove the artificial
barriers created by misunderstanding, stigma and fear.
A short presentation is before the movie.
BEST FINALLY BET: OK, this bitter weather might
be challenging, but for Homer’s hardy ice racing crew,
weeks of cold means one thing: Ice Racing. The local
sport that dates back to the 1950s returns now that
Beluga Lake is rock solid. Cheer on your favorite drivers with this week’s races starting at 12:30 p.m. Sunday on Beluga Lake.
BEST ALSO FINALLY BET: Cold weather and snow also means that up on Ohlson Mountain the Homer Rope Tow is back in action, too. Grab your skis and snowboards and head to the hills from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Sponsored by the Kachemak Ski club, new members are welcome. Call 235-SNOW for conditions or visit homeropetow.org.
BEST GETTING WARMER BET: OK, if the cold is getting to you but you still need to get in your 10,000 steps, head to the SPARC (South Peninsula Athletic Recreation Center) from 9-10 a.m. Saturday for Walk with a Doc. Put on your clean, walking shoes and do a couple of laps indoors and out of the wind. This week, Dr. Randy Wiest does a short talk, “Couch Potato to 5k.” Afterwards, you can spend the rest of the hour walking, asking questions and getting your heart rate up.
BEST TUNE UP BET: While you’re taking care of your body, get things in shape with “Balance through Symmetry” at 6 p.m. today for the Thriving Thursday series at SVT Health & Wellness. Aleesha Franklin, licensed health care practitioner, certified Footzonologist and wellness coach will share the systems she uses to help determine what the body needs and how to find balance through our symmetry, eliminate chaos and magnify our lives both inside and out.
BEST GET SUPER BET: Local bars can’t advertise this because the NFL gets all trademarky about stuff, but you do know that the Super Bowl is this Sunday, right? Odds are your favorite watering hole will be showing it on the big screen. And if you want a really big screen, catch the big game at 2:30 p.m. at the Homer Theatre. Shhh — just don’t let the suits know you heard it from the Betster.
BEST GET OUT BET: Oh, and if you want to get in some skiing and also dress up in silly costumes, there’s the annual Ski for Women at 1 p.m. at the Lookout Trails on Ohlson Mountain. There will be prizes for best group, pairs, attached and individual skiers. Registration starts at noon. A $15 donation is suggested, with proceeds supporting South Peninsula Haven House.