Here on the south shore of Beluga Lake — called SoBe by Homer hipsters — we’ve been noticing the lake freezing. Also, we’ve been noticing the lake thawing, and freezing, and thawing again. Kinda like Florida voters, it seems the lake is wavering a few degrees from deciding if it wants to nice and solid.
Holy Fahrenheit 32! This has been one of the most fickle falls ever. If not for the declining daylight hours and the ever expanding gloom of total darkness, it would be hard to call this fall at all. One day it feels like finally the lake will freeze, and then the next day, instead of big fluffy snowflakes falling from the sky, we get torrential downpours. It’s pretty bad when you watch on TV distinguished world leaders commemorating the Armistice in France, and you think, Huh, looks just like Homer, but with the Eiffel Tower.
Flipping through back issues of the Homer News, the Betster has noticed nostalgic photographs of what Alaskans expect mid-November to be. Kids play pick-up games of hockey on the ice. People strap on old wooden skis and tear down the slopes. Ice racers rev up their engines and their rigs don’t break through the ice. Nowadays, the only way any motorized wheeled vehicle will get out on the lake is if it’s a Duck boat.
Not even in Utqiagvik, formerly known as Barrow, do they have ice. That’s probably why Utqiagvik changed its name. No one would believe the little city at the top of the world and the northernmost point in America wasn’t frozen in solid by now. Heck, the Betster remembers visiting Utqiagvik decades ago and seeing icebergs on the beach — in July.
Citizens, yours truly has no idea when Beluga Lake will freeze or when the first big snow will fall or even if we will have snow at all. Smarty Pants here dares to make predictions of other things, but along with picking winners in elections, you’d be a fool to suss out what will happen with the weather in Alaska. Always expect surprises in the Last Frontier. Always.
But this the Betster knows, and feels confident in saying. We live in a mighty fine little town, and we can always find something cool to do, like these Best Bets:
BEST WALK AND DON’T LOOK BACK BET: Here’s one thing you can do no matter the weather, but especially when it’s not icy — walk. Or, run. Yep, the Thursday Night Fun Run/Walk continues from 6-7 p.m. tonight starting at Grace Ridge Brewery. Wear those blinky lights and reflective vests, though, because it will be dark.
BEST FALL DOWN, GET UP, FALL, GET UP AGAIN BET: Yes, we will fall, and yes, we will rise again, because that’s how you roll through life. There’s an art to it, and if you want to perfect the skill, grasshopper, try out The Art of Falling and Rising dance class. It meets at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays at Skeletal Connections on Ocean Drive. The group of classes is $75 for Homer Council on the Arts members or $15 for a drop-in visit.
BEST DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN BET: Whoa! Get ready for some serious time tripping as Wearable Arts takes a lot at the past, present and future of the annual show. Time Traveling, the Wearable Arts Runway Show, is at 6 and 9 p.m. Saturday at Land’s End Resort. Tickets are $25 general admission and $40 for first class.
BEST ALL SHOOK UP BET: No, you’re not seeing double for Saturday’s Salmonfest Concert Series. It’s The Shook Twins, Kateyln and Laurie, all the way from Portland, Oregon. Identical twins, their voices merge as one in some pretty awesome harmonies. Plus, they’re just a bunch of fun. See and hear them at 9 p.m. at Alice’s Champagne Palace. Admission is $20 at the door or $15 in advance at the Homer Bookstore or Old Inlet Bookshop.