In April, a sunrise was often paired with rain in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

In April, a sunrise was often paired with rain in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled Up in Blue: All this rain

When I asked Peter what I should write my column about this week, he suggested I talk about swimming in lakes.

It was intuitive, since we had just gotten back from an afternoon of escaping the unintuitive Alaska heat with a dip in Trail Lake, directly along the Seward Highway.

The four of us packed into the car and filled it with that fiery energy you have on a sweltering day. We stopped at Bear Lake, hoping to cool down sooner rather than later. But, troves of children and their parents with the same thought were already packed along the parking lot turned shoreline of the lake. It seemed like a fun party, but not one that a group of adults (and no children) with varying levels of actual bathing suits should dive into.

So, we drove a bit farther down the highway toward the Vagt Lake trail head. After some hemming and hawing, we decided not to hike to the trail’s namesake and, instead, just waded into the large lake right in front of us.

The thing about large lakes, though, is that they’re cold.

I stood there, taking minuscule steps as more and more of my body was in the water. My top half was sweltering, my bottom half was frigid and I was cautiously trying to skew the percentage under the waterline. It was cold, but we were hot and desperate times call for desperate measures.

Gillian and I waited to acclimate, then waded farther. Patrick and Peter scurried to the nearby train bridge and jumped in.

Once we were all in the water to some degree, everyone agreed — “It’s not that bad once you’re used to it.”

And it was true. Once we got used to the temperature, it wasn’t so bad. I even went over to the bridge and jumped off despite being a little, teeny, tiny bit afraid of heights. I ignored the fear and jumped in the cold water and, guess what? It wasn’t that bad once I got used to it.

With our body temperatures lowered, we were more acclimated to the heat. We still drove home with the windows rolled down and the air flowing in, but we weren’t as wound up as we were on the drive out to the lake. We were used to, prepared for the stagnantly high temperatures now.

I’ve gotten used to a lot of things this summer.

I’ve gotten used to talking in cars over the sounds of air streaming through the windows — a skill I had learned during New Jersey summers, but lost the knack for in Alaska.

I’ve gotten used to the constant humming of a fan in my bedroom window and, now, it helps lull me to sleep when Seward’s alleys are a little too loud on a Saturday night.

I’ve gotten used to wearing the same pair of shorts over and over, because they’re the only work appropriate shorts I have. I would’ve invested in a second pair, but I kept expecting the heat wave to break.

I’ve gotten used to finding ways to cool down and enjoy the unusual Alaska heat wave that’s quickly becoming the norm rather than unusual.

I’ve gotten used to waking up each morning and looking to check how bad the wildfire smoke is in town. I’ve stopped checking to see if it’s raining, because it’s not, and instead just hope I can see Mount Marathon through the smoke.

I do hope, though, that the next time I ask Peter what I should write my column about he doesn’t hesitate, doesn’t say swimming. I hope he just says, “All this rain.”

More in Sports

Homer goes 0-2 at DI state hockey championship

Fresh off a Division II state hockey championship title — the first… Continue reading

Homer’s Autumn Daigle climbs a hill at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Nordic ski championships Saturday at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi relay ski squad takes borough title

The Soldotna relay team of Quinn Cox, Cameron Blackwell, Erika Arthur and… Continue reading

Homer High School. (Homer News file photo)
Sports in brief

Upcoming events Cross-country skiing: The Nordic ski team will compete in the… Continue reading

Adult league teams battle for basketball championship

Adult basketball players sponsored by South Peninsula Hospital battled it out for… Continue reading

Sports in brief

Upcoming events Hockey: The hockey team will compete in the Division I… Continue reading

Homer’s Ethan Pitzman (26) and Matey Reutov (67) battle with Soldotna’s Dylan Dahlgren (left) for the puck during the second period of the Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 final of the ASAA/First National Cup Division II State Hockey Championships at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Patty Ice Arena in Fairbanks, Alaska. (Photo by Danny Martin/News-Miner)
Homer wins first hockey state championship in school history

The Homer Mariner hockey team made school history last weekend when they… Continue reading

Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion 
                                Hallie Bergwall makes a move in a Scrabble game at Resurrect Art Coffee House in Seward, Alaska. Bergwall took home the win.
Tangled Up in Blue: Piecing together a win

My friend Joseph is a Scrabble savant by my standards and, I… Continue reading

Skiers take off at the start of this year’s Ski for Women on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020 at the Lookout Trails on Ohlson Mountain Road near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Wind couldn’t stop annual Ski for Women

Skiers young and old braved some hefty winds on Sunday for the… Continue reading

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion 
                                Martha Story and David Story cruise down a hill in the Fat Freddie’s Bike Race and Ramble on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in the Caribou Hills near Freddie’s Roadhouse.
Freddie’s Roadhouse closes doors

Freddie’s became more and more of a gateway to the Caribou Hills as the years went on.

Most Read