Sunday morning. Around ten o’clock. The second of my three days off. It’s still cloudy and/or raining. It’s been cloudy and/or raining, like, since when? For-freaking-ever??? Most of July, anyway. This is getting really old.
You should have been here last year, everyone says. Sunshine every day! Seventy degrees every day! Are they trying to make me feel better? I say back to them. This year’s constantly overcast and/or drippy weather isn’t doing my wanna-be-sunburnt-on-my-nose Utah desert rat psyche any good. Everyone also says that this is the rainiest summer they’ve seen in a couple of years.
I really do like it here at Katmai, though. There are still a few bears wandering around Brooks Camp although most have gone to Margot Creek where the salmon are currently running (Great visual there, eh? Are they wearing New Balance?). Visitor visitation is generally down for the month of August since the bears are elsewhere.
Drinking a beer at Brooks Lodge is nice and laid back.
I’m just saying that a little sunshine would be sweet. I’m not used to this kind of wet weather but I definitely like the coolness (desert rat-ness notwithstanding). So today I dug out my bright-pink-palm-tree t-shirt and my equally bright pink fleece hoodie, ready to face the soggy day. After my noontime lunch at the lodge, I went for a pink walk around camp – the temperature at 2:30 p.m. was 57 degrees with 84% humidity and I expected it could stay that for much of the rest of the afternoon. Then it turned windy, with maybe ½ foot whitecaps on the lake, and just kind of spitting rain. Now the clouds have cleared somewhat and I actually see a spot of blue sky – but how long will it last? I bought a deck of cards at the visitor center - Historically Active Volcanoes of Alaska reference deck from the AK Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys. I haven’t bought cards in years but I had to have these! Taking them to the VTTS, for sure!
What we need here in southwest Alaska this summer is a little more balance. And a bit more sunshine would go far towards bringing that balance. I haven’t been keeping daily records (not very sharp-eyed of me, is it?) but recently I was perusing some of the pix I’ve taken over the past month (July) and I noticed several days in which the sun actually did shine. YAY!!! But honestly, it didn’t shine all day. Either it rained in the morning and cleared for a few hours later, or it was clear early in the day and clouded up as the day wore on. Either way, I am verging on a serious Vitamin D deficiency if The Sun doesn’t Come Here pretty soon (Where is George Harrison when you need him?). I didn’t even go out on the boat yesterday, to go across the lake to get to Fure’s cabin (Fure doesn’t live there anymore – the cabin is a historic site) and play cards for hours and spend the night on the cold floor, because I am just tired of being cold and wet. I CAN’T TAKE IT ANY LONGER!!! I’M GOING MAD!!! But especially, I don’t want to be sick when Minnesota Sue gets here next week and we begin our (hopefully not soggy) adventure into the VTTS.
A few weeks ago MY FAVORITE TRAVEL AGENT, CAR BATTERY EXPERT, AND SCREEN DOOR REPAIRMAN wrote me about the 113 degree temps in St. George UT and said that the gravel in his front yard was melting. Coincidentally, at the very same time he was complaining about - oopsie, I mean writing about - this, I was standing on the lower river observation platform in the rain while wearing every single piece of outerwear I had bought or brought with me. Besides my regular uniform of pants and shirt and water-proof shoes and socks, I also had on rain pants, a sweater, fleece jacket, a gore-tex parka with the hood up, a ball cap, beanie, and 2 pairs of gloves.
When all else fails, wear bright colors and let those voices in your head channel George H. while singing out “Here Comes The Sun!”
And always have a deck of cards handy in case of rain.