Oof. Alaska is fully engulfed in winter and it was a little touch-and-go at the start. As it does every year the days got shorter and the temperatures colder. Unlike earlier years the snow didn’t follow. Well, at some elevations and mountain passes it did. But in Anchorage, we saw gravel and ice for weeks on end.
The 6 weeks or so leading up to December + solstice have been tough for folks around town. This is all anecdotal, no formal surveys were conducted, but a notable few of my friends and neighbors have acknowledged that this has been a tougher shoulder season than they remember previous years. There have been Vitamin D first-timers, people who turn to bed and extra sleep to just get through it, someone even went to a tanning bed for the first time in hopes the UV might make a difference.
What does “tougher” even mean for these hardy Alaskans? It means more glum attitudes, more of a funk, fewer endorphins. Bad news is harder to take. Exercise is harder to motivate for. Generally, people were down in the dumps and couldn’t quite place why. It was a bleak time.
And lo, last week Anchorage finally received her noteworthy snowfall! Inches fell, covering all that nasty ice and gravel, making the trails worth a nordic ski tour and bringing some ambient light back to Anchorage by way of snowy reflection. Hallelujah, holler back. In just a short five days I’ve felt a little bit of the curtain pulled back, a little bit of joy and what I can only think is a little purr of my inside engine telling me it’s ready to go outside and get some exercise.