Monday, January 18, 2010

a real alaskan

2007 - Hiking above Na Pali

I was reading on a local site about what it takes to be a real Alaskan. Deb said she didn't think someone could be a real Alaskan unless they'd been to Fairbanks in the middle of winter. Maybe. But I think a real Alaskan is someone who's been to Hawaii in midwinter. And enough times that they have a favorite roadside produce stand, fish market and place to watch the sunset. If that was the litmus test, believe me, I am a Real Alaskan.

In less than a month, Jon and I will take off for the small island of Kaua'i where we are fortunate to have a place to stay for a couple weeks. I already have started dreaming about the ocean and remembering my morning routine: wake before sunrise, brew a pot of coffee and take a mug along with a book out onto the lanai to watch as the sun emerges from behind a palm tree. The sprinklers will have left the grass wet, surfers will be greeting the day by paddling out from the beach nearby.

I'll read, and look up from my book to watch the sea turtles' heads peek up from the surface of the ocean, just beyond the lava rock. In a few days, the sound of the ocean will have seeped into my being. I'll go inside for a coffee refill, wake Jon and we'll start our day together. Snorkeling, swimming, hiking, eating, breathing deeply the warm salt air.
Na Pali Coast

I'll feel the sun's warmth filter into the deepest parts of my body until I forget the chill I get from skiing, biking or just shoveling the driveway.

I would love to visit Fairbanks in the middle of winter. But I think the only way I could do it is if the next trip was to beautiful Kaua'i.


Anonymous said...

Huzzah! From a Fairbanks girl that has hiked the Kalalau Trail, the Nualolo, Awa'awapuhi trails and delved the Waimea Canyon...

You're spot on!

Farnorth said...

I learned to ski in Fairbanks during the winter. I can remember that first xc ski along a creek that flowed into the Chena and seeing the steam in the sunshine coming off some open water at -20. Bunny boots and army skiies still made it magic. On the other had...a recumbent tandem in Hawaii is a great way to work on your tan, at least the front side of your body. Have fun!!

Diana said...

I'm leaving Friday for Oahu's North Shore. Hoping to get some good hikes and, maybe if the waves are mellow enoughfor this beginner, some surfing. I am, by your definition, a real Alaskan.