Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The last good day (sort of)

I gazed at the forecast in horror. "This is the last good day!" I exclaimed. "It's going to snow! I should backpack! No, I should kayak! No.." I stopped, recognizing the mounting hysteria that used to overcome all of us when we lived in the rain forest and received, unexpectedly, one sunny day out of 30 rainy ones. Time to take a big bite of a calm down sandwich! But...

"Well, I'd better go to the field," J said. "Considering that it's the last good day." Cursing the day I ever took an office job, I checked my workload. I could do it! Although the mountains were calling, it was time to get out on the water.

When I lived in Alaska, kayaking was an extension of myself. I paddled almost every day, most often with Laura, other times solo. Here, with only one lake to choose from, I've fallen out of the practice.

But you never really forget. I launched my boat into the lake under the watchful supervision of a couple of picnickers. This time of year, the lake is deserted. I can paddle right down the center without fear of being flattened by water-skiers. Gone are the swimmers, the fishermen, the party pontoons.  The summer houses are shuttered. It's just me.
Finally a use for the Xtra Tufs. I'm actually standing in the water in this picture.

A storm's a-coming.

Lovely cottonwoods at the far end of the lake.


I raced back to work after the circumnavigation. Did I miss anything? Nope! Sometimes you just have to get out on the last good day.



The geography of water.  Begin promotional pitch: Speaking of which, my book is on sale. If you like my writing, you may want to pick this one up. It's a novel set in Southeast Alaska. You can get it here. Or ask your local bookstore to order it. End promotional pitch.

What would YOU do on the last good day? (And I know there are plenty of good days to come, just not warm ones. For awhile)




24 comments:

  1. Clear water! Fun to go along with you on the last good day. We walked at Wetmore Landing, on one of our last good days.....had it all to ourselves, also and also water so clear you could see down many feet. Glad you grabbed it.

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    1. I read that the Midwest was supposed to have less snow and Oregon a little above normal. But who really knows.

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  2. Hey is your book on sale at Powell's in Portland? Maybe you should come to Powell's and do a reading (wink, wink!)

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    1. I don't know if it's at Powells! I need to figure out how to get it there. Also, a reading there would be great. That's a place I have to be dragged out of.

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  3. YYYYEEEESSSSS no one but Alaskans really understand that argument. "We HAVE to go, it's the LAST warm day!!!" This is a real thing and every year I make that same pitch.

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    1. Where I used to work in Sitka the entire office would clear out on a sunny day. Of a federal building! Hilarious.

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    2. Sun Days are indeed a real thing in parts of AK. We never have Snow Days but Sun Days, definitely. In Southcentral it's the dipnet openers that clear out the offices.

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  4. I'm looking forward to reading your book (I'm waiting for the Kindle version to be released.) Also, I've turned a 180 from my Juneau days and now get super excited if there's even a whisper of a chance of rain in the forecast. Come on, El Nino.

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    1. Jill: you're weird. Just kidding! If I lived where you do I'd want rain too. I'm more disturbed about the ice season. It's almost upon us. Not cold enough for snow but cold enough to rain and make sheets of ice everywhere. The trails are impossible and roads also. Hope it's short this year and we get right into the snow.

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    2. I'm the same way -- since moving to San Diego, I'm always scanning the forecast for any hint of rain or a sprinkle. Even a heavily overcast day will generally do. It might be 70 outside, but on those days I try my hardest to do all of those things I used to enjoy on cold, rainy days. Soup or stew, a nice cup of tea, lounging around with a blanket, reading a book and watching it rain...

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    3. Oh, I wonder how long it would take me to adjust to having most days sunny and warm.

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  5. Sounds like a perfect "last good day" - I've never been in a kayak before (making a mental note as we speak) but I've spent many many hours in a canoe, so it sounds like a perfect way to spend a beautiful day.

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    1. I love kayaking, it is a great arm and core workout when your legs need a rest. I find it more stable than a canoe.

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  6. Your home is so pretty, I need to make it there someday. As for your book, I've ordered it, but Amazon seems to think it will take until Thanksgiving (or later) to get here. What the heck?

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    1. Amazon has been acting weird! I hope it comes earlier. Maybe that means there was a big run on copies? Hope so. You guys definitely should plan a trip over here.

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    2. I ordered an autographed copy for a friend from the Bookloft in Enterprise Oregon and it has been received already.

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  7. Your book is on my wish list, just waiting for the kindle version, can't wait!!
    My last good day was spent wandering through the golden trees (tamaracks)
    my favorite, love the color they add to the mountains this time of the year.
    I also have a 16 foot touring kayak and the Columbia river just a few miles away. Spent lots of time on the river but prefer beautiful lakes like Wallowa lake.
    Have you ever been to Ross lake in the North Cascades? It is beautiful and water so clear set.

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    1. I've not been there but have been to Lake Chelan. Saw people kayaking there, looked fun. The river sounds fun too unless a windstorm came up!

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  8. Husband and I used to sit and wait for the barges to go by then we would paddle like mad so we could surf the wake they made. And yes the river can be fun, lots of water birds and I even saw some deer swimming once.

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  9. Glad you were able to get out there on the "last good day." But, at least summer/fall held out for this long!! I never got to experience the Wallowas in the winter, but I think I'm a little jealous of what you have coming ...

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    1. The Wallowa are spectacular in winter, deep, deep snow and sunshine. If you like skiing, it's a good place to be.

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  10. Glad Maddie and I were able to get out and camp last Saturday. Just enough sun to get a good hike in after breakfast with you. Just one night was perfect for our maiden "no boys allowed" camping trip.

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    1. Yes, that was the last good weekend, I think.

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