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The unexpected delights of summer
The Firecracker Fun Run from Klawock to Craig would have been easier in running shoes, but the story is better thanks to the hiking boots. - photo by Photo by Jan Bush

It has been above 60 degrees four times since I have been home.

On three of those days, only 62 degrees of warmth showed up. I’m not complaining, just stating what’s going on in southeast Alaska.

Global warming aside, with the halfway point of summer signaled with the last of the roman candles, it’s tempting to take stock and compare the summer of reality, to the summer of February dreams. The move from the protected flannel sheets to warm shower is a sprint.
“Man, I can’t wait until summer. I want a sun burn, I don’t even care” might cross the mind along with thoughts of swimming, flip-flops, campfires, theme parks, dehydration, sun-tanning and aloe vera. 

I don’t really look forward to warmth because it’s never that warm up here, but trout, salmon, mountain summits, muddy trails and long canoe trips materialize in my head. 

But honestly it’s what I don’t expect, or even know to look for that makes a summer.

I haven’t slid down the snow after reaching the Sunnahae summit yet or canoed the 30-mile Honker Divide and the quest for huge rainbows and cutthroats hasn’t gone as expected. I’ve caught plenty of both, but the big ones are avoiding me.

I knew there were some big rainbows in the part of the Thorne I floated, but I didn’t get any. The raft quickly became the point, not the trout and I like it better that way.
My buddy Danny, who has returned to California, knew what to expect in general because he had been here before, but almost nothing repeated itself this time. The unexpected gems of the trip will surely not be buried under the weight of the 50-pound fish boxes he and Derrick brought back. Same goes for me.

For instance, we’d seen dumb things involving fireworks before, but never witnessed anyone putting a firecracker into someone else’s pocket. It was a low-intensity firework, but an explosion none-the-less and still quite unsafe and especially stupid. The subsequent exchange was gold.
“I can’t believe you put a firecracker in his pocket.”
“He’s wearing Carhartt’s, he’s fine.”
I’d bet there are other ways to test durability and warrant endorsements, but I’ll remember those words much longer than the average size of the cutthroat trout at Klawock Lake.
We’ll remember Derrick’s “double filet”, the 7-mile 4th of July Run in hiking boots, Danny’s obsession with the new splitting ax, inventing the ice cream stopper at Papa’s Pizza and a bunch more.
Of course all great trips must be set to music. The three of us decided the radio shall not be changed from Sirius XM’s 90s on 9.

As a result, we were reintroduced to Alanis Morissette and her lyrics about her apparently tyrannical ex-boyfriends. But those dudes did prompt good music that I unabashedly purchased back before I knew what Manteca was. Thus, Alanis has her stamp on June of 2012. 

Ah, the unpredictable delights of the summer.


To contact Jeff Lund, email