It was time to get out, free myself from the blog. This was difficult, all the imagined attention I would lose, all the potential love interests, metaphor worshipers and wit appreciators who might forget my name… I never did tell you my name did I? Anyway, my posts were increasingly grave, even cemetarial, too much thinking and not enough living. Like many people who like to write, (commonly called writers, but also know as obsessives), I can make the smallest thing into an essay. Instead I would like to show you some pictures I took so you can see what the biggest state in the union looks like in fall. All of these photos were taken within a mile of my home, all on a typical fall day, overcast, crispy and cool,totally unbloggy.
Fall is Cross country time! That means over a thousand people show up on Tuesday evenings at 6pm, and pay $5 to run a course of undisclosed length attempting to get away from their blogs and enjoy the view when they are not faceplanting in the mud. I have enjoyed the two races I participated in so far, but then I enjoy reading about death so don’t necessarily take that as an endorsement. This week I saw 5 people trip over tree roots. I heard one mother berating her 8 year old child to “push it”, “faster, go, GO!” over every hill. I slowed down to escape them. It was fun taking the wrong route and having to turn around. Also fun to jog slowly past people who had started to walk up the hill who felt totally humiliated to be passed by a person with white hair (as evidenced by their muttering “crap, come on let’s do it.”
People say that Alaska doesn’t have a fall. We have lots of color. We have diversity, lots of red, yellow and browns, not much orange but nothing rhymes with orange anyway. This is fireweed, unless it’s invasive purple loosestrife which is on the neighborhood kill list. I think this is fireweed because of the white puffiness which shows up just when the snow arrives on the mountaintops. The snow was on the mountaintops a few weeks ago but it melted like so much ice cream and now they look like this.
You probably can’t see the runners up there in the Chugach but they’re out there, believe me. The first race had over 10 humongous hills. Most of the folks had been running marathons and mountain races all summer, but not me. I was blogging which is slightly less challenging than jogging. I restrained myself from swearing at the hills, exclaiming only, “Oh God”, which I believe got the point across. I’m never good at setting my own pace, even in blogging. I started with 3 posts a week, then slowed down to two. I didn’t blog at all while on vacation as my wrist had started to swell up like an old carrot and now I realized nobody really cares how much I post so I might as well get a life. In a race, I usually find someone nice who is a bit younger than me to follow. For a while, I was in back of a kind of tubby boy who I would have passed but he was not co-dependent enough to cede the trail so I hung back until we got on the pavement and then blasted by with no mercy. Then I found a nice gal in her 30’s to follow, not so close that she would notice me. I knew I could tail her to the finish and I would not pass her there because I owed my life to her. Of course, some unmmanered munchkins ran right past both of us at the finish. I thought about some swear words they might need to learn but decided that would be equally unsportsmanlike.
Obviously, I forget that I don’t have to be running a race or blogging away to be alive. I can just stand around and breathe. So remind me next time to slow down so I don’t fall over a tree root or swear in front of children. I love the cranes out on the mudflats. They don’t try to impress anyone. They just stand there and graze in all their magnificence. I can do that too. I brought some fudge to the first race. It didn’t harden right so I had to serve it to a friend like it was frosting. I guess I didn’t cook it long enough. Stop hurrying!