Happy Fall Equinox! During our five-mile run this morning we marveled at the gorgeous termination dust on the Chugach mountains that arrived overnight. For those of you who are not up on Alaskan lingo, “termination dust” refers to the first dusting of snow on mountain tops, signaling the termination of summer. This means something to the beer drinking crowd of Anchorage. When we see that first snow, we know that Midnight Sun Brewing is about to release Termination Dust Belgian Style Barley Wine. It is only released when Lee Ellis, President of the brewery, sees snow on Flattop mountain. Well, I looked up at Flattop today, and the snow stopped right above Flattop mountain. So, I assumed the brewery would hold out, but to my surprise, I saw on social media that the release is happening today! I have a bottle of this beer in my beer fridge from two years ago, so maybe it is time to drink that one as well, since it is Equinox, and I feel celebration in the air.
When Alaskans see termination dust, some take a big sigh of relief, and others start feeling depressed, depending on how one feels about the impending winter. I personally like winter more than summer, so I get very excited about longer nights, cozy evenings around a fire, movie nights without FOMO, football season, fat-biking, and most importantly, alpine ski season. I love skiing, and I especially love skiing at Arctic Valley Ski Area! I am a lifetime member of the Anchorage Ski club. Maria and I already bought our season passes, so seeing termination dust on the front range on Equinox makes me feel hopeful for a great upcoming ski season! I am certainly glad to live in Alaska! Now, I’m off to Midnight Sun Brewing to sample this year’s Termination Dust. Cheers!
Maria and I are at the cabin in McCarthy today. It has been ten years since we started building this little log house. We woke up to rain and a bit of wind. I started a fire in the wood stove, since rain promises a colder day. It is 45F outside, but a nice toasty 67F inside the cabin. Should I put another log on the fire? I think not. 67F, is great but 75F is too warm. I’m supposed to be outside harvesting dry spruce branches to fuel the Burning Dude, which will burn tomorrow at 9pm on the bank of the mighty Kennicott River. I made a lazy breakfast burrito with all the fixings and then volunteered to do the dishes. The dishes are done, and it is still raining. I think I’ll have a pot of hot herbal tea, since the coffee is all gone and I don’t want anything with more caffeine at this point. I already did my yoga and there are no good reasons left not to go outside and get to work, but I am enjoying taking it slow today. I will go outside and harvest that brush when I am done writing this blog. Until then, I’m going to enjoy watching the birds splash in the puddles outside, and the trees wiggle in the wind. The hot tea is great, and I can see fall happening all around me with yellow leaves falling from Aspen tops, and fireweed going to seed. Yesterday we woke up to frost on the ground, then it started raining in the afternoon. I love how fall is a slower time of year — getting us all ready for the stillness of winter. I’m excited about tomorrow’s Burning Dude event, and I’ll talk about that in my next blog post. I wonder if anyone will come if it’s raining hard and windy. At least fire danger will be low, since it has rained a bunch in the last 24 hours. Okay I’m ready to go out now. I better put on my waterproof gear, since I can hear the rain humming on the metal roof.