Nick Varney

Nick Varney

Unhinged Alaska: March madness is not all about basketball

I’m not quite sure why the foreshadowing of intensifying winds and weather chaos maxed me out on the Sourdough Grump Scale but it did

It felt as though we were trekking through a deep freeze utopia as my wife and I moseyed the dog along the Homer Spit Harbor while eyeing eagles soaring in search of unwary prey such as our clueless beastie.

Left to her own devices, she’d be a mid-morning snack within seconds. Even leashed up, she still manages to collide with random obstacles while intensely engaged in following some obscure scent, thus requiring two body guards just to get her back to the truck in one piece.

The day of her jaunt, the bay was a docile mirror with small ensembles of wind dervishes randomly spinning across its surface as small rafts of snoring otters drifted on a passive surf.

Any Alaskan with an intellectual capability of a flash frozen filet knows that when such conditions pop up in March, the best thing to do is to haul in more firewood and check to make sure the lug nuts on their studded tires are still tight.

Mother Nature didn’t disappoint. After a beautiful and peaceful weekend, she sent in Thor.

When Monday rolled in, the area featured steely clouds tossing confetti snow showers across the landscape teased by minor gusts of icicle air.

I’m not quite sure why the foreshadowing of intensifying winds and weather chaos maxed me out on the Sourdough Grump Scale but it did.

I should have known better than to whine.

The Iditarod was ongoing and that gang of hearty souls had a much better excuse to go all cage-fighter on the cantankerous environmental matriarch when she dispatched her musclebound thug to slap them around and off the trail while they labored toward the finish line.

Come to think of it, so did the citizens of assorted burgs all over the state who have been continuously walloped with snowmageddons such as Southeast Alaska and sundry points north.

Anchorage hillside residents have been lambasted with wind gusts of 70-plus mph which, unfortunately, relocated several of their wandering cats to the outskirts Prudhoe Bay, while rumors surfaced that DOT is still hopeful they’ll be able to find the Thomson Pass sometime during the spring thaw.

As Tuesday afternoon rolled around and sleet started to wiz across the yard on a carpet of 15 to 20 mph winds, my bride noticed that had I disappeared into the basement.

She subsequently discovered I was mumbling technicolor profanities into an antique tackle box while searching for a serviceable metal bait that hadn’t morphed into a hook-accented sculpture honoring corrosion.

My lovely retired nurse, calmly suggested that I shouldn’t be messing around oxidized jagged objects while I was steamed about the continuing obnoxious meteorological conditions. Notably, because we were down to our last case of tetanus vaccine and pressure bandages.

I assured her that I was just fine.

Her next recommendation was for me to take our 4-footed lunatic for a saunter and work on chilling my ‘tude about the Weather Witch being overtly testy this month.

I reiterated that I thought her formal last name was spelled with a ‘B’ but I’d give canine therapy a shot.

The pup promenade managed to cool my jets especially when I recalled that we weren’t the only ones being clobbered this year.

Much of my clan in the Lower 48 has spent most of winter thawing out their butt cheeks so they wouldn’t develop additional cracks when they plopped down after coming back from the mailbox.

March has always been unpredictable and for me to get all cheesed off about a few days of tempestuous climatic conditions before spring even starts firing on one cylinder is like having a snowball fight with a blizzard. I’d lose the battle and look like an exceptional dork doing so.

For now, it’s back to mining the tackle box for rare, operational, fish enticements while keeping an eye out for airstreams starting to blast crystals off the cornices of the mountains across the bay. Especially, when the miserable environmental sorceress becomes fully aware that the Homer Winter King Derby is scheduled for this month.

Just wait. Even if the forecast is wicked great for the tournament, she’ll come out of nowhere and sumo slam her lame *&^^$ into the middle of things just because she can.

And, there I go again, picking a snowball fight with a blizzard without a flake of ammunition.

When will I ever learn?

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com just because he can be.

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