Nick Varney

Nick Varney

Unhinged Alaska: Time to enjoy, not to annoy

I’m already overhearing growing concerns about whether or not the usual influx of tourists to the peninsula will be dampened due to the surging tsunami of fuel costs.

The beauty of Alaska is a magnificent gem to behold. Its majesty is unmatched and a sacred home to many. Yet, that treasure dims when compared to the unconditional love of a mother. Mine has long past but I still feel her warmth, visualize her smile and hold her tenderly in my heart sharing the wonder we live in every day of our lives. May all of you be so blessed on this Mother’s Day.

In just a few weeks the Memorial Day holiday will be upon us and I’m already overhearing growing concerns about whether or not the usual influx of tourists to the peninsula will be dampened due to the surging tsunami of fuel costs.

The doom and gloom provocateurs are in a pre, full snivel mode fearing that the price of gas will be so high that the crowds may opt to chill at camps in their backyards while churning out feasts via Ninja Foodi 5-in-1s featuring an electric cyclonic grill that comes with roasting, baking and dehydrator capabilities, plus a 4-quart air fryer and an add-on option for a half-steer enabled rotisserie.

Don’t bet on it.

We are still a long way from service stations hiring number runners to keep their sign prices updated although, if some of the government policies become anymore freewheeling, things could change so fast that we won’t be able make a round trip to town without gasoline shooting up ten cents by the time we head home.

I don’t know why but I recently received several emails asking what action I was going to take to conserve fuel and fight global warming. It was suggested that I could start by biking instead of driving. Well, I’m an avid fisherman/outdoor columnist so a souped-up Schwinn just doesn’t cut when it comes to covering the distances I roam or the gear capacity I require, plus it really sucks when it comes to towing a boat.

I sent my vet buddy, Turk, the biking suggestion and he replied that he appreciated the promo and will commence doing so as soon as he installs new spark plugs in his Harley.

I’m sure that most of angst stirred up by those prophesying that the only traveling Alaskans will be doing over the three-day weekend is to convenience stores via their kid’s trike is hyperbolic.

The Homer Spit’s campgrounds will fill up and, if the weather holds, the volcanoes to continue to snooze and the subterranean fault lines don’t decide to bring back The Floss as a dancing option, visitors will have an enjoyable holiday.

Having fun outdoors is no longer a wish but a reality nowadays and the throngs need to maintain a sense of humor when annoyances such as the latest petroleum price surges roll in.

I remember one significantly exasperated octogenarian I was visiting with many years ago who was incessantly and colorfully complaining about it how it took three thousand bucks worth of fuel to get his motorhome up here from the Lower 48 and, the way fuel cost were spiraling up, it was going to cost four thousand to get back down. I tried to comfort the profanity enabled grouch and reassured him that it shouldn’t be too bad since it would be all downhill heading back. My uncle shot me a look that suggested I should be institutionalized and went for his cane. We were never close.

Hopefully, the coming holiday will be topped off by sparkling chrome kings riding the high tides into The Fishing Hole and charters filling their holds with fresh halibut and salmon. If nothing else, the peninsula will be special place for the northern folk who flee their sequestered COVID cages to enjoy the sweet air of outdoor Alaska and share open smiles instead of somberly nodding at the sterile visages of passing masks.

Of course, the new found liberties should not include ignoring local mask and distancing requirements. There is no excuse for acting like a demented fruit bat that’s been pounding quaffs of Boones Farm Apple Wine while demeaning those trying to inform them of current restrictions.

It’s time to play, not to pout.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn’t busy avoiding whirling canes from everyone he has annoyed this week.

More in Life

File
Minister’s Message: Seeing God’s light on the longest day

In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light.”

Homer artist Jenna Gerrety straightens paintings currently being shown at Sustainable Wares. (Photo by McKibben Jackinsky)
Regeneration of art and man: Gerrety finds inspiration in nature

Put nature and man together and what do you get? For starters,… Continue reading

Cheddar biscuits go hand in hand with summer seafood catch. Photographed on Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Tressa Dale)
On the strawberry patch: Cheddar biscuits for your fresh catch

For a lot of the country, cheddar biscuits go hand in hand with seafood because of the popularity of a certain chain seafood restaurant.

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Lost cause?

My particular peeve right now is the politicians and media personalities who are negatively brandishing the fact that you may need another corona shot in a year.

Cheechako News file photo from KPC’s Kenai Peninsula Historical Photo Repository
Joe Faa, who in 1965 sold 10 acres of his Soldotna homestead as a construction site for a new hospital, poses here in about 1961 with his prize horse Danny. Faa’s horse corral and hay fields are the reason for the name Corral Street in Soldotna.
A hospital is born, slowly (Part 5)

It had been almost five full years since the start of a project to establish a hospital for the central Kenai Peninsula.

File
Minister’s Message: Love, not efficiency, defines success

Becoming so wrapped up in looking good and even in being good causes us to sacrifice relationships.

Photos by Michael Armstrong / Homer News
Mary Beth Leigh, director of the Microbial Worlds project, stands next to the exhibit on June 4 at the Pratt Museum & Park in Homer. The exhibit shows through the summer of 2021. Left, “Emergence,” by Nancy Hausle-Johnson.
‘Microbial World’ blends science, art

Exhibit postponed by the pandemic opens at Pratt Museum & Park in Homer.

Tressa Dale / Peninsula Clarion
Feta and Parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, carrot, yellow bell pepper, asparagus, purple potatoes, beets and white button mushrooms form into a rainbow with a cheesy heart on focaccia bread.
On the strawberry patch: Colorful food for a colorful world

Rainbow vegetables adorn this colorful focaccia canvas.

This is an early promotional photo of Merrill Mael, an enthusiastic Anchorage radio personality with a Hollywood background. Mael was hired by the Central Kenai Peninsula Hospital Association as its hospital project manager in the fall of 1963. (Photo from www.theradiohistorian.org)
A hospital is born, slowly (Part 4)

Dr. Paul Isaak, Soldotna physician and a founder of the hospital project, believed that centrality of location was crucial.

Most Read