For the last few weeks, I’ve poked my head out the window each morning hoping for signs of snow. It’s certainly been cold enough.
Eagerly I anticipate the coming of snowflakes because I love my own romanticized view of a central Kenai Peninsula turned winter wonderland. I’ve got a new scarf and sweaters absolutely itching to make it out of my closet.
I want to put up strings of lights and watch snowfall with a cup of coffee — preferably pumpkin spice — in hand. I’m anticipating celebrating the holidays, staying in on a cold winter’s night, or getting out to any number of winter festivities with a camera in hand.
I feel this way every year. While I’m sure the people around me decry the coming of slippery roads, biting cold and long nights, winter is just such a fun vibe.
This year hits a little differently though because I’m losing something. Since January, I’ve been making a concerted effort to get into better shape — mostly because a medical professional told me I have to. Going to the gym, in a regularly distressing twist, is quite boring. But this year I’ve been more active than ever.
This summer was defined, for me, by exciting trips into the outdoors, hiking for the first time. My phone’s step counter presents a tapestry of a summer well spent, peaks on a graph representing time spent with friends and time spent in new places.
Hiking trips to Gull Rock, Hidden Creek, Hideout, Bear Mountain and Rabbit Lake make the biggest impression, but I’ve been getting the exercise minutes prescribed by my watch more days than not. I got sunburn like three times.
I perhaps might not have expected in January that those times sweating outside were more fun than the times I spent exercising inside on the gym treadmill or at home in front of the camera of an Xbox Kinect.
Declining temperatures and the presumably imminent arrival of snow mean the fun times are over — at least until next year. Temperatures dropped so quickly that I wasn’t even afforded the opportunity to realize my last hike, to Rabbit Lake, was the last of the year.
With outdoor recreation no longer available to me, I have to return to less seasonal endeavors in an ongoing concerted effort to get into better shape. That means a lot more boring trips to the gym. Maybe it won’t be so boring when I can see beautiful snowflakes falling outside.
Reach reporter Jake Dye at email@example.com.