Views from the Bird to Gird bike path on a long-awaited trip taken Friday, June 5, 2020, near Bird, Alaska. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)

Views from the Bird to Gird bike path on a long-awaited trip taken Friday, June 5, 2020, near Bird, Alaska. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)

Tangled Up in Blue: Hope all is well

I was just on my way to the Seward Trail Running Club meetup at Bear Mountain when I got a text from the Clarion’s esteemed sports editor Jeff Helminiak.

“Hope all is well. Will you be gracing us with a column this week? Thanks.”

Oh no. I forgot.

I immediately wanted to blame the weather. It was a sunny day in Seward, which sends work plummeting to the bottom of most Sewardites’ priority lists. Weather or not, though, I was truly left dumbfounded by my memory’s lapse.

Over the course of two years, I had never so blatantly forgotten to write a column. Sometimes I wait until the last minute, but always pull something together before Helminiak gets worried.

I usually spend a few minutes each day in the two weeks between columns thinking about the next topic. These past two weeks were no different.

I actually had a notebook page full of good ideas for this week’s Tangled Up in Blue, so it’s exceedingly confounding as to how this slipped my mind.

The first idea was to detail a recent run along the Crescent Lake Trail in Cooper Landing last week, when my friend scared the scat out of me.

A fly flew into her throat, causing her to hack it up with a visceral roar. The sound she made was eerily similar to what I think a bear would sound like as it prepares to attack two runners.

I stopped in my tracks and my heart rate skyrocketed from its already astronomic midrun heights. For a brief moment before Hallie started laughing and telling me it was just a bug, I was scared for my life.

And how lucky am I, that my fears while running are just wildlife often revealed to be my imagination? I have fears when running alone, sure, or with friends in the backcountry, but I’ve never ran along the streets near my town with the thought that if I come across the wrong people, I may lose my life.

Not everyone is so privileged.

Another idea I had for this week’s column was to detail my bike along the Bird to Gird path, mirroring the Seward Highway.

Over 26 miles, a friend and I caught up on all things normal, and not, going on in the world today. We talked about everything we haven’t been doing, like large social gatherings and dining out, and all the things we have been doing, spending more time outside and finally doing the bike ride we always talked about.

It felt like a new coronavirus normal, where I can see friends and enjoy their company without questioning the expanse of my social circle. But, at the end of the ride when we would usually head to the brewery for a beer, we decided a crowded bar on a sunny day with masks on wasn’t the best option to finish up a nice afternoon.

So we waved goodbye and set out on our separate ways.

But, instead of writing a column on social change or life during a pandemic, I’m writing an apology to Helminiak. I’m sorry I forgot this week’s Tangled Up in Blue and thank you for being flexible with the deadline.

I could blame the weather. I could say that there is a lot going on right now. The truth is, though, that I forgot and I hope it won’t happen again.

Hope all is well, and thanks.


For the Clarion

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