I heard there are tunnels just below the streets of Seward, vacant remnants of an Army looking to protect the coast.
There are small signs throughout the small town and surrounding area of World War II, of a time of constant fear.
The Iron Doors are still hinged into the rock face outside Humpy Cove, although the searchlight it once held is no longer illuminating strips of Resurrection Bay. Instead, the doors are a trivia fact and a small reminder of the history of men among a wild landscape.
Fort McGilvray stands strong on top of Caines Head, years after its purpose has faded. The fort has turned from a stronghold to a destination, the end goal for a weekend hike or a day’s paddle.
My small town was given a lot of ways to protect itself and its citizens. Today, I have the luxury of living without (much) fear, so my first thought when I hear of underground tunnels? An escape.
This winter wasn’t too frigid, but imagine the pleasure of taking care of all your daily errands away from the cold, snow and wind, bouncing from spot to spot underground.
I could pop in and out of all the downtown locations without bundling up and bundling down. I could take a hot meal from the restaurant down the street and have it in my kitchen, still toasty, without ever seeing the light of day.
If the tunnels were a secret to me, I could go throughout my entire week without seeing anyone I didn’t want or have to see. My small town would have its own, even smaller town underneath it — population me.
I’m not typically a recluse, but the more I think about my town away from town the more it appeals to me. I wouldn’t use it every day, but it would be nice to have the option, to hide away for a day, or week or more.
Oh no. Not this again.
I don’t easily succumb to seasonal affective disorder. Instead, I get what I’ll call, “Here comes the sun malaise.”
The first sign of sunshine and I’m bouncing off the walls.
“Let’s run up the mountain!”
“Let’s bike to the glacier!”
“Let’s conquer the world with the sun on our faces!”
And that’s how I’ve been since Alaska first showed signs of spring two weeks ago. I ran my first mountain race of the season and then I ran some more, an easy Sunday 10-miler with a friend is nothing when you’re pairing sunshine with laughter.
I put some muscle into spring cleaning not one or two, but three homes with a lot of breaks to do anything outside that wasn’t mopping.
I walked everywhere, talking to friends, neighbors and strangers along the way, starting most conversations with, “Isn’t this weather wonderful?”
But, that vitamin D-driven energy is running dry and I’m left in a melancholic limbo. I still want to seize the sunny day, but my mood and body are trying desperately to catch up.
So, instead of running the streets of Seward in my shorts with a spring in my step, I’m daydreaming about dark tunnels underground where no one can find me.
I even turned down multiple opportunities to crust ski Lost Lake last week. I love skiing! I love crust skiing! I love Lost Lake! I love sunny days! Who invited Moody Kat and when is she leaving?
Low energy may keep me from another 10-mile day, but stealing a bit of sunshine on a quick run throughout town will, eventually, help me recharge.
Whether they exist or not, I won’t be running down in the tunnels anytime soon because the best way to kick Moody Kat to the curb is to keep doing all the things she tells me not to.
I’m thinking a long hike out to Caines Head may do the trick.