Today was one of those bike-commuting days where it was more work than fun. For 90 percent of the 42-minute commute, my teeth were gritted against a strong wind. (One of my co-workers says "wind can be discouraging." I have stronger words.)
Then a fox darted across the bike path in front of me. That put a smile on my face that stayed there the rest of the ride to work.
For some, animal encounters aren't too much fun. Personally, I love them. And, so far, they've all turned out OK for me and for the animals.
But visitors and residents alike need to remember that wild animals are just that – wild. Lately, bears have been poking around town a lot. And there are plenty of young moose calves around too. That means protective mother moose are nearby. Don't get too close. Most people give bears a wide berth, but moose deserve an equal amount of respect.
For me, the best thing about Alaska is its wilderness. But you have to be smart when you're playing in the woods. And smart means being aware of animals and the potential danger they present. Make some noise when you're hiking on the trails, let the animals know you are there. Being smart also means being prepared; don’t go hiking with only a pair of flip-flops and a tank top – weather can change quickly.
Return home with a great Alaska story – not a horror story -- to tell.
If you are in town on Saturday and you enjoy music, you'll have your choice of venues.
Downtown, the Alaska Oceans Festival will take over the Delaney Park Strip from noon to 10 p.m. Performers include BeauSoleil, Alaska’s Pamyua, Seven Day Run, Peter Mulvey, Kristina Olsen, David Francey, Well Strung Bluegrass and the Whipshaws.
About 5,000 people stopped by last year. It's free, so you don't even need a ticket.
At Kincaid Park, the ninth annual Blues on the Green offers a full day of blues and other tunes. The concert is from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $35.25 to $42.75. Johnny Winter is the headliner. Other performers include Sista Monica, Bearfoot Bluegrass, Rebel Blues, Soulman Sam, Veronica Page, H3, Rick Brooks and Well Strung Bluegrass.
Get your toes tapping.