Thirteen hours, 10 minutes and 58 seconds of glorious daylight today. Tomorrow it will be thirteen hours, 17 minutes and 43 seconds. Each day we gain just seconds shy of seven minutes, as March rolls into April and April rolls in May. On June 21st our area will celebrate the Solstice and 21 hours, 49 minutes and 32 seconds of daylight.
Fairbanks residents know how to live it up on this special day with a huge street festival. There will be games, music, vendors, food and the Midnight Sun Run – a 10 K race that starts at 10 p.m. and attracts runners from all over North America. Proceeds from the race benefit Interior Alaskans living with disabilities.
Many people head up to Eagle Summit, 108 miles from Fairbanks and at an elevation of 3,624 feet. This summit is one of the toughest for mushers on the 1,000 mile Yukon Quest dogsled race. Mushers have experienced broken bones, stalled teams and been plucked off the top, with their dogs, by military choppers in ferocious storms. The road to the summit can be just as challenging, even in summer, with sudden and unexpected blizzards. If the skies are clear, solstice celebrants will watch the sun circle them and never dip below the horizon.
But, I am getting ahead of myself. There are still 85 days until Solstice and plenty of glorious sunshine to enjoy. Spring and fall are my favorite seasons because both promise different adventures. I cherish hours spent sitting on dog houses and just simply loving on the dogs. The warmth of our Alaskan sun feels so good on old muscles and bones – mine and the dogs!
The spring seems to be especially healing. This winter five of our beloved old timers died and our hearts have been weary. Nodd. PeePee. Bart. Glacier. Oni. All great dogs who had lived so many adventures with us. This warming and new season seems to whisper promises of better days ahead.