The Tourist Season spans May through September, and Winter is everything else.
Today marks the beginning of the Tourist Season. Which means I'll see you back in blogland in about five months or so. Just kidding....sorta....
Recap: If you're new to my blog, I live in a cruise port in Southeast Alaska. Our town is a mile long and four blocks wide, and rich with Gold Rush history. 850 people call this place home, but nearly a million people from all over the world come to see us each summer. It's all rather exciting and cacophonous and I love every blessed minute of it. Cruise ships are in port every day of the week, sometimes four and five at a time. Seriously people, the Ringling Brothers have nothing on us. The Tourist Season quintessentially defines a Circus. Only on a bigger scale. With moose and grizzly bears and humpback whales instead of dancing tigers and monkeys.
The Carnival Spirit greeted us bright and early today amidst snowy mountains bathed in early morning light. It was chilly and windy and cold, but once the sun came out from behind the clouds, it was worth the biting breeze to take in the view. And I think everyone was happy to be here. Even when it started snowing up on the Summit.
Our weather recently took a sharp U-turn. We had all settled in with the warm sunshine and mild 50-60° weather for the month of April. It felt like a good old-fashioned Alaskan Summer, rife with afternoon hikes to the lake and coatless walks around town. And then, most likely because Mother Nature has a curiously cynical sense of humor, just as our season is about to start, the wind blows across the ice and brings in snow and cold. While I prefer the warm sun, I like that this is Alaska, and tourists get to experience it in its veritable state. There's a stereotype that surrounds cruising, full of lush tropics, blazing sunburns and fruity drinks with paper umbrellas, none of which you find here in Alaska. And when people step off the ship, bundled up in coats, gloves and scarves, I like knowing that many of them are experiencing something new and unexpected. They're here for an adventure.