Brigadoon is a musical by Lerner and Loewe about a mysterious Scottish village which appears for only one day every hundred years. This year, the Great Alaskan Running Cruise sailed from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver, BC by way of Brigadoon. This was a trip that only happens once every one hundred years.
Alaska in the summer is, well, Alaska in the summer. What that very often means is cloudy, overcast skies and rain. Some will call it a light mist, but where I come from we call it rain. The beauty of Alaska relies on that climate and we have all benefitted from the beautiful scenery it creates. But, it’s still rain.
Not this year. For 2015 we were greeted nearly every morning with a foggy sunrise that gave way to spectacular vistas, cool temperatures, and sunny skies. Perfect is probably too strong a word, but not by much.
It all started in Anchorage where we gathered to begin the adventure. As we ran along the Coastal Trail we could see Denali in the distance. [Yes, I know, it was McKinley when we were there, but it’s Denali now! Ed.] As we drove down the Seward Highway to board the ship the view was postcard caliber.
Every morning, as we did our pre-race breakfasts and briefings, was better than the day before. In Juneau, the Mendenhall Glacier was in clear view, in Skagway the sun drenched mountains wrapped around us, in Icy Straight Point even the whales were jumping for joy, and for the finale in Ketchikan, Ward Lake glittered like an immense jewel.
It’s never possible to predict the weather and, to be honest, the years where it’s rained nearly every day have been, in their own way, beautiful. This year, though was magical.
The majesty of Alaska has to be experienced to be believed. And we, as runners and walkers, know that the only way to truly experience anything is with our own two feet. We also know that whatever Alaska gives us, we will come away changed forever.
Waddle on, friends.