Archive for March, 2009
Now that was a slog! After a record snowfall on “The Rock”, rain, more snow, rain, snow and “more to come” (according to a local radio station), I am beginning to develop a certain expertise for “The Slog.” Each day, I walk to work in the rain; snow, blizzard, flood and I have come to know this daily exercise as slogging. This is the ultimate treadmill. I cannot get off of it. The sport of slogging usually involves slipping or falling and the most ungraceful setting upright again, all in public and plain view. Once I had to jump over a chunky snow berm to escape a speeding snowplow. The move entailed hanging onto a stop sign that wagged in the wind through near whiteout conditions. Olympics next? I did notice that the local mountain sports shop sells skateboards, snowboards, surfboards, bicycles and outdoor clothing. No slogging equipment is listed.
Though the daily distance is not remarkable (about 3 miles), the experiences are. Daily the birds flit about whistling and chit around my head. I pass small waterfalls. Moss grows like bad toupees on the tops of mailbox posts. I have found fossils that crumble down the bank to land at my feet. Bald Eagles circle overhead squeaking or fleeing a small gang of crows. A pair of deer lives in the brush along the walk and periodically we stop to watch one another. What goes in the minds of those sloe-eyed darlin’s?
Today’s slog was particularly characteristic of the sport. Marching through puddles looking more like a melted snow cone, my boots sounded like the hooves of an old mare clopping through the mud. Okay, no funny comments. It was recommended I not walk. I was told, “Not unless you have chest waders.” “It’s crazy.” The kind people of Kodiak offered me no fewer than four rides.
Actually, It turned out to be a good walk. This is where I sign up to endorse The Muck Company footwear, Stablicers and a pair of North Face guide pants. Walking through water to near my knees, wet snow to my hips, hidden hazards of clear ice, hidden pools that trap and pull one down into deep mush or a hidden storm drain, splashes from passing vehicles, rain and snow falling down around me, I stayed warm, dry and comfortable.
Today’s walk home, I remembered to stomp footholds into the five-foot berms left by the well-intentioned snowplows. Tonight the wet stuff may freeze to epoxy hardness and come morning I will be wishing for either some way over the tops or an ice ax.
Moreover, as is Jennifer’s style, now comes the twist at the end. For those of you who may fret about the pedestrian sprayed with mud as they pass, for those of you who worry I will be struck and killed or maimed, for those kind and generous folk who stopp and offer a ride, for those of you who think I’m something a bit missing a bolt, consider the following. Each morning as I walk this route in the pre-sunrise dark, children and teenagers surroung me as they walk to school wearing nothing for outer gear but a pair of loosened tennis shoes and an unzipped, wet, cotton hoodie .
Stay warm, stay dry, and stay safer than I do. And as for the kids…
That is all for today’s Daily Slog.
Jennifer and the small (but dry footed) Arctic Chihuahua