Wednesday, March 21, 2012

All Your Climate Change Are Mine

Pretend it isn't on the roof.

You hear all those political chuffers who make a living farting into microphones. All screaming, all the time. Number one topic: Climate Change Hoax.

Fine by me. Believe that if you want. I'm an Alaskan, and it's on my doorstep.

Right now me and my buddies are shoveling all that no-climate-change into big piles. So far Anchorage has almost 11 feet of it this year (3.28 m).

Still snowing.

If climate is weather averaged over 30 years, then Alaska has a bunch more digging to come. Next year. And the year after that. So on.

More snow, better skiing, sure, but who cares about that?

The downside is backpacking. Way different backpacking. It will go back to a pure adventure sport. No more leisurely strolls on clean smooth trails. Now it's moving toward life and death.

While the Appalachian, Continental Divide, and Pacific Crest trails are powder-dry and all aflame in waves of heat this summer, Alaska will be just starting to melt.

Those warm winters and evaporating lakes down south are sending the goods north. Up here the sky freezes solid and shakes out in deep piles that sit there and dare you to take a chance.

And you can see the changes. If you look. And you don't have to look hard.

Old lazy Puff the cat is getting a new look. Shaggier. Rangier. Longer in the tooth. A little desperate. Deadly-like. Muscular.

Li'l Cheeper the parakeet practically goes nuts whenever I fry up a slab of meat. He's already bent some of the cage bars trying to get at it. You should see him take on a steak.

Something out there got the neighbor's horse. In daylight. Carried it right off one day last week. Saw tracks in the snow, strange ones. Something huge dragging it off through the trees.

Bears are sure to be ornerier too. Sleep six months then get up and find that breakfast is delayed until August? I'd be pissed. It's going to be rugged. I already got a steel tent on order. Gonna need it if I'm supposed to get any backpacking done.

I guess the good news is I'm changing with the rest of it. Feet are getting bigger. Lots bigger. I don't need snowshoes anymore, just my hind feet, all furry and splayed out. So I can still cover the ground, even carrying a pack.

And I kind of like going out with the cat. Sometimes I bring down the meat, sometimes he does. We get along OK. Better than ever, really.

This might be fun.

See? Alaska's largest city eyes snow record