Fueled by the heat of a solstice sun on my back, I climbed higher into the muskeg. The boardwalk was dry and the moist meadow in full bloom. Bog violets and pink shooting stars stood out polka-dotted against the green of sedges, mosses and low-growing bushes. Closer to the trail, dwarf dogwood (or bunchberry) huddled close to the wooden planks and bog laurel bloomed in bright fuschia every few feet.
I’d parked my car at the top of Blueberry Hill and run up to the Treadwell Trail before taking the turn toward Dan Moller cabin.
The news wasn’t good. I’d failed the hour glucose test by two points —the upper limit was 139, and my level registered 141.
I took it hard. This meant I was one step closer to 332 finger pricks, 83 days of a restricted diet and a mandatory hospital birth.
It’s times like these that make me want to go for a run.
A trail run is where I do my best thinking. I’m able to clear my head, process thoughts that need processing, sort through feelings that need feeling. I’m always surprised that I think about nearly everything but the actual run.
Not all welcome the flood. But for me, the deluge has brought a rich assemblage of great things.
First, I passed my follow-up glucose test, which means I bucked the odds and dodged gestational diabetes in this second pregnancy. This means I will sidestep a multitude of unpleasantries. Perhaps most importantly, it means my baby and I seem to be reaping the rewards of pregnancy exercise.
I have a confession to make: I have not been fishing.
I’ve been skiing, I’ve been running, hiking and gardening, but no, I have not been fishing.
My trusty fly rod — “Joan” — sits neatly in the rod holder in a corner of our dusty garage. My waders and boots are coated in last year’s mud and bug repellent; the smell of deet puts my mind at the river’s edge.
But in my mind is as close as I’ve gotten this season to the water and, well, that’s just not acceptable.
My feet sloshed and squished around in my shoes like they were in a washing machine. The lower half of my legs seemed to disappear into the trail as thick, black mud coated every trace of skin beneath.
Somehow, my son had avoided the wretched mud holes. He bounded along, over logs and carefully snuck past wide leaves of devil’s club.
“The prickly parts,” as he called them, were “not nice.”
On Friday, I found myself surrounded by volumes of bound Daily Alaska Empire newspapers from 1929. The old editions of the Empire were tattered, at best. Some were held together by fragile strands of aging duct tape, others were only a shadow of their former selves as newsprint fell from the spine and pages snapped like twigs when I tried to turn them.
It’s hard to say how long it had been since someone had flipped through the volume before me — years certainly, possibly decades, maybe even half a century.