Sunday, September 23, 2007

Opposite Extremes

Run 18 miles

A few pictures from today's run:

St. George, Utah and Juneau, Alaska are about as different as two towns could possibly be. Juneau gets about 12 times as much rain per year as St. George and has about 12 times as many bars as St. George. The average age in Juneau is about half that of St. George and Juneau has one golf course compared to who knows how many in St. George. The temperature at any given moment is likely 50 degrees higher in St. George. Juneau has not grown much to speak of in decades and St. George is one of the fastest growing cities in North America. Juneau is politically very far to the left while St. George is even further to the right. Both are cities of extremes and where Juneau is on one end of the spectrum St. George is almost always on the other.

Jill called me last night from her Grandfather's house in St. George after hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim with her Dad and she kept talking about how rainy and cool it was down there yesterday. It was Juneau weather she said. Then this morning I was reading about a fun little bike adventure that Dave Harris and Jeff Kerkove had down in St. George yesterday. This all got me interested to know just how wet was it in St. George on one of their wettest days in quite some time. listed the precip. yesterday in St. George at .28" This time of year in Juneau we call that a dry day. So far this month we have had over 10" of rain including .63" so far today. The crazy thing is that not being used to much rain St. George becomes a flooded, sloppy mess at .28" and here in Juneau .63" is just another typical day.

Well, the question begging to be asked is of course, why would anyone want to live in either one of these places? Who could possibly want to deal with all the rain in Juneau or with all the heat in St. George? Well, the reality is that you work around these extremes to find what makes you happy. Rain after all is just water. Getting out for a run on a mountain trail is my favorite thing to do on a regular basis. Juneau has more trails close to town than anywhere I have ever been. When I go out for an 18 mile run in the mountains as I did today it doesn't ruin that experience just because it was raining most of the time. In a place like St. George you learn to deal with the heat in the same manner. If your passion is getting out on long, wilderness bike rides (i.e. Dave H.) there are few places in the world better to be based than St. George. The heat doesn't ruin that. You just have to learn to go in the early morning or late evening and/or carry massive amounts of extra water. And if these things make you happy all those other extremities don't seem to matter as much. Am I going to live in Juneau the rest of my life? Most certainly not. Am I going to move to St. George anytime soon? Very unlikely. I do however take comfort in knowing that I could be very happy in either one of these places, no matter how different they are from each other.


Anonymous said...

Nice post, Geoff. Though the Georgia heat and humidity are often almost unbearable in the summer, I take solace in the face that I can ride basically all winter. It's all about making use of all your options!

Olga said...

Tell me about rain...PNW has 4 months dry out of a year:)

Fonk said...

Very well spoken. I think we're all happier when we learn to adapt to the conditions around us, as opposed to complaining about and fighting them. After all, you can't change the weather!

That said, I could never live in the desert, though I love visiting there often (particularly southern Utah). I can't take that much heat... :)

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