Sure, our summers can be erratic (it’s 48F as I write this), but summer on the Keweenaw Peninsula is really something to behold. We pay for it a bit with our long winters, but summer days are long, generally sunny, and there are a million things to do.
Where I live was voted as one of the top 20 smartest places in the United States. There’s a lot of brainpower in our relatively small community. But we don’t have an economy developed for those advantages yet, and one of the shames of it is how many friends I’ve watched move away. We all notice it the most in the summer, when the people you would usually call for some adventure or another are gone.
Lucky for me, upchickadee is usually up for just about anything, and we’ve spent a number of days and evenings enjoying the water in our kayaks or just hunting agates along the shore (it’s a certain type of rock).
The best thing, though, is how long we have for our summer adventures. The sun is well up by 6 pm, and it’s not really dark until after 10 pm. Fireworks in the summer can’t normally get going until almost 11 pm, when it’s finally dark enough.
This also means that you can do so amazingly much in one day. I spent a weekend day exploring islands in my kayak, mountain biking for a few hours, road biking 20 or so miles, playing with some cameras, a round or four of disc golf, and still had an evening to go enjoy a sunset. An attack mentality is a great way to go about summer.
There are two downsides to all of this sunlight. One is that I work a regular eight to five job, so I try to steal my lunch break for a round of disc golf (we have a course on the campus where I work) and otherwise find ways to get outside. The other is that I love astronomy, and it’s hard to stay awake late enough to find those excellent summer targets!
Even as we watch the summer set, as “Back to School” sales have started in the local shops, and as, every now and then, faintly, a fall breeze whispers across the landscape late in the evening, there is still plenty of that brightness left. It comes again, too, next year. It never hurts to remind ourselves of that, and to be ready for it, able to do the things we love.