Welcome to August

Welcome to August, month of the Golden North Salmon Derby and the beginning of the end of summer. August is one of my favorite months for fish, picks (berry picking), and hikes. I’m typically not one for sport hunting or competitive fishing but I’ll admit it, I love fishing in the salmon derby. Every year that I fish it, I buy my ticket with the feeling that I’m going to be lucky this year, I just know it! Usually it’s a bust for me on the fishing end but I always have fun. I love the excitement, the snack food, watching other people’s poles bounce and of course the gorgeous scenery. August is a great month for hiking, running and outdoor sports. The weather can still be warm and by the end of the month the autumn colors begin to settle in and the crisp air cools us off. Some of my favorite hikes are ones where I can also continue to gather wild edibles to store for the colder months. Now, as any good berry picker or fisherman knows, we don’t readily reveal our sources or locations to just anyone, that would just be silly. I will say that one of my favorite August hikes or trail  runs is up Eaglecrest. You get the best of both worlds with mountain and lake views. It’s a nice wide trail but also has a good elevation gain. The foliage is different than most hikes in Juneau and/or Douglas as it starts at a higher elevation then many trails finish. August is also the month that those who are training for the Klondike Road Relay Race are really hitting the pavement. For me, August is usually when I am in the best shape as the variety of outdoor activities and long days combine to add depth to my workout.   

August is also a great month to start storing your summer harvest in preparation for the colder months. That includes vacuum packing, freezing, smoking and jarring or pickling nature’s goodies that we work so hard to get. I cannot tell you how nice it is to pull out some salmon or a bag of berries from the freezer during the fall or winter and savor them while reminiscing about the time it took to get them. So here’s to the beginning of the end, of summer that is. Good luck in the derby, or the Klondike or whatever other fun plans you may have!

Anna Hoke is the graphic designer and owner of Southeast Living Magazine. She can be reached at anna@seakliving.com.

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