Summer Solstice in Alaska

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Barbara M. Harison

It has been a healthy year for me and I was fortunate to head north to Alaska for Summer Solstice. The trip was a reunion with my college roommates and spouses. Yes, we are all still hanging in here and met up in Anchorage then headed to Homer on the Kenai Peninsula where the solstice brought over 18 hours of daylight.

This was my second trip to Alaska – the first was in 2010 shortly after I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of 64 years. I never thought I would be able to make a second trip. Yet with stable health for several years, due to diligent treatment regimen and the Vertex drug, Kalydeco/Ivacaftor. Why not make the trip! My active lifestyle: lap swimming, golfing, walking and yoga keeps me going. Travel is not always easy but is worth it. I wear a mask on the airplanes, use lots of hand sanitizing wipes and do my best to keep up with treatments.

It is known that the ancient Greeks celebrated summer solstice with festivals and activities. Solstice marked the one-month countdown to the Olympic Games. We all took the hint from the Greeks and enjoyed hiking, boat tours, fishing and outdoor activities during the many hours of daylight. 

Our vacation rental in Homer was located on the Wynn family homestead adjacent to the Wynn Nature Center and a 140 acre wildlife preserve. The home site had a spectacular view of Kachemak Bay and the Homer Spit. There were numerous hiking trails, wildflowers songbirds and one had to be on the watch for the appearance of moose, bear, and lynx. Each morning a moose with two calves would come into the back yard of the rental home and drink from a trough. One morning a black bear ran through the yard. We enjoyed several hikes and the sign posts along the trail with quotations. One of my favorites was: Relax here and harken to nature’s music. Toby Tyler – Wynn Nature Center.

A highlight from the time in Homer was a wildlife boat tour across Kachemak Bay to the historic town of Seldovia. The town is known as Alaska’s Best Kept Secret. On the tour we viewed Gull Island and many other islands covered with birds: gulls, puffins, murres, cormorants and more. We saw numerous sea otters, but no whales.

After the time with friends, Rich and I set out for Kodiak Island – home of the Kodiak bear and popular spot for salmon fishing. It is the second largest island in the U.S. We took a site seeing and bear watching float plane trip and landed on Frazer Lake. After a short walk down a trail we sat in a meadow near Frazer Falls with binoculars ready, and yes, we did see bears and lots of bald eagles.

The hint from the Greeks to use the summer solstice as a new beginning brought us to Alaska for new adventures and what a treat it was. It might not be a trip to Alaska, but you can help children and adults living with CF engage in outdoor exercise and activity by donating to CFLF. Live Stronger, Live Longer!


Help Others Live STRONGER and LONGER- 



Barbara Morris Harison lives in Ventura, CA and served two terms on the CFLF Board. She was diagnosed with CF at age sixty four (64). She lost a sister to CF forty-five (45) years ago and established the Loretta Morris Memorial Fund with CFLF in 2010. Barbara is retired after a long career in public parks and recreation administration and management of her own consulting business, Harison & Associates. When she is not swimming laps or golfing she volunteers for community organizations.


***Views expressed in the CFLF Blog are those of the bloggers themselves and not necessarily of the Cystic Fibrosis Lifestyle Foundation***   


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