OK, so it's been sunny and warm this week, with cranky brown bears and greening trees. But spring's fickle weather was worse than cruel to hikers and trail runners in Southcentral Alaska up until a few days ago.
But now, blue-sky days have been liquidating the last dregs of winter. Some low-elevation forest routes in Anchorage have morphed into mud holes rife with stagnant ponds and mounds of filthy, rotting snow. I finally got irritated with all the wallowing required by a simple outing beneath the trees. I wanted green sprouts -- and the feel of a firm trail that didn't squish into cold goo beneath my soles. I wanted a taste of summer.