We’ve been pretty lucky the past few days.
Take the Fourth of July, the hottest Independence Day in Juneau in 46 years! The day before that, equally as hot. The day after? Also, hot. And when I say “hot,” I don’t just mean “hot.” Sure, we all ended up sweaty after those few days, but what was really astounding is that it was sunny, too. Juneauites know that a summer day without clouds is rare.
Now that we’ve had our couple days of sun and tank top weather, though, we have to embrace the inevitable. I’m talking about the dreary clouds and the rain that’s been in the forecast for days now.
While we may be used to rain in any other season, rain in the summertime is another story when it’s preceded by comparatively good weather (although honestly, I usually wake up everyday with pretty low weather expectations to save myself the heartbreak). Thankfully, there are things you can do to cope. Check out my Top 10 Summer Coping Mechanisms for When Juneau Is Raining Outside Again:
1. Don’t be bummed! It could be worse. Go to the pool, and pretend you’re swimming in a beautiful, vast sea by the beach. The bright artificial lighting and kids screaming in your face will be all you need to simulate the public beachside experience.
2. Take a drive out to Eagle Beach or wherever you usually match your sunset-viewing experience with a bonfire and friends. Don’t think about how the clouds are now covering the sun, blocking any chance of sunlight. Instead, whip out a few snacks and drinks, put on some good music, and watch the rain from inside your car. Bring along a few friends. Indoor picnics can be fun, I swear.
3. Go for a hike: Mt. Roberts is a good downtown pick. Sure, you could hike the trail when it’s sunny. But what makes hiking a mountain more fun is danger! Muddy trails can be scary, and you’re not promised a good view of the Gastineau Channel once you make it to the cross, but it’s a great test of skill and you can pretend you’re on an episode of “Survivor.” Disclaimer: don’t attempt this if you don’t usually hike, if heights and slippery trails scare you, and if reading the entirety of tip No. 3 sounds insane to you.
4. Get some tea or coffee. Seriously. Juneau has a few of the best cafes, and the best way to cope with dreary weather is not being in said dreary weather. My favorite rainy day spot is The Rookery — go there. If you’re lucky, the table next to the window will be open. Order a latte and a Chocolate Chip Marshmallow cookie. Sit back and watch as raindrops drip slowly down the windowpane. Tourists will be milling about, wondering how they could have hit Juneau on such a bad weather day. You know the truth: every day is a bad weather day in Juneau.
5. Go to Nugget Alaskan Outfitters, Foggy Mountain, or wherever you usually get your hiking gear. You know how every summer you find out, suddenly, that you’re completely unprepared for actual summer weather? Now that it’s raining, you can grab that pair of shorts. After all, the sun will come back again this summer. Hopefully.
6. Go to the gym. Get that summer bod. Like I said, the sun will (hopefully) be coming back, and while all bodies are summer bodies and you really don’t need to go to the gym to mold yourself to fit into an arbitrary expectation of society, exercising is always a good thing! So go, use the bad weather as an excuse to power lift.
7. As the saying goes, TREAT YO’ SELF! You didn’t go to the gym for nothing, and there’s a reason Coppa is that close to the downtown Juneau Racket Club. Now, people can try to tell you that it’s not hot enough for you to have ice cream, but who cares what’s “socially appropriate” when you’ve got a pint of locally made ice cream in your hands. That’s right. Not you.
8. Fine, check social media. I’m all for going out into the “real world” to do things, but honestly, I get it. Just make sure that you don’t get overwhelmed by the news, and by your friends in the Lower 48 working on their tan lines.
9. There’s no shame in staying home. Turn up some music or put on a podcast and power clean. It’s the perfect mix of productivity and fun: dancing or learning, while getting closer to a cleaner space! Outside might be a mess, but at least your home won’t be.
10. Be comforted by the fact that at least you’re not getting bit by mosquitos.
Don’t forget: you’re not one of the thousands of tourists that will forever remember Juneau in its rainy state. You know how good it can get, even if “good” is only for around 10 days of the year.
And even if things aren’t looking that good, at least you can buy a one-way ticket to Hawaii.
• Tasha Elizarde is a recent high school graduate living in Juneau. Contact her at Tasha.firstname.lastname@example.org.