We actually did the line test this week, not last. (Reference previous post.) The line test was part of the water training that I participated in along with nine other summer staffers in working towards our lifeguard certification recently. The line test is meant to simulate searching for a submerged victim on the bottom of a lake. (Fun, right?) For us, it meant surface diving down to the mucky bottom, which was somewhere between 8 and 13 feet down, depending on one’s position in the line, through water that got progressively colder. Fortunately, it’s been unusually warm for Alaska for the past few weeks, and so the lake felt fantastic! (There’s a projected record-breaking temperature of 88 degrees Farenheit that’s supposed to be in store for us this week.) I didn’t mind the cold that much, either, in diving down, because then my sense of touch was able to work in place of my sense of
sight in alerting me to when I was almost to the bottom; and then we used our sense of touch again as we spread out our arms and felt around and before us, searching for a (theoretical in this case) victim. When everyone in the line resurfaces, all go back to the farthest person in line, and then everybody takes one big stroke back, dives, and repeats the process all over again until the entire section of water you’re searching is covered.
Hiking locations this week included Skilak Lookout trail, which was looking out on–get this ;)–Skilak Lake, and a hike to Juneau Falls on the Resurrection Pass Trail that goes to Hope. Both the lake (which I got to see last year from a different trail, Vista View) and the falls were really pretty, and some of our campers had fun playing in a stream that joined the creek about a quarter mile further along the trail. Their antics were fun to watch.
The other most relevant thing I can think to share on this blog post is this: the bugs are bad. And when I say bad, I mean BAD. All the Alaskans are saying this is the worst crop of mosquitoes they’ve ever seen, and this Northern New Yorker has certainly never seen anything quite like it. Forget bears. If I’m eaten alive by anything this summer, it’ll be mosquitoes. In fact, they’ve already started…and I had a mosquito nightmare as I woke up this morning.