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Summertime: A few tips for avoiding summertime blues

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Posted: Friday, August 7, 2009 11:04 am | Updated: 12:49 pm, Wed Dec 26, 2012.

FAIRBANKS — Summer seems to finally be here in Interior Alaska, so now is the time to take advantage of those long hours of daylight. That is, until June 21 when we start losing light, and we are plunged back into a dark and frozen hell before we even realize it, so let’s enjoy it while we can.

Youth summer camps

There’s nothing wrong with taking your child to a summer camp where the head counselor is wearing a hockey mask, providing, of course, that the camp is a hockey camp.

“Mattress Ranch” is a great name for a store that sells beds but a lousy name for a summer camp.

Another bad name for a summer camp: Boatel Sleazy Waterfront Bar Tots and Toddlers Summer Dance Camp.

If your child is attending an overnight camp for the first time, convert their bedroom into a sewing room before they come back. It’s never too early to pound the message into their head that they are not going to be living in your house forever.

Don’t feel too bad if you can’t afford to send your child to any summer camps this summer, even if all of their friends are going. Saving money for the family is a good thing, and it sounds like you are going to need that money to help pay for your child’s future psychiatrist bills when they need to get counseling to help them get over the trauma of having a miserable childhood.

Out-of-town visitors

Golden Days is a good time to have your in-laws in town so you can have the fun of putting them in jail. Not the Golden Days jail, but the actual jail. Slip a vial of some crack in their pocket and sic the authorities on them. They might be upset at first, but eventually they will appreciate your attempt to help them see a side of Fairbanks that they normally wouldn’t see.

If your visitors plead you to take them on a riverboat cruise, save some money by renting a canoe and telling them it is a riverboat cruise. When they say that the canoe looks nothing like the riverboat they saw in the brochure, lecture them on the wonders of Photoshop. Important note: You will want to time your canoe trip so you don’t run into an actual riverboat.

A fish filet sandwich from McDonalds might not satisfy their craving for fresh Alaska seafood, but it is worth a shot.

Try to convince summer solstice visitors that no one cares about the Midnight Sun Run or the Midnight Sun Baseball Game, and that the best summer solstice tradition is the Midnight Sun Monty Python Marathon that is watched from your house with the shades drawn to avoid interference from the rather annoying midnight sun.


Let’s face it. You cannot travel anywhere this summer because it looks like gas prices are going back up. Stay as close to town as you can. With enough enthusiasm, you should be able to get the whole family pumped up for a quarter-day road trip down South Cushman. “South Cushman or bust! South Cushman or bust! South Cushman or bust!”

Have an “Into the Wild” excursion with the family by watching the movie and then planning a trip to the bus. Not the actual bus Chris McCandless went to, but one of the borough busses. Enhance the experience by refusing to feed anyone for days.

There’s nothing quite like a drive down the Parks Highway to Denali to bask and revel in the amazement and majesty that is Skinny Dick’s Halfway Inn.


If you have any friends who are nature lovers that say stupid things like “Mosquitoes are our friends!” no one is going to blink an eye if you punch them in the face.

Given the absence of bleu cheese dressing and croutons, most moose would disagree with the notion humans have that vegetable gardens are nothing more than salad bars to moose.

Bear bells are a great way to see if a bear has any interest in show tunes before it kills you.

Scott McCrea is a local freelance writer. He will happily take your comments at


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