Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Illusion of Time

It seems like the days are really, really long here. We find ourselves eating dinner at 9:30 PM instead of our usual 6:00 PM. Of course the sun doesn't set until about 11:45 PM, so we still are going to bed after 11: 00 PM while it is light.

Because we're getting to bed so "late," we're getting up later--like about 8:00 AM or so, and of course it is light then, too. So it seems like the days are endlessly long and light. (Notice I said "light," not "bright." There is a saying here that the sun is always out, but not always shining. Clouds, clouds, clouds!) So I decided to check out this perception.

Guess what--the days in Unalaska are actually only one hour longer than in Cheney!! The problem is in when the hours of light occur. In Cheney, the 16 hour day currently runs from about 4:50 AM to 8:50 PM, so we get up when it's light, but the sunset reminds us to go to bed. In Unalaska, the 17 hour day doesn't start until about 6:40 AM, and it ends at 11:40 PM, so we miss our normal sunlight cues.

Because this is the "Land of the Midnight Sun," in Alaska there are many "Summer Solstice" events held throughout the state. In Unalaska, there is a "Summer Solstice Run," which is a two mile event. On Monday, June 21, it was raining so hard that they postponed the event--that must have been some rain! So, the run was held yesterday, June 28, and George took part so he could get the tee shirt. It was cold and windy, but 46 took part, and a couple of late-teenaged boys ran in their white shirts and ties and running shorts. The top time was 10:18--almost a five minute mile! The race was held at 7 PM, so of course by the time we got home, walked the dogs, and ate--well, it was another late night!


  1. Dear Jan and George,

    Wow! what a set-up. Great fuel for human interest stories though. It's great to see your blog, and what your days are like. I wish Jan a blessing in the form of no dog-allergy symptoms.

    Love, JoAnna

  2. We love your blog. And I am so impressed by the added pictures. How cool that I am able to experience Unalaska without having to make any of the adjustments. This is my kind of travel. :)