Recent 40 degree temperatures, longer days and melting snow are signs that spring is right around the corner. But perhaps there isn't a bigger sign than the ones coming up in the next few weekends - the outdoor shows in Wasilla and Anchorage.

On Friday, March 22, the Mat-Su Outdoorsman Show officially ushers in spring - showgoers will pour over the latest fishing rods, boats, ATVs and other Alaska toys that come out during the summer. The shows Mat-Su Outdoorsman Showare almost like a rite of passage for Alaskans - we've been cooped up all winter, and now we are ready to play! At the show, you'll find more than 100 vendors, from fishing guides to outdoor products and everything in between. There are also educational seminars throughout the show, with experts telling you the best ways to catch king salmon, the best flies for rainbows and a whole lot more. Don't miss it. The show runs through Sunday, March 24 at the Menard Sports Center. For more information, visit the show's Web site at www.chinookshows.com.

The following weekend, the largest show in Alaska kicks off on Thursday, March 28. The Great Alaska Sportsman Show is held every spring in the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. This massive shows brings thousands of Alaskans together to plan their summer excursions. You can get great deals on fishing charters, outdoor gear a whole lot more.

The outdoor shows are circled on our calendars every year. When you are walking around the show, it's hard not to daydream about 60 degree days filled with 23 hours of daylight, a loaded raft and freshly caught salmon cooked on the fire at your campsite. It won't be long now!