Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Admiralty Backcountry Trailworker: Me

I would love to post pictures however the library internet will not allow me to copy/save/paste photos from my facebook to here. Thus, you will need to survive with text for now. Sorry.

Monday was my first day back from Admiralty. I've been stationed on the island since the 14th, working 8 days on/6 days off till August. My crew and I are responsible for 2 miles of trail connecting Mole Harbor to Lake Alexander - a portion of a 25 mile canoe/overland route. Its thrilling.

I honestly feel like I've come home. There is so much here that I've fallen in love with in these past few weeks that I cannot imagine living anywhere else. I am surrounded by mist shrouded mountains on all sides. Each one is unique, and covered in a blanket of green pines. The melt water from the peaks cascades into the valleys below. Everywhere you look are rivlets of waterfalls decending from above. When the rain sets in, low lying clouds cover the mountain sides and drift into the valley. I am woken up every morning by birds and put to bed every night by the cool mountain air.

The work we are doing is physically intense, and my body is alreayd responding well to it. I can feel myself getting stronger each day. On my days off, I am forced to take the bus everywhere which means I get in several miles of walking. My car - my most sorely missed possession, is sitting in the driveway back in Massachusetts. I like existing like a typical little Juneauite though. I grab coffee at the Heritage coffee shop in town. I frequent the library for books and news (and internet). I go out for beers at the local bars and am still planning on trying fish and chips at the Sandbar (I am told its the best of the best). I've held back on the hiking while in town on this first week off due to the fact that I'm well aware of the amount of work ahead starting on Monday. Backcountry trail work = pacing yourself. No use wearing myself out before the summer really starts to get underway.

My desire to stay here after my summer work is over has been growing everyday. I see this place as more and more of a place where I think I'm meant to be. Though, there are times I flounder. Like when I settle into my tent at night and think about the bears roaming the woods around me. I miss cape cod and its hot sand beaches, especially given that its summer. But all in all, I don't feel like a visitor. I feel like someone who's just been away from home for a while and finally made it back.

Alaska is huge, and gorgous and raw. People seem a lot more at ease. More friendly. More independent. I can tell some people don't want to be here though. But as for me, I am trying to make a place for myself here. I want to call Alaska home, not just till October, but until I decide to leave for the next place. Not sure how long that will be. For now, I'm in love.


  1. Welcome to Juneau! It’s always nice to read a fresh perspective on Juneau. I wish you had internet assess on Admiralty. I would love to hear about your daily adventures. I did trail maintenance and helped build trails on Prince of Wales Island and Baranof many many years ago. Hard work, but it was a beautiful experience. Definitely lots to see.
    As for jobs, I’m sure they’ll be available come October. It all depends on what you’re willing to do. Now that you’re a resident, it will be much easy to obtain a job. Local hires are preferred unless they’re unable to fill a position.
    Follow your dreams. Remember home is where the heart is.:)Happy Adventures!

  2. Hi!
    Did you get to the Sandbar? It's a favorite at our house.
    If you are looking for employment, or just something to get you by until you find what you really want, you should look at the school district. They always need substitute teachers! Something to bring some money in until you find a job you really want!
    Good luck to you!