Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Where am I now?

I haven't posted anything in a while. I am sure that whatever small crawl of a following I might have had in June, is gone now. That's OK though. I'm picking it up again now, in December, seven months later.

So what has happened in the past seven months? So much. Too much. My goal is to record what I did in the months from my last post till now over the course of several update posts. I went from Admiralty to Juneau to Ketchikan to Juneau again. It was all a very origional adventure. In the course of those months, I realized that come October, when it was time to leave my trail job, I wasn't going to want to also call it quits on the Last Frontier. I wanted to stay. I wanted to be able to live in Alaska outside of just as a summer person passing through. Being on a trail crew, you spend a lot of time around other people, and not often on your own. I wanted the chance to have my own individualized experience here. I'm usually someone who likes to go hiking and enjoy the great outdoors. Yet I found myself wanting to do that less and less because I felt that nothing I did, even when I was by myself was ever really being done on my own. I was always on a schedule that involved other people. Even time to myself had to revolve around my crew schedule. I knew that if I stayed, it would be very possible to find work and settle in to a more normal Monday through Friday existence, providing me with a more realistic experience of life in Juneau.

When the option came to take an 11 month contract here that would allow me that exact level of independence, I jumped on it. I am the only one on my crew to stay behind and I am happy with my choice. There is a lot of adventure to be had here. Like anything else though, It is all what you make of it.

On my first weekend in Juneau as a solo person sans crewlife, I decided to take a hike up the very popular Perserverance Trail. The trail snakes its way into the valley behind present day Juneau, into an area that was once a boomtown-mine area. The photo above shows the Glory Hole Basin, a huge pit on the side of the mountain carved from tons of earth moved in the quest for gold. You can still make out the lines of old roads built at the turn of the last century. I went out there the following week, but stopped once it snowed because i decided I'm a big baby and am afraid of slipping on ice and falling to my death.

Outdoor opportunities abound, and I really don't want to miss out on anything just because it gets dark now. I've taken to running at night, after I get out of work. I take a headlamp with me, and wear yaktracks on my feet to grip the slippery sidewalks better. The last big dump we had has melted, but slush and ice has lingered in spots. I used to hate running, but now that I can usually push out an almost mile (with maybe a break to rest in there), I tend to like it more. I think I'm more the distance over time type. I'm not really too concerned at this point as to how long it takes me to run a distance, I just like the satisfaction I get knowing that I'm gaining the ability to cover distance. Not to mention it's healthy for my heart. Maybe not so healthy for my knees but hey...can't win them all.

Being that I've decided to stay through the winter, I get to see such beautiful sights as Mt. Juneau and vicinity after its first big snow fall. I've never seen anything prettier in winter. It makes me wish for snow, something I haven't done in years. Whereas back east people tend to bitch and complain, up here people tend to look forward to it. I look forward to it with them. It just makes sense to have snow on the ground in Alaska. That their isnt any out there right now just looks weird. And it feels like spring too. Maybe Global Warming is going to doom us after all.

I leave next week to take a much needed vacation visit back home to see family and friends that I said goodbye to 7 months ago. It is good to know that with the start of the new year, I will be flying home to my new home here in the North. For me, the adventure isn't even close to over.

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