Saturday, February 21, 2009

Some More About Alaska

While I was in Michigan, I found out that people do actually read this blog from time to time and do expect to get some information about where I am and what I am up to. In light of that, here is a slightly more detailed update about me:

I have moved to Alaska. I am living at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, where I have an internship in Environmental Education. This means I run (along with my supervisor) field trip and summer camp programs, as well as do a lot of other random stuff.

I will be here until late October.

When I arrived, it was a delicious -5degrees Farenheit (I loved it), but for most of the time since then it has been a balmy high of about 30 every day. Usually there is not a lick of wind, so it doesn't feel as cold as Grand Rapids at the same temperature, where the wind goes right through you. About half the time the sun shines - and then it is absolutely the most beautiful kind of winter you could ask for. Blue skies, white snow, crisp air, bright sun, dark spruce trees, white birch trees, and lots! of animal tracks to investigate. My first day at work I followed moose tracks to the office. I have also seen lots of red squirrel, snowshoe hare, ermine, spruce grouse, raven, and some other unidentifiable prints.

"Downtown" Soldotna is a mile-long strip that starts about a mile from my cabin. The furthest place I would go is Fred Meyer (the Alaskan version of Meijer or super-Walmart), which is just over a 2 mile walk. Fred Meyer has just about everything I could ever want or need food-wise, including organics, bulk foods, and vegetarian options. There are also about 5 coffee shops in town, not to mention several drive-through espresso shacks.

At this time, the sun is rising at about 830 and sets at about 630. It's hard to say exactly, because the sun rises and sets are sooo long. Because the sun doesn't move in a lateral line East-West, but rather scoots along the southern rim, the sun lingers around the horizon for a very long time. Needless to say, it's very beautiful. My window faces west; I love to watch the sunset on a clear night or wait for the first beams of morning glow hit the tree tops.

Mt. Redoubt can be seen from anywhere there is a clear view to the west. That is the volcano that might blow any day and cover us all with toxic volcanic ash - yummy yummy. I've had one chance to see it in the brilliant orange-pink alpenglow that hits it just before the sun slides over the eastern horizon.

I don't have internet from my new home. I have to hike myself and my computer into town to find a wifi point to get online.

To pass my time after work, I cook, crochet (I started my first afghan), play my ukulele, read, watch movies, write, and pretty soon I will start writing letters. So far I have not felt lonely, though I love talking to any and everyone on the phone.

I hope this satisifies your curiosity. If you want to know more, write or call me and I will gladly tell all.


I am write. said...

met up with hobo jim yet?

Betsi can be found on the Kenai Peninsula said...

no. but i found out he toured with jimmy buffet. he's like the real deal. local legend. big hero. mr. nifty-pants.

and i met Dan the Fish Man. does that count?