I figured this would be a great time to pop in a Throwback Thursday since I'm being all gushy about home this week (don't ask me in October about living here or I'll throw a SAD light at you in a moment of sheer "rain-fever") and I've already written a post about it anyway. Throwin it back in 3, 2, 1...
Originally posted 4/20/2013
Alaska. Home. My great great grandparents arrived in Skagway, Southeast Alaska during the Gold Rush. My great great grandfather made his living running a pack train (leading mules with people's luggage and supplies) on the Chilkoot Trail. They eventually made their way to Juneau (not far away) and my family has been here ever since.
I work in an elementary school in the middle of a valley know as the Mendenhall Valley, which was carved by the Mendenhall Glacier. This is one of the best views of the glacier...check out those beautiful fireweed flowers in the foreground.
A few misconceptions I should address sooner rather than later:
We do not live in igloos. We do not use dog sleds for transportation. We accept the dollar. Alaska is part of the United States, not a territory, but a STATE. It is connected to the rest of the continent and not in a little box next to Hawaii as your map might lead you to believe. It is HUGE. Bigger than Texas. If you know someone in Barrow and ask me if I know them, I might ask you if you know someone on the other side of the country. Yes, our population is small (Juneau is about 30k), but we are spread out on a large scale.
Can you tell I have had some interesting conversations with tourists off the cruise ships every summer? There are many very different regions of AK, and Southeast AK is along the coast...ocean, gigantic mountains everywhere, glaciers, spruce trees, the works. Northern AK (Anchorage and beyond) is where you might picture tundra, moose, Eskimo, Iditarod....Juneau is very far way from that area and in fact, land-locked (travel in and out only by ferry or airplane). I cannot count the number of times I have been talking to a customer service agent for a company that tells me "There is a store in Anchorage, you could go there." Not likely, buddy.