Heading Outside (A Temporary Goodbye to Alaska)

Waves on the shore of a snow beach in Seward, Alaska

Thursday morning, I took my last snow-blown bike ride into work. Even with the tear-inducing cold blurring my vision, I watched the bright stars above the mountains and added those pitch black, 8:30AM rides to the list of things I will miss in Seward. It’s a long list.

It’s been a busy three months, between working at the national park, writing for the local paper, and trudging on in the job search. As fate would have it, all three came to an end on the same day when I finished my internship, got a job offer, and left Seward. Sometimes things just seem to work out.

Luckily, though it’s goodbye for now to Seward, it looks like the Alaska adventures will continue in the new year. If things go according to plan (and if I can find a way to survive a drive to Alaska in January), I’ll be calling Anchorage home for the next year. You should probably take this as this a sign to knock Alaska off your “someday” list and come visit me.

There are some things, though, that I suspect are completely unique to Seward. The days we’d swap office coffee breaks for walks down to the bay to watch a particularly excellent sunrise or a group of sea lions bobbing in the water. The quiet, snow covered coves and rarely-visited mountain tops along the coast that just beg to be explored. The abundance of bald eagles and gruff Alaskan bars that remind you that you are still in fact in the United States. The people who will go out of their way to give you rides so that you don’t have to brave the 50 mph gusts of wind or solidly frozen streets on your bike. It’s clear why this town keeps people coming back- it’s a community that looks out for one another. In the words of my ever-wise editor at the Journal, Seward is a gem.

It was hard to leave behind as I went Outside for the holidays- the term “Outside” meaning essentially the rest of the world to Alaskans (still not clear on how Alaska reminds anyone of being “inside”). I fell asleep with the glow of the northern lights outside the plane window, and woke up in the lower 48, where the sun makes a prompt arrival at 7am and nobody offered me any variety of moose or bear meat.

But man does it feel good to be home- especially when your family that picks you up at the airport with your ski gear and takes you right to the slopes for a powder day. Happy Holidays!dsc_5811dsc_5370dsc_5525dsc_5531dsc_5553-2dsc_5560dsc_5662-2dsc_5945dsc_5766dsc_5789dsc_5938dsc_5997

“To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.”

-John Muir

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