Scenic Route Travels

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What was living in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in the dead of winter like? In a word, ineffable.

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The past few months of living in Glacier Bay, I’ve taken any opportunity I can to see more of the park. In true Gustavus fashion, the more my roommate Addy and I explored, the more people reached out to offer us gear to borrow and chances to do something new. We’ve been ice skating on a pond near the post office where the town gathers to play hockey on frigid days. We’ve… Read More

I left Juneau by ferry, well before the sun had begun illuminating the inky black landscape. The only clues as to what surrounded us were the pre-dawn cries of gulls voicing their complaints at the hour and the lapping of dark waters against the hull. It wasn’t until the sky faded to indigo that I could make out white-capped seas and distant peaks on the horizon. Around me, other passengers slept beneath… Read More

The odds were not in my favor. Out of over 12,000 applicants, only 400 lottery tickets per day are given out during the annual Denali road lottery. And of those, only one of the four days is over the weekend- the others on weekdays, so you’d have to take time off. And then, once you’ve been lucky enough to secure a spot (some people apply for years without success), the issue of… Read More

It took three highway-side moose encounters, but I now play it moderately cool when I spot those antlers lumbering down the shoulder of the road ahead. Or at least I don’t scream as loudly anymore, anyways.

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…. Read More

Golden light on jagged mountain peaks in Seward, Alaska

Since I arrived in Anchorage two weeks ago with a couple of duffle bags and a lot of ridiculous notions about the great, wild, last frontier (mostly from movies), I’ve learned a lot. Alaska is somehow both more and less rugged than I had predicted- I buy my shockingly expensive groceries at a big ol’ Safeway, not a dusty local shop, but live in an apartment reminiscent of a summer camp I… Read More

As the antithesis of morning person, it surprised me how much I loved the rise-with-the-sun rhythm of being on safari. After the first moments of pre-dawn torture before someone put a muffin in my hands and got me in the safari rover, there is nothing to wake you up faster than driving manically over small trees and through thorn-covered bushes to watch a leopard stalk its prey. By our second day in… Read More