Twenty-one years ago, the summer between my Junior and Senior year of college, I traveled to Alaska by myself. There was a college student from my church in NH who was a bush pilot in AK during the summer and he knew some people I could stay with up there…..so I went!
I stayed in Grayling, an Indian village on the Yukon. It was evident as soon as I stepped off of the bush plane, that a young white girl was not welcome. It ended up being a great visit and I loved the family I stayed with. One of my favorite memories was hauling water from the creek, pouring it into huge pots on the gas stove to heat, and then hauling it up stairs to the bath tub. A lot of work for a bath but it was so worth it. However, all that work was not to go to waste. After I was finished with my bath, the rest of the family also took a bath in the same water. So thankful I was the first one!
Next, I flew up to an Eskimo village up near Nome. The flight was unbelievable. There were no roads, no homes, no cities, nothing but a huge expanse of wilderness! So incredible!
It was an amazing trip and I fell in love with the country. I even considered taking a teaching job in one of the villages of Alaska, but I was concerned about the “all night” days.
I’ve always wanted to go back…. and tomorrow I’ll be flying with my very dearest friend back to Alaska. The reason for going? Every year I try to visit a new place in the country to learn about sustainability. Julie’s dad still lives in Homer and has lined up a bunch of people for us to talk with while we’re visiting. I am super excited about this trip and as long as this iPad works, I’ll try to post our journeys while we’re in Alaska!