This quick note was created April 27 as I sorted and packed and prepared to move. I came across it “by chance” today. I remember the emotion vividly. Though it has since passed and there is no sadness, the memory of the sadness is close to the surface again.
“It seems to be one of those days where the smallest moment reduces me to a puddle of tears. A sweet message, a statement of courage, a kind act, a romantic gesture all have the power to send my facade of strength crumbling to swim in my moat of emotion.
Packing and sorting last night was difficult. There are so many items I purchased because they were beautiful and the perfect thing. It's hard to start over when those perfect things are still perfect, but for a different life. And when that different life is trying to push itself back to the surface, and you are treading lightly on the cracked glass, getting rid of those perfect things is that much more trying.
Each perfect piece was purchased for a reason and holds sentimental value. Each one filled with a good memory and feeling. It's hard to separate the clothing from the feeling even though I know the memories stay with me. It is only the clothing that is leaving.”
During my lunch break Friday I went over to the Discovery Center and picked up the Ketchikan Area Trails Guide. To my surpise, and delight, it was free, not printed with an ink jet printer and spiral bound. Score! It has listed 24 hikes plus a handful of remote trails.
Each trail is complete with directions to the trailhead, a description of the hike and a map. I will happily attempt to hike them all during my stay here.
So this weekend, armed with my handy new trail guide, animal and plant guides and bear info, Ellie and I headed up to Carlanna Lake and then to the end of the trail where it turns into Minerva Mountain Trail. Minerva Mountain Trail is a primitive trail and since I have yet to aquire good map and compass skills, I didn't attempt it.
But even ending where we did, the hike was about 4 miles round trip with about 1,260 net elevation. Not a bad little hike. the trails here are very well maintained and marked which is pretty nice. Though they are covered with crushed rock and I think it hurts Ellie's feet. We'll have to experiment a little more with that.
The other thing to note is fishing is allowed at Carlanna Lake year round. And since the lake itself is only .25 miles from the parking lot it's a totally viable option.
Anyway, it was a beautiul day and we did get a little rain on the way down, which didn't bother me at all. Surprise surprise. Oddly enough I had sort of wanted to see a bear, but I was relieved to end up back at the car without seeing one. I should find out how common it is to see one while hiking. Also, note to self, get a bell to attach to my pack. And Ellie.
And bonus, upon arriving home my first box from SLC had arrived and was waiting for me at the door. What a happy sight.
I've been working my way through the complete collection of Ernest Hemingway and came across this bit in the preface of the first section. It's been on my mind off and on for the last few weeks and last night it really hit home with me. I suppose it helps explain what in the crazy-world I am doing up here.
“In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dull and know I had put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had someting to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well-oiled in the closet but unused.”
~Preface to “The First Forty-nine” Ernest Hemingway, 1938
So here's to this crazy experience of moving to Alaska and loving it.
Last week I awoke the socond time to what I would call pouring rain. It was coming down enough for me to take my umbrella on Ellie's walk, not like at 5 a.m. when it was only drizzling and didn't warrant the protection of my hood.
Since the same thing happened yesterday, an an office mate confirmed that it does actually rain like this all the time, I'm gonna go ahead and call this part of the new routine. Time will tell.
Aside from be inconvenient and chilly, it's pretty cozy and makes me drink lots of tea. It also conjures up a hankering for baken mavaroni and cheese with bacon so I'll have to get the comfort food thing under control at some point.
When I arrived zi picked up a new tea to celebrate. That and I collect them the way I collect nail polish, movies and books. Which means I have them all in abundance.
Anyway, the back of this box of sweet cinnamon spice says “each cup is a sotry, unfolding with ever sip.” Which feels a little bit deep for first thing in the morning, but as I gathered my warm mug and settled in front of the window to watch the float planes take off and the boast come in, it felt just abou right.
And to draw a somewhat cheesy parallel, wouldn't each day be a story, unfolding with every step?
Idaho was a bit lonely.
Montana was lovely.
Washington was surprising. Mt. Rainier in the background.
Coming through the pass into Seattle was breathtaking. Even though my window was disgusting.
An urban train in Bellingham was exactly what I needed to pass the time peacefully before loading the ferry.
Behold the ferry!
Goodbye to Bellingham from the water.
Sunset the first night.
My home base for the next two days.
First glimpse of Ketchikan.
Getting off the boat!