What Is My Story? by Drew Michael

I never heard the term “decolonization” before. Here are some definitions:

Process by which colonies become independent of the colonizing country

Encyclopedia Brittanica

The undoing of colonialism, where a nation establishes and maintains its domination over dependent territories”

Wikipedia

The process of breaking your identity with and loyalty to this culture—industrial capitalism, and more broadly civilization—and remembering your identification with and loyalty to the real physical world, including the land where you live

Derrick Jensen, quoted at Unsettling America

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Juneau

Sunday, September 3, 2017, 7:45 am

I kind of feel like I should let the pictures do all the talking.

And it started when the plane took off Friday. I had a window seat and got some great photos as we flew out of SeaTac. Landing in Juneau was no less impressive, though the weather was quite changed.

Continue reading “Juneau how pretty it is here?”

Juneau, Alaska

I’m off to spend the weekend in Juneau.

I’ve spent the entire summer in Seattle, which isn’t necessarily a terrible thing. The weather here is beautiful in the summertime.

But it’s nice to have a little getaway, so with the three-day Labor Day weekend coming up, I decided to make a quick trip to the Alaska panhandle. In 2003 I went to the Kenai peninsula, Anchorage, and Denali, but I haven’t ever been to the panhandle. It’s just a 2 1/2 hour flight, so off I go!
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The country itself … it’s grand. It’s so damn grand…. It’s like trying to paint Niagara Falls or a brilliant sunset or the Grand Canyon or some other visual aspect of nature which can only be described by people who have lived in it, have soaked it up, have been in that environment long enough to assimilate and understand it…. It is very hard to look at something with your mouth open and at the same time try to think in technical terms: how do you control this image, how do you present it? How do you compose it so that it is the most effective?

–Karl Fortress, WPA artist, 1937

Continue reading “Back in Anchorage”

5:00 a.m.

I just got dropped off at Denali River Cabins, where I have an hour to wait before my 6:00 departure. There’s a restaurant that’s supposed to open at 5:00, so I can get breakfast. A few other brave souls are here waiting for it to open as well. I’m sitting here wearing a T-shirt; they’ve all got sweatshirts and/or fleeces. The restaurant just opened, so I guess I’ll go in. It’s a beautiful morning, cool, clear, still, the sound of a rushing river in the distance.
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7:30 a.m.

I’m sitting across from the Alaska Railroad depot, which doesn’t look even remotely like what I expected. I imagined a quaint village depot. No, it’s nothing like Grand Central Station, but it’s more like a small white office building than a train station. Until I saw “THE ALASKA RAILROAD” on the front of the building, I wasn’t sure I’d found it.
Continue reading “Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali”

7:05 a.m.

Hard to believe that by the end of today I’ll be back in Anchorage. Five days ago, the thought of being in Anchorage was thrilling. Today it just means that my Kenai adventure is over.

Yesterday on the road to Hope along Turnagain Arm, we stopped to check out the bore tide coming in. It was a wave, and we could easily follow its leading edge, rolling at a good clip. Patrick said that if the wind is blowing against the tide, and it’s a particularly high tide, it creates a wall of water, and he once watched someone surf it!
Continue reading “Hope, Mt. Alyeska, Anchorage”

8:55 a.m.

I gave up on waiting for sunset last night and was asleep by around 11:00. Full 8 hours of sleep — felt great!

Russian Orthodox Church in Seldovia

After a quick walk up to the old Russian Orthodox Church (which I somehow overlooked in my wanderings yesterday), I came back for breakfast at The Buzz. Baked french toast that was yummy, with fruit and cheese baked into the bread. It reminded me of Grandma Rose’s Lokshen Kugel. It’s cool and breezy this morning, but not enough to keep me from sitting outside.
Continue reading “Seldovia, Homer, and back to Hope”

5:00 a.m.

Well the serenade of the creek was drowned out by the torrential rain pummeling the metal roof of our cabin. Finally, unable to sleep, I got up at 4:00, took my shower, got dressed and packed up. Turns out the downpour is just a light shower, amplified on the metal roof, and the creek makes it sound all the more torrential. I’m tempted to tell Jeanne, who’s never seen a moose, that one wandered by while I sat here on the covered porch of the cabin. Maybe one will.

We have a 6:00 departure so we can get to Homer and catch our boat to Seldovia, where we spend the night tonight. The word is it’s a quaint town. I wouldn’t say that about Hope. On our tour, we drove down the main street which, Patrick says, has appeared in a number of TV commercials. Apparently, at the Seaview Cafe, “they don’t take American Express.” Tomorrow night I hope to walk back down there and take photos. I hope it will stop raining by then, preferably much sooner. We were lucky yesterday; though it remained overcast all day, there was almost no rain after the morning. They say the wildlife makes a better show under cloudy skies, plus the blue of the glacier (from the blue eyes of the tiny ice worms that live just below the surface is the local joke they like to tell tourists; actually, it’s because of the highly compressed ice that traps all of the spectrum except blue) shows up better when it’s overcast.
Continue reading “Hope, Homer, Seldovia”