01/17 – Unsettled


How was your first month of the new year?

Everything just peachy? Great!

Or was it more like a “like a mad, insane sprint in tight circles spiraling around and down the toilet bowl”, as Keir J. Beadling describes it in his fitting piece “Stop the world – I want to get off”?

“… like a mad, insane sprint in tight circles spiraling around and down the toilet bowl”

It’s been a rather turbulent month. The climate turned downright frosty towards the end, although that did not prevent some folks from walking the streets. Rapidly changing conditions resulted in slippery conditions with travel delays and cancellations. Unfortunately there appears to be no improvement of conditions in the near-term future. Some forecasters predict this unsettling weather may last 2-4 years…

One Man's Paradise

October follies – № 2

“It is a happiness to dream.”

Edgar Allan Poe


Cow parsnip meets October snow

It is tempting to write more about the weather, even our local radio has an article about it. Snow in mid October is not unusual, but 12 inches in one day that is.

It made for good photography and horrible driving. Actually, no driving for me, since the snow plow driver decided to dump snow in my driveway. Luckily the temperatures are above freezing and the mess is melting away fast.

I love reading adventure books. My latest pick was “Terra Incognita” by Sara Wheeler. Not sure I can recommend the book, because I am mostly jealous that she was invited to visit Antarctica three times as an artist in residence. The book did not inspire me as much as Werner Herzog’s improbable documentary “Encounters at the End of the World”. I have been dreaming about visiting this remote place for a while. I even made some attempts to land a job, although have not been very persistent.

Nevertheless, reading her book I must conclude that living in a research station in Antarctica is not so much different than living in the Alaskan bush. I have fond memories of being the winter caretaker at Rainy Pass Lodge. After the plane left that was it. The next plane was scheduled 6 weeks later to bring fresh food and supplies, pending airstrip and weather conditions. There was a crew of three onsite. We could communicate with the outside world, but were on our own for the most part. There were two generators onsite that provided electricity. They needed regular maintenance and occasional TLC. Daylight hours and weather conditions determined our daily routines. In the beginning trail hiking was an option to get around. Later we would use snow machines to haul firewood. There were days when we fantasized about sushi, hot tubs, or the beach. In the end it was an amazing experience.

Almost like Antarctica…


Note to self

The secret of life…


Slims River, Yukon

“This is the real secret of life:

to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”

Alan W. Watts

A good reminder. I am living and working in a spectacular place that visitors come to see, paying a good chunk of change. I get to wake up every morning surrounded by tall mountains and a deep fjord. We had a few rainy days, amazing clouds, and blue sky, the whole range. There was fresh salmon, halibut, and shrimp on my dinner plate. I had locally brewed spruce tip beer and I have seen amazing landscapes from the small planes, hiking up mountains, cruising with the ferry…

There is no time to remember all amazing moments of wilderness, solitude, and plain awe.

Kaskawulsh Glacier, Yukon

Kaskawulsh Glacier, Yukon

Flying over the glaciers and rivers in the Kluane region was certainly one of those outstanding moments that get better and better with time. Is it because they were fleeting moments, or because the scenery was out of this world?

Icebergs, Yukon

Icebergs, Yukon

Maybe both.

Enough reminiscing for today. Time to play!