Welcome to the Last Frontier

As I type this, I am sharing an Internet connection with seven other family members, enjoying eternal daylight, and watching the Kenai River from the second story of a cabin in Soldotna, Alaska.

What am I doing in Alaska, you may be wondering? Wasn’t I just in California a couple weeks ago? I believe I may not have mentioned my status as a traveler.

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My grandparents moved up to Anchorage about ten years ago, eventually living part-time in Soldotna. When my family finally found a good time for us all to venture up and visit, we took the opportunity and ran with it. It’s always exciting to see my faraway family members, as well as a new place on the globe.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to expect when we came–more bears, probably. Alaska has surprised me (as I’m sure it will continue to do so), but has also lived up to some of my expectations. For starters, no camera can truly capture and share the beauty of the land here. Alaska reaches into your eyes, smothers them with awe, and leaves any comprehension of the world surrounding you to a minimum. It really is that breathtaking.

I was also surprised to find that there is quite the population of ‘crunchy hippies’. In retrospect, what better place to commune with nature than in one of the least touched and tampered spans of land in the world? I was also happy to find that Alaskans really do look out for each other. Compared to the Northeast I live in, it was refreshing to be among such friendly, laid-back, and nonjudgmental company.

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On my first night here, we arrived in Anchorage. It was getting late (11 o’clock at night: still fairly bright outside) and I was chatting with my Grandpa. We began talking about some of the differences in Alaska, which of course brought about the outdoors. He said to me, “The thing about Alaska is that you aren’t surrounding the wilderness, confining it into parks; the wilderness is surrounding all the people.” No truer words could be spoken.

I want to write more, but then you’ll end up with a novella on your screen. I have two more weeks here, and many more adventures to be had, so there will be no shortage of stories to come. Also more about food in the next post!

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