McCarthy after 46 flights in 5 months

As of Saturday, I will have flown on 46 commercial flights since January. Whew! That is one personal record I hope never to break. Denver, Seattle, Dallas, Nashville, Anchorage, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Portland, Kotzebue, Ambler, Kobuk, Shungnak, and Noatak. I have loved my traveling speech-language pathology job but I'm looking forward to spending a while in one spot... McCarthy, Alaska. Once there I'll rarely travel over 30 mph, stay within a 10 mile radius, and enjoy the "simple" life--the kind without electricity, running water, or perhaps even a reliable means of transportation. I will have an outhouse, a heat source, a handy handsome husband, and my trusty hound. I think that before I experienced three-and-a-half months of "bush"living, I would not have believed going without "necessities" could be relaxing. However, I've found that life really is much more simple there. A smaller house means less time cleaning. A shower only 1-2 times weekly saves almost four hours if the whole process usually takes 45 minutes daily. Limited internet and no data means no movie nights and little time on Facebook. No King Soopers means one large grocery run before the season and supplementing your stash only occasionally at our general store.

What will I do with all that time? Walk. Read books aloud with Austin. Talk with people. Draw. Trivia night. Hike. Yoga. Softball night. Dinner with friends. Camp. Nap in my hammock. Take pictures of nature. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

This is the cabin where we'll live this season. Isn't it sweet?!


This is the store I will manage. Isn't it great?!


I will work 5 miles uphill from McCarthy in Kennecott Trading Company. Lately, I've been working on purchasing merchandise for the store and I'm eager to see it all come together! We will open Saturday, June 14th. Here's to another round of adventures!

Photo Update

20130820-110717.jpg Austin and me before Bill takes us to our remote camping spot.


Lovely flowers were all over the mountain meadows.



This is how Austin looks when he's really happy and peaceful.


You can see Austin to the far left of this panorama.  This was the view we had once we'd climbed a bit up the rock glacier above our camp.


Parka Peak through the binoculars.


Once I was tired of climbing on the scree, Austin kept going to check out this arch.


The next day, we hiked to get a good look at Hidden Lake.  It's seen here: the water drained out under the glacier in late June.  Now, it's made up of beached icebergs.


Downtown McCarthy on a beautiful sunny day.  We've had many such days this summer--locals say it's been the only summer like this in 70 years.  Usually it's more overcast and cool.


View of the backside of our cabin behind fireweed.  Fireweed, from my understanding, is the first plant to grow after a forest fire.  It begins to bloom from the bottom of the flower stalk in early summer, and as the summer progresses the blooms migrate up the stem.  Once the top is blooming, as in this photo, you know summer is coming to a close.  The spent flowers deepen in color and the leaves change to a deep red as autumn begins.

Here's our cabin from the front.  If you look closely, you can see leaves beginning to change to a nice yellow.  Compare this to the photo I posted in the "Laundry Day" post.  When we first arrived, the trees had just begun to leaf out.  Now, we're nearing the end of the lifespan of this foliage--neat to be able to see it all in a short amount of time.  Folks, who are more night animals than we, say that around 2 am you can see the Northern Lights.  One of these clear eves, we'll stay up to see them.


What We Know

English: Full featured double rainbow in Wrang... The temperature will range from 35 to 80 degrees. (Whoa!  How do we pack for that?)  It will rain (hard) about a third of our days in McCarthy.  Mosquitoes aren't too bad; the grizzly bears that come into town are easy to scare; run and hide from moose who like to charge!  We'll have lots of sun each day and only a few hours of "dusk".  The Northern Lights should be visible while we're there in September.

People come from all over the world to visit McCarthy.  Some come to see the historic, retired copper mine.  Others come to raft the glacial runoff, hike on glaciers, or get a small taste of rural Alaska life.  Wrangell Mountain Air, the company for which Austin will work, provides transportation to and from McCarthy.  Backpacking enthusiasts charter a plane to drop them in a remote location in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.  After several days of hiking and camping, the pilot meets them at their predetermined location and returns them to civilization.

There are approximately 25 residents living in and near McCarthy (25 mile radius) year-round.  In the summers McCarthy and Kennecott, the town just up the hill, are the temporary homes for up to 300ish tourist and seasonal workers.  In the summers, spontaneous softball games, lectures from international experts in various fields (politics, psychology, etc.), and social dances are the norms at "night".

What an adventure!

English: Glacier Icefall near Kennecott, Alask...