03/30/2004: "It's not all glaciers and northern lights!"
Awhile ago I made a page called 100 things I love about living in Alaska. I think it's only fair that I also write something about things I HATE about living in Alaska, or at least things I hate about living in Southeast Alaska.
First off, weather in Alaska can vary by up to 75 degrees Fahrenheit within the state. When I left Juneau the temps were in the mid 30s-lower 40s...and in Fairbanks (where I went for a librarian conference) the weather was down below zero. I wasn't dressed warmly enough and therefore was resigned to staying at the hotel the entire time.
Then, on Sunday morning I flew into Anchorage, where I got stuck until tonight (Tuesday). It's a good thing my sister and her husband live there, otherwise it would have been a lot worse.
See, Juneau is one of the worst airports in Alaska to fly into. If it isn't the strong Taku winds, than it's fog, or in this case...snow. People get trapped in little towns with insufficient hotels like Yakutat or Sitka, or if all of Southeast has poor weather, you'll more than likely end up in Seattle...So, you fly 2 hours from Anchorage to Juneau, fly over Juneau, fly another 3 hours to Seattle, get stuck there, only to fly another 3 hours back to Juneau just to try all over again and end up back in Anchorage.
I had two classes I was supposed to teach Monday morning that I had to find last minute subs for, and three I had to teach today, one I got a sub for, and the others I made it back in time for. The only good thing about all this was getting to spend some time with my sister and her husband, finally getting to see "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" which I missed when it was in Juneau, and also all the time I spent in the airport forced me to read the entire book I brought along that was about digital filmmaking. I'll write a review for it when I'm more awake, as it was really excellent (though a little out of date).
Another nice surprise was my Windsor Newton Shannon Easel waiting for me on the porch. That's right, 3 months after I ordered it and it finally arrived. I don't have the energy to put it together and drag it up to my studio tonight but I will tomorrow. This weekend I'll get to start my first painting on my new easel. I've been thinking of how I want to retire my home made easel that I've been using for 10 years and is falling apart. I've decided to have a party with my friends at Sandy Beach and use it in a big bonfire. Give it a sort of Viking goodbye.