My View North

Native Wisdom (from the October 2016 issue) Making small talk with the cab driver, I sipped coffee on the way to the Juneau airport. The rainy morning continued a string of rainy mornings. I checked in and wound through security, made it to the other side of the human scanner, and stood in sock...
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I Got the Blues

Every year, I swear that I’ll spend the entire month of August picking blueberries, but every year, of course, life intervenes. I make time for a short drive or hike to a favorite spot and pick with both hands—my friends are impressed with my speed. Still, as soon as I find a good rhythm, I...
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Kesugi Dreaming

Kesugi Ridge, in Denali State Park, is a trail system that delivers—but probably not what you expect. Everyone hopes for the quintessential Denali views, but more often fog shrouds the ridge, leaving only rock cairns guiding the way, or a raging storm spits cold, wet hikers back out at a...
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What’s the Name of Your Boat?

When my husband and I decided last summer to take a massive leap and buy a sailboat, we were more than green. We hadn’t even sailed a boat before. While I’d spent some time on the water, the last thing I would call myself was a mariner. Instead of spending a few weeks and a few thousand dollars...
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Job Interview, Alaska-style

Many years back, when I was suddenly laid off from a job, I realized with delight that I was free to visit our family fish camp on an island in Cook Inlet. I’d spent all of my summers growing up there, but hadn’t, as an adult, visited very often. I missed its serenity, its tides, its beach-side...
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Paddle boarding – My New Love

The first time I went paddle boarding was in the warm water off the Big Island. Dolphins played in the distance as I soaked up the sun on the water with my husband. From that point on, I was hooked. I needed to bring this feeling home to Alaska with me. After lots of research, I finally picked the...
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Ididaride. Yes, I did.

Justin Savidis greets me (and a handful of other summer mushers) at the Ididaride Sled Dog Tours property in Seward. With his long, light red hair and freckles, he looks more like Opie Taylor than who he is: a rugged, four-time Iditarod competitor working as a guide at the Seavey’s kennel. As...
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Ode to Katmai Bears

Make no mistake, the brown bears own Katmai. At best you’re a guest on this part of the Alaska Peninsula, at worst you’re dinner. Warnings aside, if you’re one of those adventurous souls who can’t imagine heading to Alaska without seeing one of its most famous residents,...
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Magical Mountains

It’s hard to fathom the scope of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Over 13 million acres, including nine of the 16 highest peaks in the United States, are there. That’s the size of some countries—six times larger than Yellowstone. In the heart of those extensive...
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Celebrate Alaska Native Culture

I’m a Caucasian woman of Italian descent, and I’m jealous. Not of the hardships that Alaska Natives have endured, but of their rich culture and understanding of the natural world that is engrained in their heritage—and seems to be—instilled in utero. The Native traditions and spiritual...