Currently living/working: We are in the trenches of a very typical Alaskan life: juggling multiple jobs in the long twilight days of latitude 64. Justin guided 16 trips this month! All while squeezing in a press trip and a smattering of cleanings when he could. Meanwhile I guided 14 trips!! And I took on the cleaning/management of another airbnb to help some friends out on top of cleaning the yurt and one other Airbnb. I definitely felt that surge in activity …
Current mood: If I’m being honest, I sort of had a hangover from life this month. I am a puppeteer orchestrating our schedule and life, and those logistical gymnastics get extremely overwhelming and tiring. As my mother-in-law reminded us, it will all come to a screeching halt when the season changes … so I suppose knowing the chaos is temporary helps.
Currently thankful for: I had a bit of a panic attack early in the month (see above), and Justin stepped in big time to re-center me and help where he could. I am lucky to have such a supportive husband!
Currently proud of: Thus far, I’ve hiked 85 miles! It feels good to be working on my fitness. My doctor gave me a little bit of a wake-up call about my weight at my last appointment this winter, so I made it my goal to kick things into high gear this summer.
Current guilty pleasure: Because I’ve been spending so much time outside, and the weather has been beautiful (almost too hot this last week in the high 70s), I feel like unpeopled wilderness views has been my guilty pleasure this month!
As for Justin, he has gone on TWO press trips this month—one for Sitka Gear and one for Gerber Knives. I’m a little jealous of the Sitka trip. He was staying in Utah on a private hunting reserve where he helped collect elk sheds to donate, went fly fishing and tried out all kinds of survival scenarios. The purpose of the Gerber trip was to see the factory in person and to utilize their new program to design your own knife (see what Justin picked below–pretty cool!). Justin has been the knife guy for Backpacker/Outside going on 8 years now!
Currently excited for: We get to Ted-sit again for 2 weeks until mid August. We’re actually cat-sitting for another friend later in the month as well. So give me all the feline snuggles …
Currently not excited for: Every log cabin needs attention, and we decided to finally start the process of filling in the cracks of our logs and giving them a fresh coat of stain. I use the term “process” lightly because it is a multi-step process that in reality will probably take us multiple summers. We’ve only completed the first 2 steps on the back wall of the cabin. Step 1 was the research part of buying the appropriate materials. Step 2 was sanding the cabin to strip off the stain and smoothing any blemishes, then washing the dust off the logs. The next steps will be staining and chinking, which is essentially filling in the big cracks. All of this is weather-dependent, so if my estimates are correct, we’ll be finished with the whole cabin by 2028?
Currently worried about: Most people are fearful of our big mammals when they come to Alaska, but I am starting to realize that the smaller ones can wreak just as much havoc, if not more. Over our years here, we’ve had encounters with grouse, ermines and red-tailed squirrels. This summer, the squirrels are seriously terrorizing us. They have a vast forest, yet they choose the trees closest to our cabin, and crawl all over our logs, and are potentially making a home under the cabin.
Currently amazed by: I was among giants while guiding this month. I had 4 different families with some really, really tall people (proof in the picture). I felt like I was running instead of hiking!
Current confession: God damnit, I failed again! Gardening—especially in Alaska—is an investment. My Aerogarden definitely starts my seedlings off strong, but I just can’t seem to get the timing right on the transplant. The lettuce survived, but the rest of it succumbed to my black thumb. Thank goodness for my uncle who has passed on a few starters.
Currently reading: I’m not a big fan of fiction, but Seth Kantner is becoming one of my favorite authors as I tick off his books, which includes his fiction piece, Ordinary Wolves. Seth grew up in northern Alaska as a white family on the outskirts of a native village, so the narrative is pretty darn close to the truth.
Currently watching on Netflix/Peacock/HBO Max/Starz/AMC: Season 5 of Yellowstone became available on Peacock, so we watched a few episodes, slowly of course cause it’s summer.