Wednesday, August 30, 2006


In my last post, I admitted my faith that winter will come to Juneau - or, at the very least, the mountains above Juneau, and wow ... I haven't received that much of a comment lashing since I called Alaskans entitled.

I know it rains a lot here. I know that what snow does fall is wet snow. But - as long as it snows one in a while and the temperatures occasionally drop below freezing - wet, shallow snow can be the base of ideal snow biking conditions. But, I concur. I wasn't always so blindly optimistic. The first time I rolled through Alaska, as a tourist in the summer of 2003, Geoff, two friends and I spent four days shivering in the rain shadow of a run-down campground near Thane. After that mini-trip, we had very little - but nothing good - to say about Juneau in our trip blog:

"Juneau's a depressing town really, that has hardly anything going for it other than government jobs and cruise ship business, but we're making our best here and things certainly could be worse."
— Geoff, July 31, 2003

"We spent the entire ferry ride parked on plastic lawn chairs in the solarium of the boat, watching the sun set beneath an endless stretch of steep costal mountains. In the red-streaked darkness there was nothing besides the billowing shadows of spruce and slate-smooth water — and then suddenly, lights. Lots of lights, sprawled out along the black shoreline. This is Alaska's capitol. The center of the state's government commerce, and it sits alone, stranded on the southeastern panhandle between mountain walls and the sea."
— Jill, July 28, 2003

Those blog archives can really come back to haunt you ... enough to make me question my current state of sanity. However, while I was digging through the past, I also ran into an entry a week later, where I broke down my top 10 favorite and least favorite things about my trip to Alaska. Number 7 on the least favorite list: "Homer, Alaska" ... right before "Camping at the Juneau Ferry Terminal" (No. 6) and behind "Working for Dave in Haines" (No.8 - and a story I really must tell someday.)

So I wasn't so crazy about Homer as a tourist, either. And yet I moved there anyway. And, after a short time, it was hard to imagine a more scenic, more invigorating place to live.

So it didn't seem beyond reason to give Juneau a try. And who knows? You know what they say about hindsight ... it has this amazing way of glossing over the bad stuff to make room for new experiences.


  1. the folks who made those comments about Juneau snow clearly don't spend a lot of time at Eaglecrest, or in the backcountry. sure, it can get depressing when the snow washes away at lower elevations, but if you like to ski, you have plenty of opportunities in winter. the conditions aren't great, sometimes it stinks, but the best snow days in Juneau are magical. i lived here for only the last two years and skied more frequently than I had in the past ... including CO, where I had to drive 3 hrs and stand in long lines ... EB

  2. I am restless as well
    would I choose washington dc as my home if I could live anywhere in the world

    i think not

    it is my home
    it is where I grew up
    it is where my family is
    it is where I am raising my family

    will we stay here?

    it is hard to say

    it may not be so much where a person lives
    it is what they do with what is offered around them

    someone may live a mile from the trailhead of some epic mountain bike terrain
    I live in washington dc and try to mountain bike as much as I can

    it is not a bad place to be
    it is not a bad place to call home

    it works for me now
    I think I am doing well with what is around me

  3. Dude,
    I lived in Albuquerque before I moved to Portland.

    I thought Albuquerque was going to totally suck when I moved there from Colorado. But it turns out that New Mexico rocked (Albuquerque still sucked.) The point I'm trying to make is that it'll be great if you make the best of it.

    And I'm sure you'll make the best of it!

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