Saturday, September 20, 2008

Everyday beauty

Date: Sept. 20
Mileage: 30.0
September mileage: 500.9

My habit of taking a camera on every bike ride has evolved into a habit of taking a camera essentially everywhere I go. Dentist appointment ... grocery store ... going to pick up a friend at the airport ... no matter where I am, there's a good chance I have my little bombproof point-and-shoot in one of my pockets. And although I generally only take pictures when I'm hiking or biking, every once in a while I stumble across a Kodak moment during my day-to-day life. Like this morning, while I was sitting at my kitchen table downing yet another meal of chocolate-flavored Honey Bunches of Oats (they were on sale), I just happened to glance out the window and see a rainbow stretched over Douglas. So I carried my cereal out to the deck and snapped a photo. (And really, how many cheap basement apartments do you know of that have a view like that? Another benefit of living in a city etched into a mountain.)

Then there was the morning ride with Terry up to Eaglecrest. I was trying to break in Pugsley, who has had a pretty lax summer, for the everyday grind with nice, steady climb. Sunlight filtered through the clouds all morning long, and the sky was just clear enough that I could see the mainland from the ski hill for the first time in ... I don't know ... weeks at least.

At about 3 p.m., I was typing away at my office computer when I saw more hints of sunlight streaming through the window. I walked out on the balcony and watched people fish for chum salmon in a heavy downpour while sunlight flared through a clearing just to the north. The fishermen were all far away from where I was standing ...

So I walked downstairs to buy a Diet Coke from the vending machine and snapped a few more photos.

I left work for my lunch break right around sunset. Before I drove home to make myself dinner (I promise it wasn't Honey Bunches of Oats), I stopped at the Salmon Creek inlet and stood by the highway bridge, just drinking it in.

All the while, right behind me, Observation Peak loomed with a healthy coat of new snow. I thought about how much I would love to be up there at that exact moment, feeling my heart pound and lungs burn in the alpine air while the sun cast an orange glow over snow-dusted boulders. Why, I thought, why couldn't the summer of 2008 just have given me a single 10-hour weather window while I wasn't at work to climb that peak before winter set in? And yet, as I stood next to the highway and my office building and an industrial-zoned section of Juneau all bathed in golden light, I didn't feel too bad about it.

I can't climb mountains every day, but sometimes everyday life is just enough.


  1. It's the daily nothing that makes life notable in retrospect. Mountain peaks are the punctuation.

  2. Your daily life is still full of breath-taking pictures! It is nice when you are doing the daily grind that you stop and have a sort of revealing moment in life.

    Even though it rains a lot there, you still live in an amazing place! And I'll bet one day you will explore that entire mountain!

  3. Nice picture. You are right. Why wouldn't anyone in there right mind not want to live there.

  4. What a light. As a cycling photographer this is what I am doing it for too. Keep on doing the nice work!

  5. one of my favorite posts of yours in a while. as you often have the ability to do you put into words a thought that i have had multiple times before but that i would not be able to communicate so well.

    this post even has a way of making me miss juneau

  6. I love all the pictures, I'm glad I stumbled onto the blog, it's great! Alaska's definitely on the short list of places I'd love to visit in the near future.

  7. You are just going to have to stop posting pics from now on. I can't seem to focus on anything when I access this blog. I'm definitely going to get fired now. All I can think about it riding up those peaks in the winter...


  8. i'm fascinated by your every day life. i love the pictures of the fisherpeople

  9. Really puts my honey bunches of oats to shame.

  10. absolutely beautiful pictures. packing my bags for juneau now...

  11. I'm glad you carry a camera around with you everywhere. You're pictures are amazing.



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