Tuesday, July 28, 2009

OK, NOW it's summer in Juneau

For the past three months, my friends in Juneau have been updating me about everything I've been missing during the "best summer ever." Why, they asked me, was I wasting all of my vacation days in a wet and cold place like New Mexico when I could be somewhere sunny and warm, like Southeast Alaska? Well, I arrived July 16 beneath a drizzly wash of gray that hasn't cleared up for more than a couple hours until, well, until today.

My reintegration into society has also been a little on the drizzly and gray side. I had a rough go of my first week back at work - difficulty focusing, productivity down, more mistakes than usual. It's hard to transition from 12 hours a day on a bike to 10-12 hours a day in a cubical. It occurred to me that I was actually lucky the weather was gray, because it helped me keep my head turned away from the window.

I'm also still homeless. I've had a tough time finding an apartment that will allow me to have a cat, and where I can afford to live alone. Juneau rent is ridiculous. I supposedly have a good job and I'm looking at places that would cost me nearly 50 percent of my take-home income. I'm still holding out hope for a place around 30 percent. And in the back of my mind, I'm remembering how easy it was to just throw down a bivy sack and fall asleep wherever I decided to stop at the end of the day.

And then, just this morning, I woke up to sunlight on my face. I had three hours to kill before my work meeting so, with a pile of dirty laundry next to my suitcase, a stack of old medical and credit card bills on the desk, a list of landlords to call, and a fridge empty of food, I used those hours in the most productive way I could think of - I climbed Mount Jumbo.

3,337 feet for hundreds of square miles of perspective. Soaked in sweat and sunlight. That's when you know you're having a good morning.

16 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:43 AM

    Curious as to how you get to these island places with the water and no roads? Can you tell I've never been to AK? Beautiful pictures btw!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Welcome back, Jill! My armchair readings of your adventures were thrilling. I love your descriptive pictures. Good luck in apartment-hunting *Sitka is even worse, lol*

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can't think of a better way to spend the day. Glad you decided to be "productive!"

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's exactly what I would've done with those three hours on a sunny day!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Have to agree with Deanna and KB. I am 43 and still leave bills aside for exercising - especially if they led to the views you can get in Alaska!

    Welcome back and thanks for the great rundown of GDR - You are a rockstar x1,000,000

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous4:52 AM

    You should try wearing polyester
    moisture wicking T-shirts instead of cotton ones, you'll keep cooler and won't be soaked in sweat as much.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awesome photo's!
    You remind me of Rocky Balboa in that first one!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous7:44 AM

    Sounds like the perfect use of time to me! I often leave work early on extra nice days to spend time outside.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was wondering how the weather was treating you - when I took the ferry from Haines to Bellingham it was HOT. I thought we were cruising the Carribean with all the bikini clad girls on the deck.

    Crazy. Glad it is nice again for ya!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I bike 10-12 hours every week. I spend at least that much time on Monday and Friday at work, wishing I was outside.

    Your GDR write-ups help bridge that gap. Great work.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sounds like the most productive start to a day I can think of. Great to hear that you're settling back in after the big adventure, I know it's not always easy.

    Justin.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Vale/Tudo4:19 PM

    What an athlete....I wish we could see a picture of her in shorts....
    Those legs are the real thing...As a former body builder,, I can appreciate a Boxers right arm,,a gymnasts shoulder,,a power lifters back....she is the real mcCoy.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I must say, you do an excellent job of managing your time and priorities.

    Thanks for the great GDR recap and your consistent illustrated posts.

    ReplyDelete
  14. jessica5:41 PM

    Oh, I miss Juneau so very very much... the cost vs. income did us in.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Awesome photo's!
    You remind me of Rocky Balboa in that first one!

    ReplyDelete