Yakutat and Back

I swear, I get homesick now at about Eldred Rock. I am so happy to be home that I'm having trouble sitting at my desk. But I did want to touch base, since I have been computer-less since Friday. What a great trip-- the weather was so perfect that I had to remind myself that I was on an Alaska ferry and not some Baltic cruise yesterday. I wore a t-shirt on the deck and wasn't cold at all. The flight over and back from  Juneau to Yakutat was spectacular, and in Yakutat itself we had views of Mt. St. Elias, Logan and Fairweather--and more sunny skies. The race ran along sparkling Monti Bay, on a gravel road, and then up through the woods and back down to a little church. Everyone in Yakutat was so friendly, and the little village (about 650 people) was tidy and unassuming (in such a stunning setting)-- and still mostly unpaved-- that it reminded me a bit of Haines 20 years ago. The speed limit there is  15mph. The race was started by a pretty Tlingit policewoman with a cracker shelled shot gun. I'm not sure if the same capable woman "dispatched" a black bear that was on the cross country course the night before, but at the coaches meeting we were told it was taken care of because, "you can't have bears that close to kids and the school." Hmmm. The Police Report in the Chilkat Valley News is mostly about bears this week, and brown bears are walking  freely down Main Street, apparently. One tore up my apple tree last night, about ten feet from the back porch. The dogs slept right through the stealth attack. I spent the early morning picking all my remaining apples and cleaning up the tree as best I could. It may survive. I'll tell you more about hearing Terry Tempest Williams speak at UAS Friday, and about a walk on the West Glacier Trail in Juneau with Eliza soon, but I have a column due for Woman's Day (on Christmas, can you believe that?) and am babysitting Caroline this afternoon, so have to run. 


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