I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

This morning at 4:30 Jess and Kevin paddled a yellow canoe to our backyard from an overnight adventure across the inlet. Chip went out and helped them carry the canoe up to the driveway. This is what they don’t tell you about midnight sun: it’s the mornings that are really extra long, and make the days so much richer. Waking that early seems natural when the sun is up and the water is still and there is dew on the beach roses. The crows are clicking toenails on the metal roof, Robins are pulling worms from the lawn, seals splash, eagles glide, voles scurry, and somewhere, I bet there’s a bear or two moving about — and then Chip points one out on the river, through the spotting scope. I love riding my bike through a town where the early risers are up and moving and I can smell the bacon in the camper park– and know I’m not the only one awake– there are parents of infants, the elders who rise with the light, the carpenters, heavy equipment operators, dog walkers, fishermen, pilots and tour operators; the bakers and cooks, the gas pumpers and carpet cleaners, the gardeners and photographers and poets and especially the adventurers, who hike up mountains in the dusky June light and paddle home in time for a shower and a hot breakfast before taking a long morning nap. That is why I wake early. I like the company.