In Sitka, a Few Pictures are Worth…

many more words than I could use to describe the highlights of the past few weeks.

Me and Jackie kayaking on a beautiful day!

Eating fresh caught crab on the deck of the boat. YUM.

Sunny Labor Day boat ride with my housemates! Mt. Edgecumbe looking delicious in the background.

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Sunny afternoons outside the library.

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Drinking local.

Gina and Me

Hiking Verstovia with Gina and Matt.

Jackie, Steph, Elle- Slackline

Getting my housemates to try out the slackline!

Hiking Gavan with the whole house.

Learning how to filet freshly caught fish.

Becoming life size gumby dolls in survival suits. Me on left, Gina on right.

Slackline in Sitka


Me, Slackline, Sitka

Originally uploaded by lizpurdy05

My apologies for the lack of blogging. The weather has simply been too nice to sit inside on the computer, even in the evenings I can barely bring myself indoors for dinner.

So here’s a little update: the slackline was introduced to Sitka and my housemates and was wonderfully accepted! (It was also given thorough analysis by a couple of our friends who are on the local Search and Rescue crew, after discussing the physics of it, it was approved and they tried hopping on!). We have an especially great spot to set it up just off Crescent Harbor, which is essentially our front yard, and in my opinion, one of the best views/people watching locations in town (Ok, actually the best people watching is at the P (Pioneer) Bar on a Saturday night, but you get the idea). If I ever talk to you on the phone while I’m in Sitka, chances are I’m sitting by  Crescent Harbor. We enjoyed plenty of stares from people driving by and my goal (sort of) is to be in the Sitka Daily Sentinel sometime this year with me on the slackline. I think it might actually be possible.

Other events of the last week include going fishing after work on both Thursday and Friday with our buddy Tyler. We caught a few pink salmon, but most impressively I filleted it right there on the beach–blood, guts, eggs, and all. Awesome, my new rain jacket has officially been baptized with fish blood. Runs across the bridge to Japonski Island are quite possibly my new favorite activity and we’re all in shock with the sunshine that is lingering here. Is it really mid-September? It’s probably best if I don’t say too much about it. More to come when it rains . . .

Is this my life?!

The first words out of my mouth yesterday morning were, “It’s a Labor Day Miracle!” when I saw the SUN shining through the windows of the boat we were on. Let’s be honest, I cracked myself up and laughed so hard I cried because of how ridiculous it sounded, but it became the refrain of the day as we experienced such an incredible day on the water. After falling asleep to pouring rain tucked away in a quiet cove about an hour outside of Sitka, we had zero expectations of enjoying any sort of nice weather. But Alaska amazed us all once again.

After a breakfast of eggs and venison sausage we jumped in a kayak and headed to shore, where my housemate, Steph, was promptly pinched by a LARGE Dungeness crab. With blood trickling down her middle finger, we handed off the task to our friend Tyler who killed it and stuck it in water to save as a little snack for later. We kayaked around the cove and relaxed in the sun before the real fun began back at the boat when we put on the survival suits and jumped in the water. This was probably one of the most hilarious moments of my life as I, and all my housemates, became real life, bright orange gumby dolls (pictures to follow). You stay super dry, float perfectly and can hardly move in this oversized orange suit.

After boiling the crab and having a mid-afternoon snack on the deck of the boat, we headed back to Crescent Harbor with our feet dangling off the bow of the boat for the entire ride. A sea lion greeted us as we entered the harbor and followed us to the dock. Feeling like we still had a bit of energy on such a gorgeous day, Gina and I took a great run across the bridge to Japonski Island and stopped by John Brown’s beach where Gina’s crush (Mt. Edgecumbe) was looking mighty good in the evening sunlight. We discussed with each other the fact that if you were to describe the last 48 hours to our friends and family it would sound absolutely ridiculous and not at all like we are doing a year of service. (We really do work, I promise, I’m going into the shelter later today!).

Our weekend was then finished off last night at 9:45 p.m. when we heard a knock on our door. I went down the steps to answer and a man named Aaron was standing there with an envelope in his hand. He started to explain himself and said that randomly at a bingo game he won a $50 Visa gift card but only because he had called “Bingo!” for the girl who was next to him who was too shy to yell it. The girl he yelled “bingo!” for was a former JV from Anchorage and since they had the dilemma of who the $50 gift card really belonged to, they decided to give it to us! What the heck Sitka?! This place loves their JVs!

Last weekend we also managed to find a little sun and my housemate’s co-worker took us to a place called Pirate’s Cove where old fishnets are hung up in the trees to make a giant hammock. You could probably fit 15 people in it and we all wobbled our way across it feeling like we were kids on a bouncy castle trying to balance on the life-size spider web. To say that our experiences in Alaska so far have been “unique” is an understatement, but that’s about all I can seem to think of for now.

So there you go, we’re kind of living the dream currently. And in case you think our house is ridiculously spoiled,  my friend Ian and his housemates in the Juneau JVC house spent the weekend on a three day sailing race with the local sailing club. WOW! But we hear that 50 inches of rain falls here between mid- Sept and mid-Dec so we’re all wondering if this is perhaps the last of the “good life” that we’ll be experiencing for a while!

Not a cloud is in the sky today, so I’m off to enjoy it before it disappears for months. Plenty more to come as the adventures continue!