Salmon Lake, Girls on the Run, Busy Fun!

The days are long with it getting dark around 10:30p.m. now, the adventures are many (even able to fit in a hike after work on Tuesday), and the sleep is minimal! Lots of events from the past month, I’ll update with photos as much as possible. The cruise ships are also back; tourists now frolic by the hundreds through our downtown streets, and several times a week Sitka Sound flaunts what looks like a high-rise building in the middle of the water–a rather jarring image out our window the first time it appeared a couple weeks ago!

Work continues as usual, but the weekends have been full of fabulous fun. The first weekend in May, I did not hike Mt. Edgecumbe as originally planned. It’s been a late spring here and there is still a lot of snow at the top, so it was postponed a month. However, my wonderful friend Chris rented the Salmon Lake Cabin in the Tongass National Forest for that weekend and invited me, Brandon, and a few of his Coast Guard friends for an incredible weekend in the woods.

Salmon Lake Cabin

We enjoyed some sunshine on the dock and even took the paddle boat out for an impromptu Alaskan photo shoot!Alaska Photo Shoot III

Boat, Book, Sunshine = Happiness

It was an awesome weekend of relaxing, sitting around the campfire, and sighing while looking into nature and saying, “Ahhh… the great outdoors!” (That was Chris’s favorite line from the weekend anyway). We didn’t see any bears at the cabin or on our hike, but when we returned to the trailhead at the beach, the dingy we used to row to shore was absolutely mangled and only slightly resembled a boat still. Our trusty captain, Chris, stripped down and went for a very brisk swim to retrieve our ride home which was tied up to the buoy offshore. We made it home without any other issues and were all grateful for the fabulous weekend!

The following weekend was the 5k race for the Girls on the Run program I have been volunteering for this spring. Girls on the Run is an empowerment program for elementary school-aged girls that explores ideas such as self-confidence, teamwork, self-image, and media influences through activity-based lessons and running routines. The 12 week program culminated with the 5k race on the beautiful Saturday morning of May 14th! Each girl had the chance to decorate a t-shirt, get her face painted, her hair sprayed with crazy colors, and have a “running buddy” by her side throughout the race. The event was wonderfully successful and brought about 100 people out to cheer on the 25 race participants!

Girls on the Run 5k!

Enthusiasm Runs Wild: Chris shows off his Girls on the Run tattoo on his nose!

Chris's GOTR Tattoo!

Girls on the Run with Attitude: Brandon and I are feeling hardcore with our GOTR tattoos.

Brandon and me, showing our Girls on the Run Attitude

Brandon takes a moment to show his artistic side with facepainting.

Brandon Working on his Artist Skills

The totem pole mentioned in a blog post from a couple months ago was raised on Sunday afternoon May 15th, which brought out hundreds of community members to the waterfront of Sitka National Historical Park. It was a beautiful cultural celebration.

Last weekend was the Second Annual Sitka Seafood Festival, which I got to enjoy with my local friends and Braden who came to town for his birthday weekend (Yay!). We got to watch the rather ridiculous halibut head toss, the fish head bobbing contest, and the fish tote races in the harbor. The Seafood Festival also brought one of the strangest/greatest bands to town to perform, The Wicked Tinkers, a tribal celtic band from California. After dancing to their rhythms Saturday night, Braden and I got a chance to slackline and hike around Beaver Lake throughout the rest of the weekend. It was a fabulous time.

In just two days the JVs from Juneau arrive to spend the weekend checking out the other Southeast Alaska JV location. A “Top Gun” theme party has been planned for the weekend and we’re all looking forward to their visit. After the Juneau JVs depart, my good friend Lucas, whom I haven’t seen in a year, arrives a week later!!! I couldn’t be more excited about my fabulous visitors headed this way 🙂 Finally, on June 10-13,  all the Alaska JV communities will meet in Bethel, Alaska for our final retreat of the year. Busy and exciting! So the end of spring and beginning of summer goes!

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