Sunday, May 9, 2010


This past week has been amazing for a number of reasons. We finally started working on a real project and it felt so great to be getting dirty and doing hard work. We worked on the Trail of Time at the Mendenhall Glacier. We got to camp out at one of the most spectacular campgrounds I've ever seen. We were right on the lake right in front of the glacier, with a beaver pond right by as well. I also saw my first wolf while working on this project. It was amazing! We listened to them howl all night long but never expected to lay eyes on them until we saw one trotting down the road right after finishing up a days work and leaving the woods for home. So cool!!!
View from my campsite of a beautiful reflection of Mendenhall Glacier
Grubbing (removing all organic material from the trail corridor before laying gravel over it)
Learning how to chainsaw! It's super fun and more of this will come next week.

Friday was a big day for all of us because this was when we were told where we will be working for the summer (North or Sotheast Alaska) and who our co-leaders will be. I was super relieved when I received good news all around. I will be leading a crew in the North meaning my new home base will be in Indian, AK, just outside of Anchorge, and I will be working on projects throughout the interior of Alaska. I am super excited to have a chance to explore the rest of the state! I am also really happy about who I will be working with. My co-leader is Tommy English and my field educator is Beth Tyson. They are both hilarious and fun as well as really hard workers who are dedicated and passionate.

Yesterday, I had an amazing experience riding on a float plane. Me and 3 others got to take a float plane trip over Juneau and 5 glaciers and land at the Taku Lodge to enjoy an all you can eat salmon feast. It was such an incredible experience to see these beautiful landscapes from an arial perspective and then to land the plane in water right next to a huge glaicer.
Juneau from above
Gastineau Channel. Juneau is on the right, Douglas Island on the left
Flying over Hole in the Wall Glacier
 Right after landing in front of the Glacier.
Me, Beth (who I'll be co-leading with-yay!), Katie, & Sean
 A baby black bear waiting for her mom to finish liking the salmon remainders off the grill (a daily occurance at the lodge)

The leaders going north will hang out here in Juneau for about 2 more weeks doing more chainsaw training and then one more work project before making the trip to Anchorage. I can't wait for the ferry ride and the amazing road trip to follow. It's going to be an incredible summer!!!


KMarie said...

everytime i read your blog my jaw literally falls open, and stays there. i am so so glad you are having such an amazing time. i just wish i could talk to you on the phone for once!!! (sheeeeeesh, everytime i call your phone is off/out of service). no worries. i love you and wish so badly i was adventuring with you.
all of my love,

jhaehnel said...

Claire Bear!

This is so awesome, I'm very happy that you are blogging for us. GREAT pics- keep that up too!

How long will you be working in Alaska, just a summer or the whole year? NCCC?