Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Home Sickness?

Towards the Confluence, Yukon & Klondike Rivers, Dawson City

Overlooking Dawson

Not really, as I don't have a home, but what else to call it?

As most of you know, I have spent the past two summers living in Alaska -and part of last summer in the Yukon, but really there's little difference between the two (other than they are in different countries, lol) - both are vast, chilly and ill-populated (with humans at least). Even though I think I've enjoyed those summers, my memories of both of them seem overcast with a lot of stress - the first summer, I had packed up and moved 4,000 miles from one of the largest cities in the world (NYC), to the secluded town of Skagway with a population of 850- give or take. The second summer, I dealt with the new responsibility of not only driving a 45-foot-long motor coach, but also composing a convincing  and entertaining tour for the folks on board. Let's face it, driving and talking at the same time is not really a challenge for me, but learning all the new information and balancing the conflicts that sometimes arose along the way were tricky and certainly a bit stressful. 

At the end of both summers, I wasn't sad to say good bye to Skagway, or the Yukon. I confess, I'm a city girl at heart, and I love having all the stores and conveniences of populated life at my beck and call. I'm your typical, everyday instant gratification lover- I hate waiting for packages via snail mail- and yes, I'm probably a 7 or 8(1/2) on the materialist scale. The same old food also gets old, as do the lumpy beds- they're not quite like home. 

British Columbia, between Skagway, AK and Carcross, YT.

Well, the past couple of nights, I've dreamt of being in Alaska again. The first night, I dreamt of being on a barge, heading to Anchorage - don't know if it's possible, but so I was - and the scenery, though it was the dead of the dark winter- was gorgeous, absolutely breathtaking. Then, last night, I had a dream that Trent and I were starting the season early- once again in the middle of winter- and we were taking Vladimir Putin's family on a land tour. Yea, weird, why would we do that, when he could just swim over to Alaska himself (according to Palin at least). And the craziest thing about that dream, is even though I know nothing about Putin or what he looks like, he really does look like what I dreamt! I looked it up on wikipedia. Creepy!

It's not really weird for me to dream of being there, as I've had these dreams periodically since we left in September, but it is funny how my dreams portray the winter weather and all. 

Anyways, although I'm quite relieved that I don't have to start touring right now in the icy winter, I am starting to yearn for the place - something that occurred about the same time last year- there's just something fascinating about Alaska being all quiet and dark and cold. I've never been there in the winter (although you'd think it was winter sometimes in July!), yet I really desire it. I just picture our hole-in-the-wall rooms in the Westie and think of them being abandoned, the wind howling outside. I really just want to spend a winter there, doing absolutely nothing but watching television and looking for the Northern Lights - and maybe a little booze to get me through it- oh wait, it will never work out for me, will it? :)

I'm excited about going back this summer, and I feel like I appreciate Dawson City a little bit more. Even though it's really in the middle of nowhere, and they don't sell blue cheese anywhere in town (that's what happens to you when you start getting nostalgic), it's such a beautiful, peaceful place. The distance from the law and from the crowds is actually therapeutic in many ways.


Rin said...

I would love to live in AK for just a year. It's my dream. But I have enough dreams to fill two lifetimes.

Jeff Smith said...

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