Despite the fact that I have another torn ACL and miniscus, this time in my "good" knee, Alaska is magnificent.
Flying into Juneau was unlike any other place I've been. Mammoth black mountains descend into a gathering of yellow lights right against the sea. It looks like a more modern version of a Lord of the Rings village. The sun, at midnight, was resting in a valley between two peaks, and three peaceful rivers laid like ribbons in a perfectly kelly green field under the plane.
Only one bad thing has happened on my trip so far, and it was in the air, so I'm not counting it against Alaska. When Jamie, the sweetheart mother of a three-month-old that I was sitting next to, asked the man in our row if he minded turning his light out, he exploded from behind his reflective glasses and earplugs,
"IF I TURN MY LIGHT OUT THEN I WON'T BE ABLE TO HEAR YOU GUYS TALKING!!!"
So that was the end of a nice conversation en route to the Great North Outdoors. Jamie and I started whispering again when the mountains were jutting their jagged way through the clouds and neither of us could contain our excitement. This then prompted the crazy flanneled man to raise both of his hands, and bend his fingers like furious geese squawking at each other to mimic our conversation. When Jamie attempted her request again, bless her heart, "So you do want your light on or...," the ogre bellowed,
"Yes, it's MY light, and I want MY LIGHT ON!!!"
And then he proceded to punch his light OFF two minutes later of his own accord.
Besides this button-downed troll, the people I've met in Sitka, where I'm staying for the next few months, are lovely. There's no t.v. in Erik and Natalie's house, and only 14 miles of road on the entire island. Out their front window, where I drink coffee and write with my bum legged propped up like a lame-o, hundreds of boats take peaceful naps in the harbor, and the snow-capped mountains keep watch from 300 degrees. The other 60 are filled with ocean and islands.
There is a simplicity here that I have been missing. In the paper today, alongside news of Obama winning the candidacy possibly because he blew his nose onstage like he's a REAL human being and Mugabe blaming internal Zimbabwean wreckage on the United States like the fool he is, the articles I found particularly interesting out of Sitka are about seals and goats.
Article #1: Fishermen need to stop throwing fish parts into the water because harbor seals are shoring up on docks and becoming mighty aggressive with humans, snarling at them for more food. Snarling. I love it.
Article #2: After a mama goat slipped and drowned in the ocean, a captain petitioned the state to adopt her baby whom he had found crying with its umbilical chord still hanging out (heartbreaking). Said captain received the go-ahead, bottle-fed the sad creature, and it's now headed to the Alaska Zoo.
In contrast to the news from New Orleans, which I received via text message from Kate:
Breaking News Story #1: Elizabeth (the new Craigslist roommate) has a rat dog with a pink collar named Chicken.
Breaking News Story #2: The shit finally hit the fan. Dat's Grocery (the ghetto convenience store two blocks from our house where we buy cheap 40's before the sun goes down and it becomes a crack/crime den) is totally roped off and surrounded by cop cars.
I've dealt wit dat for long enough. I'm more interested for now in snarling seals and baby mountain goat rescues.