Alaska….a personal note
A few forsaken plants swayed madly as the arctic wind ripped across the frozen tundra, the snow not so much falling as flying horizontally across the barren landscape. Almost everyone has seen film or video of this on a PBS or National Geographic special, but to work in that kind of weather shoveling snow against conditions like this is like trying to empty the ocean with a bucket.
I can remember quite a few winters as described above, where I would be shoveling snow at the mouth of the driveway and the Elliott highway and think for a brief second one could not live a more exciting life than me! I would flash back to some television special of wind swept Arctic tundra and indeed feel I was the luckiest man on earth. Well here we are decades later and more to the point decades older and the allure of fighting the elements is fadeding.
The last snow event has cemented my belief that I may not be fit enough anymore to handle the extreme conditions Alaska can throw at you. Though this last snowfall, of less than two feet, was not a major one it took me four days just to shovel the 25 feet of my driveway. The woman who owns this property always amazes me because to her it was just another start to winter and at most an inconvenience. But what can one expect from someone who though a bit older than I continues to build new cabins when I put my hammer down years ago.
Now after twenty five years in Alaska for the first time since my arrival here in 1995 I have been focused on experimenting with a five month vacation of sorts. It is more a trial run of to see if this old man can readapt to civilization or to find out if I have indeed lived alone in the woods for too long. Such a drastic lifestyle change will I know not come easy based on the the fact that when I make my supply runs to town I can not wait to leave and return to my wilderness home.
Because life comes with an expiration date…
I must soon choose between
a solitary life here in the Alaskan wilderness
or more time with my grandchildren
who barely remember a grandfather
that lives in a land touched by the hand of God
A heads up and a thank you. First as most of you know I am no longer able to post directly to WordPress and can no longer upload any photographs, so I invite you to visit my Face Book page, (Pete Burokas), to see some of the photos that I would normally post here. Last but not least another thank you to Winlink the ham radio email system for making this posting possible.