Juneau aside, I knew I was going to love southeast Alaska long before I ever got there. I’d been dreaming of Alaska all my life, imagining a place where there was no human scale by which to measure things.
Alaska is funny that way. You’ll wake up in the morning, peer out the window of your cabin, expecting to see a brown bear lumbering along the shore in plain and perfect view. But no, he is only a brown speck you have to strain to see with your binoculars. How can this be? The shore looks like it’s right there, only a few feet away, and that boulder there could only be a few feet high. You forget there is nothing out here in this wilderness by which to understand scale–no buildings, no automobiles, no people. As it turns out, you are miles from that shore, that boulder is many stories high, and the bear, he’s big, too. But your mind won’t grasp it. It has not been taught how to measure nature in a world without man.
That is why it took me only moments to fall in love with my first views of the distant Fairweather Mountain range and the crumbling glaciers at their feet. Everything is so massive. And then there is the knowing, too, that there is no one out there, not one at all.
So how do you see it all? Check back for the scoop on how to do it….and how to put yourself in the scenes above.