Hey everyone! Things have been a blur lately for both Robyn and I. The big news, of course, is Robyn’s new job! This job will ensure that Robyn and I can stay in Valdez for the winter and better yet, offers Robyn an incredible opportunity to expand her job experience, but I will let her tell you about it: Ethan speaks the truth! I landed a sweet job at Prince William Sound Community College, in Valdez. I am super stoked about it too. At the community college, my formal title will be ‘Academic Advisor/Counselor’, and I will get to work with college-age students looking to further their education at Prince William Sound. Here, I will help outline where their collegiate career is headed, and introduce course materials and classes best suited for their intended major. A mentor and friend are other perks to the position, as well as full-time employment, great benefits, and a nice work environment. I am really excited. As of now, my first day on the job will be September 13! It’s comin’ quick! In the meantime, I will be working at Magpies Bakery and will still maintain some seasonal work with Maggie for the special holidays: Halloween, Turkey Week, Santa’s arrival, and Sweetheart’s celebration, just to name a few! Definitely stay tuned for updates on the new job —> more to come soon!
Soooo. more on the Valdez front, the city has been bustling lately with fish derbies, concerts, and festivals. Along with the activity, we have finally experienced some summer weather! The climate reports for Valdez in July showed that we endured the 7th wettest and 3rd coldest July on record. Not so thus far in August, however, as we have had several stunning days of sunshine and blue skies.
Although, we have been workaholics lately, we still found time to get Trixie back on the road for a whirlwind one-day-trip to Anchorage for some groceries and to enjoy the sunshine. The drive was incredible through Thompson Pass and the Chugach Mountains leading up to views of the Wrangell Mountains to the Southwest. The views of these massive peaks were spectacular and also proved to be the tallest mountains I have ever seen with Mt. Blackburn and Mt. Sanford each surpassing 16,000ft.
Turning onto the Glenn Hwy we were in for another incredible drive as the road snaked along the northern reaches of the Chugach Mountains to Anchorage – with views of the Tazlina, Tosina, and Matanuska Glaciers. It’s hard to believe that in August, the green leaves were already changing colors. The roads were lined with beautiful yellow and orange poplar trees along with a carpet of vibrant red leaves from the low-bush blueberries.While in Anchorage, we hit all the things Valdez (thankfully) lacks and got sick with shopping. It was also strange to realize we hadn’t seen a stoplight since our trip through Whitehorse, over two months ago. We did however get to grab a quick pint at one of Anchorage’s few breweries as well as pick up our own homebrew supplies and ingredients for our first batch. With any luck, we will have some time this Sunday to brew our very first Alaskan beer!
We have been very busy lately and I have been picking up lots of odd jobs while Robyn continues full-time at the Bakery. I guess my primary employer at this point is the Whitney Museum, where I answer questions all day and stare at the giant moose. I am also on-call as a sea kayak guide for Anadyr Adventures, where I lead trips to Columbia and Valdez Glaciers. Along with these, I am helping a neighbor build her house/cabin for the winter, as well as a garage in town. In the meantime, we are also house sitting and watching three dogs for a lady who is currently on vacation.
As the tourist season, as well as seasonal work, comes to an end in September, the avalanche forecasting season begins. This is when I will get my opportunity to really dive in and learn about the mountains, mountain safety, travel, and avalanches. Until then, Robyn and I are training for another half marathon, the Zombie Half Marathon, in Anchorage this October. The extra running and our training schedule should help us get our legs and hearts in ski shape! Can’t wait!