As I mentioned in my last post here, I am just over a month into my 10 month internship working for the Anchorage Fish and Wildlife Field Office in Alaska. As a native of Colorado, the dry, cool climate and adventurous, get-outdoors spirit of Anchorage are welcome characteristics to me as I adapt to my home (thousands of miles) away from home. Still I know that it is going to take some effort on my part for me to feel more a part of this town and community, especially when all of the other SCA interns take off in August. Basically this translates to: Dani, go make some new friends.  

Luckily for me, it seems like everywhere I go I meet new people who are eager to show off their Alaskan-backyard to me! In fact, one of the new friends I have made since arriving is Ariel, a fellow alumna of Dickinson College who grew up in Anchorage and has since returned after graduating. Although we never crossed paths on campus (she is a year older and we spent opposite years abroad), our mutual friends put us in touch and I am so very glad that they did!!

By stroke of pure coincidence, Ariel is also roommates with another girl, Libby, who I had already met through work as she is employed by the Anchorage Parks Foundation! Talk about a small world!                  

Anyway, thanks to these (plus a few other) new friends, I got out last weekend for my first Alaska backpacking adventure!

 

 

       These beautiful photos are courtesy of my friend Elizabeth, who was the "trip photographer" for the group as we made our way through almost 7 miles of Chugach State Park (The largest city park in the country! According to these guys) to our destination at Williwa Lakes.                         We didn't spot any critters on our trip, but the flowers were in full bloom and being out in the picturesque sub-arctic mountain landscape was breathtaking!! I kept having to pinch myself at how beautiful everything was...oh wait that wasn't me, it was a mosquito. In fact, I had over 30 bites when I got home and counted the new red splotches on my arms and legs. No wonder locals tease that the mosquito is "state bird" of Alaska!

All in all, I had a wonderful time with an amazing group of Alaskan women and I look forward to all of the new relationships I form as I start to set some roots down here in Alaska. It is a Bizarre and Beautiful (intentional capitalization) place, and I will never know all of its wonders without a little, or a lot, of guidance from people who live here and know it best.

More updates to come! My plan as of now is to do one work-related, and one play-related post each week. Make sense? Last week was work, this week is play, and next week I will try for a shorter one of each!

TGIF and wishing you all a happy weekend!

~Dani

 

Views: 312

Tags: Alaska, Intern, Northwest

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Comment by Jamie Patten on July 24, 2012 at 12:45am
Comment by Jamie Patten on July 24, 2012 at 12:43am

That is great.  I love that Amanda.  I heard that the footage Michael captured was amazing.  He made this video for us in March.  Can't wait to see what the AK piece looks like.  

Comment by Danielle Thompson on July 24, 2012 at 12:38am
Jamie- thank you so much for the encouraging words!! Actually I have worked quite a bit with amanda as she sits on the "get outdoors anchorage" committee which I am also a part of. As for the film maker, he and amanda shot an interview with me in the field while I was pulling some invasive trees!
Comment by Jamie Patten on July 24, 2012 at 12:16am

Danielle -- I love your blog.  Please keep them coming!  Photos are ridiculous!  Have you been to the SCA Anchorage office yet to meet Amanda?  Also, we just had a great young filmmaker up there capturing stories from our members... any chance you crossed paths with Michael Burke?

Comment by Bryan Zingmark on July 20, 2012 at 12:47pm

Great story. I really enjoyed reading about your adventures.

Comment by Danielle Thompson on July 16, 2012 at 1:23pm

Thanks Joe! This site is so easy to post on, I'm happy to do it : )

Comment by Joe Thurston on July 16, 2012 at 12:20pm

Great post! So many photos!

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