JUNEAU ALASKA [WHAT IT’S LIKE]

Thursday, June 27, 2019

lena.jpg
Being in Juneau for almost 2 years now, I’ve been adjusting to how different way of life here is. One thing right off the bat I want to tell you is that we have day and night all year long. In the summer is longer days, and in the winter is longer nights. For example, right now as I write this we’re enjoying the longer hours of the summer time daylight. The sun comes up at about 3am and goes down around 10pm. What you’re looking at in these photos is Lena Beach at 8:30pm and 9:11pm. And nevermind that there’s nobody in the photos, because plenty of people are there. I walked to spots where I could get isolated shots of the view I was seeing. Plenty of people out on the water paddle boarding, one guy in a tube fishing, sitting in the water, and plenty of boats out there fishing too. Was a lot of fun. I was trying to get nature shots in these, and don’t worry, I took plenty photos of everything. Lena Beach is awesome.

lenabeach.jpg
And to think, this is only one of the stretches of beach. Everywhere you look, you’re pretty much waterfront in this town. One thing coming from the lower 48 that someone needs to know about Alaska is that people who live in Alaska don’t typically move as fast as someone from the lower 48, and this means decision making too. But, that’s good though, because when you’re here, you are given the gift of the opportunity to just let go of the lower 48 rush mindset. It’s something like being in a small town, but still having Downtown. With how many areas Juneau Alaska has, it’s almost a fully functioning metro here.

But what is it really like here in Alaska? Well, people are generally nice. Some people just aren’t going to like you and if you make to much attention for yourself, you’re going to be the focus of a lot of hidden drama. This is only because there’s a lot more going on behind the scene than you may notice, and conversations about you are going to happen. And you might not even like what comes of that, but that’s just how they do things here. There’s not a lot of confrontation here like in the lower 48. Most people here do not steal, some do. Some people like to talk, some people treat you like an outcast. The same goes for anywhere of course, but this is a smaller community so people are usually pretty tight knit.

The food is good, the water is awesome. You don’t have to have a water softener. You can pretty much just drink water straight from the tap, although, I do not. Juneau, Alaska is a good place to start over. Some people move here to avoid the law, some people move here to avoid their family, some people move here and build amazing careers for themselves and their families. The prices of everything here is very expensive. For example, $3.40 is the cheapest gas we’ve got at the moment and fortunately it’s on my side of town. Which reminds me of my next point.

Juneau is something like an island. You can’t just get in your car and drive away. You can’t just disappear in your car and run away forever. You have to take a ferry, boat or plane to get away from here. We’re surrounded by water, ice, forest and mountains. You ain’t gettin’ away that easy. I had the option to leave and chose to stay. Something about this place. I love the views of these trees, this water, the ice, the mountains. Did I mention eagles? Eagles and ravens. Ravens galore. Porcupines, and yes, even bears. Most of the bears here in Juneau are friendly in the terms of these bears don’t just attack you for no reason like they do on the TV. Doesn’t mean you should try to interact with one. Just saying. Safety first!

Do you like hiking? Is that your go–to in life? Then you’e going to love it here. This place is all about the hiking and tours. You can even take kayaks out, visit ice caves, all types of stuff going on, in the summer time. In the winter time, everything is different. No tourism, downtown becomes half the town it once was, not as much money going around as before with all the tourists. It gets dark and things change. It becomes the perfect lighting for movie night for hours and hours. This can make you become lethargic. You might gain weight, or lose weight in these situations. If darkness and the cold depresses you, then you will find it rather boring here without someone cool to spend your time with.

This is the perfect place to be if you like to be close to the library all the time. This town has recycling bins placed around town where you can drop off your recyclables. Recycling is not picked up for you, but yes, we do recycle. The main roads are typically cleaned of snow regularly. But you should still own an all wheel drive in case your destination is on top of a hill. If you have front wheel drive only then you definitely ain’t makin’ it up that snow packed hill, buster. Believe me, I bought the all weather tires and everything. Not happening. Which brings me to my next point.

Black Ice…. Black ice is a killer. Black ice is invisible. This is black asphalt that’s frozen, and the layer of ice is thin enough to make it to where you can’t tell that you’re even about to drive on it. Many cars wreck in black ice, even while doing the speed limit. There’s not too much black ice in Juneau, but the snow sure can be slippery if you have a car that doesn’t have all wheel drive. Sometimes you can be turning on snow, and you might as well be sledding. This is why you have to be careful in winter conditions when driving in Juneau. But what makes the snow slippery?

Juneau, Alaska is a rainforest. It rains here and it rains a lot. It rains all year long. If you love the rain, then this is the place for you. It doesn’t typically rain enough to flood here, and sometimes it rains one day, and the next day is bright and sunny. Sometimes we have clouds for long periods of time and no rain. Sometimes we have clouds for extended periods of time with nothing but rain. But most of the time you can expect rain. The snow is usually wet here, meaning it’s not water, but it’s moist because we’re so close to the water. This makes the snow slushy. After a while the snow freezes over, however, it keeps getting rained on. Yes, it rains in the winter. It rains all year long all the time. I happen to love it.

Yes, It does snow here. However, it’s not crazy snow like Northern Alaska. We got snow that stuck maybe twice this last winter. But once the snow was here, it froze over and stayed for a long time. See what I mean now? But about that moisture in the air, it’s not humid, it’s rain. It can rain ice pelts here, or it at least can feel like ice hitting your skin or face. This ain’t no Candy Land, but the way the snow falls and lands, you can surely become instantly enchanted.

The eagles, the ravens, the porcupines, the people, the mountains, the slower pace of life, the beaches galore, the cruise ships that come into town (you cannot board a cruise ship from here, boo), the clouds on some of these mountains, the rainforest, the hiking, the small town, the Douglas island, oh and the bears! This place is without a doubt enchanting. I’ve tried some awesome food here, I recommend several places here. Try everything. Just ask a local where their favorite place to eat whatever you eat. There are Vegans here, but not everybody is a Vegan. However most places serve Vegan options.

That’s pretty much everything there is to share with you about Juneau’s differences from what you thought you knew about Alaska, and what you just discovered Juneau was like to travel to. Oh, one more thing…. freight shipping is major out here. By boat or by plane, you will be delivered to. It might not be cheap, but you can shop around. Oh, and you might as well sell all your furniture if you’re thinking about moving here. Most of us buy local, some of us buy certain picks online. Just depends on your tastes. Some things you can’t get here, some things you can. You can get legal cannabis and you can get vape products here. Just ask and someone will point you in the right direction if you can’t already find it on GPS.

Okay, so there’s a couple more things. We have Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights as some may call it. Seeing them can be hit or miss, and there’s no telling where they might show up. Sometimes you’ll not even notice them, and then bam, there they are. I’ve got a question for you, have you ever taken the scenic route home? Every time you look outside, everything can be scenic. Pretty much everywhere you travel here is a scenic route. Which reminds me, putting up billboards here are against the law. Why? Because it would block all of our scenic views! So if you’re someone that likes something pretty to looks at, this place has plenty of it. And I can’t forget the sea lion, seals and whales. We’ve got a little bit of everything pretty much. We’ve also got day and night in one view in August. This place is seriously one of a kind.