My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Special times with special people; CA to WA

This was not a work trip but rather a time for friends and family.  However, I did have the opportunity to visit some amazing places that I thought i would share here.

Flew from Juneau to Seattle on Wed. 5/9 spent the night at a hotel then flew from met friends Seneca and Kathleen at the Seattle airport in the morn and flew to Medford, OR.  This is the closet airport that AK AIR flies to, so to get to our destination of Ginny’s in Eureka, CA.

It actually was a beautiful drive through Grant’s Pass and then along the coast line.  We enjoyed the sites and the warm weather, as we all left cooler days in AK.

On Friday Ginny took us on a drive south and hiked in the Redwoods, they were beautiful and you will see some shots attached.  We stopped in small town of Loleta, CA for lunch and a stop at a cheese factory!  On Saturday we  went to the Arcadia Farmers Market, roamed the streets of town, ate at a crepe place (YUMMY) and ended the day with a hike into Patrick’s Point State Park where we sat for a few hours enjoying the sunshine and the ocean but mostly the company!

Sunday had us heading out early and back towards Medford.  It was quite foggy in the morning but once we got away from the coastline the sunshine returned.  Katheleen and Seneca hopped on a 2:00 flight back to the Great White North and I began my drive to Seattle.

Next Stop; Eugene for time with my niece, nephew and sister-in-law!  It was Mandy’s 20th bday and Matt’s 22 so that was a great time to be there.  Also drove to Monmouth for the day on Monday to spend some time with good friend Paula.  What an amazingly beautiful home she has!  she and her husband re-did an old school house and it is so amazing!

Tuesday I spend with family in Eugene but Wed. headed N to Portland to visit more fam and friends.  This time Jennifer and Megan and I  met for dinner.  Good old laughs with good old friends.

Thursday was full of surprises as I got to visit some of Harry’s family (cousin and 2nd cousins).  Morgan and Jason are 8 yr. old twins and I surprised them getting off the school bus, what joy kids bring to each day!  We went to a local pub for dinner and Carol (Harry’s cousin, their grandma) joined us which was really special.

Friday I headed on the last leg of the trip, Portland to Seattle.  I have done this one a lot, but it is always a nice casual ride.  I got to stop this time in Tacoma to have lunch with friend Heather, and her daughter Caroline and husband Kevin.  Arrived to good friends Zan and Monica about 4 so a lot of time to play with the girls (Sage 3.5 and Lola 1.5).  What energy and what fun!

Spent the later part of the night with my cousin Karen and her family, always fun!  Saturday was full of time with them, a visit to the part, Nolan’s ball game and finally a fun night out for me as I took Ruby and Nolan to dinner!

Sunday I was up and going as my flight left at 11 a.m.  I got home at 12:30 and was immediately bummed that the May weather that I typically love in JNU was not there and it was cold and drizzly, AND the fact that I had left 80+ weather in Seattle.  Oh well, regardless I was glad to be home, AS ALWAYS.

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Kake (pronounced cake), Alaska! A beautiful Tlingit Community

This was my third visit to Kake this school year.  I went in Sept. (29-30) to work on some community engagement work as well as do a workshop with their school board.  It was my first visit to Kake and I really loved the community.  Over the years when I worked at the University in Juneau (UAS), I have had a lot of students that were from Kake.  They were always very proud of their community and continuously invited me down there to visit Kake and meet their families,  I finally made it.

As per most Tlingit communities in SE Alaska Kake is set in a beautiful location.  It is tucked into island such that the weather doesn’t beat on the community.  The sun shines (a lot more than it was in Juneau as I left) often and it gets less rain than most of SE.  The Tlingit people have lived in the area for thousands of years and were known as being strong and powerful individuals and indeed they are.

Kake has a totem pole that is 128-foot tall.  At one time it was the largest, carved totem in the world, though there is now one larger.  It was carved in 1967.  (see photo).

There is a High School/Middle School building and an elementary school building.  They are near each other so it is easy to go back and forth between the buildings.  The community has a health center, a senior center, fire station, cannery, hatchery, grocery store and more!  The Alaska Marine Highway ferry system goes to Kake a few times a month, so many people bring a vehicle to Juneau, fill it with goods and take it back home!  Shopping at its best!

This spring during my 2 visits I helped them find a new superintendent, which means I will have one more trip there this fall, hopefully in Aug. I would love to get here in July when they do their Dog Salmon Festival where the community shares and celebrates their long history with fishing!

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