I am not the first person, nor will I be the last person to take an Alaskan Adventure. This land of the north is considered a land that has yet to be fully conquered, a frontier of sorts, a land filled with huge bears and even huge-er bear stories. I have, in my 2 days that I have been in Alaska so far, have heard enough bear stories to last a life time. I kid you not, if I hear one more bear story I will maul the person telling it.
It is hard to write about personal experiences. People rarely find the personal day to day experiences of another human being to be interesting, but it isn’t all about how interesting an experience is. I am mostly writing so I can keep everything straight in my mind, and as an escape from the 16 hour work days that will soon engulf every aspect of my life.
I missed my first flight to Alaska. 5 minutes earlier and I would of made it. Curse the construction that delayed my drive to the airport. This started a headachey chain of events. Switched flight fees, waiting standbye, cramped seats, baggage switchover, another standbye, another cramped seat, and finally my destination. An interesting side note: I sat next to a lady on my first flight from Seattle to Anchorage, who graduated from Polson, Montana in 1978. It was a bumpy, short flight from Anchorage to King Salmon, then a bumpy drive from King Salmon to Naknek.
Naknek is my home for these next few months. A town made up of canneries, fish processing plants, a boat yard, a general store, a liquor store, and a post office. No phone service, and when I say no phone service I don’t mean phone service that is really bad most everywhere and good enough in some places to receive a text, I mean absolutely no cell phone reception. It is a good escape from the ever pervasive world of cellular devices that the rest of the world consists of. It is nice to be able to meet and talk to someone who doesn’t pull their phone out halfway through a conversation and give you only a part of their attention.
I haven’t seen a night here yet. It is light for about 21 hours a day. At ten at night it still feels like mid-day, it is quite the trip. Alaska is a beautiful place. People who have been to Alaska always say how beautiful it is here and coming from Montana I thought I knew what to expect. Flying into Anchorage was wonderful. The mountains up here dwarf the mountains back home. And then when we got to King Salmon it was an entirely different landscape; flat, short trees, and brush for as far as the eye could see. It was beautiful in a very different way than Anchorage, but equally beautiful.
Tomorrow we start working. Yesterday was orientation, rules, and a run through of all the different jobs in the processing plant. I get to work on the fillet line. Should be an interesting experience filleting salmon for 16 hours a day. Tomorrow will be difficult, the next day will probably be even more difficult, and the day after that even more so, then eventually it will get easier as my body becomes accustomed to the long hours and hard work, at least I can hope that my body will adapt or else this will be a long couple of months.
There are three of us crammed into a little tiny dorm style room. It would be a stretch to call this dorm style as a dorm would be considered luxury to what we are living in now. A nine foot by nine foot by eight foot box with a bunk bed and a twin. Thin walls and one outlet, a crooked door and a window that opens into a warehouse. I can’t complain that much though, it could be worse. It just adds to the Alaskan Experience. My two roommates are from Colorado and Utah, Spencer and Bryce. Good guys, makes life a little bit easier. Spencer still calls me Randy even though I have corrected him a few times, such is life. It could be worse.
I will try to write and update this blog a couple times a week, that is if a bear doesn’t maul me first. I wish you all a happy Wednesday and a good week.
Mom and Dad, if you are reading this could you please send me a plug strip, my two grey flannels, and a few more pairs of wool socks. Thanks. Candy would be nice too.