Monday, November 10, 2008

home sweet home

Cob and i spent last week in Whitehorse, Canada. Cob was being a "kept man" while i worked, attending a scientific working group for Yukon River salmon that is jointly staffed by American and Canadian scientists. this working group supports the international treaty between the US and Canada that allocates the salmon that swim over 3,000 miles from the Bering Sea to the spawning grounds in Canada. Brandy (of cranberry picking fame from last year) and i were busy working while our respective partners played (and as it turns out, Ross bought a diamond with which to make Brandy an honest woman! i'm not spoiling any surprises here, she's already wearing it...)

though it's just two hours by plane, we decided to take the scenic route home over about 600 miles and 12 hours that started with a BIG breakfast in Haines Junction.

the scenery and company were top-rate. this is Kluane Lake, on the Canadian side, home to Burwash Landing people and many, many Dall sheep. those who live where i do will see beautiful, yet familiar scenery in the picture below. it just really is this beautiful up here, no joke. ok, so maybe we don't have these mountains up close in Fairbanks, but we have our own version of it in snow-capped domes with untouched trails, sparkling snow across a frozen lake, and a skyline of black spruce that rivals any big cityscape.

we got to the border by about 2 pm with 6 hours left to go, but we had to stop and take this picture. as i tromped over the snow making my way to this sign, i recalled the same moment, 11 years ago in 1997 when i moved up here and my life changed. i was wearing a grey fleece with red trim, jeans, and sneakers, and the marvel of the landscape unfolding before me left me captivated. 11 years later, i have no idea where that fleece went to, but i still look around myself in marvel at the land, and the people, and the world that i live in. it just never gets old. if you ever get this far north, stop by this sign and remember where you are. as they say in the Yukon, your soul's in here.

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