Monday, March 2, 2015

March Light Show

The spirits in the sky came out once again for us last night, and man oh man was it one heck of a show! It was definitely in my top 5 aurora viewings since moving to AK. Thankfully my friend Bryce texted me the good news that the northern lights were dancing, and out I went to North Douglas to join the crowd of nature lovers. Lots of people were out enjoying the show. Bryce is an excellent photographer, and captured some great photos of the lights, along with some of me and my friends. 

I managed to take a few photos myself that turned out pretty good, and when I have a bit more time I'll post those here as well. 

Here are a few of Bryce's awesome photos...

My friends and I mesmerized by the lights.

Here is what I've been trying to get a photo of for a while! Headstands under the lights!

Me under the spirits in the sky.


Monday, February 23, 2015

February Plunge!

Well, we did it again. Me and my plunge sisters took a dip in the ocean yesterday to check February off the calendar.  

Only 10 more to go!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Year of the Winterless Winter

A lot has happened since my last post. Eaglecrest has been closed for a couple weeks :( The snow has melted almost completely away, other than some coverage at the very top of the mountain. Definitely the worst winter Juneau has seen in years. I have faith that it will get better, even if it's just a month of riding in March, the snow WILL return!

I started two new jobs to fill in the time until *hopefully* Eaglecrest opens again. I have been substitute teaching the past two days, which has been really fun. It's such a new experience and I love it. So far I've only worked with special needs kids and they have been the sweetest, nicest kids ever. I like subbing because you can pick your own schedule, and work when you want, given there are actually sub jobs available that day. There are a ton of schools in Juneau and it seems that sub jobs are always available somewhere.

I also got hired as a direct service provider at REACH Inc. I start my training for that job on Monday. I think it will be a very rewarding job since I get to work with kids who have disabilities. Everybody deserves to get the most out of life, and I hope I can make a difference!

So back to the snow... which is nonexistent. It did snow a few inches a couple days ago, and some friends and I went sledding which was SUPER fun. Sledding with a trash bag and a yoga mat is surprisingly AWESOME! It's been an interesting winter for sure. The lack of snow and work at the mtn has given me more chances to get out and explore Juneau in the winter, which is nice. Normally, it's dark by the time I'm off work and on my two off days I just wanna relax. It's nice to get out and hike around a bit more.

We also did a January Plunge round 2 off the St. Peter at the BIMA. It was cold. It was really f'n cold. But it was FUN! There was snow everywhere which made it even more interesting. Before when we just waded out and ducked our head under, it took my breath away for a second, but this time... oh man, this time was way worse. I guess jumping off a boat and going 10 ft under is a bit more of a shock than just dipping your head under. We all came up like maniacs. I swear I think I was trying to paddle to the surface before I even hit the water! Haha. Kinda like how you can hold a dog over water and they immediately start paddling their paws. Too funny.

Here are a few photos from recently...

January Plunge round 2 off the St. Peter!

Ice skating with these awesome peeps!
Winter being her lazy Winter self.  

Bonfires at Sandy Beach never disappoint.
Crashing waves and sunshine on the backside of Douglas.
Tryin' to be a mermaid.
Dan Moller cabin adventure with the party light!                     
Dan Moller trail

Dan Moller trail
One of the few days we could ride from the top, but only the east side.
The west side was a thick sheet of rime that made turning damn near impossible.
Splitboard adventure to find some freshies!

Monday, January 5, 2015

A New Year Begins Again...

I realize this post in a few days late, but oh well! 2015 has been off to a great start already! This year is going to be the best year yet, I just know it! 

2014 was a great year. I experienced quite a bit of change, mostly for the better. The end of last winter season was good, minus cracking my sternum that put me out for a month or so. I got my AASI Level 2 certification, which I never thought I'd achieve when I first started instructing. The summer season was amazing. I went from a 6 year relationship to single. I saw so much epic shit that made my heart feel like it was going to explode that I feel like I should write a book. I had the best crew fam ever. I made so many new friends and met some really interesting tourists. The fall was good, for the most part. I lost my papaw back in October. He was the best papaw any girl could hope for and I miss him every day. Despite the sadness October brought, Halloween was a blast this year thanks to my friends. I got to get some more hiking in that I missed out on during the summer from working so much. Winter started off good but then the snow just disappeared and it seems Mother Nature has put us in time-out, but I'm confident the snow will return sooner or later. The holidays were great. Thanksgiving and Christmas was spent with wonderful friends and I'm so thankful to have such amazing people in my life.

For me, 2015 starts the beginning of a new year and a new outlook. I've decided not to have any 'resolutions' because let's be real, those things never last long anyways, right? I've decided that this year, I'm just going to be ME, and live and love as much as possible. I don't want to take anything for granted. I want to explore nature more than ever. If I don't really have time for hiking this summer, I'm going to MAKE time for it. I have peaks to summit and trails to blaze. I have a couple goals I want to accomplish this year. I want to get my freestyle specialist certification through AASI in the spring and I want to get my 100 ton captains license in the fall. 

I also want to dedicate more time to practicing yoga. Yoga is something I've always loved, but just never made it a priority. The past few months I found comfort in doing at least a few minutes of yoga a day, and I want to continue that not just throughout the year, but make it a lifelong habit to benefit not only my health, but my mind as well.

Also, lets not forget the 2015 PLUNGE CHALLENGE! Haha, this is just something that I thought would be fun to do throughout the year. After a very chilly dip into the ocean back in October with friends, the idea was planted to make it a monthly occurrence for 2015. January 1st was the first plunge we did. The water here in Southeast AK averages between high 30s to low 40s, so why not take a chilly plunge once a month to keep things exciting? Makes perfect sense to me!

To whoever reads this rambling, I hope you have a great 2015, and may it bring lots of love and happiness your way! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Be Thankful, Always

So with Thanksgiving coming up and seeing all the posts about what people are thankful for, it really got me thinking about the past couple years that I've been in Alaska.

This happened yesterday, and it just happened again today. I was bored and ended up looking through my summer photos of all the cool stuff I've seen since moving to AK. It reminds me how truly blessed I am to live in the most beautiful place on the planet and be surrounded by such awesome friends. 

I miss being on the water every day. I've always loved boats and the ocean, but being here and having the opportunity to work on a boat every day in the summer has taken that love to a whole new level. Words can't even begin to describe the excitement I feel every time I see a pod of orcas, or a humpback whale breaching, or a huge chunk of ancient ice calving off a glacier, or even the view of snow covered mountains as far as the eye can see. I know some people get 'burnt out' in the whale watching business, but I don't understand how that could be possible. Every job, business, and industry has its ups and downs, but to me, the little bit of bad doesn't even come close to how awesome the good is. Being in the presence of such beautiful, mysterious creatures is a blessing I'm grateful for every day. 

I also miss the SNOW. Why hasn't it freakin snowed yet?! Gonna have to take my snow dancing to a whole new level. I don't think I've ever been so excited to get on my snowboard as I am right now. This weekend is our returning instructor training, and I'm stoked to see everyone and get the good winter vibes flowing even more. I am glad I work for such an amazing ski area. Eaglecrest is truly a community ski area where you don't just have co-workers, you have a family of friends who care about each other and have a passion for what they do. Winters here are amazing to me, even with all the rain that comes with it!

I've said this a million times already, and I'll say it a million more. I LOVE Alaska. I truly feel like I am meant to be here. If someone would've asked me 5 years ago if I'd be where I am now and seen the crazy shit I've seen, I'd have told them they had lost their marbles. I thought I would never in my life get to hang out with orcas and whales on a daily basis, see massive glaciers calve, shred crazy mountains via helicopter, gaze at the northern lights more times than I can count, this list goes on... 

No matter where you are, make the most of it and be thankful for it. There is always a worse situation you could be in. Even if you think you have hit rock bottom, it could ALWAYS be worse. Some people think my life is just rainbows and sunshine, but believe me, I've seen my fair share of heartache, grief, and struggle. All the bad and the good has made me who I am today, and I wouldn't change a single thing. I truly believe in the law of attraction. If you stay positive and put out good vibes and energy, the universe will send it back to you. 

For example, just as I was typing those last few sentences, I started thinking about my dad and my papaw, and how I've lost the two most important men in my life in the past three years, but then I thought about what amazing lives they led. In that same moment, the sun came out just enough to create a beautiful bright rainbow in the channel, right outside my window. It instantly made me smile.  So I suppose sometimes life IS rainbows and sunshine if you put your mind to it. Even in those times of struggle, as hard as it may be to keep a smile on your face and stay positive, do it. Even if it's a fake smile, it will eventually turn back into a genuine one :) 

Don't forget... 
Be thankful, always.