Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Heaven on Earth: Especially When the Sun Shines!



Alaska is an extraordinarily beautiful State and nothing is more lovely than the Juneau-Douglas area when the sun shines brightly. Unfortunately, both Juneau and Douglas Island reside in the Tongass National Forest, and as such, well...it rains a lot as rain forests tend to do!

I live now in Oregon and I can tell you that statistically Oregon is considered a very rainy state. We have jokes that you can tell a true Oregonian by the webs on their feet and so on. But our yearly rain total in Salem, Oregon is less than 1/3 of the rainfall in the Juneau area!

When I was growing up here, I worked for three different State Departments. I started out as a clerical aide for the Dept. Of Highways, later worked in the Dept. of Fish and Game issuing commercial fishing licenses to large fishing boats and ended up a year later working in the Governor's Office, Dept. of the Secretary of State. At all three places, when the sun came out and we had an exceptionally beautiful and warm day...we were literally given the afternoon off from work!!!!

Now, after being here at my parents' home on Douglas Island for a full month, we have had the worst rainy season summer in recorded history. I have had three (ok, two and one half) days of sunshine in one month and yes...I gave myself the afternoon off!

After several hours of preparation (trust me, this is not an exaggeration) my dad and I got my mom dressed and into the car for a ride. Once we rode out to the very end of North Douglas Road...one of the most heavenly places on earth. Not only can you see across to the other side of the Juneau mainline as you drive, but by the end of it you can see Admiralty Island (which my grandparents once homesteaded in the first few years of 1900.)

One of my uncles was actually born there, and if they could have toughed it out a bit longer...we would have been granted ownership rights to the entire island. Admiralty Island is now worth a small fortune and a few lucky people have managed to snag expensive lots there. Others have managed to purchase land on Horse and Colt Island and a few others nearby. You have to have generators and a boat to get to your cabin, but it is so beautiful!

Oh, if only.......

1 comment:

  1. How absolutely wonderful that you could share that sunny afternoon with your parents...

    If you need a bit of color, check the post on my blog ~ I've dubbed it 'light therapy' for the office!

    ReplyDelete

Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.