Thursday, June 23, 2011

Experience the Everlasting Great Land

Juneau, Alaska, from the gill netter Kiksadi.
by Robert L. Gisel

 It is a bright summer day when you can stand in Juneau and gaze upward to the summit of the mountains, green and white against the clear blue skies, with the last remnants of winter's snowfall glittering in the Alaskan sun. Looking thus you can almost hear the angels song, as your awareness expands outward to appreciate the vastness of untouched lands.

 When next you are asked where you are from you say Alaska, whether this be wholly from where you hail or not, such is the pride of having walked the walk. After announcing this you bemuse the odd questions asked as if Alaska were on another planet, or at least a lesser known continent only newly arrived at by Columbus.

 What you'd take for granted as every day life circumstance will be of intrigue to those who haven't caressed the land and challenged the wilderness.

 It is no myth: Alaska is a magical land. Its scenic beauty is breathtaking. The very extremes defy life. Yet living there brings out the best in more more ways than one.

 A group of bears that rip the salmon in their claws, a wild wolf pack sweeping back and forth in the woods in front of you, passing under the deepest blue of a glacier that does not cave in on you, encountering a snorting moose, very still lest he charge, traversing the rain forest to land on a small lake so remote you won't cross paths with a soul, silently slipping through the water in a kayak next to the blow of a sperm whale -- how many memories does it take to endear one to a special land.

 Invariably when I say I'm from Alaska it elicits the comment, "always wanted to go there". Or having been there, want to go there again. Truly it is an experience that never leaves you.

 It is the land, it is the the wildlife, it is the people that make it an unforgettable experience. It becomes you like no other place I have been. Thus the saying, once an Alaskan, always an Alaskan. If you live there now, or have, you know what I mean.

 You are invited north to experience this greatness. But only a few of you, so we keep the population down to frontier numbers.


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1 comment:

Patsy Legg said...

I know Robert Gisel personally - this is a great recollection of Alaskan History that could be forgotten - folklore and fact - That is Alaska and I look forward to much more. Patsy Legg - Born in the territory and came to Juneau on the Chilkat - really wonderful - thank you Robert.