Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Sna? Wha?

Oh, hey there. Back from Juneau, Alaska (or, as I like to pronounce it, "Wah-NO". That's my SoCal Latina heritage asserting itself there). Juneau is a gorgeous little town on an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. It clings to the side of mountains - literally, in one spot, where they had a giant avalanche in the early 70s - as they drop into the water. Snowy trees abound, as it's situated in the middle of the Tongass National Forest (the only temperate rainforest in the world).

Normally, it would be quite pleasant to visit, as its January average is about 30 degrees. Of course, my trip was atypical, as everyone kept telling me. The temperature stayed in the single digits and the windchill factor brought it to -25 degrees. I don't care where you're from, but that's effing cold. I did get to see some bald eagles, glaciers, and overall natural splendor. It doesn't take long to see that - Juneau has no roads leading to it, even though it's the state capital - so ten minutes' drive out of town takes you into the heart of the woods.

At one point while driving around yesterday, we had to go to the bathroom, so my host stopped at this unheated outhouse by a boat dock. He was able to do his business just fine, but there was no way I was going to attempt it. My feet were engulfed in (borrowed) wool-lined boots and they were going numb; I didn't even want to consider what effect complete exposure to the cold would have on sensitive body parts.

And the work part of the visit was fine too. My host was gracious and all things considered, it was a good trip. I just wish I hadn't been so cold the whole time. I now am sick. Wah. I did manage to doze a bit on the flight back to DC, but I still think I'll be ducking out early today so I can work in a nap.


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