The Final Drive

Yesterday was my last drive to Anchorage for the summer (for work at least). Besides all the very vital computer work that I do here at the lodge, I have also been given a couple other odd jobs to fill in my time. I’ve led orientation for new employees which consisted of playing videos that explained how to not hurt your back when lifting a heavy box and what to do when you inevitably spray that extremely dangerous chemical into your eyes. I also have been putting together the employee newsletter which sounded like a lot of fun at first, but lately since things have been extremely busy, it has taken a back seat to all the other things that I am trying to get finished before I leave for the season.

My favorite random job, though, has been driving the employee shuttle to Anchorage. Anchorage is the biggest city in Alaska, and believe it or not is actually the biggest city in North America (geographically at least). It’s a thriving metropolis of restaurants that aren’t the employee cafeteria, movie theaters, and stores that have all the essentials that you don’t really think about until you have no store within 90 miles to buy them. I’m lucky enough to be the driver on this magical journey for employees every Friday.

1anchorage

Sometimes, one of my friends will come with me and ride shotgun for the 2.5 hours of driving each way. Those are the best days because besides removing the danger of me getting tired behind the wheel, I also get to have those special conversations that only happen when you spend 5 hours with someone with nothing else to do and no way to leave. Not to say that I make people want to leave or anything, but you start talking about random things that you wouldn’t on a normal day or outing with someone.

It’s also nice to wander around stores and people watch. At the beginning of the summer I went to REI a lot because I was slowly purchasing more and more camping gear as I needed it. I was always fascinated when I saw the mountain climbers come in with their red chapped faces except for the perfect goggle lines around their eyes talking in some foreign language. I doubt I would really enjoy the actually climbing part of mountain climbing, but at the same time there is just something cool about rolling back into town with that huge pack on your back after you’ve reached the summit of McKinley. I’m sure all the girls notice the goggle lines and would be easily impressed as you told them of the nights spent in sub-zero temperatures and the days of climbing in ultra thin air. Yes, mountain climbers are cool.

Sometimes I would go to Best Buy which is one of those cool Best Buys that has a music store in it. I would jam on the electronic drum set and try out all the cheapo beginner guitar amps that they have there. It sure was nice to have the opportunity to play drums. That’s one of the things that miss a lot from home. My crappy $200 drum set and amazing $300 double kick pedals. There is also something about rocking out in a music store. It’s like you are up on a little stage or something. Sure your audience may just be that 13 year old kid with his mom that is begging for a guitar for his birthday, but to that kid you are a rock star if you can play a couple power chords and the pentatonic scale. It’s quite a sense of accomplishment.

The last 2 weeks of driving the shuttle I was starting to get bored with shopping and such so I started going to the movies. Last week was District 9 which I thoroughly enjoyed. It had amazing special effects and cool action scenes. Not the most amazing movie ever, but still pretty  good. Yesterday I got to see Star Trek finally because Anchorage is cool enough to have a cheap theater where they play older movies and all shows are just $3. Star Trek was great by the way, but I’m sure everyone reading this saw it 3 or 4 months ago, so I won’t go into detail on that one.

I will miss going to Anchorage every week. I have said all summer that if I was going to stay in Alaska for the winter it would have to be in Anchorage. I love being out in the middle of nowhere and all, but when it’s -20 degrees and dark all day long, I need the escape of a trendy restaurant or a movie. Sure compared to all the other bigger cities around the US, Anchorage is probably right around the bottom of the barrel, but up here it’s the place where all your big city dreams come true.

I’m going to have a little over a month in isolation at the lodge now before I leave. How crazy is that? What am I going to do next week with no Anchorage trip?Anchorage

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~ by twentyfivetolife on August 22, 2009.

One Response to “The Final Drive”

  1. What will you do? I say use the D90 to make a mini movie of all the random stuff that makes up your day. Or do a photo an hour. I wanted to do that so bad this summer, but ran out of time. It’s those little things that you miss so much after it’s all over.

    Was I right about Star Trek?

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