Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Head over to my new website

I'm now at www.trailmixedmedia.com

Over the last few weeks I've been working on creating a public version of this blog, and it's finally ready to go live! I'll probably still keep this one around, but for now most of my new posts will be on the new site at www.trailmixedmedia.com. Let me know what you think of it! (Also DEFINITELY let me know if you have problems viewing it on your screen or browser -- I have tested it in a couple browsers, but I want to make sure it looks okay on different screen resolutions as well!)

It'll be pretty much the same, except for the layout overhaul, and with a heavier emphasis on cross-utilizing other social media outlets. As I am working towards a career in environmental media, this is a big step in not only betting marketing myself and my skills, but also a good practicing ground for learning the best ways to use different media for various purposes. 

On the new site, you can expect to see some outdoor gear reviews over the summer, maybe some video blogging, and most certainly regular posts about my new season in Alaska! Hope you like it, and thanks for all your support!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Discover Denali

By now, most of my close friends and family know that I'm heading back to Alaska this summer, and certainly you do, if you're reading this blog. But I have been surprised to find out how many people have either never heard of Denali, or don't know what it is. Now, I fully realize that my idolization of the park is completely due to my NPS geekery, and I didn't know that much about Denali before I joined the park service either, but that being said, I feel it is now my duty to enlighten you to its splendor and to the reason why it is undeniably awesome.

Map modified from NPS AK Region map
First, you should know where it is. See map above. It's kind of in the middle of the state, but the entrance is on the north side, closer to Fairbanks. Most of its 6 million acres are designated or eligible wilderness, meaning that the land is mostly untouched and undeveloped, is accessible only on foot or by non-motorized vehicles, and with back country permits. That is to say, it's pretty wild.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Trekking Alaska's Trekking back to Alaska!

For the last 6 months, I've been fending off the trepidation that this past summer might have been my last in Alaska for a while. Thank goodness for good fortune, good friends, good family, and good thoughts: I will in fact be returning to the Last Frontier this summer for another season with the National Park Service!

And this time, it's a big one. Ever heard of Denali National Park and Preserve? You know, that 6 million acre park in the heart of Alaska, home to Mt. McKinley (North America's tallest peak), epic scenery, cool archaeological sites, and a ton of wicked awesome wildlife? Yeah, that's the one. :)

I know it's going to be an entirely different challenge than anything I've ever faced before, but I've never been so sure of anything I wanted to do in my life. I will be leading programs for bigger groups than I've ever led, living in a different part of Alaska that I've never seen, and on a team of a much bigger staff than I've ever worked with. Not to mention, one of my favorite coworkers from Sitka also got hired there, so I'm additionally happy that I will already know someone there.

Every season with the park service I've learned so much, and I am sure this will be no exception. I just hope I can use what I've learned to make this experience the best it can be.

So, sit tight, and keep a look out for the first photos from interior Alaska in about 7 weeks. Until then, I might put up a few posts about Denali just to make you as excited as I am about this.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Newfoundland part 3: The Beginning and the End

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Monday was my last day in Newfoundland, so I was determined to make the most of it. My friend had class in the morning, so I took the city bus into town to wander the streets and take in the sights one last time. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Newfoundland part 2: When in Bonavista...

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Saturday morning we woke up early, packed the car, and headed out to the small ski area where my friend works as a cross country ski instructor. Since I've never skied before and my friend didn't have time to teach me before work, I contented myself with hiking the ski trails in the morning while he taught his class.

It was the windiest day! Gusting at 30mph the air felt about 5 degrees with blowing snow blurring my vision and making my ears and chin ache. The trees provided some buffer, but whenever I came to a crossroads in the trail, I had to quickly trudge-scamper through the snow to get to the next sheltered spot. I spent the last 40 minutes or so waiting in the chalet by the warm stove, content that I had seen as much of the trails as I could that day.

Once my friend got back, we hopped back in the car and took off up the TransCanada highway, heading to the rural village of Bonavista, about 3.5 hours north...

Friday, February 27, 2015

Newfoundland part 1: From Northwest to Northeast

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

One of my favorite things about Alaska are the serendipitous opportunities that come up that you never would have expected -- some even coming up years later. And that's exactly how I found myself on the island of Newfoundland this past weekend. 

Working in Nome, AK for two summers I made so many great friends, one of whom happened to be a student going to college in St. John's, NL. We stayed in touch over the last couple years; he always invited me to come to Canada, I always said I would someday. Finally sucked in by my wanderlust again, I decided to make that "someday" last Thursday. I booked the cheapest ticket I could find, loaded my backpack, and took off for a whirlwind weekend with my friend I hadn't seen in two years on the opposite side of the continent from where we first met. Whoever would've guessed!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Inspiration for the (Female) Adventurer's Soul

I confess: I'm a sucker for a good story with a strong heroine, and we're not talking Scarlett O'Hara here. We're talking that rare breed of female lead that somehow seems to elude most mainstream media, disproportionate to the number of male protagonists that dominate our literary landscape and cultural narratives.

Although this topic is of mild interest to me, until now I have typically shied away from addressing it, frankly because I don't want to be pegged as some feminist whining about the patriarchy. That's not why I'm writing this. I am writing it because I think there are a lot of other people out there -- men and women alike -- who enjoy hearing the stories of female characters just as much as I do, and just as much as we all like stories about male characters.