“Then there is the man who drowned crossing a stream with an average depth of six inches.”


Etivlik Lake, northern foothills of the Brooks Range 2006

Or, pondering the efficacy of figurative ablutions…

It all started with a computation. Or maybe it actually all culminated in the pondering of said computation. A statistic was stated and I had an immediate reaction. One that caused ripples through my mind for the next several days. Last night it brought me to this, the dawning of a new day… the acceptance thereof, and the seed of a new idea sprouted.

18 gallons of water, per person, per day. A fairly simple computation. An average, reflecting the amount of water used in the house between water deliveries. Really, not that interesting of an observation… though I suspect some of you might wonder a bit at the concept of a “water delivery”. And really, that is a big part of what I am facing right now. The reality of water.

I have mentioned before that this spring will mark the twentieth anniversary of my initial arrival in Alaska. It took a couple tries for me to fully take the plunge and “move” here… as in to relocate and begin to claim residency. When faced the other day with the idea that, in the past month, I have been responsible for using – on average – 18 gallons of water a day I balked. I have been living in dry cabins for so long that this seemed a slightly outrageous amount. For you see, not that long ago I would use roughly 20 gallons a week… at home. It was quickly pointed out however, that this usage did not factor in shower and laundry related water use as those took place outside of the home. Then of course there is the reality of the outhouse.

So, there you have it. Life has changed. But I have commented on this, so really no big news here. So, why the sudden presumption (or at least proclamation) of illumination? Hell, I don’t know… something about the fact that I am living in a more or less proper home, in an extremely comfortable relationship, planning a wedding, a marriage… The idea of a whole new future has suddenly sunk in.

The pondering of the calculation, and the subsequent reflections,  got me thinking about writing about what life in Alaska has been for me. I have addressed this to some degree in past posts, certainly, but of late I have gotten lost in a different copse of woods… so to speak.

So then last night I was thinking about photography and my attempts to capture the world, as I see it, through the lens. Several months ago I added a photo album to my corner of the facebook with this idea in mind. It is a collection of photos that I have taken all over the state and felt that they were a fair representation of my experience in Alaska, which thankfully has been reasonably extensive, and even more thankfully, is ongoing. So, in pondering this I got the idea to wrestle this blog onto a different path… Besides, my last post was number 42. I would like to think that that is an appropriate milestone and turning point.

So, while I will not guarantee that I will not – at times – wander back into the aforementioned woods, I intend to spend some time using this digital space to share some of the past twenty years; through words and photos. I do not expect there to be any particular rhyme or reason to this, other than to have images be the grounding element. So I will leave you with the photo that originally gave me the idea…

the real alaska

A holy sign… Steese Highway wayside 2012


…and I bet some of you thought I was going to say something about baptism didn’t you…


One thought on ““Then there is the man who drowned crossing a stream with an average depth of six inches.”

  1. […] what did I do? I went and did the damn fool thing of claiming in a recent post that I was going to give this blog a direction. Damn fool. What did I do next? Not much. Truth be […]

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