Alaskan Fall

Fall comes early in Alaska, so most of these pics were taken in August or September. It’s now November, and I’m back in California, central coast, where fall takes its sweet time. In truth, I’m not sure the winters here are really worthy of the name. If no one is slipping on the ice and breaking their legs or otherwise endangered by the cold, crappy weather, then it’s hard for me to call that a “winter.” Not that I’m complaining or anything. It’s just that fall in these parts is just sort of starting to catch up to the fall of two months back. So, even though I’m remiss in posting these pics, they are still timely for folks in the Lower 48.

Everything lit up when the sun came out after a downfall of rain, one of these fall days. No reports of pots of gold or leprechauns spotted at the end of this rainbow — just pretty colors….although there are gold in and around McCarthy, and there’s plenty of pot, but as far as I know, there have been no pots of gold.

Rainbow over McCarthy Alaska 2018
Colors of McCarthy 
My continued obsession with McCarthy Creek

To keep me warm when the night temperatures dropped to freezing (and below), I had a helluva wood pile in my (rather very large) tent, to burn in my stove:

Wood pile tent life Alaska
My woodpile, stocked up for the coming cold weather. I kept warm.

Colorful moments seen in the late fall, as my summer comes to an end:

McCarthy Creek  Alaska 2018 fall
McCarthy Creek, Alaska 2018
Fall McCarthy Creek Alaska 2018
McCarthy Alaska, September, 2018
McCarthy Creek 2018 Alaska
Views like this are good for the soul

Last Man Standing

There’s an annual contest/tradition in McCarthy, put on by McCarthy Lodge. Whatever’s left of beer and cheap whisky is put out on the street, the day after the Lodge officially closes, along with whatever the hell is left of the food, which is usually a bunch of fries and some sort of meat protein and perhaps a pasta dish.

This year, we procured a fancy bit of signage to advertise, from one of our alcohol vendors:

Last Man Standing, a McCarthy Lodge tradition. As can be seen, there’s still water left, but no beer.

The contest is called “Last Man Standing.” As the name implies, locals drink all the beer and whisky that we put out, and whoever is still standing after everyone leaves is the winner.

I’m a light weight and not a serious threat to the serious competition. In fact, this year I believe I staggered away well before midnight and enjoyed a good night’s sleep in my tent, a good enough night’s sleep to be up early. On my way in to the office, I came across the winner of the Last Man Standing competition:

Declared winner of the Last Man Standing competition of 2018

He’s not standing, as you can see, but as there was no one else in the vicinity to dispute the claim, this man took the prize and was declared the new reigning champ. It took a while for me to wake him up, but when he came to, he popped up with a surprising burst of energy and vitality.

The light dims, the cold sets in, and my McCarthy summer comes to a close

Published by

Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

5 thoughts on “Alaskan Fall”

  1. Yup! I loved the rainbow too. We saw them a lot in Alaska. Good times. So what’s the prize? Just the prestige of being the last man standing or is there a tree whereon the winners names are carved?


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