Slug life

I’m trying to make the most of my remaining time here in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I start out tomorrow and in the meantime, I’m packing and getting the car ready for the trip up north to Alaska, but I try to squeeze in some walking and hiking time.

I was hiking a few weeks back with an activist friend, Nick, a union organizer. I was introducing him to Fall Creek State Park, which is walking distance from my house. Fall Creek is also my go-to trail because apart from being so close and accessible it’s also not very heavily trafficked. It’s got all the splendor you’d expect from a Redwood forest — towering, serene trees, a barrage of gorgeous greenery, and a stillness that serves to refresh the civilization weary soul.

Nick was interested in seeing a banana slug. We didn’t see one that day, but I spotted one on my next hike and thought of Nick.

Slug Life

The next time I went out on a walk, though, I saw what I believe may have been the same slug. It was in the same spot. Well not exactly the same spot. Assuming that it was the same slug, progress appeared to have been made, as you can see:

The last time I was out on a walk the banana slug was at the base of the tree, as per the blue arrow. It’s possible, of course, that I spotted two different slugs, but I like to think it was the same dude, you know, just taking his time, taking a few days to travel a distance of about a meter and a half.

It will soon be the slug life for me: off the grid in a small cabin in bush Alaska. No electricity (except what I can get through my solar panels), no running water, no indoor plumbing, no washing machines, no dryers, and no showers. Unlike previous summers in McCarthy, I won’t be working this summer, so I’ll be able to focus on writing and on spending time in the wild and with all of my friends and fellow bush-dwellers.

No banana slugs in McCarthy. Just the usual ensemble of forest dwelling friends: bears, mosquitoes, moose and squirrels.

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.

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Consider this post an invitation, an invitation to comment and collaborate ~ In Solidarity, JE

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