Author: Jonathan Erdman

What’s buried in your backyard?

It’s during times like these that those of us who are End-of-The-Worlders can hold our heads up high and walk with a little dignity, for once, instead of sulking in the corners of cafes, hiding out in the gloom and glum of darkened basement rooms, except of course for the briefest of appearances which typically take the form of alarmist Jeremiads or wild-eyed apocalyptic rants. While we share wildly diverse backgrounds we all recognize the inherent fragility of the system.

2019 POV

For me, 2019 brought a big shift. In the fall of 2018 I knew that I needed to make a change. I had resigned my management position at McCarthy Lodge, at the end of the summer season, but it wasn’t quite clear what I should do next. Should I look for another seasonal summer Alaskan gig? Or should I look to do something else entirely? Was I going to continue to live my nomadic lifestyle, spending summers in Alaska and winters in California? To complicate matters, my health had suddenly taken a bad turn, back in the fall of 2018, and problems in my gut had led to me losing a great deal of weight (which was alarming because I’m already a skinny dude). I was feeling extremely low energy, to the point where a simple, short walk just about did me in for the day. At that point, all options were on the table.

McCarthy’s Mutts

Originally posted on Paul Scannell Photography :
Stories From Alaska Welcoming Committee How’s it goin? Oh, to be a McCarthy dawg. The town’s mutts roam ‘free range’. Highly prized and rarely preened, they snipe for fries, hump, sniff and snooze without human meddling. The pace and population of this remote Alaskan town ensures freedom to wander and build bonds. Packs form and frolic, poised and playful. It’s a medley of mock snarls, curling snouts and ever-shifting dominance. A sign, half way down the main dirt road, urges motorists to heed the pack’s unfettered movements. Opha-Mae, Snug as a Bug I watch them from the steps of the old hardware store. Alliances shift and ebb with each scuffle, until the next stick or bone is claimed and challenged. They duck, dive and dodge their playmates, with barks most usually worse then bites. Vicious outbursts give way to gentle tumbles. Through this tussle of teeth and tails, scores are settled and forgotten. It’s a dance; a wild canine theatre where dramas flair with spittle, butt-sniffing and high jinx.…

Jumbo mine

My writing has been going pretty well so I had to drag myself away for a nice hike. I was helped in this by Paul, a photographer friend of mine, who is working on a photo book of abandoned places like the mines in this area.

Bare and bear

Long day of hiking yesterday, then back home to the cabin, late, where I took a sponge bath. Not a stitch on my bare back and wouldn’t you know it? One of the locals came around for a visit, right up to the porch. I ducked down and peaked at her though the window, a mama bear with a cub, the cub playing in one of the (many) trees in my yard. I snapped a quick pic while she ambled away. Then I quickly put some pants on.