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.
Plans change and housing conditions get rearranged — such is often the nature of life in my Alaskan bush village. I had planned to be in a cabin, commuting (i.e. walking) back and forth from cabin and work, but things shifted, one of which was a knee injury that had me looking at my options for staying in town, where I work. A hundred years ago, McCarthy was quite the happenin’ spot in Alaska. This was before Anchorage was even on the map, merely a place to slap a tent down. McCarthy, at the time, was a regular sin city, just four miles down the road from the site of the most profitable copper mine in modern history. And like anywhere else in Alaska, if you had a spot of land, you could always put up a wall tent. It was a quick and cheap way to put a roof over your head. So, in that same spirit, I decided to put up a tent in town, down by the river, where I can listen …
My connecting flight to Detroit was cancelled due to weather. The friend I was visiting in Michigan was under the weather with a nasty cough. Thus began my trip to visit friends and family in the Midwest, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above-average. Oh, and where winter storms shut down airports and nasty cold and flu viruses circulate like the gentle breezes rolling along the Santa Cruz beaches.
I came across The End of The F***ing World via a review in The Atlantic by Sophie Gilbert who calls it “Pitch-Black Perfection.” I was immobilized, anyway, from my vasectomy the day before, so armed with the perfect alibi to binge-watch for an entire day, I decided to give The End of The F***ing World a try. And I’m glad I did.
Am currently watching Godless, part of a new fixation with the Westerns genre. “No other nation,” the historian David Hamilton Murdoch writes in The American West: The Invention of a Myth, “has taken a time and place from its past and produced a construct of the imagination equal to America’s creation of the West.” From a good Atlantic article, What Godless Says about America.
Holiday preparations are complete. There are better stocked liquor cabinets, but for a nomad, this ain’t bad. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jonathan Erdman (@erdman31) on Nov 26, 2017 at 1:54pm PST
I met Aline this summer. She’s a like-minded adventurer who really squeezed the most out of her first summer in Alaska, spending almost all of her free time hiking and camping and exploring the mountains and trails around McCarthy, AK. She’s also from France, originally, though she’s been in the States for quite some time now. She read some of my posts on capitalism and socialism. We were eating together, outside on a sunny afternoon in July, and we started talking about it all. Aline’s perspective was international, it was interesting, and I’m still mulling it over. Basically Aline’s main point (or at least the one that really stuck with me) was that she appreciated American mobility, the kind of uniquely American ability to be transient. We talked about it, and Aline expressed a good deal of sympathy for my pro-socialist and anti-capitalist writings, but said that there were many things about American individualism that she appreciated, and she wondered if we’d lose some of these things, were America to embrace socialism. As a quasi-nomad, …