First of all, I want to thank everyone for turning out for the show last night! What a Heart filled, WONDERFUL EVENING! And thanks for fillin’ the bucket, too. The PayPal notifications in my inbox each morning for the last few days feels a little like Christmas in June. I feel supported, loved, encouraged, and am so grateful for every bit of it! As of this morning, I’m caught up on CD/DVD/Book orders and will fill/deliver any additional orders when I get home in mid-July.
In a few short hours, I will be winging my way northward. I’m staying with friends in Juneau tonight, then tomorrow afternoon, will meet up with the 2 profs and 11 classmates who will be my tribe for the next week, and probably far beyond that. From Juneau, we’ll catch the jet shuttle to Gustavus (a lovely small community outside of Glacier Bay National Park). The final leg will be made by water taxi to The Hobbit Hole, now an environmental learning lab. (http://inianislandsinstitute.org/the-hobbit-hole/history/
Spring family history has some overlap with the Howe family mentioned above. My late parents, Bob and Norma Spring were a freelance photographer and journalist team who specialized in Alaska for over 4 decades. In the mid-1960s, our family took a week-long trip up Glacier Bay with newly appointed park superintendent Bob Howe and his family. I don’t recall Greg OR Fred (I was very young and didn’t have much AT ALL to do with teenage boys). I do vividly recall camping at Blue Mouse Cove, though. I recall the pleasant chore of gathering drinking water from dripping, truck-sized icebergs stranded on the shore. And the glaciers and slushy flotillas of icebergs, picking carefully through them and getting as close to the glacial faces as we dared to in the small boat. And the moss and lichens and scrubby brush just taking hold as the bare land made it’s recovery from the glacial scouring. Even with the prolific and ever-present Alaska State Birds (aka mosquitos), it was summertime paradise.
Once when “the boys” were elsewhere exploring, my sister and I were taking a much needed bath in the very cold, clear water. Out of nowhere, a helicopter appeared over our heads, interrupting our skinny dip and mortifying my older sister. I was young enough that it didn’t tweak my modesty much. Whoever it was up there, I’m sure they were as surprised as we were, lol.
Six or 7 years ago, I made a kayak trip back up to Blue Mouse Cove, pitched a tent in the same spot, and scattered some of my folks ashes. No skinny dipping though, (brrr) and no helicopters, just an otter raft greeting my arrival at the mouth of the Cove. The floating community…scores of them…playing, hunting, quietly eyeing me as I glided in the mirrored waters through the colony!
And two days later, on the way back to the pickup point rendezvous with the day boat, perched on an tiny island waiting for the tide to change, I watched two adult killer whales teaching a juvenile to hunt.
Now, once again I am pulled back to that breathtakingly beautiful corner of the world, on a mission to gain skills that must be used in good service to our Mother Earth. The syllabus for the course looks intense, comprehensive, and more than a little daunting. We start early and end late, 6 days of extra tuff boot camp in the classroom learning the art of rhetoric, interspersed with exploring the island and its surroundings, boots on the ground and paddles in the water, observing the flora, fauna and ecosystems of some of the most gorgeous country on the planet.
I don’t expect to have phone signal most of the time I’m up there, or much if any access to a computer.
I am, however, taking a camera and a notebook. And a guitar!
I look forward to sharing more when I’m home in mid-July. And now…I have a plane to catch!