Caveat: library

We had intended to go out fishing today, but it was raining in the morning and too windy in the afternoon. Not good weather for taking out the boat.

This made Arthur a bit grumpy. 

I worked at unloading my giant container. I made some progress. I'm building a new library in Arthur's attic. I'm not sure he actually likes this idea. It may finally be sinking into his brain that I intend to live with him, and he's not totally happy about this. Just like me, he's been a bachelor for far too long. It's a hard adjustment, I am aware – for both of us.

So I've been moving furniture and boxes like a donkey. Down out of the container, down the hill into the house, then up the stairs again into the attic. I am sore and tired.

[daily log: walking, 3km; boxes, ∞]

Caveat: the move becomes concrete

I woke up before dawn. This was the Sunny Hay, shrouded in clouds across the water.


We went into town in the morning. Arthur was confident at the bank, but confused at the library. That's because he was thrown off because the library employee wasn't who he was expecting. New things…

My move became a concrete reality because my container was delivered in the afternoon. Rather than having to unload it all at once, they are leaving the container over the weekend and will take it back Tuesday. This gives time to unload it.


For Arthur, the whole reason for wanting to come back to Alaska was made a reality later in the afternoon, as we got the boat out of its hidey-hole (the "boatshed") and launched. Arthur has designed this process so well, that it's easy to do – I just stood around making sure things were safe, and lifting heaving things a few times. And it was launched.




[daily log: walking, 4km; carrying heavy stuff, yes]

Caveat: Six Inches Too Far

We flew up to Klawock (Craig), Alaska, today.

The trip was divided into 3 legs: Portland to Seattle, Seattle to Ketchikan, and Ketchikan to Klawock. 

On the second leg, the 737 landed at Ketchikan, and the pilot turned off the "no seat belts" light and everyone stood up. Then the pilot came on the intercom and said: "Sorry everyone. I screwed up. I pulled up to this jetway, and I went 6 inches too far. And this jetway here in Ketchikan [there is only one jetway] doesn't move. So I'm going to have to back up the plane six inches. Please grab a seat." The flight attendants had to close up all the doors, all that stuff… the pilot had to fire up the engine. It was funny. Just to move 6 inches backward. We couldn't even feel the plane move. And it was done.

Then we waited around for a while and got on the small plane, over to Prince of Wales Island, where Arthur's house is.


Countdown to Craig, Alaska: zero. Arrived.

[daily log: walking, 3km in airports]

Caveat: Poem #759

So finally I depart this world:
not to be a ghost, which I am,
but to enter another,
where the sea licks at stones,
where the sun hangs low,
where the roads end,
farther north,
with trees

Caveat: working without a job

Today wasn't too hard of a day. I'm realizing that when I land in Alaska, it won't be a sudden opportunity to rest and relax – there's a lot of hard work waiting for me. Work to get Art's place cleaned up, since it's been neglected all summer. Work to get my own stuff organized, since it's arriving shipped from Minnesota and Korea. Work to get my new life under way and sustainable.

In general, although I take breaks, this summer of unemployment has been quite a bit of work, so far. And it will continue that way at least for a while.

Countdown to Craig, Alaska: 2 days.

[daily log: walking, 4km]

Caveat: Road

We drove up the road.

But first, we had some breakfast with Barb and Tom Peters, in Eureka. These are old friends of my mom's and Arthur's.


Their house is charming.


Across the street is a high school my sister attended, though I never did.


The Oregon coast was photogenic.




Countdown to Craig, Alaska: 5 days.

[daily log: walking, 2km]

Caveat: The First House

I'm staying at the first house that I ever lived in, where I spent the first 17 years of my life (with some interruptions).

I'll not provide much narrative. Here are some pictures, with a few comments. I had put these pictures on facebook too. 

This is the house. It has changed a lot, but it's still the same house. Peggy and Latif live there now.


This is the park 2 blocks from the house, where I went an infinite number of times as a child.


This is my high school, where I graduated in 1983. Children are still suffering there now, I imagine.


This is me with Peggy, my de facto godmother and once-upon-a-time 6th grade teacher.


This is Arthur sitting by the window in the dining room, in a spot he sat many times during my childhood. It's strange – all the furniture has changed, the house has been remodeled, but the space still feels the same, and the Humboldt overcast waits outside.


No visit to Arcata is complete without a trip to the Arcata Co-op – the biomagnetic center of the People's Republic of Humboldt.


This is a view from the street of the house on L Street in Eureka, where my dad and stepmom lived during my high school and college years.


This is the Helliwell's house, where David and Vivian live. David was very generous with me (in spirit) during the early 1990s, and I spent some time here.


A salmon we prepared for dinner – David is a fisherman and has ways to get fish.


This is David with his dog, on a redwood stump of a newly cut tree. He is logging some of his land up behind Eureka.


Here is a broken-down excavator (cat) parked where some of the logging is going on.


Arthur brought in the big fish from the barbecue.


We ate the fish. Here are the Helliwell siblings (center two, David and Peggy's kids), Erilynn and Dustin, with their spouses, eating dinner.


That's my visit to Humboldt so far. 

[daily log: walking, 5km]

Caveat: Poem #753

We drove down the coast highway today
escaping the dull pall of smoke
and dropping down into fog
weaving down one-oh-one
seeing the great rocks
tasting the sea
the way

Caveat: You eat what you can can

No, that's not a typo in this post's title. It's drawing on the two meanings of "can", one as an auxiliary, one meaning "to preserve food". 

Juli does a lot of canning. Her pantry is full of jars of preserved foods, and as the late summer fruit harvest appears, she cans applesauce, blackberry preserves, etc. I took a picture of her pantry wall.


Another notable bit of news, today: my container of personal effects, shipped from Eagan, Minnesota, has arrived on the dock at Craig, Alaska. It has beat me there by a week. This is pretty amazing, as it was originally supposed to take 4 weeks. My representative at Alaska Marine Lines was very generous and kind, looking out for me. I'd told her I specifically didn't want it to arrive too fast. This might not be a common problem for people shipping to Alaska, but she'd been understanding, and had put a delivery date of September 1st. So the fact that it got there early means that normally I'd have to pay "storage" fees for the dock in Craig. But because it's early relative to the promised delivery date, she has waived this storage fee. I was very pleased about this.

Today we drive down to Arcata, California. This is the town where I was born and spent my first 17 years (with quite a few interruptions, but more-or-less). 

Countdown to Craig, Alaska: 7 days

[daily log: walking, 3km]