I recently returned from a one-month trip in Japan and whenever people asked where I was from, I was met with gasps of, “Ooohh Alaska, sooo cold.” When in reality it was every bit as cold, and with more snow on parts of the North island of Hokkaido, than this year’s mild Winter back home. It seems that this notion of Alaska being this mystical place with extremes is a constant everywhere I have been in Europe, South America, and now Japan. Alaska and Alaskans just can’t seem to escape this notion of extreme weather, vast wilderness, rugged terrain, and adventure around every corner. I suppose it is for good reason, the people that gravitate here, and those like me who are transplanted here and stay, are captivated by the place and the opportunities for exploration it provides regardless of inclement weather or remoteness.
“Living life Alaskan,” is by no means a one-size fits all approach to making the best of life in the last frontier. It means biking to work in the -40 degree temps of Fairbanks, trekking hundreds of miles across the Brooks Range by foot, solo-kayaking the Inside Passage, putting up salmon in the smoke house for the coming winter, working in 40-foot seas in the Bering Sea, and everything else your friends and family do to survive, explore, and recreate in the place we call home.
My Alaskan life is filled with adventures to many corners of the state; often remote and almost always documenting people doing amazing things to either explore or simply make a living from the sea. Regardless of the assignment, the things we all have in common as Alaskans are that we appreciate the unique characteristics that the land and sea provide and seem to have a never-ending desire to push ourselves to our own personal limits to explore all that this place has to offer. It is in this vein that I’m excited to announce that I will be spending 2014 partnering up with my hometown brewery, Alaskan Brewing Co., to continue documenting living life Alaskan.
The Alaskan Brewery embraces and captures the unique characteristics of this place and its people in its distinctive and award winning world-class beers. The brewery and I are teaming up to highlight and share my adventures over the coming year. If you haven’t tried their beer, seek it out, and let their hard work and craftsmanship speak for itself. Visit their website: http://www.alaskanbeer.com/, follow them on Facebook and Instagram – @alaskanbrewing . Stay tuned and more importantly… keep living life Alaskan!