Anna Hoke is the owner and publisher of Southeast Living Magazine. She is a fifth generation Alaskan and was born and raised in Juneau. She grew up an avid artist with interests in both graphic design and traditional art forms. She is a graduate of Juneau-Douglas High School, and attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks and University of Alaska Southeast. She lives in the Mendenhall Valley with her husband Hayden, and their cat, Tron.
Gustavus! 04.04.2012 | 11:24am
Last weekend I traveled to Gustavus, Alaska. My family jointly owns a cabin there. I started my trip with a flight from the Juneau International Airport on Air Excursions. It was a fun and uneventful flight on a Piper Cherokee Six. The plane is a single-engine six-seat aircraft which typically cruises at about 150 mph. If you aren’t used to flying in smaller aircrafts the flight can be exciting, beautiful and a little intimidating. More information about Air Excursions and their aircrafts can be found on their website: www.airexcursions.com. I landed at the Gustavus airport on a Friday evening. The weather was drizzling rain but the sky showed promising signs that the weather would clear up. My aunt and dad who flew over earlier in the day picked me up and we headed to the cabin where dinner and “cocktail hour” were waiting. On our bumpy drive down Wilson Road we saw a cow; or a female moose. She just stood in the bushes watching us. Unfortunately my “real” camera was packed in the back of the truck, and the iphone photo really didn’t capture anything worth posting. We continued to the cabin, which is a little more than an efficiency cabin with electricity, propane oven, wood stove, bunk beds, a pullout couch, and an exterior incinerator toilet. Another unique community feature of Gustavus is that everyone waves to you when you pass them on the road. Doesn’t matter if you are walking driving, or biking; familiar or not — you wave, and they wave back and visa versa. After a weekend in Gustavus you will most likely find yourself waving at people in your hometown only to realize that you are no longer in as friendly of a community as Gustavus is, I know I did. When arriving at the cabin, there is always a re-educating process on how things work; “flushing” the incinerator toilet, where to store gear, and everything else. Dinner is served – salad, chicken, and of course a little evening cocktail. Now… there are some major disadvantages to sleeping in an efficiency cabin, at least for me there was. I am the lightest sleeper on earth and both my dad and aunt (sorry Sue!) snore. I mean really SNORE. I mean rattle the cabin, scare the bears and wolves off snore. Needless to say I was rather sleep deprived this trip. But I guess that’s what earplugs and evening cocktails are for! Saturday was spent hiking our cross country skis up a pedestrian-only road and hiding them at a trailhead for a long next-day ski trip. The dirt road that we walked had so many moose tracks that we could hardly contain our excitement, but after finishing our hike, no moose were observed. I guess they are pretty good at staying hidden considering how enormous and awkward they look. We drove into town and visited the local store to pick up sunscreen and other various items for dinner and for the next day’s breakfast. Sunday rolled around (still sleep deprived) and we were up at 6am, which is incredibly early for me, on a Sunday or any day for that matter. We ate, packed up our gear and hiked to our hidden skis. When we started there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The temperature was very warm for skiing conditions and I even got a little sunburn. Once we found our skiing destination, the meadow seemed endless and by midday the snow was softening up and gliding was pretty easy. We sat down and ate lunch with a view of the Fairweather Mountain Range. (pictured above). Aunt Sue made us her famous and most excellent salmon sandwiches on Dave’s Killer Bread. After our ski, we hiked down to the truck, skis in tow. I actually had enough energy to ride the bike back to the cabin as my dad and aunt drove in the truck with all the gear. We all got back to the cabin in the late afternoon. Shortly thereafter dinner followed and another sleepless night ensued. On Monday we drove out to the Glacier Bay National Park and spoke with the Ranger and some of the employees of the park. They told us about wildlife they’d seen, how they are getting ready for spring and summer, and about how much they enjoy Costco in Juneau. Noon hit and it was time to drive to the other edge of town and catch the Alaska Marine Highway ferry the “LeConte” home. There were a surprising amount of people in the cafeteria on the LeConte and I eventually discovered that the ferry allows Gustavus locals to come aboard and eat lunch and then disembark before the ferry leaves. I love this idea, it’s unique and I got a thrill out of the happiness of the locals getting something different to eat. The ferry ride back to Juneau was beautiful with mountain views, ocean wildlife and a supprisingly excellent dinner of curry and cabbage. Gustavus is a great community, everyone is friendly and always willing to answer questions. I encourage you to visit and see for yourself!
Introduction: I’m Gonna Start a Blog! 04.02.2012 | 9:24am
Hello readers of Southeast Living Magazine Online! Because I love writing my monthly column in the magazine so much, I decided to start a blog where I can write more regularly and share my daily/weekly experiences with the public. Because of where I live and the vast variety in my occupation, I get the opportunity to experience unique things in both the Juneau community and the communities of Southeast, and it’s my pleasure to share them with you. Feel free to suggest things for me to see or do, inform me of events happening around town that you’d like to see covered either editorially or photography wise. I really appreciate the communities input and strive to have something for everyone. I look forward to writing for you!