Powering through june

Trip Start Dec 28, 2004
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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

i had an Epiphany the other day.  i realized that believe it or not, I am just too damn old to be working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week and then walking 6 miles to sleep in a fucking tent in the arctic.  this is a younger mans game for sure and i am just not digging it.  Thankfully i have fallen into a bit of a rhythm here but i have to say that the first two weeks were really tough on me and i was ready to just head back to Thailand, lack of money be damned. 

The tent is actually a pretty cool place to be sleeping believe it or not.  see photo #1.  I don't actually spend any time there other then when I'm getting ready to pass out so its quiet and peaceful which is just perfect really. and of course i have a million dollar view which is just added bonus.

My day consists of waking at about 7:45am, getting dressed in the tent and then walking down a trail (photo #2) that leads to a gravel road (photo #3) that leads to a paved road (photo #4) that leads to my work.  this is about a 3 1/2 mile walk first thing in the morning.  reaching the base of the spit, i stop and hitch hike the last 4 miles to my work.  I work here for 5 hours and then grab my stuff head out the door and hitchhike to my other job where i work 7-9 hours and then walk (uphill) about 1 1/2 miles to my campsite.  where i will hopefully catch at least 6 hours of sleep before doing it all again.

I talk to IM every night on skype and although there is not much to talk about, what with my monotonous days, its still really nice to hear her voice and dream of going back to her.  I was talking to her the other night and telling her how tired i was and she told me to "just come back" when i mentioned that we would have no money if i did that she said "that's OK, we stay home and look movie and eat mama noodle (ramen)".  i do love that girl :)

i find myself in idle times staring at my wedding ring.  am i the only one that does this or is this a recently married persons action......or am i just f'ing crazy?  i don't know but i look at the ring and i smile and things aren't as shitty for a few seconds which is nice.

its been a bit of a hassle trying to get as many hours as i need to work this year and the pay will not be as good.  it figures that i would have a hard time on what is hopefully my last year coming up to Alaska.  cant just have a cake walk summer...nooooooo that would make too much damn sense. 

I have had the luck of having 3 grandmothers in my life.  I obviously have had the two grandmothers both paternal and maternal and then i have had another from Leah's (stepmother) family.  we are always presented with the image of grandparents being wise and almost benevolent in their behavior but unfortunately this is not always the case.  My maternal grandmother seems to be a bit of a bitch truth be said.  When i came into Chicago last summer i spent a day with her because #1 shes my grandmother #2 being 90 she may not be around much longer #3 i will probably not be in town for years to come.  We had what i could only call an odd conversation for an hour or two and i couldn't quite put my finger on what it was that seemed off kilter.  it was later that evening as i was running the conversation through my head that i realized that she was trying to tell me she wasn't leaving me any money when she passed. 

Now i have never been one to think that far down the road and really to concern myself with inheritance and crap like that.....i will leave that to my wonderful sister.  but the fact that i took time to come and see her for the first time in 5 years and all she wanted to talk to me about was my lack of inheritance left me a little bitter.

flash forward to my marriage to IM and of course she was disapproving because IM is not Jewish but of course i am an atheist but what does that matter right?  So i called her the other day, for what reason i don't know. maybe out of a continued sense of family obligation or maybe out of a sense of wanting acceptance for my marriage....who knows.  anyways, when she asked what was new I of course mentioned that i had indeed gotten married. i believe the exact response was "oh yes i know. i told you not to but you know better then me. I'm not giving you anything, nothing from me, uh uh.  you couldn't marry a Jewish girl, you don't get anything from me"  Please let me state that  i didn't ask for anything, i was simply mentioning that something was indeed new in my life....i had gotten married

So now the question begs, would i be considered a horrible person if i just cut ties with this woman? i mean we are not all that close and the few times i do call her it seems as if i am being a terrible burden on her time so would i not be better off just letting this bitter old woman just dwindle to nothingness in importance and in my memory?

The summer is moving towards the final destination but it is moving very slowly. The owner of one of my jobs asked me to stay on until September 10th and i said "oh i would love to but i already bought my ticket back (the truth)" he answered "I'll pay to change it" shit.  There is no way I'm staying that late. i want/need time to spend with IM before the diving season starts again.  my last day of work is august 20th and i am flying out at midnight the next day. i dream of the anchorage airport, oh such glorious dreams
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Comments

Chris George on

Neal, you're looking well. I hope this is your last summer in Alaska. Congrats again on the wedding. Did your friend ever show up, what happened with that?

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