“Over the Hill” in Alaska?
I remember my 30th birthday in Alaska like it was yesterday, and I remember thinking how cool it was to have it while I was guiding in Alaska. This year I will have my big 40th while at camp. I have never put much thought into my birthdays, but as I approach turning “Over the Hill” this week, I wonder… is it time to grow up?
I’m sure some might think, “Alright it’s time to get over that guiding stuff and get on with a real job/career.” And I have certainly pondered that thought a time or two, but is that societal pressures or the inner me talking? I do know the wilds of Alaska have captured me over the years. Those who have experienced Alaska know how captivating and special it is, and for me, I feel especially fortunate to have spent so much time on the Alaska Peninsula.
The funny thing about birthdays in the Alaska bush is you just never know what and if you will get a birthday gift. And if you get a gift from your fellow guides, you might expect something along the lines of a box of flies wrapped in a sock. Of course, this will need to be returned to them to get through the next day of guiding, because that was probably the last clean pair of socks and a box of guide flies. But hey, it’s definitely the thought that counts.
To the right is a photo of a memorable gift given to me on my 30th made by Willa Kriebel, the camp chef. She made this with clam shells found on the beach near camp. I was a bit obsessed with moose at the time, so the gift was perfect.
by Head Guide, Ted Mendrek
Posted in Guide Journal