Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Road Less Travelled

I’ve spent the last seven days getting to know the town of Galena. It’s been a busy week of meeting new people, exploring the town and trying to figure out the best solution for Internet access… Ultimately it looks like we may not have the Internet at the house for several months. One of the local providers, GCI, is bringing a new system online soon that will provide semi-broadband speeds and it doesn’t really make sense to invest several hundred dollars in equipment that will hopefully be obsolete by October. In the mean time I think I’ve found a way to make a few blog posts and avoid unplugging cold turkey… (I’m already working on my 4th paper book since arriving).

The road* to Galena
*Note: wings required/sold separately

There is no road to Galena though there are a few miles of road in the town. Corrie and I flew into Galena last week with about 119.5 lbs of luggage apiece. Most of that was food (including 25 lbs of cheese and 50 lbs of salmon). The rest of our stuff including my truck and more food should arrive by barge tonight. Hopefully we planned what we bought well since many things aren’t available here and those that are can be expensive. It helps quite a bit to be living on the banks of the Yukon, but life is different anywhere off the road system.

Looking across the Yukon River

All of the locals we’ve met have been friendly and welcoming. We’ve met a lot of people involved in the school and spent a couple of evenings visiting long time Galena residents. One couple even loaned us their bikes when they found out we were walking everywhere. I also attended a board meeting for the “Sustainable Energy for Galena Alaska” group on our second evening in town. This morning I met with the mayor to discuss developing local sources of energy for the town, efficiency improvements, and possible opportunities for me to work on something interesting. In the mean time I’m helping Corrie get her classroom ready and several people have suggested jobs. I would probably be hard to stay retired too long here. That’s okay, I’d probably finish every book in the Library before spring if I did…

Parked at the end of Galena’s other “Air Strip”