Monday, March 14, 2011

Alaska Childhood

When I was 9 my family moved from Boise, Idaho to Juneau, Alaska. From the sagebrush desert we moved to the land of dense forests, glaciers, rivers and ocean channels. I had much more freedom than kids do today and used it to explore the town and the mountain near our house. Juneau is landlocked by glaciers and huge mountains, so the only road out of town was a dead end. (We called it "going out the road.") For me it was a world of adventure. Dense old growth forests were full of things to explore. On weekends we went to Mendenhall Glacier, hiked, picked blue berries and had blue berry pancakes in the picnic shelters, and collected wildflowers. Even the frequent rain or the winters didn't faze me.

From these experiences my love of the northwest environment was born. My Juneau memories are very strong. We left when I was 11 and my memories of the next 3-4 years are minimal compared to my 2 years in Juneau. The childhood friends I remember are from Juneau. When we left these friends gave me a Bilikin for good luck.


  1. Beautiful! And you were a Girl Scout!
    When I was young, we had a lot more freedom too, but that was the 50's and I'm sure our parents didn't have so much to worry about when we went out to roam. I live in northern Indiana and grew up near Lake Michigan. We had plenty of places to explore back then too.

  2. The great thing about Girl Scouts in Juneau was going to camp. My parents drove me to the dock to load my luggage in a boat and then they drove me "out the road" to a trail head, and all us girls hiked 1 1/2 miles to the camp. There was no other land access. What fun!

  3. What a great piece! I love the netting covering that little sprite pixie.

    You really captured the lushness of your childhood - the textures are wonderful!

    This is my first year participating in the BJP and like you, I am journeying through my life and beading my memories from the various states I've travelled to. Its a fun process!

  4. Good way to attach the Bilikin with netting... suits the subject and looks great! This is a great combination of improv and planned design. Makes me crave Alaska, where I've been to teach 3 times. I loved it there!