Spring is slowly moving into Cordova and very soon everything is going to start ramping up. These past couple of days we have had quite the snowfall and it will probably be some of the last good powder before rain starts to take over. Being that The Chugach National Forest is a temperate rain forest, the weather is more often than not coming down on Cordova. The town is nestled between the ocean and the mountains, so we get quite the rainfall. I’ve seen a sunny day turn rainy, then start snowing and turn back to rain all within a couple of hours. Say goodbye to the clear, sunny skies that greeted my first couple of days here because now the true face of Cordova weather is starting to show!
Other than the weather, the town itself is right around the corner from waking up from its winter slumber, and things at the Forest Service are also making way for the upcoming season. I spent a good amount of time with Nick Docken, a Wildlife Technician here at the Forest Service, cleaning and prepping gear. We went into the Forest Service warehouse to take a look inside our cache and I got to familiarize myself where everything was. We spent a good time cleaning things such as scopes, binoculars, waders, and organizing things. One project that we took on was sorting and taking inventory of all the items inside our comfort packs. Comfort packs are these large waterproof duffel bags which are prepared and brought out whenever there is a multi-day field trip. They’re brought just in case of an emergency or in case the crew is left out in the field for an extra day or two. These packs contain everything needed to be “comfortable” for around three days and pack food, shelter, tools, etc. They were all standardized to include the essentials. Old gear was replaced, food was replenished, inventory was taken, and they were packed down tight to minimize space and weight. We ended up staying several hours late in the warehouse organizing them and making sure they were ready for field season. What seemed like a quick half hour task ended up going pretty late and we probably should have waited until next day to start the job. There were still more things to organize, but when we realized what time it was we decided to head home and finish later. The sun is starting to set later in the day and it can be deceiving when calculating the time. What seems like four or five in the afternoon actually can be six or seven.
This past Saturday was the last day that the local ski hill was going to be open so many people in town headed over to enjoy the last good snow of the season. I had never been skiing so I was eager to get out there before they closed. Everyone I talked to had some tip or trick for me. Do this, do that, watch out for cookies, carve and bite to turn, pizza, french fry: Are we still talking about skiing? Anyways, armed with all this new skiing lingo, I grabbed a pair of skis and took some practice runs on a small hill. Alright.. Not bad. But I wanted to see what all the hype was about, so I quickly headed up to the top on the lift and took my first trip down. I definitely was hooked. There was a learning curve, but there were also steep hills, banks and jumps (ok, no puns on this blog). I was getting the hang of it but I kept on pushing myself to do more to get the most out of my one skiing day of the season. On one of my last trips down, I decided to take an advanced trail and I got overwhelmed. I set up my yard sale (more skiing lingo) right underneath of everyone on the lift. It was a pretty epic one too but nonetheless I continued… Only to do it again for a new crowd of people a bit farther down. I skied my way back and everyone I came across had something to say about my stellar performance. I didn’t hear the end of it. Pfft. Whatevs, man. Jokes on them! I was just doing so good on my first day that I needed to throw in a couple of crashes here and there as to not look TOO good… They totally bought it B)
There was a barbecue up at the top of the mountain for the end of the season, so after enjoying a good day’s worth of skiing, people rode the lift one last time and celebrated with good food and drinks. Once the food was gone, most people skied their way back down and called it a day. Good times!
Things will hopefully pick up in the coming weeks, I know I haven’t talked much about the wildlife here, but the shorebirds are making their way up here! Until then I’ll have to keep myself busy with projects and other activities. Stay tuned!
“You live and learn. At any rate, you live.”
– Douglas Adams


Ashley Lauria · April 6, 2017 at 5:48 pm

Explain that quote!

    Alex · April 14, 2017 at 12:08 am

    What do you have against Douglas Adams?! You should read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, take the book with you on your trip!

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