Writing from Glenallen now. Tired. Last night's hotel was so hot that I slept poorly and it's caught up with me. But it's still good. I hit Chitina on the way up from Valdez. Was aiming for McCarthy and Kennicott, but between the late start this morning, the bad weather that cost me even more time in the mountains, and the 60-mile one-lane dirt road from Chitina to McCarthy (yes, they still live like that here in much of this beautiful state), I didn't see me making it there and back out before dark, especially since the only way from McCarthy to Kennicott is a five mile hike each way. And today it would have been a ten-mile round-trip in freezing rain, coupled with a long drive-out on a dark, unfamiliar moose-infested road. So I reluctantly took a pass on Kennicott. But I'll be back when I've got more time.
Meanwhile, I've been talking to lots of people here and the Palin issue keeps coming up. It seems like this state is divided into two camps: Palin-lovers and Palin-haters, with almost no one in between. The Palin-haters seem to be almost universally transplants from other places, usually not too long ago. Those who love her and consider her a native daughter done well are the people who've lived here their whole lives, and most of them aren't too fond of the liberals who moved here from down below, either permanently or just to go to school for a few years, who now insist on having a say in the way that Alaska is run. And in a state with such a small population, I can see their point. Enough outsiders with voting rights can change things for everyone even as many of those outsiders leave and go back to the lower 48 as many of them will. The love/hate for Palin here seems to spring from and represent that divide and it's been pretty uniform everywhere that I've inquired. Palin lovers include born and bred Alaskans and members of the military, and Palin-haters are mostly college kids, transient hippies, and people who moved up recently from places like New Hampshire, Michigan and California and now want to make Alaska more like the high-tax, big-government places that they fled from.
Anyway, enough of that. I need to go find tonight's lodgings. Still haven't seen any moose this time out but there were bald eagles in abundance this morning as I was coming out of Valdez. The snow's coming, too. There was none yesterday when I crossed Thompson Pass into Valdez. This morning there was a solid dusting on the pass and surrounding mountain tops. Everyone I've talked to says that it's coming, it's coming to stay for a while, and it's coming soon.
On the home news side, Murphy is reportedly doing quite well back at the Lair, and the special election for Governor just went to the Democrats. No surprise there, but I'm ready to give up on the people of that state. every time you give them opportunities for lower taxes, smaller government and the chance to make the state over into someplace that's actually pro-business, they run to the polls and vote for a big tax-the-rich welfare-state Dem and then sit around and wonder why no employers are rushing to move into that state to give them decent jobs.
Heck with them. If I can find a good job up here, me and Murphy are heading north for good.