The Odds Are Good...

"The odds are good, but the goods are odd..." -Unknown

Tämä postaus on ollut tekeillä jo liian kauan. Liki kahdenkymmenen vuoden ajan Alaskan visiittien ja siellä asumisen aikana on mieleeni kerääntynyt nippelitietoa ja kummallisuuksia, joita vain paikalliset saattaa tietää. Olen nyt jo kuukausien ajan kerännyt niitä pienelle ryppyiselle muistilapulle, joka on kulkenut mukanani remontin ja muuton ajan ja jonka vihdoin sain kaivettua taas esille. Tässä siis random-järjestyksessä Kaakkois-Alaskan kummallisuuksia.
This post has been a really long time coming. During the nearly 20 years that I have been visiting and the few years living in Southeast Alaska, I have acquired countless bits of information and oddities, that only locals might know. For several months now, I've been gathering these tidbits on a wrinkled piece of paper, which has traveled with me through my recent renovation and move and which I finally managed to dig out again. So here goes, in a totally random order.
IMG_3722
  • Moni matkustaa Alaskaan katsomaan nimenomaan villiel√§imi√§. Paikallisille villiel√§imet ovat kuitenkin liki arkip√§iv√§√§ ja valkop√§√§kotkat ja karhut eiv√§t kummemmin hetkauta ihmisten p√§ivitt√§isi√§ askareita. Karhu takapihalla tai piikkisika puussa rapistelemassa ovat ihan perusjuttuja. Valkop√§√§kotkat l√∂yt√§√§ mit√§ varmimmin kaatopaikalta, jossa ne k√§rkkyv√§t suupaloja. Anchoragen seudulla hirvi√§ n√§kee liikenteess√§kin, mutta Alaskan kaakkoisosissa miss√§ itse yleens√§ py√∂rin ei hirvi√§ juurikaan n√§y.
  • Many travel to Alaska specifically to see wild animals. To the locals though, wild animals are a daily thing and bald eagles and bears don't really get in the way of everyday habits. A bear in the backyard or a porcupine in a tree are not really a big deal. Bald eagles can most likely be found in the city dump, where they hang around scavenging for treats. In Anchorage you'll see moose even in traffic, but in Southeast Alaska, where I usually hang around, you generally won't see any moose at all.
IMG_3001
  • Paikallinen Department of Fish and Game on jo itsess√§√§n erikoisuus. Paikan aulassa odotellessa mets√§stys- tai kalastuslupaa voi tutkia eri el√§inten nahkoja tai kuunnella paikallisten jutustelua. Kerran ollessani hakemassa jonkun mukana karhukaatolupaa, ilmestyi takaovelta herra, joka huhuili kovaan √§√§neen h√§nell√§ olevan karhu pickupin takalavalla, ja mit√§ sille pit√§isi tehd√§. Karhunkaatolupa kulkee nimell√§ "bear tag", eli karhulappu, joka on k√§yt√§nn√∂ss√§ metallinen lenkki joka pujotetaan kaadettuun el√§imeen.
  • The local Department of Fish and Game is an oddity in itself. While waiting in the lobby for a big game tag or a fishing license you can get familiar with local animal pelts or listen to the locals talking. Once when I'd come along with someone to pick up a bear tag, a man appeared at the back door and shouted loudly: "I have a bear there in the back of my truck, where should I put him"? A bear tag is in fact a metal tag, which should be attached to your kill for appropriate handling with the authorities..
IMG_3389
  • Joskus kolikkokukkaroon eksyy Kanadan rahaa. T√§m√§ ei ole Alaskassa lainkaan tavatonta. L√§hinn√§ nyt vain v√§hempiarvoiset kolikot quarterista alasp√§in l√∂yt√§v√§t tiens√§ luoksesi. H√§mmennyst√§ koituu vasta muissa osavaltioissa kun he eiv√§t otakaan vastaan koko kolikkokukkarosi sis√§lt√∂√§.
  • Sometimes you get some Canadian strays in your coin purse. This is not at all out of the ordinary in Alaska. It's mostly coins of lesser value than a quarter that find their way to you. It's not really a problem, until you try to use them in the lower 48, when they simply won't accept the entire content of your coin purse.
IMG_3380
  • Vaikka karhut ja muut karvaiset kaverit ovatkin l√§hes arkip√§iv√§√§, tuntuvat paikalliset silti h√§keltyv√§n eniten meren suurista nis√§kk√§ist√§. On p√§ivi√§ jolloin ulkoilutat koiraasi rannalla, ja muut ihmiset vain t√§hy√§v√§t merelle ihaillen ohilipuvaa miekkavalasparvea. Tai p√§ivi√§, jolloin kaupungin ylitt√§v√§ silta on ruuhkautunut, koska kaikki ovat pys√§htyneet sillalle kuvaamaan valaita.
  • Even if bears and other furry friends are a daily occurrence, locals still seem to get worked up about big marine mammals. There are days when you're walking the dog on the beach and everyone else is peering toward the ocean to see a pod of orcas passing by. There are also days when you can't seem to cross the bridge because people have pulled over for whales.
IMG_3192
  • Vuoteen 2009 asti saattoi Mendenhall Glacier -j√§√§tik√∂n l√§heisyydess√§ koiran kanssa lenkkeilless√§ tavata pikimustan suden nimelt√§ Romeo. Susi sai nimens√§ siit√§, ett√§ sen ep√§iltiin menett√§neen puolisonsa ja j√§√§neen sen j√§lkeen j√§√§tik√∂n ymp√§rist√∂√∂n suremaan tai etsim√§√§n uutta naarasta itselleen. Romeon tiedettiin suhtautuvan koiriin suopeasti ja jopa leikkiv√§n joidenkin koirien kanssa. N√§ist√§ kohtaamisista villin suden ja kesyn koiran kanssa l√∂ytyykin lukuisia kuvia netist√§. Vuonna 2010 huomattiin Romeon yht√§kki√§ h√§vinneen. Huhut kertovat, ett√§ joku innokas mets√§st√§j√§ oli sen ampunut. Juneaun asukkaat suhtautuvat Romeoon ja sen kohtaloon niin intohimoisesti, ett√§ suden muistoksi on pystytetty plakaatti j√§√§tik√∂lle johtavalle polulle. Romeosta on my√∂s hiljattain kirjoitettu kirja.
  • Until the year 2009 while walking your dog near the Mendenhall Glacier you might have encountered a pitch black wolf named Romeo. The wolf got its name because people suspected it had lost its mate and stayed behind around the glacier to mourn or to find a new female to bond with. People knew Romeo was known to get along with dogs and to even play with some of them. Countless pictures of these wolf and dog encounters can be found online. In 2010 Romeo suddenly disappeared. Rumor has it, that some eager hunter had shot and killed him. Juneauites are so passionate about Romeo and his fate, that they have put up a memorial plaque for him along the path leading to the glacier. Recently they've also published a book about Romeo and the impact he had on a small community.
IMG_2499
  • Lohityyppej√§ on Tyyness√§ valtameress√§ viisi, ja niit√§ kalastetaan Alaskassa ja varsinkin Southeastissa reilusti. Arvostusj√§rjestys sy√∂mist√§ varten on ainakin yleens√§ t√§m√§: King (Chinook), Sockeye (Red), Coho (Silver), Pink (Humpy), Chum (Dog). Lohet ovat kovin erin√§k√∂isi√§ kesken√§√§n, varsinkin silloin kun ne nousevat makeisiin vesiin kutemaan.
  • There are five types of salmon in the Pacific Ocean and they are abundantly fished in Alaskan and especially in Southeast. The order of appreciation for eating is usually this: King (Chinook), Sockeye (Red), Coho (Silver), Pink (Humpy), Chum (Dog). These salmon look very different from one another, especially during the Salmon run, when they swim up the rivers to spawn.
IMG_3353
  • Alaskan p√§√§kaupunki oli Ven√§j√§n vallan alkuaikana viel√§ 1700-luvun lopulla Kodiak. T√§m√§n j√§lkeen p√§√§kaupunki sijaitsi noin sadan vuoden ajan Sitkassa, josta se siirrettiin vuonna 1900 Juneauhun. Jatkuvasti puhutaan p√§√§kaupungin siirt√§misest√§ muualle Juneaun rajoittuneen tieverkoston vuoksi. Toistaiseksi siin√§ ei viel√§ ole onnistuttu, ei edes Wasillalaisen Sarah Palinin sinnikk√§ist√§ yrityksist√§ huolimatta.
  • The capital of Alaska was during the Russian regime of the 18th century still in Kodiak. After this the capital was located in Sitka for about a hundred years, until it was transferred to Juneau in 1900. There is constantly talk about moving the capital elsewhere due to the restricted access to Juneau, but for now there has been no such luck, even despite the persistent efforts of a certain Sarah Palin of Wasilla.
IMG_3349
  • Monen paikallisen autosta l√∂ytyy vuorovesiaikataulu. Se on oleellinen olla mukana, varsinkin jos liikkuu vesill√§ tai rannoilla, muuten saattaa j√§√§d√§ jumiin. Alla vertailun vuoksi yll√§olevan Shamaanisaaren maisema matalan vuoroveden aikaan.
  • Many locals carry a tidetable around in their cars. It is a necessity, especially if you're boating or going for a hike on the beach, otherwise you might get stuck. Below you can compare the low tide views of Shaman Island to the above image of a high tide.
IMG_2909
IMG_2770
  • Meriveden turkoosi s√§vy johtuu j√§√§tik√∂ist√§ irtoavasta hiesusta. Veden v√§ri vaihtelee paljonkin riippuen siit√§ miten valo siihen heijastuu. Ei varmasti tarvitsisi mainita, ett√§ merivesi on aina kylm√§√§.
  • The turquoise color of the ocean is due to the silt coming off the glaciers. The color of the water varies a lot from day to day depending on how light hits it. Needless to say, the water is always pretty cold.
IMG_3183
  • Eksoottiset kolibrit viihtyv√§t my√∂s Alaskassa kes√§isin! Jaksan edelleen ihmetell√§, miten niin pienet linnut jaksavat lent√§√§ niin pitki√§ matkoja.
  • Exotic hummingbirds thrive in Alaska during summer! I'm still amazed by the long distances these tiny little birds are able to travel.
IMG_3083
IMG_3012
  • Vuorten lumirajasta n√§kee onko talvi l√§hell√§. Kes√§n erinomaisuudesta kertoo my√∂s se, jos syyskuussa vuorenhuiput ovat l√§hes t√§ysin lumettomia. Paikalliset jaksavat aina tarkkailla t√§t√§ maagista rajaa.
  • The snowline on the mountains tells you if winter is approaching. A good summer can be defined by nearly snowless mountains in September. Locals are always interested in keeping an eye out for this magical line.
IMG_3336
  • Turismi on kalastuksen, kaivostoiminnan ja √∂ljyn j√§lkeen t√§rkeimpi√§ elinkeinoja. Lukuisia risteilyaluksia lipuu Juneauhun ja Kaakkois-Alaskaan p√§ivitt√§in kes√§kaudella. Turismia harjoitetaan my√∂s toiseen suuntaan. Alaskassa olen tavannut ihmisi√§, jotka ovat k√§yneet mit√§ kaukaisimmissa kohteissa maailmalla, joista moni suomalainen ei edes osaisi haaveilla. Et√§isyydet ovat monelle alaskalaiselle suhteellisia, sill√§ joutuuhan sit√§ lent√§m√§√§n useamman tunnin ajan p√§√§st√§kseen edes seuraavaan osavaltioon ja suurkaupunkiin, jotka yleens√§ ovat Washington ja Seattle.
  • Tourism is one of the most important industries after fishing, mining and oil. Countless cruise ships float into Juneau and Southeast Alaska on a daily basis during the summer months. Tourism is also practiced in the opposite direction. In Alaska I have met people who've visited the most remote places of the world, which many other people couldn't even envision visiting. Distance is relative to many Alaskans, because you always have to fly for several hours just to get to the next state or a big city, which in most cases is the state of Washington and the city of Seattle.
IMG_2364
  • Karhujen lis√§ksi my√∂s muut el√§imet tykk√§√§v√§t k√§yd√§ roskavarkailla. Kaupungin roskas√§ili√∂iss√§ on aina erikoislukitus, mutta my√∂s omat roskas√§ili√∂t t√§ytyy sulkea mustekalalla tai muulla kiinnityksell√§. Pickupien takalavalle ei my√∂sk√§√§n kannata j√§tt√§√§ sy√∂t√§vi√§ tai j√§tteit√§ sill√§ √§√§rimm√§isen √§lykk√§√§t korpit l√∂yt√§v√§t kyll√§ tiens√§ sinne. Alaskan korppeja voisi melkein verrata Uuden-Seelannin Kea-lintuhin, sill√§ ne ovat yht√§ √§lykk√§it√§ ja v√§lill√§ my√∂s yht√§ h√§ik√§ilem√§tt√∂mi√§ naarmuttaessaan autoasi kynsill√§√§n.
  • It's not just bears that like to go thieving in trash. The city's trash cans always have a special latch, but your own trash has to be secured with a bungee cord or something else too. You can't leave any trash or any edibles in the back of your pick up either, since the extremely intelligent ravens will find their way to it. The ravens in Alaska can almost be compared to the Kea-birds of New Zealand, since they are just as intelligent and sometimes even just as ruthless when scratching your car with their claws.
IMG_2931
  • Alaskan, ja etenkin Kaakkois-Alaskan tieverkosto on liev√§sti sanottuna haasteellinen. Juneaussa tiet√§ on noin 40 mailin, eli n. 65 kilometrin verran. Sen j√§lkeen tie vain p√§√§ttyy. P√§√§st√§kseen autolla pois, joutuu matkustamaan autolautalla hieman pohjoiseen. Seuraava tienp√§tk√§ jatkuu Skagwaysta ja Hainesista kohti Yukonin Whitehorsea, josta p√§√§see kuuluisaa Alcan Highwayta pitkin etel√§√§n Seattleen p√§in tai pohjoiseen Tokiin, jonka kautta tie vie Fairbanksiin tai Anchorageen. Anchorageen on Skagwaysta matkaa n. 1300 km, Fairbanksiin 1100 km ja Seattleen jopa 2600 km. Huomioiden, ett√§ t√§m√§ tieverkosto kattaa osavaltiosta ehk√§ vain noin viides- tai kuudesosan  saa k√§sityksen siit√§ miten iso Alaskan osavaltio oikeasti on. Jos Alaskan kartan asettaisi Yhdysvaltojen kartan p√§√§lle ulottuisivat osavaltion rajat it√§rannikolta l√§nsirannikolle asti.
  • The road network in Alaska and especially in Southeast is quite challenging. In Juneau there's only 40 miles of road, after which the road just ends. To drive out of Juneau you first have to travel north by ferry. The next stretch of road goes from Skagway and Haines towards Whitehorse in the Yukon, from where you can get on the famous Alcan Highway south towards Seattle, or north towards Tok, and then onward to Fairbanks or Anchorage. Anchorage lies more than 800 miles away from Skagway, Fairbanks about 700 miles away and Seattle at a whopping 1600 miles away. Considering that this road network only covers about a fifth or sixth of the whole state, you will get an idea of how big Alaska really is. If the map of Alaska would be superimposed over the map of the US, the outside borders of the state would stretch all the way from coast to coast.
IMG_2409
  • Olen aiemminkin kertonut Kaakkois-Alaskan sijaitsevan sademets√§ss√§, mutta sademets√§ tarkoittaa oikeasti sadetta. Juneaussa sataa noin 220 p√§iv√§√§ vuodessa.
  • I've written about Southeast Alaska being within a rainforest before, but rainforest really means rainforest. In Juneau it rains about 220 days a year.
IMG_2992
  • Rakkaalla lapsella on monta nime√§. Lumikelkka kulkee Alaskassa monella nimell√§, mutta ehk√§ yleisin nimitys on snomachine, eli lumikone. Muualla puhutaan snowmobilesta, tai sledist√§.
  • A very common and popular item in Alaska has many names. Don't get confused when people in Alaska talk about snowmachines, when they actually mean snowmobile or sled.
IMG_3160
  • Kaivostoiminta on ollut vuosisatojen ajan t√§rke√§ elinkeino Alaskassa. Juneaun alueen kaikki hiekkarannat ovat j√§√§nn√∂st√§ 1800-luvun lopun ja 1900-luvun alun kaivostoiminnasta. Vuorten sis√§lt√§ louhittiin tonneittain kultaa ja huhu kertookin esimerkiksi kaupungin oikealle puolelle j√§√§v√§n Mt Roberts vuoren sis√§lt√§ l√∂ytyv√§n yli 300 mailin verran kaivosk√§yt√§vi√§.
  • Mining has been a very important industry in Alaska through the centuries. All the sandy beaches around Juneau are remnants of the mining industry of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dozens of tons of gold was mined from within the mountains and tales are told about there being more than 300 miles of mine shafts within Mt Roberts, the mountain to the right of Downtown Juneau.
IMG_2560
  • Kaupungin takana sijaitsee ilmastoa viilent√§v√§ Juneau Icefield, eli j√§√§tikk√∂alue joka on kooltaan noin Sveitsin kokoinen.
  • Behind the city lies a temperature cooling element called the Juneau Icefield, which is about the size of Switzerland.
IMG_2556