It’s dark all the time now. When you leave for work or school, there is no light coming home either. Winter in Juneau.
With no daylight available, we decided a short hike in the dark was in order. So Monday night, Claire Helgeson, Gretchyn O’Donnell, Katie McCaffrey and I took to an unnamed trail I’d previously only been to in the sunshine. The plan was to find something cool (as always).
At the trailhead it was dry and foggy out. I was in standard-issue cotton wear, tennis shoes and a water bottle. Everyone else was in the appropriate Tongass rain gear.
Magically, we came across some super Pinterest-y glowing nets in the trees. It’s crazy that these totally naturally appear in Southeast Alaska (wink wink). It’s a wonder there’s no other information about this online. What a wonderfully kept secret. Must be some local aurora borealis phenomena.
These nets are out the road. That is all I’m going to say about location. They hang 10 to 15 feet above the ground on the edge where forest meets salt water. I hope they do not get destroyed like the last ones. Someone will probably still get mad that I posted these photos.
A few years ago there were two more setups in town but they aren’t there anymore. What happened to them? Someone probably decided to rip them down because they didn’t believe in fun. Or were they no longer loungeable? Too holy some might say? Uninsured net climbers, beware.
If anyone has any seine nets and mooring line they are looking to get rid of, I’ll take them off your hands. We need more of these magical places to hangout. City folk get plastic jungle gyms. We are the fortunate ones to create these suspended wonders in the woods.
On the walk out to the nets there were lots of bright green grass and other small plants that normally would have died off by this time in the year. How did we go from my last article in the deep snow back to fall colors? Somebody needs to fix the weather machine. #BeforeTheFlood
By the time we left the nets and got back to the car it was raining hard. One of my favorite feelings is after you’ve been outside for a while and you’re cold, wet and tired. Getting back in the car, blasting the heat and fading until you fall asleep from the warmth and the lull of the bumpy road back into town. Sadly, as the driver, I didn’t get to experience that this time, but I saw it happen, their eyes closed, heads nodding over, bouncing with the uneven pavement. Funny, by the time we got home, I was the only one with dry clothing. Cotton for the win!
• California-born and Alaska-bred, Gabe Donohoe is an adventurer and photographer. He is a graduate of the University of Alaska Southeast Outdoors Studies Program. His photo archives can be seen on www.gabedonohoe.com. “Rainforest Photos” photo blog publishes every other Friday in the Empire’s Outdoors section.