Out of the Office

Sun dapples the mountains near the U.S. Forest Service Trail River Campground on July 22, 2020, near Moose Pass, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

COVID camping is about slowing down and relaxing

Recreating during a pandemic presents some challenges. Is the great outdoors great enough? How do you social distance on a narrow wilderness trail? How toxic… Continue reading

Sun dapples the mountains near the U.S. Forest Service Trail River Campground on July 22, 2020, near Moose Pass, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the Office: There and back again

In a recent display of tenacity, mediocre coordination skills and a deep love for the outdoors, some friends and I strapped on our packs for… Continue reading

The view from Slaughter Gulch trail in Cooper Landing, Alaska, on June 20, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Life on the Edge

Are you a planner? An organizer? A list-maker? I’m not. I love not knowing what tomorrow will bring, and when it comes to taking a… Continue reading

The view from Slaughter Gulch trail in Cooper Landing, Alaska, on June 20, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Dunlins, western sandpipers and a dowitcher feed on Saturday, May 2, 2020, on the Homer Spit near Green Timbers in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the Office: In the midst of a pandemic, birds are constant

Scattered on my desk I have three journals: my bullet journal, the daily planner that sort of keeps my life in order; my bird journal… Continue reading

Dunlins, western sandpipers and a dowitcher feed on Saturday, May 2, 2020, on the Homer Spit near Green Timbers in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
A wheelchair accessible path leads to the Russian River Falls on Sunday, May 24, 2020 in Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Trails that wind, hearts that find

As with a lot of things, Alaska has been lucky to be far removed and largely untouched by the disastrous health effects of the novel… Continue reading

A wheelchair accessible path leads to the Russian River Falls on Sunday, May 24, 2020 in Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
A morel mushroom grows in disturbed gravel on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo credit: USFWS)

Out of the Office: Morels surge confidence

I’m writing this in the car on the drive to Anchorage. My boyfriend, Nate, and I are in the process of moving back to the… Continue reading

A morel mushroom grows in disturbed gravel on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo credit: USFWS)

Out of the office: Summer arrives

What was I doing? I asked myself that as a struggled frantically to wiggle my telemark boots into the bindings and continue down the miners… Continue reading

Out of the office: Painted blue

I went to Homer a few weeks ago to find blue. For weeks I had wanted to paint nothing but blues and purples, but I… Continue reading

The view of Turnagain Arm, as seen from Hope Point in September 2018. Hope, Alaska, would be a good meeting place for a date once restrictions caused by the new coronavirus are lifted. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the office: Love in the time of corona

How do you find “the one” if you can’t even leave your home?

The view of Turnagain Arm, as seen from Hope Point in September 2018. Hope, Alaska, would be a good meeting place for a date once restrictions caused by the new coronavirus are lifted. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Nature in a time of pandemic can heal

As I write this I am in my third day of working at home — or, as I like to think of it, an embedded… Continue reading

The author and a friend ski the hayfield loop on Feb. 24, 2020 at the Lookout Mountain Trails near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Back to basics

What do column writing and cross-country skiing have in common? Sometimes, they’re like pulling teeth. There are some days when the words just don’t seem… Continue reading

The author and a friend ski the hayfield loop on Feb. 24, 2020 at the Lookout Mountain Trails near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Dropping a line

In my ongoing quest to shake off my Florida roots and achieve the illustrious title of “Real Alaskan,” I recently managed to cross an important… Continue reading

Driving through White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

El Paso or bust

It was minus 22 when we left for the Anchorage airport earlier this month. It was a sunny, beautiful drive north. The kind of bitter-cold… Continue reading

Driving through White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Michael Armstrong stands by Knik Arm in Anchorage shortly after arriving in Alaska in December 1979. The weird glow is caused by taking a photo of a slide illuminated by a desk lamp. (Photo provided by Mark Heffernan)

Out of the Office: From Florida to Alaska — A wild 40 years

Like true superheroes, every Alaskan has an origin story. The really cool origin story might involve being born a sixth-generation Alaskan from a sourdough ancestor… Continue reading

Michael Armstrong stands by Knik Arm in Anchorage shortly after arriving in Alaska in December 1979. The weird glow is caused by taking a photo of a slide illuminated by a desk lamp. (Photo provided by Mark Heffernan)
Sun reflects off snow covering the mountains across Resurrection Bay from the Tonsina Point area on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019 near Lowell Point, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Best laid plans

I’ve always been a planner. At age 4, you could find me bossing my father around a meticulously planned tea party — the water (you… Continue reading

Sun reflects off snow covering the mountains across Resurrection Bay from the Tonsina Point area on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019 near Lowell Point, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Out of the office: The bigger the moment, the bigger the reaction

There’s something about big moments and important games that I just can’t get enough of. As a sportswriter, it’s naturally in my DNA to salivate… Continue reading

Out of the office: Best place on the peninsula

Columnist’s note: I felt compelled to write this column Sunday night, even though it wasn’t due until Thursday afternoon. A short time after I finished,… Continue reading