Out of the Office

Michael Armstrong’s dog, Leia, waits patiently to go for a walk on the Homer Spit beach on Jan. 25, 2014, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Need an exercise plan? Get a dog — a really rowdy, rambunctious dog

Suppose at your latest physical you got a stern lecture from your doctor. Suppose she told you to start exercising more — a lot more.… Continue reading

 

A group of friends makes their way through the trail leading to Tutka Lake across Kachemak Bay from Homer, Alaska in August, 2019. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Let’s pour one out for Mother Tutka

For the two years I’ve lived in Homer, I’ve managed just two trips across Kachemak Bay that haven’t been work related. If I keep up… Continue reading

 

Out of the Office: Burnt out

The first time I reported on the Swan Lake Fire, I didn’t even mention it by name. On June 6 – 84 days ago as… Continue reading

 

Out of the office: Taking our time on Tutka Backdoor Trail

“21 miles and 6,000 feet of climb? In four days?” The scene was the lobby of the Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center in mid-April, immediately… Continue reading

Nate Rochon cleans our fish after dip netting in the Kasilof River, on June 25, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Dipping into dipnetting

The net needed to be assembled. The two pieces, one very long rod, connected to a shorter rod with a large square net, is awkward… Continue reading

Nate Rochon cleans our fish after dip netting in the Kasilof River, on June 25, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

The waves, or places I belong

On my days off I drive. I drive to mountains and rivers and through flats — pacing the highway with wheels looking for a groove… Continue reading

The Kenai Mountains across Kachemak Bay rise behind the Mariner Park Campground on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska, as seen on June 15, 2019. The city campground offers both tent and motorhome camping. Although the facilities are minimal, the beachfront view is amazing. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
The Kenai Mountains across Kachemak Bay rise behind the Mariner Park Campground on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska, as seen on June 15, 2019. The city campground offers both tent and motorhome camping. Although the facilities are minimal, the beachfront view is amazing. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the office: Ruffled feathers

Life often has a funny way of coming full circle. I like to think I’m a pretty rational person. I also like to think that… Continue reading

A metal figurine stands atop a peak in the Mystery Hills on the Kenai Peninsula on April 28, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Column: What will 30 bring for me?

I’ve turned 30 years old recently, and as this occasion arrived, I wondered how different it would feel as I enter this particular stage of… Continue reading

A metal figurine stands atop a peak in the Mystery Hills on the Kenai Peninsula on April 28, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Skis and poles, ready for crust skiing, sit at the Dale Clemens Cabin above Resurrection Bay and Seward on April 12, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the office: Winter to summer

In January, it took allusions to neuroscience, the Green Bay Packers and Metallica for me to explain in this space how the Culture of the… Continue reading

Skis and poles, ready for crust skiing, sit at the Dale Clemens Cabin above Resurrection Bay and Seward on April 12, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
An ulu the author made as part of the Alaska Humanities Forum Sister School Exchange. (Photo provided by author)

Out of the Office: A sister school experience

As I write this column, I’m drowning in stories of Legislature budgets, potential school closures and some guy stealing a mammoth tusk in Anchorage. There’s… Continue reading

An ulu the author made as part of the Alaska Humanities Forum Sister School Exchange. (Photo provided by author)

Painting Lines

I have been drawing those lines my whole life.

Two birders scan Bishop’s Beach on Saturday afternoon, May 12, 2018, during the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. (Photo by Michael Armstrong / Homer News).

Birding: the universal outdoors activity

Like many imported Alaskans, I have a long list of outdoor activities I acquired after moving here in 1979: skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, dog mushing,… Continue reading

Two birders scan Bishop’s Beach on Saturday afternoon, May 12, 2018, during the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. (Photo by Michael Armstrong / Homer News).
The author with a pair of friends this past summer at Grewingk Glacier. (Photo provided by Megan Pacer)

Out of the Office: Hold my beer while I wade in glacial melt

Last week, the members of my team and I came in absolute dead last at trivia night. I normally wouldn’t share this with so broad… Continue reading

The author with a pair of friends this past summer at Grewingk Glacier. (Photo provided by Megan Pacer)
The sign announcing the start of the Alaska Highway in Dawson’s Creek, British Columbia. Taken in August of 2018. (Photo by Brian Mazurek)

Out of the Office: What a long, strange trip it’s been

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned this past year, it’s that sometimes you have to change your life, and sometimes your life changes you. Last… Continue reading

The sign announcing the start of the Alaska Highway in Dawson’s Creek, British Columbia. Taken in August of 2018. (Photo by Brian Mazurek)
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots defensive back Stephon Gilmore, center, celebrates his interception with Dont’a Hightower, left, and Eric Rowe, right, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Please tear us apart

In contrast to Will Morrow’s spin on being a Patriots fan (see “Don’t Tear Us Apart”, Jan. 27), I offer my own. Being a Chicago… Continue reading

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots defensive back Stephon Gilmore, center, celebrates his interception with Dont’a Hightower, left, and Eric Rowe, right, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
The summit of Vista Trail on Skilak Loop Road, seen Nov. 23, 2018, while waiting for skiing to come to the central Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Power of the Culture of the North

First, a few confessions. On Nov. 10, 2018, I marked the first snowfall of the season by getting off work and immediately bolting to the… Continue reading

The summit of Vista Trail on Skilak Loop Road, seen Nov. 23, 2018, while waiting for skiing to come to the central Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
My snowy driveway one winter morning, near Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Get outside 2019

Last New Year’s Eve I was at the same event I was for the two previous New Year’s. I rang in 2018 in a duplex… Continue reading

My snowy driveway one winter morning, near Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: At the edge of the world

Anniversaries are strange things — in many ways they are arbitrary, days we mark on a calendar to keep us from forgetting that we have… Continue reading

Skiers climb a hill near the start of the Kachemak Bay Marathon Ski Tour in March of 2007 near Homer, Alaska, in winter where Homer actually had snow. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Don’t wait for snow or ice — just get outside

Now would be the time when an enterprising outdoors columnist writes about all the wonderful winter sports to be experienced. Fresh snow has fallen and… Continue reading

Skiers climb a hill near the start of the Kachemak Bay Marathon Ski Tour in March of 2007 near Homer, Alaska, in winter where Homer actually had snow. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)