I was hoping to see Juneau first from the air, anticipating islands, mountains and glaciers, but although a few mountains managed to poke through, a thick cloud cover was a good excuse to give into the temptation to close my eyes and drift off a bit. After all, it's well after midnight as far as my body knows, even though my plane is to land at 9:30 in Alaska’s evening sunlight. As we descend the clouds become translucent and tree covered islands and blue water become visible. The plane skims close to the top of a mountain and drops quickly onto the runway.
Standing on the escalator I get my first chance to look at at anything apart from directional signs. On a bench below I recognize Solan, the Wilderness Ranger who has arranged to pick me up. Our first stop is the supermarket to tide me over the several days before and after my time in the field, when I will stay in the Ranger bunkhouse. I hurry through the aisle, helped by the fact that supermarkets in Alaska are arranged exactly the same as supermarkets in RI.