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Wild Rumpus Sports

What up Alaska?

So, a couple of months ago, I posted here about how I was looking for a job…ideally in a place that had cold and snowy winters, skiing, friendly people, and a large enough population so that there would be at least a few crooked politicians to report on.

Yesterday, I got an email from a reader in Alaska who suggested I look for jobs there, as the Anchorage Daily News was hiring. It was a pretty awesome email to get, because I then got to tell him that I already had a job with the Anchorage Daily News, was flying out there the next day, and would be starting the gig the following week. Boom.

So, yes: I am currently sitting in JFK Airport, having just checked my deconstructed bicycle, eight pairs of skis, and god knows what else I shoved in my duffel. (Oh yeah: a couple of large kitchen knives—hope you’re cool with that, TSA.) And I am in the middle of demolishing a gigantic amazing plate of nachos. (I’m embarrassed to admit that I actually bought airport food, but I left my breakfast in the kitchen in all the hubbub of trying to catch a ride from my apartment to JFK with all the aforementioned items, plus a 50-pound carry-on LL Bean backpack, a shoulder bag, and a sport coat. [Gotta keep it classy in Alaska—I heard polar bears can detect mismatched clothing at 300 yards away.])

For anybody wondering, moving to Alaska is a pain in the ass. It’s also very expensive. I’ll send a FasterSkier sticker to the first commenter who can guess within $10 the cost of sending these two 50-pound boxes from 10026 to 99508. (I’ll give you a hint—it’s slightly fewer dollars than there are acres in Alaska.)

I fit half the Empire State Building in here.

I fit half the Empire State Building in here.

I’ll be covering city government for the ADN, which I’m really, really excited about. If you’re confused about why someone would think covering city government is fun, just remember the way your friends look at you when you tell them that your idea of fun is dressing up in spandex and skiing UP hills in sub-zero temperatures. Government reporting is kind of the same way. After two years of doing it in New York City, I’d like to think I’m kind of at the Junior Nationals level of journalism, but I’m hoping by moving to Alaska and training with Erik Flora and Kikkan Randall, I can make it to the Olympics. (That metaphor works, right?)

I’m thrilled to be moving to Alaska, but it’s definitely a bummer to leave behind all my friends in New York who, it should be noted, almost convinced me to stay. When they didn’t, they then made me this wicked sweet poster, which is probably the most awesome thing anyone’s ever done for me.

If you don't get the reference, google "Ford to City."

If you don’t get the reference, google “Ford to City.”

I’m looking forward to a whole lot of skiing and outdoor adventures over the next couple of years. Not totally sure how this blog and my role with FasterSkier will change, since the ADN is one of the few American newspapers that actually does a good job covering cross-country skiing, but I’ll definitely continue to stay involved in the sport at some level. Stay tuned.




  1. Ben Arians says:

    Welcome to AK, Nat! Fortunately not too many dull moments in Alaska politics, too much oil money and Corrupt Bastards for that (google Corrupt Bastards Club for the reference). Stop by Alaska Mountaineering & Hiking after you get settled and we’ll give you some valuable tips for surviving the great white north!

  2. Tim Kelley says:

    There is no better source than Ben, Paul and AMH to get advice for outdoors Alaska. Here’s some basics for Anchorage trails: If a moose it looking at you with its ears back, it’s stressed – so get away from it. If a moose is looking at you, ears are back and it’s wagging its tongue (seriously) – get away fast because it’s seconds away from charging and stomping you. Don’t go on a trail named “Rover’s Run” from now until mid-September. Brown bears take over this area as they feed on salmon in Campbell Creek. There have been a number of runners/bikers mauled on this trail in recent years. AK is the best, but as with NYC – you need to always be aware of your surroundings.