Alaskan Adventures

Hi All!

My name is Rowan, I’m from Gustavus, Alaska, and I’m currently going to school in Montana. I started school at Montana State University in Bozeman about three (?) weeks ago (I don’t even know anymore—four weeks?) The first weeks have been hectic, but I’m trying not to stress too much (That said, I’m writing this at 2:30 AM). I’ll be here at MSU (Go Cats!) for the rest of the semester.

Oliners keep asking me why I decided to go to school during my gap year. Well, for one thing, I was a little intimidated by how much math Olin wants freshmen to come in with. I guess the main reason though is I just couldn’t wait a whole year – I have really been looking forward to college (and also they have really good food here on campus). I’ll be “dropping out” at the semester so I can go bicycling and hiking in Patagonia with my parents. More on that later though – my mom is planning it, so naturally I have no idea what we’re going to be doing. But I’ll write all about it in my post in January, when we should be down there.

Photo 1

I had the coolest job this summer. I was a field assistant for a geologist doing research in Southeast Alaska, near where I live. The project I was helping with is focused on determining where sea level and the glaciers were in relation to one another during the time when humans would have been moving down the coast after crossing the Bering land bridge. I learned a lot of geology and geomorphology, but mostly I had a great time because we spent a month in the backcountry. And backcountry in Alaska means you don’t see another soul. So I think I learned a lot about myself by talking to exactly four people in a month, rarely more than two at a time, and all members of my party. Let me just say it’s a good thing we all got along.

A day off

A “day off.”

Taking a core of lake sediment

Taking a core of lake sediment.

Inflatable canoes

Making sure the bears don’t find our inflatable canoes.

Taking a peat core

Taking a peat core.

Typical Southeast Alaska weather

Typical Southeast Alaska weather. 

Well, I’d better get back to my calculus homework... or maybe I should go to bed. Either way, I’ll update you on my Patagonian adventures in January. I’m also planning an epic five-week backpacking trip on the outer coast of Alaska for next spring, so you’ll hear about that in April.


- Rowan 

Posted in: Gap Year Blogs