I packed salad greens, shredded kale, carrots, cukes, radishes and tomatoes and set off for work with a potluck item for our state worker holiday brunch. A baby duffle bag stuffed with newspaper protected these summer ingredients from 15-degree bridge winds. No frozen salad for this foot commuter or her co-workers.
With 1½ years now of not driving the 20 mile round trip to work, I've saved at least $120 a month on gas, plus we got rid of our second car. And it has been surprisingly easy and also very fun.
I walked over the bridge from West Juneau and caught the express bus from the Federal Building. Commute time is 20 to 25 minutes of comfortable bus riding proceeded by a 20-minute walk.
It is morning meditation, brain refreshment and body tune-up, and I'm proud to be part of the hardy band of daily bridge walkers. Apparently Alaska has the highest percentage of people who walk to work, and I'm honored to add tracks in the snow to that statistic. Glad also to awaken my John Muir Jr. sensibilities attending sunrises, eagles, seals, jellyfish, otters and horizontal bridge winds carrying snain mixtures in death defying acrobatics.
I also notice how those bridge winds operate and which end of the span is mostly lively. Three windy times I have had to turn back and cross by other means.
Now, I wouldn't miss the morning walk - it gets me ready for work and banks up energy for the day's agenda. Coming back home over the bridge, it's a great way to get off my work horse and sally forth as the "inspector of snow storms." Poet Inspector Robert Frost would agree.
Bravo to Capital Transit and their safe and courteous drivers. Our buses are people-friendly and earth-healthy. Bus travel has introduced me to a small group of Juneauites who have been practicing car free for years - unsung heroes in my book.
And a cardio cheer to the all season bicycle commuters. Every winter day through snow and ice, I follow brave bicycle tracks over the bridge. During the warmer weather, I biked to work once a week. I wish I had the gear and guts to bike all year. I have had a dream of Juneau acquiring some of the four-person French bikes. We rode these in Seward as a tourist activity and laughed the whole way, especially on the uphill. Fun and funny, and it would be a hoot to have these bikes rolling back and forth from valley to town.
Imagine preparing yourself for work by laughing and biking 10 miles.