Outsiders: Victoria Johnson

Posted: Sunday, February 25, 2007

Age: 40.

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Occupation: cultural specialist in Indian studies.

Favorite outdoor activity: My favorite activity is canoe paddling. I have been on a few different teams and the position I usually take on a canoe is the captain, I guess is what you call them, because they are the rudder, they have the control of where you're gonna go.

Favorite outdoor experience: When I worked for Camp Water, we did a two week trip in Mitchell Bay, where we had two-man canoes and we worked with junior high kids. We where out in the wilderness for one week with one group of kids and we brought all of our own supplies, tents, canoes, and we were teaching about elements of the weather, how to make fires with natural materials like sap. We also tried to rub two sticks together to see if it is possible. The science side of Camp Water. That was probably my most memorable experience, the two weeks outdoors.

Favorite season: Spring, because the earth is turning from brown to green and it's like new life beginning, new things are happening.

Favorite Spot: Mitchell Bay in Angoon. They have all these little islands and the tides are so unpredictable. They have these beautiful tide lines where you just see all these different sea anemones, different types of sea life. They have four feet of water at low tide and the tide line is much higher. You can see all the things that you would never really see at the bottom of the ocean that were right there at four feet.

Close encounter: My close encounter would be with a black bear when I was a little kid. The black bear was on a playground near my grandmother's house on Douglas Island. My grandmother said "speak Tlingit to it." I didn't know that many Tlingit words, and I told my grandma, "Say thank you? Gunal cheesh? "Yeah, 'Thank you for letting me be your appetizer!'"

•Outsiders is a weekly profile in the Juneau Empire's Outdoors section.

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