It’s been a great four and a half months out of the office, but it’s also great to be back.
From the editor 100417 AE 1 Capital City Weekly It’s been a great four and a half months out of the office, but it’s also great to be back.

Capital City Weekly editor MC and her tiny golden retriever, Fen, pose in front of a beached sternwheeler on Hootalinqua Island, at the confluence of the Teslin and Yukon rivers. Photo by Bjorn Dihle.

Bjorn Dihle paddles before high bluffs and formations along the Yukon River. Photo by Mary Catharine Martin.

Bjorn Dihle and his golden retriever, Fen, cross the Chilkoot Pass into Canada. Photo by Mary Catharine Martin.

Tiny golden retriever Fen sleeps atop food stores on the Yukon River while waiting for the humans to go to sleep. Photo by Mary Catharine Martin.

Bjorn Dihle fishes on Lake Laberge. Photo by Mary Catharine Martin.

This cow moose was one of many visiting at a particular camp spot along the Yukon River. Photo by Bjorn Dihle.

Fort Selkirk, at the confluence of the Pelly and Yukon rivers, was the home of the Selkirk First Nation for years. It's also a historical trading spot for the Chilkat Tlingit and inland First Nations. This hymn was one of several in a Fort Selkirk church, translated into Tlingit by Sally Burratin of Klukwan. Photo by Mary Catharine Martin.

This cinnamon black bear made for an exciting morning when it approached camp. Photo by Mary Catharine Martin.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Story last updated at 10/3/2017 - 6:07 pm

From the editor

Well, y’all, it was a great summer.

To (re)introduce myself: I’m MC, the editor of the Capital City Weekly. I left the position in early May for, first, a three-week writing residency at Alderworks, an artists’ residency in Dyea. The short version about Alderworks is that it was wonderful, I loved it, and if you’re an artist who will benefit from time and space to concentrate, it’s hard to think of a better place to do it. After North Words, a writing conference organized by Southeast super-team Jeff Brady (Skagway), Katrina Woolford (Juneau), Dan Henry (Haines), and Buckwheat Donahue (Skagway), Jeff dropped my boyfriend Bjorn, our dog Fen and me off at the Chilkoot trailhead, where we began hiking north.

We took the next month to retrace the main route Klondike stampeders took to Dawson during the gold rush in 1897 and 1898. After hiking the Chilkoot, we paddled an inflatable canoe from Lake Bennett to Dawson, a total distance of around 550 miles. It was a route full of the remains of dilapidated gold rush cabins, rusting tools, moose, Dall sheep, black bears, and some exciting thunderstorms.

Along the way, we thought about a few of the incredible stories of the 19th century. One of those features a party of Chilkat Tlingit warriors who, in 1852 traveled hundreds of miles down the river to burn the Hudson’s Bay Company trading post located at what is now Fort Selkirk, at the confluence of the Yukon and the Pelly Rivers. For centuries if not longer, the Chilkat Tlingit controlled trade with the First Nations of the interior. The establishment of the trading post negatively impacted this business, so they traveled north and burned it. We also thought about the stories of the Klondike stampeders, who frequently called themselves Argonauts. As some of you know, the name comes from the myth of Jason and the Argonauts, heroes of ancient Greece who go searching for the Golden Fleece. The myth doesn’t end well for Jason.

The rest of the summer I spent revising the novel that inspired the trip. It’s about a woman who travels north to search for her sister, who disappears in Dawson during the height of the Klondike gold rush. Right now, it’s called “Amelia and the Argonauts.” I’ll be sending it out into the great wide world soon.

But back to business! Huge thanks go to Clara Miller, who powered through the whole summer as Capital City Weekly interim editor. Thanks for keeping the ship afloat, Clara. I’m so grateful for you and all your hard work, and I know everyone else is, too. Thanks also to Mackenzie Fisher, who contributed freelance for us regularly in the interim, as well as all our staff and regular columnists, whom you’ll continue to see featured here in the Capital City Weekly.

This week also brings a few other changes our way: on Oct. 2, Morris Communications transferred ownership of the Capital City Weekly — and the Juneau Empire — to GateHouse Media. We’ve heard good things about GateHouse and are looking forward to what the next few months will bring.

It’s been a great four and a half months out of the office, but it’s also great to be back. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for the Capital City Weekly, Southeast Alaska’s arts, culture and community-focused publication, always feel free to email me at