Story last updated at 11/7/2012 - 1:11 pm
Sitting in my office a few months ago I could not have imagined the journey my life and career was about to take. A series of phone calls spanning the months of August and September had my wife and I preparing to embark on a 10 day, 3,500-mile adventure from Kansas City, Mo., to Juneau, Alaska. Our adventure began Sept. 18 2012, to be exact; the day I accepted an offer to come to Juneau and be the general manager for Capital City Weekly.
Neither my wife nor I had ever even been to Alaska, but without hesitation we knew we were doing the right thing.
We sold our nine-year-old business, had a garage sale (which ended up lasting almost three weeks), and tried every other way we could think of to sell everything we owned, including our home. I never realized how much "stuff" one could accumulate in a lifetime. When all was said and done, however, we decided that it was, after all, just stuff.
The business we sold was a monthly entertainment magazine and weekly radio talk show, so the decision to accept the offer to run the Capital City Weekly was really a no-brainer. I would essentially be doing the same thing I had been doing for the last nine years.
With our two SUV's and the largest trailer I could rent packed to the brim (6-feet by 12-feet really isn't as big as you might think) and with two of our dogs in one rig and two in the other, we said our goodbye's, pulled out of our driveway and headed northwest.
Our journey took us through Nebraska and into Wyoming where we made the trek through Teton National Park, and then up through our nation's first national park, Yellowstone. We soldiered on through Montana and Idaho making it to our final destination in the Lower 48, Bellingham, Wash. We said goodbye to "down south" and drove our vehicles onto the Columbia for an interesting trip on the ferry to our final destination, Juneau, where we arrived at 4:15 a.m. on Monday the 22nd.
Arriving in Juneau at 4:15 a.m. didn't give me a chance to appreciate the beauty of the city I would be calling "home." The first few hours (in the dark) were spent unhooking a trailer, finding our hotel and unloading the few things we were sure we would need for our first day in Juneau.
We made our four pooches comfortable in the hotel and off we went for breakfast with our early morning tour guide, my new boss. We had a great breakfast and spent time getting to know the man that hired me. Afterward, my wife and I were headed back to the hotel to try to rest for a while, but the excitement of the move to a new city was just too much for us to catch up on any sleep. Rather than sleep, we made our phone calls to our family to let them know we arrived.
I still had to start work later that day and my boss was taking us to lunch and a short tour of the city, so my wife and I got ready and decided we would take the dogs for a stroll around downtown before we had to leave them alone again in a strange new place.
By this time it was daylight and when we exited the hotel with the dogs we finally visualized what a beautiful city we were about to call home. Seeing Juneau in the daylight punctuated our thoughts that we absolutely had made the correct decision... we immediately fell in love with Juneau!
Now that I have had a chance to get settled in I would like to tell everyone what a wonderful city Juneau is. I would also like you to know how happy we are to call Juneau and Southeast Alaska home. Whether it was meeting people through my work or one of us meeting someone at a store or some other random place (we have been to a lot of stores and places in the past week), everyone we've spoken with has made us feel welcome and at home.
While I know our readers technically don't "run" things here at the Capital City Weekly, this is really your publication. It's about you and for you. So, I want to hear from you and for you to let me know what you would like to see out of us.
This really is your publication and your opinion is one that matters enormously to me. I am just lucky enough to be able to be of service to Southeast Alaskan's and bring you, through these pages, the things you find interesting and entertaining.
Dale E. Smith