I chose the worst possible day to lock myself out of my little shack. Half of the people in Boxtown are gone to either Valdez or Anchorage, including my roommate, leaving me all alone in my struggle on the first cold and dreary day after a week of 90-degree weather. But their absence is filled by a crew of ten workers called SAGA, which stands for something along the lines of Southeastern Alaska G-something Association (I’ve been working and living with them all week so you would think that would be something I could have figured out by now). They are very friendly but I don’t feel like I know them quite well enough to ask to share a tent until I can figure out another form of shelter, so that was not an option.
I blame my bladder for convincing me to get out of the comfort of my very cozy bed, slip on my hiking boots without socks, and traipse over to the bathroom hut in my long underwear at four in the morning. The second I stepped down, out of my door, I heard the lock click behind me and I knew instantly I would not be back in my bed anytime soon.
After staring at a very sturdy door and shaking a very immovable handle, I took a moment to shiver and fully appreciate the extent of my stupidity. I went all year in the freshmen dorms without locking myself out once, but once I move to Alaska, where there is no way to get a new key, especially not at such an hour on a Saturday morning, I manage to strand myself outside in the rain. All I could do was chuckle, shake my head, and make my way to the bathroom anyway.
When I came back, I had a plan. Luckily just a few days ago I had seen Katie lock herself out, but she was able to get back in by climbing through the window and stepping onto her desk. It would be a trick to pull myself all the way up to the window, but what other option did I have? Sleep in the kitchen? That wasn’t going to happen, so I dumped the water off of one of the plastic chairs from the fire pit and dragged it over to under my window. I slipped off my hiking boots and hoisted myself up as if climbing out of a pool.
I managed to squeeze my body in, but the window was so skinny that my legs were dangling outside the building with very little room to pull them in after me. So that is where I was sitting, watching countless mosquitoes stream into my room, when the leader of the SAGA crew walked out from behind my cabana to use the bathroom. He turned the corner and jerked to a stop when he saw me, hunched in a tiny hole in the wall of my hut. His eyes widened out of sleep and he scratched his massive mane of curly blonde hair.
That was all the motivation I needed to force my body to bend like a gymnast – not its first inclination – and swing my legs into my room. I glanced back to see him still standing there, wondering if he was actually awake. I smiled and gave a tiny wave before hopping onto the desk, knocking all of Riley’s stuff in the process, and tumbling to the floor. I scrambled up to slam the window shut before more blood-sucking beasts could buzz into my room, and threw myself onto my bed. Of course, I was then wide awake thinking of the perfect way to write all of this down, but at least I was inside.
Besides my misfortune this morning, this week has gone pretty well. Next week we are going back to Kendesnii for a few days to finish putting together a bridge and to clear up a trail that was damaged by massive flooding. I’ve figured out a way to keep the YCC kids in line – any time they act inappropriately or in a way that annoys me, I just make them do push-ups. Depending on the severity of their crime, I increase the number by increments of ten. Yesterday, Sean made it to 200 push-ups before he decided to censor himself. So far it seems to be working.
I look forward to testing out my new method in Kendesnii and then my parents arrive on the third to visit so I’m really looking forward to this week!