Sleepless in Juneau

It’s 4:30 am and light from the outside is filling my hotel room. That’s right, even at 4:30 am the sun has already been up here in Juneau for 30 minutes and, although cloudy, there is plenty of light, more than enough to write in my journal without the aid of artificial light. I’m wide awake. My efforts to acclimate to the Alaska time zone from the Eastern time zone have so far failed. After three nights, I’m still waking up at 4:30 am. The difference between Alaska time and Eastern time is only four hours, about the same as if I were in California, so you wouldn’t think that would be a big deal. But it might as well be a twelve-hour difference. It’s like night and day!

The killer is not the different time zones. The killer is latitude. At almost 60 degrees north, my hotel room in Juneau is about 25 degrees farther north than my beloved bed in Knoxville. That difference means that, at this time of year, the daylight time is extremely loooong, about 18 hours long in fact. That’s right, the sun sets here at 10:00 pm and rises at 4:00 am. And Steve keeps waking up at 4:30 am no matter what I do. Ear plugs, sleeping mask, white noise – these all help to some degree, but the sun and my bladder have a mind of their own. Together, they conspire to get me out of bed and keep me awake once I’ve been vertical for two minutes. I call this syndrome sleepless in Juneau.

So, until I adjust, I’m left to write, listen to the ringing in my ears, and maybe work on my laptop. This morning, that is what I’ve done. I even took the time to learn about my new Nikon DSLR camera that I bought before heading to Juneau. This is the first DSLR I’ve had with a built-in WIFI so this morning I figured out how to download images directly from the camera to my phone. Kind of a handy feature. I experimented with an image from yesterday’s trip to the famous Mendenhall glacier here in Juneau. I went there with a couple of friends who also arrived early for the adventure (Sapna and Harsha…they are probably both sleeping peacefully right now, thank you very much!).

Anyway, here’s a shot from Mendenhall that I captured with my new DSLR, transferred to my phone, and processed with Lightroom on my phone. Kind of cool. Will this capability make me a better photographer? Absolutely not. Will it improve my images? Definitely not. But what it will do is allow me to share some of my adventures in a way that was more difficult in the past. I wouldn’t do this on all my images by any means, but this opens the door to new possibilities!

Enjoy! I’m going to try to catch a few zzz’s before my alarm goes off in 45 minutes. Wish me luck!!




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