Dear John . . .

By Lindsay Starr

While being out here on the icefield is truly beautiful and breathtaking, connecting with the outside world is hard. At camp 17 we had very limited cellular reception and no internet. Most of us had even packed away our cell phones so the limited reception at camp 17 did not even matter. What does matter is sheets of paper, colored pens and creatively decorated envelopes.  

A variety of letters and postcards ready to be sent to loved ones.  Photo by Lindsay Starr

With being far away from our loved ones, writing to them is as close as we can get. On any clear day we hope to hear the radio alert us that there is a helicopter on its way up with supplies and mail. We have gone up to ten days alone except for the company of those in camp without a helicopter that carries the mail. When a helicopter arrives it is like a new party guest has arrived and brought the best present – MAIL!

Alexei Doncov, Christiane McCabe, Sarah Cooley, Mary Gianotti, Jamie Bradshaw, Patrick Englehardt, Leah Nelson, and Stephanie Streich.  Photo by Lindsay Starr.

I’ve received cards from my parents along with photos from their 4th of July party. My sister sent me a gold body chain along with stickers. Others have received chocolate bars (melted), newspapers, and drawings. Receiving mail is like getting a puppy while getting accepted to your top college and receiving an A in your hardest class all at once.

Writing letters is so different than writing thank you notes and journal or diary entries. Without the almost instant satisfaction of text messages or email you have to fit everything in this one letter without instant response.

Lindsay Starr writing a letter with the Taku Towers in the background. Photo by Leah Nelson.

So if you are reading this blog and have received a letter feel loved and special. If you have not received a letter do not give up hope as it could be in the mail right now! For those of you who have sent us mail:  Thank you for sending someone in the middle of the Juneau Icefield a letter and making them the happiest person in the United States and Canada!