49 Voices: Jenna Holcomb of Anchorage

This week we’re hearing from Jenna Holcomb in Anchorage. Holcomb is a life-long Alaskan and works at the Brown Bag Sandwich Company.

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Jenna Holcomb of Anchorage (Photo by Zoe Sobel, KUCB - Unalaska)
Jenna Holcomb of Anchorage (Photo by Zoe Sobel, KUCB – Unalaska)

HOLCOMB: I’ve lived in Alaska my whole life, essentially, until I was 18. And then I’ve been moving around and traveling and coming back since then. ‘Cause I was hanging out with really terrible people, like really bad influences in my life so I had to escape that, essentially. I couldn’t do that here.

I left for the first time when I was 18. I went down to California and I met a guy. Then we moved to Milwaukee together and then essentially since then have gone on some very major trips together. Went to Central America, and last year, I did a four month bike tour in Europe. I also did a 12,000 mile motorcycle trip across North America. So yeah, and then I come here to make money. Family. Money. Mountains. Not particularly in that order. (laughs)

I can’t really say that I would stay anywhere long-term. It’s like the only place I always feel comfortable coming back to, as opposed to any other city or place I’ve ever been. [They] just never felt like somewhere I could come back to easily.

Mostly the outdoors aspect is thrilling. I mean, you have everything. There’s fishing, camping, biking, backpacking, BIKEpacking… anything. So there’s just so much. Being at the top of Wolverine Peak and looking down and seeing the vast expansive mountains. Hanging out at Eklutna lake which is obviously the water reservoir for Anchorage, which is really interesting. And staying in that cabin during the winter and listening to the ice crack. Calling out echoes and hearing it back 17 times. That’s like… that’s what it’s all about.

I don’t want Alaska to look like Texas in 100 years in terms of mining and drilling and stuff. That’s always a big bummer when our politics don’t exactly line up with what’s right for nature. So that sucks. It’s called the Last Frontier for a reason and I think that if we degrade that so quickly, we’re going to end up looking like the rest of America, and it’d be really sad to see all of this go.

Alaska is magical. It’s the whole thing. I’m a really big outdoors person in general. I love being outside. I would like to live outside so this is good. Except the bears are terrifying. But, you know, that’s cool. We can hang and be fine.