Matt & Melanie have worked magic at Mystic Mountain! Hailing from Connecticut & Virginia, this lovely young couple committed to working from May through October for "just" room & board (& beer & banyas & bear sightings & whale viewing & sport-fishing & other such Alaskan past-times)!! Their efforts have enabled us to be extremely productive in our very first year, & we couldn't be prouder of, or more grateful for what we have been able to accomplish with them on our team. Melanie's knowledge of organic gardening, & Matt's willingness to tackle virtually any task makes these two a formidable team, & no slug or weed will stop them!
Alaska has rewarded them well for their efforts...On Melanie's birthday they were fortunate enough to be boating in our vintage 18-foot Lund amongst a group of whales that were feeding in our front yard! (Be sure to check out the video, coming soon!) They have also seen bear on the beach while kayaking, have been sportfishing for cod, salmon, & halibut as often as they'd like (Mel caught her first fish ever!), they have learned how to can salmon, to make jelly from the salmonberries they picked around the property, they have both picked up some carpentry skills, & in general have gained a ton of knowledge about living off-grid. Numerous times they have hugged & thanked me for the opportunity to live/work in such an amazing setting...in short, they "get it!" They are Alaskans at heart, only they never knew it till they arrived on the Emerald Isle.
They brought their fur-baby, Bean, with them, who has become Hunter's dearest friend. We all hope they'll be back again someday, perhaps to STAY!!
Click here to read Melanie's list of all the things they learned during their stint with us!
Kim & Julie & their super-cool kiddos, Matthew & Sam, stayed with us for an entire month. Quite a switch from their stomping grounds in Arizona!! Matthew was great at tending & feeding the sourdough starter every day & Sam, using our vintage .22, became the consummate squirrel-killer, racking up a body-count of 23 before they left! Julie's beautiful spirit & lovely smile were present wherever & whenever another hand was needed, no matter how tedious or mundane the chore may be. Kim's innovation, gained from being raised on a farm, gave him the skills to do everything from wiring electricity to the hoophouses, to building the henhouse, to running the backhoe for some excavation work, & probably at least a dozen other things I can't think of right now! What a wonderful family, whom we treasure dearly & hope to cross paths with again soon!
"Tidy Heidi" neeeverrrrr needed to be told what to do! If she did not have an assigned task, she found something that needed cleaning, or sorting, or organizing...no matter where you went around camp, you could always tell that Heidi had been there because the floors were clean, the windows sparkled, & everything was in its place. We missed her terribly the MOMENT she left, & eagerly await her return next year for her third volunteer stint at Mystic Mountain.
I have never met anyone in my life that has a deeper sense of appreciation for natural beauty (although she & my dad are pretty much neck & neck) or a greater spirit of giving. She is a gem, through & through, & our lives are better for having met her.
Heidi was originally introduced to us by a mutual friend, so if you know someone like this, please send them our way! Our friends are our greatest treasures, & there's always room for one more.
Thom T. was a member of our very first volunteer week, seven years ago, & he has been back EVERY year since! He visited us several times in Arizona when we had a winter home there, & even came to see us in Seattle when we bought the F/V Woody & lived on it for a few months while converting it to an Alaskan-style seiner. He always brings us culinary delights that he has harvested & packaged himself, & is easy to talk into taking a turn in the kitchen, cranking out one delicious gourmet meal after another.
Over the years, Thom has brought with him some truly terrific people who've thrown their talents into the mix at getting some MAJOR projects knocked out in record time. This year, along with Stan & Matt, he & his buddy Kirk built a super-skookum (Alaskan word that means "Ram Tough" to the Nth degree) fish cleaning dock straddling the creek, as the old one had collapsed last year. Thom is a stickler for perfection & will never hit the rack till every last fish is filleted & packaged & in the freezer, so he is an integral part of feeding our gang every year! He plans to become an Alaskan resident when he retires so that he can spend 6 months of every year at Mystic Mountain!!
Please enjoy viewing just a sample of our 2013 volunteers' adventures!!
2014 Adventures & Accomplishments
April 2014 We are excited to welcome Kevin & Kari to our Mystic Mountain family for this summer!! Chosen for their enthusiasm for a life of sustainability, passion for learning new things, & the effusive praise I heard from their references, this beautiful young couple is sure to make a welcome addition to our team.
November 2014 After investing their energy & creativity at Mystic Mountain all summer, Kevin & Kari departed in late September, back to the East Coast, where they have settled in Maine. Coincidentally, last year's WWOOFers are moving to the same area! They are all fantastic people, & I can't wait for them to meet in person!! Wish I could be there, guys; miss y'all!!
Click here to read Kari's lovely parting letter...Aaawwww! Muah, dah-link!