Home in Alaska - Eagles, Whales, and Bears. Oh My.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors

Clean, crisp air, ferns the size of small trees, glaciers that spill from rugged mountains into the sea, and wildlife everywhere. Breathtakingly beautiful. That’s the setting I experienced growing up in Juneau, Alaska. Paul Henderson has asked us to share our memories of the most unique or special place we have lived to date. Here’s my story. 

Juneau is always in my heart, and not just because I have a son and grandsons who live there. The little fishing town shaped me into the person I am today. It instilled in me a deep love and profound respect for nature and all of its creatures. We moved there when I was eight years old, when dad was transferred for a new position in the Alaska State Troopers. I moved away in my mid-twenties for a new adventure and never returned - permanently. I’m not sure I fully appreciated the gift of growing up there until I left. Small towns can feel quite limiting when you’re young. 

Dad taught us how to fish, read weather, and safely operate a boat and a gun. Mom taught us how to garden in a short growing season, and which berries were safe to pick in the woods. Frequent snow in the winter months required learning how to put chains on a car. Hiking the local trails, I knew to carry a bell or sing loudly to let the bears know I was around. They hate surprises. Garbage can lids were always tethered down too, preventing visiting bears from finding an easy food source. Bears have plenty of company in Juneau. Eagles soar overhead, mountain goats dot high ravines,  and deer frequent meadows. Marine mammals include whales, porpoise, dolphin, seals, and sea lions. 

To me, the only downside to living in Juneau is the frequent rain. More annual rainfall than we get in the Pacific Northwest. After all, the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. You can thank the rain for creating this magnificent environment of towering hemlock, spruce, and yellow and red cedar. Underneath the canopy of massive trees, young evergreens, shrubs, and berry bushes thrive. Moss and ferns cover the ground and lichens hang like lace from many tree branches. And in spring and early summer, an abundance of wildflowers burst forth in vibrant colors. 

Visits home to see my oldest son, his wife, and their two young sons fill me with joy, and memories. They own an adventure guide business and are thriving personally and professionally.  When we're in Juneau, we go for hikes, boating and rafting adventures, and the sights, smells and sounds of my old hometown tug at my heart strings. Yet when I leave, it’s not with sadness, or a longing to permanently return. It’s more of a sense of satisfaction and the anticipation of getting back home. There really is no place like home. 


(Photo Snowy Juneau was photographed by my son, Sean Janes, while backcountry skiing on Saddle Mountain in March, 2012 - The photos of the wild Lupine and boys on the boat were taken by me in July, 2015)

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ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.







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William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I personally could live there even in the more wilderness parts.

Mar 10, 2017 09:30 AM #7
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Debb. Your blog is lovely, poignant and impressive. I have never been to Alaska and want to go. The photos are stinning.

Mar 10, 2017 09:38 AM #8
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing some of your fond memories.

Dolores lived in Kodiak when her father was stationed there in the navy.

Mar 10, 2017 10:05 AM #9
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Debb gorgous photos!! What a wonderful place to grow up at - you lucky girl!  I can understand why you love going back there as there is so much to appreciate.

Mar 10, 2017 10:32 AM #10
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Debb - Someday, I'll visit Juneau. I've heard so many wonderful things about the area, and I can understand how wonderful it must have been growing up there, even if you didn;t realize it at the time. Have a great weekend!

Mar 10, 2017 01:27 PM #11
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Those are some gorgeous photos.  What a wonderful place to live.

Mar 10, 2017 03:38 PM #12
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Anna, it's a pretty special place.

Dick, I hope you do, and be sure to look up Sean when you do. We'll have to talke before you book. D 

Belinda, it's way cool. 


Mar 10, 2017 04:02 PM #13
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Really is beautiful up there.

Mar 10, 2017 05:23 PM #14
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Debb-I will be visting Alaska but won't be a pioneer woman and living there.  Gorgeous pic

Mar 11, 2017 01:05 AM #15
Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

Your blog really hit home for me-the beauty of Alaska is mystical and I pray that it stays that way!

Mar 11, 2017 05:44 AM #16
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Debb -- through your words and photos, you share not only the beauty of Juneau but the importance of self-reliance, respect and appreciation. Not only for the place as it is and was but as a foundation of who you are today.  I've never been to Alaska but everyone I know who has visited speaks so highly of it.  

Mar 11, 2017 06:20 AM #17
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Debb, I know you have talked about living in Juneau, and the beauty is stunning.   No wonder you have such an appreciation for the outdoors today.  

Mar 11, 2017 07:52 AM #18
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Wow Debb,  love Alaska in the summer time would not be a fan in the winter months.


Mar 11, 2017 08:59 AM #19
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

Your pictures say it all but your words convey the the true meaning of love for a part of your life that can be enjoyed over and over in your mind Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD. Thank you! 

Mar 12, 2017 08:14 AM #20
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Debb, your blog drew me in this morning and I feel like I learned more about you and your appreciation for nature. Thank you! Alaska is breathtaking, your photos make me want to visit one day. 

Mar 13, 2017 06:24 AM #21
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Debb, you guys must be visiting the kids, and what beauty you are enjoying! 

Mar 13, 2017 08:12 AM #22
Will Nesbitt
Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria - Alexandria, VA
Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage.

Talk to Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD (360) 608-4900 in Camas, WA.

Mar 13, 2017 10:48 AM #23
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Debb, what an awesome place to call home. When I was in the military I met some guys who were from Juneau and they always painted a magical picture now three plus decades later it is confirmed:)Endre

Mar 13, 2017 04:44 PM #24
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Debb, this is filled with Alaskan white magic! Your words are quite poetic and I long to take Larry to Alaska, as I've been there with my dear Granny for a somewhat short but bountiful trip. Your love of your upbringing rings true in my ears and we both share a joy of growing up appreciating the world that we were offered as children, out in the woods, on water, a simple life. The best gift our parents could give us! 

Mar 17, 2017 06:49 AM #25
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Self sufficient and learning to live with the basics are what come to mind when I think of living in Alaska. I would not think of Alaska as having a rain-forest,  however

Mar 17, 2017 05:30 PM #26
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD

REALTORS® in Clark County, WA
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