Since there’s almost around-the-clock daylight in summer here–let me tell you, it’s a trippy thing–I can’t say that I’ve slept much (I am more of a night owl here than ever!), but when I do sleep, it’s been good sleep. I relished the luxury of sleeping in a room by myself one night, when I was staying at Dave and Jill’s apartment in Fairbanks, the night before we flew to Barrow with friends Karen, Scott and their kids, Elliot and Michael. (P.S. I’ll tell you all about these wonderful folks in an upcoming post, I promise!) All the other nights, I’ve had roommates–sometimes one, sometimes 6, sometimes more! Here’s a quick and dirty (uh, some were dirtier than others) rundown of the places I’ve stayed at so far: the Spenard Hostel in Anchorage, where I bonded with a colorful and sometimes aromatically challenged, ever-revolving flock of backpackers, job seekers, bikers, adventure travelers, college students and hippies; Jill and Dave’s apartment on the campus of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, where I enjoyed the luxury of free laundry (!!) and watching a flying squirrel eat from their bird feeders in the morning; the scientists’ dorm at the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium, where I shared a room with Karen (who got a reprieve from her mom duties) and where we spent lots of evening daylight time looking at and listening to birds outside our window on the vast and endless tundra; the Dream-a-Dream-Dog farm in Willow, where I shared a room with 11 women who were part of the Iditarod Teachers Summer Camp and where I could walk outside in the middle of the night and visit with 40-some sled dogs (my bed is the single mattress you see in the foreground, halfway tucked under the back of a couch); and the Denali Mountain Morning Hostel just 13 miles south of the Denali National Park entrance, which has to be one of the coolest hostels I’ll ever hope to find. Really, I’m not just saying that. The hostel is a group of cabin-like buildings with shared bathrooms and a kitchen in a central octagon-shaped cabin–all tucked in the woods just off Highway 3 — and we’re just a stone’s throw away from Carlo Creek, which I can hear rushing along right this minute as I type this post. Sweet. And since it’s midnight, there’s still plenty of light outside if I wanted to go sit by the creek. Double-sweet.