49 Voices: Stephanie Sever of McCarthy

Stephanie Sever of McCarthy (Photo by Erin McKinstry, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)

This week we’re hearing from Stephanie Seber in McCarthy. Seber is a massage therapist who moved to McCarthy in 2009 from Colorado.

Listen now

SEBER: It was I guess tragedy actually that got me here. The bottom falling out of life. It just seemed like the right time to make a move.

I did some rambling through the Lower 48, mostly to the mountain states: Montana, Idaho, I spent a little time in Vermont. And I feel like it was always just kind of in the plan to come to Alaska. It just felt like the direction my life was moving.

I ended up driving up the Alcan in the very beginning of March, I believe, in a Jetta. A fully loaded Jetta. So it was an adventure to get here, couple snowstorms. I found myself in McCarthy, Alaska, which was this great little net, and felt like a warm hug for my soul.

My first winter was awesome. I actually got to stay in my neighbor’s cabin, because it was before I built mine. And so it was still like living out of a duffel, which I had done for years. But it was great. It was cold. The Northern Lights that winter were off the charts. McCarthy in general has a pretty strong sense of camaraderie, and I think that in the wintertime, it’s just exemplified even further.

I may wish that all my water was hauled, but I actually have to go and do that: haul the buckets, clean the buckets. There’s steps here to living that aren’t like other places.

It was great to be able to just slow down and to read a book for an entire day maybe, or go cut some trees down for an entire day, without the thought of, “Oh. I have this to do tomorrow.” Again, this cumulative list of things to do doesn’t really exist here in my mind. It’s just doing.


a portrait of a man outside

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

Erin McKinstry is Alaska Public Media's 2018 summer intern. She has an M.A. from the University of Missouri's School of Journalism and a B.A. from Knox College. She's reported stories for The Trace, The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, Harvest Public Media, the IRE Radio Podcast, KBIA and The Columbia Missourian.

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