Monday, November 2, 2009

The Honda has arrived!


Our Honda arrived on the barge that brings the fuel to the village for the winter. The barge is the cheapest way to ship things to the bush. ATVs are the main source of transportation in the villages and having one is essential for trips upcountry, which would otherwise take days to hike. Also, when the tide is out you can ride for miles on the beach. It’s important to become familiar with the tides, because when the tide is in a stream can become a 3 ft river and then you’re stuck for a while. Having the Honda increasing the amount of land we can explore, hunt, fish, pick berries and also acts as a quick escape from bears.   Now that we have the Honda, Andrew and I will be setting our traps soon. We spent most of Sunday boiling the traps to remove the scents and stain them. Our next step is to use the GPS to map out the area we’re going to trap. Our trap line will be set for wolf, fox, mink, beaver, and sea otter. Most Saturdays will be spent checking traps, skinning and tanning the hides. I’m not looking forward to skinning the animals, but I really want the furs and the experience. Some of the natives have trapping camps where they go for the winters and sell the furs to businesses in Anchorage.

Being in the wilderness in Alaska is very peaceful and relaxing.

Most of the problem bears have been taken care of and the village has been free of bear visits. However, this is the time of year to dry and smoke fish, so the scents will probably attract more bears as they search for that one last meal before heading off to their dens for a season of hibernation.

One of the hunters on a guided hunt, shot a trophy size bear. It looks like he's about 8-9ft tall and 1000+ pounds!

Welcome to our trapping room.  All of the traps are stained and ready to be set.

Andrew and Christian hoping to push out some ptarmingan. 

A piece of moose fur that took along time to tan.  Andrew made a quiver out of it for his arrows.  I have some pieces I'll use for mittens.

Took the Honda for a ride on long beach to get use to driving it.  It's much easier than I thought.  It was a great day for riding.  Even though the temperature is dropping, the sun still comes out most days.

Another Bald Eagle, which is becoming my favorite to watch.  In flight they're majestic and graceful flying at speeds that reach up to 35-40mph. 

Every week the snow covers more of the mountains, soon it will be on the ground.  It's kind of neat watching it get closer and closer to the village.  We're expecting our first snow next week.  Perryville tends to be the last village to have snow.  In fact the average temp. is between 20-40 most of the winter and snow doesn't stick allowing the use of the quads throughout winter.  However, two of the villages that I travel to on the Bering Sea side of the peninsula can have temperatures as cold as -40 degrees!  I bought really good winter gear, because some of the best treasures are found after winter storms on the beaches of Port Heiden.  A couple of weeks ago one of the teachers found a US 50 cent piece worth $3000 because only a few of them were made!  She also found a butter dish from Japan in good condition.

I Spent the week at Chignik Bay and had a great time getting ready for Halloween.
week of 10/26/09

Halloween in the bush brings back many childhood memories.  All the kids wore their costumes to school and it didn't matter if it was a ghost, a witch or a scary monster.  We carved pumpkins, decorated a ghost tree, told ghost stories, and played Freaky Friday.  In my opinion, schools in the lower 48 have taken the fun out of Halloween and other holidays by placing unnecessary restriction on celebrations.

For the game Freaky Friday, we concocted gross food combination for the kids to eat.  If you ate 2 bites you advanced to the next round.  The winner made it through all the freaky foods without getting sick

Preparing the Freaky Friday Food that consisted of warm dried milk as ghost poop, choc cupcakes covered in mustard, salmon eggs mixed with peanut butter, and several other gross mixtures.  It was so much fun and the kids had a blast.

Chignik Bay as the snow creeps closer to the village... winter is coming to Alaska.


Dr. Don said...

Glad to see you're a biker chick now! Story and pictures are awesome!

I look forward to each post.

Unknown said...

I don't know why it is, but when I read your blogs from Alaska I think about children's books. After seeing the bear, I thought of, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?...a book all lst graders read. Do they read that in Alaska?
I agree that we have taken the fun out of Halloween in the schools by trying to be so politically correct...though I don't know how I would classify that Freaky Friday eating event you had there??? I think I might not have moved on past the first course!
Glad to see you have wheels to get around. Do you think trapping is in your future or is this a temporary hobby?
Meg/Greg are married and back from honeymoon - and Trent was considered a "hoot" by all of Meg's friends/co-workers. it was good to see him.
Take care. I was waiting for this blog. You go, girl!
love, aunt K