No one knows what the body can do. -Spinoza

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Grew Up In Alaska. People Like To Ask Me What Alaska Is Like. This is What Alaska Is Like.

(1) A friend of mine posted today on facebook about how he went out ptarmigan hunting this afternoon with the gun he traded some of his ivory carving for. It turned out he doesn't much like the gun he got in trade. So, tomorrow he's going to go out with his other, trusty gun instead. Along the way he found a beer in the middle of the trail. So, he sat down in the snow on the tundra in the middle of no where and he drank it.

(2) A couple of years ago two friends flew out to their moose hunting site in the middle of the state in a small two-seater plane. The area they'd gone to was remote enough there was no way in or out except by plane. They landed the plane in a clearing, and then went off to scout the camping area, and look for moose. A couple hours later they came back to grab their supplies from the plane and set up camp. When they returned they discovered a bear had gotten there first. The bear ripped open the sides of the plane body, tore up a bunch of the wing, and ate most of the food they'd brought with them. There they were with no way home, and no food to eat till someone checked on them and picked them up. So, they reached into their supply can in the back of the plane, pulled out three rolls of duck tape, taped up the torn up parts of the two-seater and flew their butts back home.

My friend's plane post tape job

(3) In the middle of winter years ago my sister's car broke down. We couldn't drive anywhere. It was -50 degrees F, -46 degrees C outside. To get anything done we had to walk. So, in the morning before stepping outside we'd put on a pair of tights, then a pair of knee high socks, a tank top, a long sleeve thermal shirt, then a t-shirt, a pair of jeans, a pair of wool socks that were pulled over the bottom of the jeans, a sweater, a fleece vest, a pair of snow pant overalls, a fleece jacket, a neck warmer, then our backpacks with whatever we needed for the day, a parka over the back pack, ear muffs, thermal glove liners, gloves, over-mitts that fit over the gloves, a hat, a pair of knee high, high insulation, winter boots, and a scarf to wrap around our face as we walked. On the upside, because it was the middle of winter, there wasn't enough light for us to need sunglasses.

(4) In the northern parts of the state you can take a core sample of the tundra and find mosquito larva a full 3-feet deep in the ground.

(5) In the biggest town in the state you'll have to stop your car while driving home through your neighborhood as moose, wolf, coyote, bear, fox, ravens or bald eagles move across the road. You know, depending on which neighborhood you're in.

(6) Even the ugly parts of town, in the worst time of year, are still surrounded by mountains like this:

Southwest Anchorage