Now that three seasoned outdoors folks have had to spend the night on a log in the middle of the Chilkat River after their skiff motor quit, then they were swept into a dead tree and it oveturned dumping them and its contents in the water and leaving them wet and cold all night until another moose hunter cruised by at what would have been breakfast time, I'm feeling pretty good about my bulky pants pockets. I have zip lock Baggies in two of them with chemical body and hand warmers, an energy bar, headlamp, space blanket, a knife, and a whistle. The bare minimum, I figure.
We spent the weekend camping on a bench next to the woods and swamps so far up the river we were practically speaking Canadian. Perhaps the moose up there do, as we didn't see a legal bull, or at least I don't think we did. I am sworn to secrecy since the hunt continues until October 6. The antler restrictions for this subsistence hunt require a spike or a fork or 3 brow tines on either side, or that the whole rack be over 50 inches wide. Yes, it is complicated, and it means you have to be pretty darn close to that huge amorous bull moose to see it clearly before you shoot.
When a Haines facebook friend wrote - no more dying, okay? I knew exactly what she meant. Recently we have lost a lot of people for such a small place. Two well-loved elders died (basically) of old age-- former Southeast Fair director Harriet Jurgeleit and hard working Hotel Halsingland founder Hilma White. Ed Laperyi was a grandfather, but his death following a car accident was a shock. The former sawmill owner traded in his red suspenders for what I thought of as a Rat Pack vibe when he bought the Captain’s Choice Motel.
There's a lot going on, with play rehearsal's in full swing for Oklahoma! ( Luckily everyone is moving around a lot, as there is no heat in the Chilkat Center and it may be a while until the new boiler is installed), the cross-country team is training and racing, moose hunting season begins Saturday at dawn, and election season is in full swing. There is a candidate's forum tonight at 7 at the museum sponsored by We the People.
The wind was churning muddy green breakers onto the beach when I left Haines for Anchorage (with an overnight stop in Juneau to see the engaged couple and JJ) so I took the last two Dramamine in the house. My suit case was heavier than I hoped, but I had to pack Xtra-Tufs for the weekend in Homer and city clothes for the two days in Anchorage and another in Juneau--but I was flying light compared to the retired troopers who said they weighed 220 and 260, and who had waxed boxes of fish, big duffles, and heavy suitcases. I wished I had said I weighed 220. Just to make sure we'd take off.