Saturday, August 14, 2010

Here Fishy Fishy Fishy

The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occassions for hope. ~John Buchan

Jim "the charmed fisherman" Barthelman graciously offered to take a few of us 'upriver' Friday night! I finally got to try out my fancy new fly fishing rod that I purchased in Hayward this summer. Just about the time I was seriously beginning to question whether or not this purchase was the best idea for me after all, I got a bite. And the fight was on! Wow fly fishing for silvers is wild! I thought it was going to pull me into the river. If fishing was ever considered a silent-ish kind of sport I challenged it that evening. "JIM! JIM! WHAT DO I DO??? AHHHHHH! JIM? IT'S GONNA GET AWAY!!! IT'S PULLING ME IN? JIM! WHAT DO I DO??" I could hear him snickering next to me. "You're fine. Turn the pole upstream." Well, I did as I was told and landed my first silver not only this year but ever on a fly rod! I've been looking forward to this all summer! It's the little things in life, lol! We took em home filleted em then Jim and Steph vacuum sealed em! Quyana guys! What fun! Can't wait for baked silver! Wooooo-whoooo:) I live here:)

Silver (Coho) Salmon , Kanektok River, Fly Rod
Nuff Said;)

Cathy From Ohio (Who was in Quin this summer to help put on a vacation bible study!) was quoted on her opinion of the Yupik Maqii (Steam Bath) earlier this summer after having enjoyed/endured one, "In the outer room it's 500 degrees and inside the hell." When the girls told me this description last night as the scalding rocks were being dosed with tin full after tin full of aromatic, herbal stink weed steeped water, I laughed until I cried. Of course you couldn't tell for the sweat though! I couldn't agree more I howled as I wondered if my skin might be blistering. Whew! But the 'stink weed' isn't stinky at all. It smells really good actually so you're guess is as good as mine as to why it's called 'stink weed'). It reminded me of fresh cut alfalfa. Anyway if you are ever lucky enough get to enjoy the experience of a traditional Yupik Maqii up in this neck of the tundra, I'd say you're lucky enough;) Never have I been in a sauna so hot nor have I ever sleep so good and felt so clean. Quyana for inviting me to join yas Jerilyn! Cathy you couldn't be more dead on! LOL!

John Teddy reported that the bears have been on the move this summer. One even decided that it would help itself into one of the tents at the village fish camp while one guest was asleep in the tent! There are even posses of four wheelers patroling the village at night to keep the bears at bay these days. Connie said that she was walking her dog last night and thought she saw one. She didn't stick around to make sure. Running will be with a gun.

I have blonde highlights now. The response from my friends in Quin has been divided. John Teddy shook his head and said, "I don't even recognize you. You need your hair back."
Venessa was shocked, "Your hair died!"
Mary was excited, "I love your new hair!"
Hillary's Mom shared her daughter's response at bedtime prayers, "Dear God, Please let me have blonde hair like Rachel's and let my dad not be mad."
I've definitely enjoyed the mixed reviews. That's for sure.

Steph and I were in the Delta Discovery over the summer. Our picture from the Iditarod holding an issue of the Discovery was published back in July! Connie brought me a copy. So we're kinda famous, it's a big deal. LOL

Fannie sent me home last night with a bowl full of bread dough and a mouthful of her homemade aqutaq (because she was feeding me spoonful after spoonful as I was walking out the door). Then with the help of Jerilyn I baked my first loaf of bread...yeah, yeah I know I didn't make it but you gotta start somewhere:) It is yummy!

Watching 360 North on the Alaska Channel. There was Father Oleska being interviewed about his childhood. He was here in Quin during Singspiration last year. Really I need to go to bed because tomorrow is the first day of school!!!!! Speaking of...

Welcome our newest highly qualified Quinhagak teachers!

Meet Alicia from Ohio! She is our resident reading specialist and special education extraordinaire! She arrives with great experience teaching in Ohio last year. This is Alicia's first time in Alaska! What a brave and adventurous spirit she has.Connie is from Bethel, Alaska but has called Washington home for many years. She is close to home now and more than ready to bring our Special Education program to the next level. I'm loving working with her! We've been swimming through paperwork and programs all week and we still have our heads above water!

This is Allison #2;) She's from the best state, Minnesota (I'm a little biased I suppose). Allison is fresh off the boat and geared up to take on this year's 6th grade! We are thrilled to have her. She too is brand new to the last frontier and thriving!

This is Alison #1 and her hubby John. This adorable, adventure bound couple hales from back east, Vermont I believe. They are my new neighbors to the left, Ani has made fast friends with their two pupperoos Riley and Tucker. Ali will be our new excellent 4th grade teacher and is chomping at the bit to educate her estudiantes!

As Jerilyn and I were zooming along on her four wheeler over to her aunt's to take a steam, we found ourselves in awe of the evening scene. The sunset over the mountains last night was incredible. Striking blues, yellows, pinks and oranges swirled together like I've never seen in the sky and can't even describe. The pictures don't do it justice but I had to try to share it. It looked like the top of the mountains were on fire. We had to turn around just to got back so I could get my camera and try to capture the view. This is the best I could do.
Sunset on the mountains Saturday night.

Same night but looking toward the mouth of the Kanetok River to the Bering Sea.

Shout Out To: My Thoughtful Brother Good Luck on you pursuit of time travel. And to Allison and Alicia thanks for the great spaghetti dinner tonight! And to Sherry and Steph for saving Ani from himself when he chewed through his leash today. Quyana my friends.

Genesis 1:20 "God spoke: "Swarm, Ocean, with fish and all sea life! Birds, fly through the sky over Earth!" God created the huge whales, all the swarm of life in the waters, And every kind and species of flying birds. God saw that it was good. God blessed them: "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Ocean! Birds, reproduce on Earth!" It was evening, it was morning— Day Five."


  1. Hi Rachel,
    Glad to hear that you made it back and that things are going well. Sounds like you are right back into the groove of things. I had my first day of Nursing classes today! A little overwhelming!! It was nice to come home and read your blog, it always makes me smile and laugh. Of course my parents say "hello", and yes I did print this for my dad. Take care, Lisa

  2. Rachel! i love the sunset picture with the boatful of garbage hahaha.


  3. I love laughter so I am thrilled I caused a fit of giggles while you endured your trip to hell :) I am SO grateful I got to steam!!! When Jerilyn explained that we were going to wash I was totally washed in about 30 seconds since my bones were on fire at that point. I looked over and Jerilyn was still soaping the same place on her arm! Ask Liz or Jerilyn about taking my drink in the steam (ye gads those friends are patient!), and Karen can tell you about her girls' reaction when they stepped in to steam and saw naked ME! I {heart} Quinhagak. xoxo

  4. Lol Gwen! I didn't even see that! Ha ha, hum, guess it contrasts the sky quite well.