Sunday, October 10, 2010

Into the Wild...Weekend

"I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in...In God's wildness lies the hope of the world - the great fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness."~John Muir

Sunsets on the Tundra (Evening Jogs) Been trying to run a bit more lately since the marathon is coming up ("Even I did 16 this weekend";). The only time in the day available is after school so I've been enjoying the sunset on the Bering light up the Kilbucks as I wish I could run right to them. There is something about the mountains in the evening...and every other time of day too I suppose but, the last week has renewed my appreciation for these towering rock masses 15 miles across the tundra from us. They mysteriously rejuvenate the soul, they're one of God's free therapy plans.

I am the Walrus Did you know that there are two dead walruses on the beach? Yep, dead walruses are humongous. Just thought it was weird and had to share. And interesting to note we do in fact have walruses in Quinhagak.

October Skies have been mostly clear believe it or not. Or I wouldn't be able to see the therapeutic mountains. We have had crisp mornings and cool nights, lots of blue, much less rain and snow than the last couple weeks, more oranges, pinks and purples in the sunset vistas. Everyone has been outside soaking it up. It's been great for the progress on the new store and cold climate prototype house too. They got the walls up this week.

PFDs Everyone Wins That's right! In the Last Great Frontier they pay you to live here. So right around this time each year everyone gets a little spend happy and giddy. It's as if everybody's won the lottery! Not a bad idea, eh? Of course I haven't lived here long enough yet so I just vicariously live through everyone else;)

My Whole House Quakes when I try to do my laundry. It feels like we are having an earthquake and that the whole house is going to shake off its stilts. Not sure if something is out of alignment or what, but it's kind of scary. Is there an official name for fear of doing laundry...I am becoming laundriphobic.

Hooten's Christmas Tree, My Forest When the Hooten's moved away last spring they graciously bequeathed me their fake Christmas Tree. Immediately I toted the precious evergreen branchful treasure directly to my living room where it was permanently 'planted'. That is where it stands to this very day. The kids come in and ask, "Why do you already have your Christmas Tree up?" "Ah, ha very good question," I reply,"if it was actually a Christmas Tree, but it is so much more... it's an every kind of day tree. It's my own forest really. Welcome to the woods in my cabin!" They look at me funny and nod.

Another Beach Bonfire with a Rescue Twist We had our second bonfire at the beach tonight and was it eventful! The Cold Climate Crew brought left over palates to supplement our randomly collected beached wood we had been burning. Our little campfire quickly became a blazing inferno which was thoroughly appreciated by our freezing fingers and toes due to the 30 degree temps. We got down to the business of roasting hot dogs and smores as the tide roared in sploshing waves so close that it threatened to douse the raging fire. Above us the chill of the air provided the perfect window upwards into the sparking sky to watch shooting stars streak across the Milky Way... Just as we were ouuing and ahhhing one rouge star shot up out of the Bering hung there for a moment and dropped back into the water. It took our enamored brains a moment to register what we had just witnessed. Unanimously agreeing it was a FLARE, we were on the phone with the Village Police Officers and Alaska State Troopers within moments (this time thanks to our GCI cell phone tower in spite of the most dropped calls record it holds). Was someone out there in the icy Bering waters in danger? Did we happen to see their flare for help? At one point the VPO launched a rescue boat and was headed out into the ocean. We could see it from our fire on the beach and they in turn could see us. They called my phone and asked if they were in the general vicinity of where we had seen the flare. They signaling to us from out on the water. "More to the left." I stupidly responded, "or is that your right?" "More south." Connie helped me, "Tell them more south, Rachel." At any rate the Coast Guard out of Juneau was calling in the wee hours this morning to clarify more questions. They hadn't found anything or registered any distress, or missing vessel calls but assured us they were thankful for our call which was very appropriate. Yep, just another wild weekend in Western Alaska:)

"...I want a walk in the country,
I want a cabin in the woods..." Psalm 55:7


  1. My house shakes during the spin cycle, too! I guess that's just part of tundra living. I sure do miss the mountains and beach bonfires...

  2. Lol it's like put the coins in (mine is coin operated) and take cover!