Monday, December 27, 2010

The Dark Days of Winter; 12-27-10

The Winter Solstice has passed, which means the days are now getting longer. The increase right now is still minimal, so the long dark will be around for a while.

Many people suffer from "S.A.D." (a.k.a. "seasonal affective disorder", "winter blues", "cabin fever") resulting from the lack of daylight. It's a common problem in the north during winter, because we don't get much sunlight.

You can read up on SAD on the net. Wiki has a lot of stuff about causes, symptoms and what you can to do prevent / treat it.

Basically, you want to get outdoors as much as possible, especially when the sun is shining (which, at this time of year, only gives you a few short hours, and that is on the clear, colder days). Being in the light is important.

It also helps to keep your home well lit too; especially the room you are in. An extra light or two can really help relieve depression, give you more energy and avoid the effects of SAD.

Monday, December 6, 2010

"Goin' on a Bear Hunt"; 12-6-10

The snow machine ride was typical; the walk through the woods was not.

Joey had told me about a bear "hole" (den) he had come across last fall moose hunting. There had been fresh tracks, recent digging and other sign to indicate a bear's intent to make this hole it's winter residence. Now we had enough snow for travel, so this was a good time to check it out.

"Do you think you can find it?" I asked.

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure I can." was his confident response.

When we shut off the machines and looked into the forest of willows; a dense mass of broom handles twice my height, I was doubtful. As I watched his head swiveling, searching for any kind of recognizable landmark, I became even more skeptical.

"You really think you'll find it?"

"; maybe. It should be around here somewhere."

"How far back in the woods is it?"

"I don't know; not too far"

Yeah right. This was going to be a big waste of time. There was no chance of finding a hole in the ground in the midst of this mess. But I didn't want to give up. Yet.

He led the way, I brought the packsack and followed. We had to force our way through the tightly spaced willows. Many times I'd turn sideways to get through, only to get hung up by the packsack. It was tough going, but I kept following his tracks. Eventually he came to a halt.

"Here it is."

"No Way!"

"Yeah, it's right there" he said, pointing to the ground. And sure enough, there was the hole.

And then I laughed. And laughed. And kept laughing. It was one of the more amazing things I've ever seen. We walked 192 paces (I counted them on the way back out) through a complete maze of willows, with absolutely no landmarks whatsoever, and he went directly to it. Unbelievable.

"You are Real Native, my friend. I've never seen anything like this, and I was sure you were wasting our time. I'll never know how you found this thing."

He just smiled.

We chopped willows and cleared away the snow. We peeked. We shined flashlights. We poked around with a long pole. We even stuck our heads in there.

No one was home.

But it was definitely a fun trip, and I'll never forget it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Welding Academy; 2010

The 2010 Welding Academy is now underway at AKD School. We have two of our local students participating;
Gerald and Gabe.

Also attending are:
Mary and Nicole (Ruby)
Derek and Dylan (Hughes)
Joseph and Dwight (Minto)
Levi and Oscar (Allakaket)

Leading the Academy are Jerry Trainer and Geoff Johnson, with Susan Paskvan helping as chaperone.

More info. on the Academy will be coming.

Friday, July 23, 2010

"1 down, 7 more to go"

Remember the last time you were watching a game down at the field?

Bases loaded, the batter drives the ball into the outfield, the go-ahead run is rounding third and coming hard to the plate and you start to jump to you feet to cheer him on...

Then you remember where you are; sitting top level on the rickety old bleachers. Now you are afraid the whole thing will come crashing down. You quietly settle back in your seat and wish the rest of the fans would do the same. While you're anxiously looking down at the ground you miss the play at home...again.

Well, no more.

We've begun the ball-field renovation project. First priority is to build new bleachers, and as you can see in the photo, one is complete.

For the next week or two we'll finish construction of all eight, then work on a covered picnic / cooking area.

More info as it happens.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spirit Camp 2010

This year Spirit Camp is down at the Ekada's six mile camp. Here are a few scenes from Tuesday. A peek in a tent at someone's teddy, a forgotten bowl of mac & cheese, Karina and Dots hangin' out, Shawn fishing and the "Tent City"

Spirit Camp 2010

Camping in the rain = no fun. Sitting under a dripping tarp, bored. A smokey fire struggling to burn wet wood. Mud clinging to soggy shoes. A leaky tent awaits with a damp sleeping bag.

But yesterday was better; when the sun was blazing in a cloudless sky and there was swimming at the island.

Looking around the camp you'd see kids digging holes in the sand, Conrad dominating the net, fish drying in the sun and the Grandmas tanning fish skin.