This is a friend of mine. He is a big man, and this fish makes him look small. I just wanted to post this because a lot of people ask me about the size of King Salmon here.
Both pictures below were taken while floating some sloughs on early morning Moose hunts. We saw plenty of Moose, but they were all cows (which you cannot hunt at anytime). They are amazing creatures and absolutely enormous to see up close. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a picture of any, but it wouldn't have done justice anyways.
Sometimes in the village our water or power goes out, and sometimes for unknown reasons. Last year we went without water for five and a half days. We had to cancel school and make up 3 of the days on Saturdays later in the year. This year our water went out again, but this time only for a day and a half. Our water situation in the village is a bit ironic because we live in the middle of the wilderness where you can practically drink right out of the streams and rivers (and people actually do). However, the well here in the village is tainted with a lot of iron deposits, which now that I think of it, makes it even more IRONic. We have to filter all the water we use, at least as far as cooking and drinking go. It's not that it is so terrible for you, but it tastes like having blood in your mouth if you don't filter it. The picture below is not how it looks normally when coming out of the tap. After our water goes out and then comes back on, it looks like this picture below for a couple days, slowly clearing up back to normal.
The picture below is my shower, all spick and span right after giving it a good scrub. The iron in the water stains things. When I first moved here I didn't have any cleaning supplies because I shipped them from Anchorage and then flew here before they got here. So I refused to shower for about a week because I thought the shower was just filthy because the person who lived here before had never cleaned it. Then I found out about the iron deposits and I was much less grossed out, but I still wasn't fully convinced until I actually scrubbed it myself a few times.
Below are some pictures of trails leading out of the village, through the woods and across the tundra to another village about 20 miles North of us called Koliganek [kuh-lig-uh-nik]. The trail can be pretty hairy in places, and getting stuck is an ever-present threat. This is especially true when you get out of the woods and onto the tundra because there are swampy bogs all over the place and they aren't always easy to spot until your right on top of them. These trails are popular to take out to the tundra for Caribou hunting, which is what we were doing in the pictures below.
You can see next to my friend below that when you get out of the woods there is nothing but tundra for as far as you can see (which is a long ways). Also, behind him on the right you see some big tripods which are used as trail markers between the two villages so that when everything is covered with snow and ice you can still follow the trail and have some idea where you are.
A friend of mine and I made it about 6 miles out before we both got stuck at the same time. Luckily the weather was pretty good so we took our time and eventually got out.
We did not get any Caribou on that trip out, but a friend got a couple Caribou a week or so later, so when he got back myself and a few other people butchered it up for him in exchange for some meat.
My neighbor and I like to make bone marrow stock, so we got the bones from several peoples Caribou.
The first batch we made (seen below), was cooked too fast and we burnt the crap out of it because we had the stove on too high for too long. Then we learned the real secrets to a good marrow stock.....
Roast first. Then...
A crock pot.
This is our latest batch. We let it stew for about 4 days on low. It's some pretty serious stuff.
Here was my Halloween costume, a bag of popcorn. Functionality wasn't the greatest, I couldn't really move in it very fast, or sit down, but it was fun, and the kids loved it. The funniest part about it was that I laminated it and when I walked down the hall at school it was super loud.