Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Alaskan Pioneer

I stood on a ridge overlooking the Gakona River. Before me was the most beautiful valley I had ever seen.
It was September 18, 2011. The end of moose season was only a couple of days away.We had just spent three weeks camped out near Paxon Lake, in the vast interior of Alaska.
We harvested a nice caribou bull and had enough meat for our freezer.Most of the time we had spent picking blue berries, and catching arctic grayling from a small lake.The hills were covered in the ripe blue berries.Miles and miles of berries, and we picked a ton of the little tasty things. I have never eaten so many blue berry pancakes and muffins.
I am a lot smarter than most old smelly moose hunters, because I take my Owner(wife) on all of my mountain trips.She is a great cook who knows how to cook great camp meals and keep me in line.
The only problem with her is she has to wash her hair every other day and take a shower several times a week.I can't seem to make her understand that moose hunters never take baths or wash their hair. So far she refuses to hear any of that "old moose hunter" stuff.All of that is good but she keeps me hauling water. She can go through 40 gallons of water in a couple of days, and it doesn't seem to bother her much.We found a spring 30 miles north near mile 204 of the highway. A three inch pipe flowed out of the mountain. It took only about five seconds to fill each of the 5 gallon water bottles of the best water we ever tasted. I always have 8-10 bottles in camp.Our hunting neighbor made water runs every couple of days, and took our empty bottles to fill for us.
Fall has always been my favorite season.
Fall is harvest time.
Fall is when the colors of the mountains and valleys turn to red and gold.
Fall is when we finish the summer projects and prepare for the long frozen darkness of the Alaskan winter.
I live for Fall. I already have plans for next fall. I know where I'm going to camp and who will be going with me.
My little Hon is going to have to get used to sleeping in a tent with no running water.We will be 17 miles back in the bush on a trail consisting of dozens of bogs and mostly swamps covered in water and neck deep mud. Those swamps are little more than lakes covered in peat moss mixed with a little mud. They can not be waded because they are deeper than your head.My Mudd Ox amphibian. has tracks and will float when it gets deep, and goes through bad swamps with ease.The only bad thing is if I break down or sink, it will be very interesting for several days, because no one will be able to come and rescue me. I always take enough tools to repair whatever breaks down.
Most folks like the safety of the big city crowds. They feel secure with a lot of folks around.They seem to thrive in their own little neighborhood where everything is the same about everyday.They don't want anything to change and they are satisfied in the same old routine each day.They seldom move to another town, let alone another state. I guess life consists of their own ideas of stability and security.I have said before and I will say it again, "A rut is a grave with both ends kicked out"!
Freedom to me is a big valley with a river that flows out of a gorgeous glacier.
A place where the hand of man has not tarnished the wilderness. A place where the bears, moose, and caribou roam undisturbed by the honking horns and noise of rush-hour traffic.A place where the work of the Creator hasn't been destroyed by human lack of respect for nature. Alaska is the last stronghold of the free innocents of a new born caribou.
Alaska is still pristine and as wild as the earth before mankind began to scar the land.
Alaska is home and we will protect it with our lives. I would never even think about living somewhere else. It's the last place where the pioneer spirit can still be a way of life.
You may get the idea that I'm some "greenie-envirnonmentalist". No, I'm not one of those misguided, poorly informed, bleeding heart individuals who think it is a sin to eat turkey for thanksgiving!Instead, I am a long time Alaskan who believes in keeping our beautiful state pristine, and depends on harvesting wild game to feed my family.Big, big difference!!
Most Americans live in the lower 48 states. Kool!! I can't think of a better place for them.:}
We are a different bunch up here. We see all of the mistakes that were made by other generations, and we are determined not to make those same mistakes.While I'm on my soap box,...
The temperature has dropped below freezing already tonight, so I had better get out and get the wood in for the fireplace.
I can already taste the hot chocolate and smell the wood burning.
I see the sun creeping up the hillsides of the Kenai Mountain Range. The snow is beginning to turn pink in the alpine glow.
I look forward to seeing the northern lights and hearing the songs of the wolf pack.Just another typical Alaskan night.
George"Bubba"Hunt, walking "The Wilderness Trail"


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