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BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....

gnu 27 Jun 05 - 04:19 PM
Rapparee 27 Jun 05 - 05:06 PM
gnu 27 Jun 05 - 06:07 PM
gnu 27 Jun 05 - 06:37 PM
Rapparee 27 Jun 05 - 07:07 PM
gnu 27 Jun 05 - 07:10 PM
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gnu 27 Jun 05 - 07:14 PM
Ebbie 27 Jun 05 - 09:47 PM
Rapparee 27 Jun 05 - 10:12 PM
Ebbie 28 Jun 05 - 02:27 AM
Dead Horse 28 Jun 05 - 04:30 AM
gnu 28 Jun 05 - 06:20 AM
Rapparee 28 Jun 05 - 09:20 AM
Alaska Mike 28 Jun 05 - 09:59 AM
Ebbie 28 Jun 05 - 12:05 PM
gnu 28 Jun 05 - 12:51 PM
Rapparee 28 Jun 05 - 01:31 PM
Ebbie 28 Jun 05 - 02:05 PM
Rapparee 28 Jun 05 - 03:47 PM
gnu 28 Jun 05 - 04:00 PM
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katlaughing 28 Jun 05 - 04:44 PM
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gnu 28 Jun 05 - 05:45 PM
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Bill D 28 Jun 05 - 11:02 PM
Ebbie 28 Jun 05 - 11:06 PM
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Ebbie 29 Jun 05 - 01:19 PM
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Ebbie 29 Jun 05 - 03:00 PM
gnu 29 Jun 05 - 03:06 PM
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gnu 29 Jun 05 - 05:19 PM
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Ebbie 29 Jun 05 - 08:26 PM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Jun 05 - 08:34 PM
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The Fooles Troupe 30 Jun 05 - 01:28 AM
gnu 30 Jun 05 - 06:27 AM
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gnu 30 Jun 05 - 07:07 AM
Rapparee 30 Jun 05 - 08:42 AM
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GUEST, Ebbie 30 Jun 05 - 12:52 PM
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Stephen L. Rich 11 Jul 05 - 03:07 AM
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gnu 11 Jul 05 - 09:10 AM
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Subject: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 04:19 PM

I have been waiting for Ebbie's Alaskan Adventure thread for an eternity... okay, a few days. Anyway, she DID say in another thread that she would gladly share her nothern travel tales and she even said she would check with others who have travelled the land of the midnight sun to see if a thread would be something to which they might contribute. I think Ebbie's just too reserved and lady-like to start such a thread, soooo...

I hope I am not being too bold in "pushing" any of you 'Cats, especially Ebbie, by starting this thread, but I recall listening to my Uncle Chic's tales of working in the NWT's in the 40' and 50's with utter fascination. I worked in Labrador on airport construction as a young man... the scenery, the ruggedness, the vastness, the wildlife, the fishing, the solitude... even the damn flies... yeees b'y, big as yer t'umb.

Sooooo... anyone got any tales or even pics of the great north? Anyone travelled around in, say, Nunavit, Labrador, Iceland, Yukon, ALASKA lately?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 05:06 PM

Yeah. And I'm going to Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Skagway, Whitehorse and other places at the end of July/first half of August. And I told Ebbie that.

I've been to Destruction Bay, Beaver Creek, Border City, Tok, Glenallen, Haines, Skagway, Wrangel, Denali, Seward, Kodiak and even the Kluane Wilderness area.

Shall I tell of my adventures? Of the temperatures in Fairbanks? Of the icepack on the way (by ship) to Valdez? Of traveling the White Pass Trail? Of frostbitten fingers and of the dogs 'round in a ring, snapping the chunks of frozen salmon out of the air as we tossed them? Of the moose, the brown bears, the salmon, the mountain goats, the musk oxen? Of the earthquake and of surviving the "sudden landing" of the small bush plane? Of the summit of Denali, with the snow encircling it like a coronet of diamonds the brow of a fair one?

Nah.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 06:07 PM

SOB! Get me all horned up for a stooooory and then say "Nah"? WTF is that? SPILL!


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 06:37 PM

Got a PM... put up or shut up. Okay.

I was in Nain, Labrador... surveyed, designed and laid out the airstrip. One evening, the lads went back for supper at 6:30PM but I stayed to fish. It was a beautiful evening. The water was "flat oily ca'm". I worked my way out on the large boulders to a good spot and caught four excellent Char, all around 30".

I was so engrossed in the char that I didn't notice the tide. Nain is thirteen miles "inland" though a maze of islands, so, when the tide rises, it is delayed until the head raises the sea level at the shore in Unity Bay about one foot every thirty minutes at the end of the cycle.

So, I am about 80 feet from shore when I see this large dorsal fin sticking out of the water and going across in front of me about 100 feet away. I was in awe. What majesty, what a sight, what the f***?! The ripples from whaterever it was hit my feet. When I looked down, I was about ankle deep. I turned and looked back toward the shore. No more boulders, just water, and the sun was glancing off it. I had no idea how the hell I had got there as the water had risen about a foot and a half while I was fishing.

I swished my fishing rod around until I hit a boulder and I jumped to it. I repeated this, with the four char slung over my shoulder, until I was on shore... shaking like a leaf. Yup, I shook like a babe in the cold for at least a half hour... one of the few times in my life when I was SCARED shitless.

Now, I have no idea if I was in any danger, but, I still shake a bit when I think about swishing that fishing rod around for boulders while those char were dripping blood into the water where something well over thirty feet long was swimming (maybe laughing).


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 07:07 PM

Same thing happened to me!


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 07:10 PM

I knew I wasn't alone. Were you there when the float plane tipped and started to sink in the lake near the forest fire in northern PQ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 07:12 PM

Who do you think dove underneath and pushed it back up and then towed it to shore?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 07:14 PM

Haven't a clue... all I did was swim... why did you wait for two days to tow it back to shore?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 09:47 PM

Hahhaha You guys. Tales that are taller than average are welcome. However, when you have lived up here for a number of years you become aware that "tall" tales are not necessarily untrue. Like a musician friend of mine who lost his violin in its case to the tide... I do wonder where that fiddle ended up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 10:12 PM

The fiddle in the middle of the muddle, of course.

Okay. The first time I went to Alaska my wife and I flew into Juneau (this was in 1987 or 88, I don't remember which). Anyway, we visited Mendenhall Glacier and stuff and were in town for the 4th of July. This was the year they dedicated the monument to USS Juneau, the one that went down in Ironbottom Sound. The current Juneau, an assault ship was in town for the dedication and we got to tour her. We watched the parade, including watching the icefield research team, all roped together, pop into the Red Dog Saloon when the parade paused and left them in front of the doors.

From Juneau we ferried to Skagway, from Skag to Sitka, Sitka to Ketchikan, Ketchikan to Petersburg, and then back to Juneau and we flew home.

I learned that fireworks at midnight in Alaska don't elicit the ohs and ahs they do when the sky is actually dark. I learned not to fall into the middle of a pod of orcas (if you want REAL rejection, fall into the middle of a pod of orcas and have them toss you back on the boat). I learned that the best way to get around in that part of the state is by Blue Canoes (for one thing, you can't drive anywhere from Juneau -- there's only 72 miles of road). I learned why there is (or was) a big eye above Juneau. And I learned that the Fiddlehead is a damned good restaurant, and that Alaskan Amber is damned good beer.

That was my first trip to Alaska. I enjoyed it, after I got back on the boat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 02:27 AM

Orcas are so beautiful, painted with a meticulous hand, glowing velvety black right next to precise white, a yin yang kind of thing. One time I had joined an excursion boat on an all day jaunt to Tracy Arm, a fjord south of Juneau.

On the way back we were joined by a pod of orca, five or six of them. We slowed our speed and they stayed with us. The male (much taller dorsal fin) from time to time went under us and popped up on the other side as we all traveled along. They were having a good time, and so did we.

Another time I went to Tracy Arm and saw something totally different. As we idled there on the water in front of South Sawyer Glacier, our engines cut, I suddenly saw a face in the glacier wall. A giant brooding Indian face, complete with parka and wolf ruff. It was astonishing.

My camera batteries had died so I got a friend to take its picture. She did, somewhat blindly, because she didn't see the face. After the photo was developed she was amazed at the picture.

I went back about two weeks later to see if the face was still there. It wasn't, of course. Glaciers calve around the clock so nothing is static.

Later I went back into the excursion company and asked if anyone had reported a face in the Glacier. The woman said, Oh, yes- you mean the Santa Claus?

Humph.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Dead Horse
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 04:30 AM

There is a rumour going round that the US Coastguard are actually painting large white blobs on trained (but now mostly redundant) anti-submarine dolphins, purely to attract tourists :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 06:20 AM

Imagine if you had that one on video, Rap! Ebbie... ain't that just when batteries would go? I hope you got a copy from your friend.

Rap said 72 miles of road around Juneau in 88> Hoe extensive is the road system where you recently vacationed, Ebbie?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 09:20 AM

I would tell you about mushing into the Wrangel-Mt. St. Elias mountains with the diptheria serum one winter, but I have to go get ready for work. I have to see someone before I go to a meeting with the Mayor at 9, too. But the temperature was -77 F. when I started and that was the high for the week. The dogs died and I had to continue on foot, in snow eight feet deep and me without snowshoes. But I knew that Nome was depending upon me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 09:59 AM

Alaska is BIG!!! Air travel is the way we get around up here as our road system only covers about 25% of the state. Some of the trips from my home in Anchorage have been pretty expensive, $1,000 round trip to Dutch Harbor, $1,400 round trip to St. Paul Island, $1,800 round trip to Adak. Fortunately, I work for the state and they pay for my travel.

I've lived and worked up here for nearly 20 years. I've been to almost every place that has a fish cannery, construction project or environmental clean up campaign from Ketchikan to Kotzebue. I've worked in -60 degree weather with wind chills of below -100 F.

I've seen eagles, whales, bears (black, brown, white and blue), wolverine, caribou, moose, lynx, fox, mink, eiders, muirs, swans, geese, ptarmigan, owls, seals, sea lions, sharks, musk ox, and many others. I've fished for pike, cod, rockfish, trout, burbot, halibut and four different species of salmon.

I have written songs and sung them at festivals and events in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Sitka, Eagle River, Soldotna, Kenai, Kodiak, Seldovia, Palmer, Wasilla, Denali, Talkeetna, Cantwell, Willow, Dutch Harbor, Dillingham, Nome, Haines and odd places in between.

And despite all my travels and all the places I've been, I have only seen a very small part of the 49th state. I can't wait to see the rest of it.

Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 12:05 PM

That brings up a question a group of us were discussing the other day, Mike- Has anyone seen all of Alaska? I realize that no one has seen and experienced everything anywhere, but many of us have hiked and driven or traveled by various means through a number of states, enough so we can say with confidence: That is what BLANK is like.

Can anyone say that of Alaska? Other than: Over there it is cold, over there are a lot of trees, over there it is flat and over there are massive mountains. You get the idea. You have probably traveled more in Alaska than most - except maybe for itinerant nurses. And a friend of mine some time back when he was working for DEC spent a year flying around inspecting oil tanks.

BTW, only four species of salmon, Mike? I imagine you have the same species we have: The king, the silver, the red, the pink and the chum. Or said another way: The Chinook, the Coho, the Sockeye, the Humpy, the Dog.

gnu, unless you count driveways, we in Juneau don't have 72 miles of roads. If you start at the end of the road in Thane community and go nominally north to the end of the road in Juneau proper, you've gone 46 miles. Add the 12-mile road on Douglas Island which adds upt to 58. Add the five or so miles up the mountain to the ski area and the half mile Douglas Bridge and we're still short.

Of course we actually have more road surfaces than that, but linearly speaking, my figures are fairly accurate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 12:51 PM

Coool.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 01:31 PM

My figure of 72 miles of road was premised upon what I was told by a car rental agent in Juneau in 1987 or 88, I forget which. It wasn't necessarily linear (probably not; it was Ugly Duckling Rent-a-Car).

I'll tell the story of delivering the serum when I get a chance. Things have been kinda hectic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 02:05 PM

I've heard some amazing bits of information too. Once I was on a tour bus and as we paused outside the SOB (State Office Building) the driver said confidently into his microphone: "You wouldn't think to look at it but 16,000 people work in that building."

Seated way back where I couldn't do more than yelp, I about choked. 160 offices, each with 100 people? 100 offices, each with 160 people? 16,000 office workers in a community of 30,000 people? I have no idea what he was trying to say. Even a 1600 figure would be grossly inflated.

Please do tell us of your serum run, Rap. Did you have any dogs other than Balto? And how is the dear old fellow these days? :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 03:47 PM

Balto was a fraudo. MY dogs were named Spot, Fido, Rover, (the wheel dogs); Ginger, Piddles, (the hub-and-axle dogs); Beans, (the tail gunner); Jack, Fang, Geoffrey, Humper, Marcia (the transfer case dogs, except for Marcia, who was the doggy good-time girl), and my lead dog, Heraclitus. We carried over 600 kgs. of dried dog salmon for them, and needed all of it; we also had to shoot four moose, seventeen caribou, and a pika to keep the dogs fed.

This was in addition to the gear I needed to survive: A small tent, a blanket, an axe, a simple cooking pot, a microwave oven, twelve hundred miles of extension cord, a snow machine, three hundred gallons of gasoline, a television, a bathtub/shower combination, and, of course, a couple tons of food and drink, the family plate.

Of course, I took suitable clothing -- tough clothes to withstand the rigors of the trail, informal evening attire, a swimming suit or two for the hot springs along the way, things like that. I didn't feel that formal evening attire would be necessary, and I also left my court sword at home.

Oh, yes. Fifteen vials of diptheria serum. A sextant. An astrolabe. A gyroscope. Redundant cyclotrons. And a few other things.

It was nearly noon when we left Eek. The snow was snowing fiercely, and the dogs strained at their traces. We stopped almost at once, for one of the dogs had developed a hernia, but when we had cut him out of harness we were able to simply FLY along the trail to Nome. We stopped the first night at Skinny Dick's place, and I stabled, curried, and fed the dogs before having my own supper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 04:00 PM

And, THEN what happened.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 04:44 PM

Yup, we stopped here for the night. After unsaddling the dogs, I had a beer and went to bed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 04:44 PM

Skinny Dick grew large?**bg**


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 04:45 PM

Oh that everyone would take such good care of their steeds. It's a rare 'un. By the way, I realize that the dogs were able to pull only their own supplies. I appreciate more than I can say that on your own sturdy back you piled the rest. Wish I had known you then.

Eb


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 05:45 PM

We should have been able to read about your exploits, Rap, instead of being forced, as young Canadian school children, to read "As the Sparrow Falls". He did not treat his dogs as well as you did... enough said. I know all the Canucks out there know of the foul deed of which I speak.

And THEN, what happened?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 08:33 PM

As for ugly, foul tasting, tiger striped dog/chum salmon Ebbie, I've caught 'em, but never fished for them.

I don't think anyone could really say they have "seen" Alaska. It's like the group of blind men describing an elephant. They can only describe the part they feel. Alaska is 2 1/2 times the size of Texas and, if superimposed over the lower 48 would stretch from the Atlantic coast of Georgia to west of the Golden Gate bridge. We have more ocean coast than all the other United States put together. We have one of the largest rain-forests in North America and we have a huge frozen desert that gets very little precipitation at all.

Everyplace I have been has had some uniqueness in geography or vegetation or character that makes it special to be there. Northern Alaska is very bleak and barren, The Aleutian Islands are rarely bone chilling cold, but they are almost always windy and wet, the interior portion of the state has both the hottest and coldest temperatures found up here. We have more than 3 million lakes of 20 acres or larger and we have more active glaciers than anywhere else on earth.

We have no state income tax, no state sales tax, no city sales tax in Anchorage, and we still receive an annual dividend check from the state for our share of the oil wealth that is produced. Last year it amounted to over $900 for each man, woman and child that resides here. There is no place I would have rather raised my five children. Alaska is my home and I love it here.

Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 09:56 PM

Hey, I've seen all of Alaska, and you can too. It's very easy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 11:02 PM

I delivered a friend's car to him in Juneau in 1975. Took the ferry up the coast, stayed for a week..(until I had eaten ALL the salmon). I have about 500 slides of that trip...ferry, islands, mist, bears, old fishing villages & logging camps, Juneau and it's highway system (at that time, couple of miles of freeway to the Mendenhall glacier), lots of old churches and other building.....and, a climb up the mountain trail above Juneau where you get amazing overviews of the town and its situation. Then on up to snowy patches above the tree line....
   However, this was August, and sunny, and humid...and I was soaking with persperation by the time I got up there.....so..*sly grin*...I have a slide of me, happily drying my clothes on a rock in the sun while I stand naked surrounded with snowy peaks! Very liberating, I must say! At the end of our stay, we put our hosts (stuffed them in their car)on a ferry for their new job in Sitka.

Then we (my ex-wife and a friend who had helped drive) flew back to Seattle from Juneau, stopping at Ketchikan International airport for 20 minutes....Now that was interesting! We are cruising along in this jetliner, above the billowing clouds with mountain peaks poking thru them, when suddenly we dive (only word that fits) into the clouds and emerge a few thousand feet above this teeny little strip of asphalt cut into the side of an island, with the great metropolis of Ketchikan huddled on the other side of a channel across from the 'airport'....we zoom down, landing on one end of the strip with all of 27 ft. to spare, screech to a stop at the OTHER end...and are towed backwards to where we touched down, as there is no room to turn a plane around....we are parked with the tail of the plane extending out over the giant rocks that we would have met if the pilot had misjudged that 27 ft., and we watch the tiny ferries bring people and cars (2 or 3 at a time!) over to the airport...then we are ready to go, and the engines rev up to HIGH, and we hurtle down the the other end of that postage stamp of a runway and ZOOM! straight up...(well...almost) and head for this totally dull landing at Seattle.

and the most amazing thing about the trip? (besides all the salmon, I mean) While browsing in a store in downtown Juneau, someone called my name, and there was a guy I had met in at an environmental conference in Iowa 5 years earlier....small world.

A week in Juneau is not exactly roughing it, or seeing the grandeur of the rest of the state, but I got 'some' feeling for history and and a notion of why folks would want to live 'up there'...


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Jun 05 - 11:06 PM

Since you no longer are mushing in Alaska, and your presence is no longer so sorely needed, Rap, may I borrow your frog team? It is the only realistic hope I have of seeing the things I want. I will pay anything you ask, as long as it's reasonable in my books.

I've lived here for just past 17 years now. My brother in southern Washgington state was ill with lymphoma for many of those years and every chance I had I flew down there to be with him.

Since he died, I'm now interested in the process of breaking off bite size pieces of Alaska. I've barely gotten started but at least I have got started. This last trip introduced me to many places that had been only names to me before.

Actually, next year three of us are talking about renting a motor home and going out and about. The road system in Alaska is a severely circumscribed one but it will take me a long time to see what I can see, just from it.

But at some point I want to go to Nome, to Kotzebue, to the Pribilofs, to the Aleutians, to the North Slope, to the Alaska Range. Heck, I want to see it all. Luckily, I enjoy flying because there's lots of it coming up. (Oops. {Whoops?} That sounds like- but no.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 09:14 AM

Well, the trip we made in 1998 with my wife's parents was interesting. Pat and I flew to Anchorage, picked up a car, drove to Glenallen, then to Tok, and turned right to Beaver Creek (YT). Met her parents, drove back to Tok, then to Delta Junction, North Pole, Fairbanks, Denali, Anchorage, Homer, Kodiak, Seward, Moose Pass, Portage, Whittier, Valdez, Tok, Destruction Bay, Haines. Put them on the ferry and Pat and I drove to Border City, then to Anchorage, and flew outside.

3,625 miles on the odometer. Two countries, two Provinces, one state.

I do not recommend the Tamarck Inn in Fairbanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 01:19 PM

To my regret I never set foot in Alaska until 1988. I understand that downtown Juneau was 'revitalized' circa 1984. Oldtimers here have seen lots of changes. We now have something like 7 banks of traffic lights. And close to 15,000 new inhabitants most summer days. Blessedly, they depart at day's end.

Speaking of Moose Pass, Rap, I watched a brown bear there. It was contentedly feeding on dandelions, like in an illustrated children's book.

We were on our way to Seward, having spent the night in Homer on the other prong of the peninsula. I liked Seward better than Homer, mostly because I like mountains and trees.

The Homer Spit is -well, interesting. After the tsunami of 1964 they rebuilt and fortified sections of it with riprap but it will inevitably be washed out again. I would not want to be on it during an earthquake.

On it is a two-lane paved road leading to mostly commercial enterprises and a couple or three remaining private homes. It's a couple miles long, I think, extended into the ocean. Very scenic, with mountains in the distance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 02:53 PM

'Twas on the Homer Spit that we met my wife's cousin's ex-husband's second wife.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 03:00 PM

I too prize family connections. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 03:06 PM

Get any pic's?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 03:55 PM

Yes, but they were confiscated by Customs where we returned to the US....


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 05:19 PM

Ahhh, security.... I understand.... can't be too fearful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 06:32 PM

Somewhere on the US/Canada border there are families daily goggling and giggling at confiscated treasures.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: sixtieschick
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 06:58 PM

Last time I went through Canadian customs they busted me for not declaring as "agricultural products" half of a turkey sandwich from the lunch I had packed for the trip.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 07:13 PM

Oh my. I would have had a tendancy to drop it on the floor and say, "huh?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 08:11 PM

Is Rip Rap a violent modern musical form of Riff Raff?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 08:26 PM

Kind of, Foolestroupe. Rip Rap comes from Riff Raff...



oh, that was bad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 08:34 PM

Keep taking the tablets Ebbie...

And now we return you to our current program....


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 09:21 PM

Anyway, we left Skinny Dick's after a couple days rest. The dogs were well rested, well fed, and well satisfied: Marcia, twelve moose cows, seven wolves, a herd of musk oxen, and two brown bear all wore big, shit-eatin' grins as we mushed away.

Over the hills we went! Through the tiaga, daring the swarms of mosquitoes, through drifts higher than even your head, under the glare and heat of the sun, like mad dogs and Englishmen we dashed. Up the hard-frozen Tananananananana...sorry, got carried away...humph...up the hard-frozen Tanana River, its ice swept clean by the incessant wind, down the rushy glen, knowing that our vials of serum were all that stood between salvation and eternal damnation.

Finally, exhausted, we made camp. I scraped a place for the dogs and staked them out, curried them, and gave them a big helping of oats...I mean salmon. With the sounds of the dogs gobbling down the salmon I scraped a place for the tent, erected it, and soon had a kettle ready for a cup of tea. After a meal of moose and macaroni, I enjoyed a hot ruttered bum, sat back, and watched the stars dance with the Aurora Borealis.

An hour or two of this celestial lapdancing, and I crawled into the tent, pulled the furs up about me, and fell dreamlessly into the waiting arms of Morpheus.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 01:28 AM

Ruttered Bum?!

Rapaire - have you dim dark secrets in your past that you haven't told us about yet?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 06:27 AM

Hehehehe!!!

And, THEN what happened?

Ebbie... I thought it was hilarious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,ragdall
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 06:45 AM

Just got home, Monday, from 3 week drive through Northern BC, Yukon and Alaska (Tok, Anchorage, Taylor Hwy, Hyder). The roads were challenging at times.

Was on the Midnight Dome in Dawson City, YT, at midnight on the solstice, along with about 200 other people. There was too much smoke from a forest fire for a clear view of the sun, but it was purty, anyway.

Took about 1500 digital pictures on the trip, but don't see any way to post pictures here. lucky for you? hehehe

rags

ragdall@hotmail.com


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 07:07 AM

Challenging roads... story time, please?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 08:42 AM

Frost heaves. Pray you never have 'em. They're not what you think, but are caused by the permafrost under the roadbed melting slightly and then refreezing. If you drive such a road at the wrong speed the frost heaves can cause you to heave -- and even damage your vehicle.

(I guess I forgot to mention my companion, A Lady Known As Lou. And other things. She was cheaper than an electric blanket, anyway.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,ragdall
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 08:47 AM

Challenging roads... story time, please?

Many sections of the highways were under construction , and some which were not, should have been. The potholes were large, ubiquitous, and mostly invisible until just before the front wheel disappeared into one.

The Taylor Highway, which is travelled by huge motor homes, 5th wheel trailers and tour buses, truly does run along the top of the world. In many places, the dirt and gravel road rests on the top of a mountain ridge. There is barely room for two cars to pass; there are no shoulders; there are no guard rails. The land drops off hundreds of feet on both sides of the road. (I'm afraid of heights.)

Beyond Hyder, Ak, after climbing along the mountainside through 27 km of potholes and ruts, there was a magnificent view of the Salmon Glacier, critters, and purty flowers.

rags


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 09:12 AM

Yep, Rags, that's the way I remember it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,gnu
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 11:34 AM

Well, I am not scared of heights. I am, let's say, extremely fond of the ground... terra firma... the more firma, the less terra.

And, THEN who happened?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,Rapaire
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 11:41 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,Rapaire
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 11:44 AM

The previous message fell into a crevasse.

The worst drivers on these roads are the white-knuckled drivers of large RVs and motorhomes. They seem to think that because they can drive them from New York to LA on Interstates the roads in AK won't be a problem. Little do they know!


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,Charley Noble
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 11:52 AM

Not a bad read!

The closest I've been to Alaska was watching Northern Exposure, and I seem to remember that most of the filming took place in Oregon.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST, Ebbie
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 12:52 PM

Great photos, Ragdall. Precipitous country, huh. I've driven some like that in the Cascades in Oregon and in the Coast Range. Can you imagine what road builidng is like in such areas!

BTW, I don't think I've ever seen a better picture of wild geranium than the one you posted. Lovely.

Speaking of pictures of the wild and other places, a local boy in Juneau, Pat Costello, has a website that I frequently visit: www.juneauphotos.com. He posts a new picture every other day and by now has hundreds. Check it out.

Rap, I've wondering what happened to the 'lady known as Lou'? She was well known in this part of the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,gnu
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 01:01 PM

The drivers I don't like are the yahoos that drive at pavement speed with pavement tires on gravel roads. When they are oncoming, I like to swerve a few times before we meet... slows them up a bit. As for those that pass me at high speed, I like to wave when I drive by them while they are changing out the flat tire(s).

Minds me... I was fishing along the side of a road one time in Northern New Brunswick when a fellah went by in a sedan at about 100kph. Covered me in dust. I jumped in the old pickup and the dust just hung in the air. I had to wait for about twenty minutes before I could see enough to move safely. I even had to put the washer and wipers to work. Met up with the SOB about ten km up the road with the car jacked up, a rear wheel off, and the trunk open. Obviously, he had no good spare. He tried to wave me down. I waved back, doin' about 140.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,Rapaire
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 01:59 PM

I was a little chilly when I awoke, even though The Lady Known As Lou (hereafter TLKAL) was snuggled on one side and Marcia on the other. During the night the tent had blown away in the blizzard and the thermometer on the sled said that the temperature was hovering around -467 F. It was slower getting started than usual, but eventually the dogs were fed, the sleds loaded, and we were off.

Driving into the teeth of the blizzard, the temperature dropping all the while, we mushed on. Up hills and down, across mighty rivers, forging ever onward, our banner with the strange device unfurled, we dared the worst Nature could throw at us, our precious bottles of serum carefully tucked safely away.

What there was of the day was fading fast when ahead I glimpsed the faintest glimmer of light, just the faintest pinprick in the Stygian gloom and the white hell that surrounded us. As we pounded past a sign, I knew that we were saved, at least for this night. For that sign, that very welcome sign, read WELCOME! to SPENARD and as the handlers took charge of the dogs and TLKAL and I stumbled up the steps and through the welcoming door, I knew that at least for one more night the serum was safe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,gnu
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 02:49 PM

And, .... you know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 03:59 PM

Spenard, eh? I went through that area earlier this month and the driver pointed out the infamous place you link to... and his experiences. For shame, for shame- I imagine it's improved some from when you spent the night there?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,gnu
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 04:13 PM

Makkovik, Labrador... airstrip construction. Pouring caribou and moose, so there was no surveying to do. I settled into a nice nap after lunch. Never heard the siren or "Fire in the hole!" The powderman was pissed when I ran out of the house trailer. Funny enough, they were blasting for sewer and the only thing damaged in the trailer, other than my snooze, was the toilet... cracked like an egg.

Not really much of a story, but, I can't get into chat. And, I am saving the really good stories for later.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,Rapaire
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 05:04 PM

If it's good enough for Queen Ida & The Bon Temps Zydeco Band,         Ben Sidran, The Riders In The Sky, Jay McShann, Memphis Slim, Dr. John, The Red Clay Ramblers, Mose Allison, Johnnie Johnson, Carey Bell, Matt "Guitar" Murphy, John Fahey, Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson, Cash McCall, Eddie Shaw & the Wolfgang, Rockin' Sidney, Maurice John Vaughn, Tinsley Ellis, Terrance Simien and The Mallet Playboys, Kotoja, Chubby Carrier and The Bayou Swamp Band, Zeleke, The West African Highlife Band, Pat Paulsen, C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band, A. C. Reed, Little Ed and The Blues Imperials, Tim Weisberg, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Kenny Neal, "Wild Child" Butler, Billy Peterson, Eddie "The Chief" Clearwater, Scott Cossu, The Amazing Pink Things, Uncle Vinty, Bob Brozman, Brownie McGee, and David Grisman it's most likely good enough for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,gnu
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 05:28 PM

Ya had me at Ida... then,...


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,Rapaire
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 09:03 PM

When the place ran out of Spam and beer, we mushed onward. TLKAL elected to stay, taking the part of a dancing gold pan in the Follies. The dogs were trim, fat and well-rested, and the miles dripped quickly behind as the tracks of our runners lengthened across the hard-frozen snow. From Spenard to Talkeetna, to Glenallen, to Tok, to Delta Junction, to McCarthy we mushed, my team indefatigible, straining in their harness to get the serum, the life-giving serum, to Nome before the diptheria outbreak became a world-wide pandemic.

My fingers and toes were frozen, black and gangerenous, but still I called "Mush!" to the team and still they pulled, their great hearts giving their all.

And then, when all seemed darkest, the team skidded to a halt before a monsterous brown bear and her cubs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST, Ebbie
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 09:21 PM

Hmmmmm? Were you required to hit four points on the compass?

As for Spenard, I know nossing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,ragdall
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 11:42 PM

From: GUEST, Ebbie
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 12:52 PM

Great photos, Ragdall. Precipitous country, huh. I've driven some like that in the Cascades in Oregon and in the Coast Range. Can you imagine what road builidng is like in such areas!

BTW, I don't think I've ever seen a better picture of wild geranium than the one you posted. Lovely.


Thank you, Ebbie.

I thought the flower was a violet? There were yellow ones, too.
Thank you for the link to juneauphotos.com. Pat's photos are fantastic!

Yes, I tried to imagine the difficulty of building roads in that terrain. Also thought about the people who travelled there before machinery was brought in to move mountains and fill valleys. How did they manage?

I've driven the Oregon coast, and in California, but unless memory fails, there were guard rails along there?   

In a previous life, I honeymooned on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The road from Port Alberni, 36 years ago, was narrower than those in Alaska. Two cars could not pass in most places. We camped for a week in spite of relentless pouring rain, knowing that if we left, we'd have to face that road again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,gnu
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 04:35 AM

I know waht happened then... got to do with skid marks.

Can't wait to get back on Sunday and read more posts and see more pic's. I am off to the camp for the first time this year. After a few more cups of tea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,Rapaire
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 09:01 AM

And tomorrow we're off to The Land of the Yankee Fork, driving the Custer road. We're staying in Challis, as there is no room at the inns in Stanley.


Compass, Ebbie? I navigate by the stars, using different ones each time so that the others don't feel slighted and give me a rotten horoscope for spite. And, of course, the dogs knew where to go. Why should I invest in a compass when Nature provides?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 11:58 AM

That's OK then. I always say: Trust your dogs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 12:35 PM

Wild Geranium


Now, I'm not sure. In southeast Alaska there are a lot of what we call 'wild geraniums'. They come in different colors and shades. The bush stands approximately 14 inches high and the blossoms I have noticed all that have that faint stripiness in them. Very pretty.

Violets, on the other hand, should kind of hug the ground, shouldn't they? Which do yours do?

There are so many different species of the same flower that I get in way over my head.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 09:39 PM

We pulled into Eagle with just hours of daylight to spare. Exhausted, dirty, the sweat freezing to my hair, hands, beard and other hirsuite parts, I unhitched the dogs and fell against the door of the shoddy little cabin. I could feel the heat from the inside warming my frozen bones.

"Whose 'at?" barked a voice from inside. Then, before I could give the standard Bush response ("Naught but a sojourner seeking an ember of warmth and a piece of cold gristle for himself and his dogs") the barrel of a .45-70 was shoved through a peephole in the door and snugly against my breast.

"Ah axed, 'Whose 'at?'!" the voice repeated. "Ya got 'til ah counts ta one!"

"Naught but a sojourner, ya louse-covered Old Alaskan Fart!" I replied, and ducked beneath the barrel.

"Enter! Enter! And welcome!" the Old Alaskan Fart said. "Ah din't know that you was a neighbor er I'da shot ya as ya came down the trail. What's the news from Outside? Did we win that there war we was in?"

And in less time than it takes to tell the dogs were put up and fed and I was sitting by a Yukon stove, thawing my hands around a mug of hot whiskey (or whisky -- one or the other), and the precious, life-saving serum on the table.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 10:46 PM

Was the precious, life-saving serum the Four Roses brand?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: LilyFestre
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 10:57 PM

My advebnture to Alaska was fairly safe. The most trouble I got in was when I went to a radio tower out in Eagle River and found myself in snow up to my chest. And then....oh yes....the infamous ice. My best friend and I had parked the car near a restaurant. It was lunchtime on a regular weekday. I got out of the passenger side and by the time he walked around the car, i was flat on my back laughing hysterically. I have no idea how it happened, I was just standing there and BOOM...the next thing I know I was eye to eye with his size 14 boots. Damn taco bell parking lot...LOLOLOLOLOL

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: dianavan
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 12:20 AM

Is it true that single men outnumber single women by 4:1?

Whenever Canadian women complain about a lack of available, single men they are told to go to Alaska.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 05:31 AM

I got an e-mail this evening from my friend Judith, who was born and raised in Alaska. She's in the Yukon Territory (in Canada) for three days and then she's going "back to America" (returning to Anchorage). Do all Alaskans talk that way? What do Canadians think about it?

Is Anchorage in America???
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 09:04 AM

Alaska is a prime example of what 'A Fistful of Dollars' can achieve...

Great Movie that!


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 09:06 AM

Great "move", too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 09:08 AM

Ratio of men to women in Alaska -- the saying is, "The odds are good -- but the goods are odd."

If you can find it (it's out of print), read Mike Doogan's book "Fashion Means Your Fur Hat Is Dead."


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 01:42 PM

I think they say that in the urban areas, at least, the male-female ratio is about equal nowadays, although the median age is quite young- I think in the 20s.

I've heard a number of oldtimers, Joe, refer to 'down south' as "the States". Alaska has been a state since 1959 but old habits die hard.
As for Anchorage, I've heard a lot of people say that the best thing about Anchorage is that in 30 minutes you can be in Alaska.

I spent a couple of weeks up there (from Juneau)and enjoyed it a lot. There were some real surprises too. Our summer days in Juneau are long- the sun sets at 10:15 on the longest day) but in Anchorage the sun set at 11:35. In Talkeetna, just 3 hours farther north, it never got dark at all. At 2:00 when I went to bed, I could have read outdoors; at 4:00 when I next saw it, it was mid-day bright.

The masses of mosquitoes were also unexpected. People say we have mosquitoes in Juneau- not according to this criterion. Everywhere we went it varied only in numbers. They were everywhere.

Anchorage is not a huge city (aoubt 240,000) but it seems to suffer from lack of city planning. I was there a couple of times before (but only on the job and we didn't sight see then) and there still doesn't seem to be a real 'downtown'. There are definite districts and regions, and they are tied together by the highways but to me their main reason for being was what you find on the highways outside of town.

I love Juneau, its people, its music, its art and artists, its vitality and creativeness, its diversity and tolerance for differences, its very talent for bringing talented people together, but I can see why people from 'up north' could feel trapped here. Our land mass is limited- we're a linear town of about 45 miles with nowhere wider than 3 miles - while up north there is elbow room and far horizons.

It is gorgeous. The Old Seward highway, considered one of the most dangerous roads in Alaska, takes you through vistas of mountains crowding you on your left, ocean and tidelands on your right and blue, tumbled into undulating jagged shapes and forms, snowcapped mountains ahead. There is good reason for being super alert. It's a good road but the posted speed limit is 65 mpg and people tend to be looking at the scenery and not other traffic, and many of the vehicles heading back toward Anchorage are being driven by sleep-deprived fishermen from a long weekend.

Thirty miles from Anchorage the first 'major' town is Girdwood, home of Alyeska ski resort beyond and above it. There is a large hotel at Alyeska and a tram that whisks you to the top of the mountain from where the views are breathtaking. It must be something to see in wintertime too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 01:46 PM

Don't forget Kotzabue. Or Eek. Or Chicken.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 03:05 PM

The thing that really bugged me about Anchorage were the lights. I worked there in December, 1994, so there should have been a lot of darkness. Trouble is, the town is full of those glaring yellow streetlights, and if the citizens of Anchorage were afraid of it getting dark at night. The lights aren't so bad in the summertime, but the lights on the winter snow makes a horrible glare, like a prison at night.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 03:13 PM

"Don't forget Kotzabue. Or Eek. Or Chicken." Rap

Haven't got there yet, Rapaire. Takes some serious planning and flying. All in good time. One of these years I definitely want to visit Nome - and Kotzebue while I'm that close.

I have a distant dentist cousin who served with the Public Health Service. His first assignment was Kotzebue. I asked him on the phone, How did you like it? Was it like Alaska?

He said, It was my first trip. I was afraid that all Alaska was like Kotzebue.

Joe, those lights are meant to combat fogs, I believe. I haven't been to Fairbanks yet but given their notorious 'ice fogs', I wouldn't wonder if they too have the yellow, halogen lights.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 05:51 PM

There are strange and wonderful events in Alaska. This is one of my favorites.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Amos
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 06:46 PM

If yer going that way, do it while there's still ice. The northern icecaps are in hot retreat and due to vanish by 2030 or so...


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,ragdall
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 06:43 AM

From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 12:35 PM
Now, I'm not sure. In southeast Alaska there are a lot of what we call 'wild geraniums'. They come in different colors and shades. The bush stands approximately 14 inches high and the blossoms I have noticed all that have that faint stripiness in them. Very pretty.

Violets, on the other hand, should kind of hug the ground, shouldn't they? Which do yours do?


Ebbie, Sorry it's taken me so long to reply. I've had trouble accessing this site.

I photographed wild geraniums in Yellowstone Nat. Park, many years ago. These are quite different. I think that this view may show the plants more clearly. The are very close to the ground. The flower stems are 3 to 6 inches high. The plants have roundish waxy looking leaves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,ragdall
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 07:10 AM

What do Canadians think about it?
Is Anchorage in America???


Yes. Anchorage in the US of A. (Even though it's a long drive to get there from the Lower forty-eight through that blank space on a USA map.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 09:06 AM

Canada is not a blank space! Canada is a vibrant, wonderful country full of beavers, snow, mosquitoes, walleye, and it's run by Sgt. Preston and his dog, Yukon King. There are many great cities in Canada, cities like Haines Junction, Hinton, and Cambridge Bay, places where literally dozens of Canadians live and work. Canada has produced great statesmen like MacKenzie King, great actors like William Shatner. Canada a blank space? -- I think not!


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 12:05 PM

Does Bill have a dog? LH?

MacKenzie King??? Statesman??? Nutbar. He talked to his dog. Oh, I know, everyone talks to their dog. But, this one talked back... about federal policy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 12:50 PM

Good link to Talkeetna, Rap. Talkeetna was my favorite town in my recent trip to the vicinity. Stained wood siding, rather than paint, on the houses so they kind of glow, wide streets, interesting Roadhouse, lots of trees, 3 hours from Denali National Park, 3 hours from Anchorage, 24-hour daylight, not as many mosquitoes as I ran into in other places, three rivers...

Incidentally, the Fairview Inn mentioned in the link is not open at this point. Something to do with a lawsuit, I was told.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 12:50 PM

There are strange things done,
In the midnight sun,
By the men who moil for gold.........


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 01:02 PM

Which reminds me of the serum I was taking to Nome! I had almost forgotten about, drowsing before the fire in the shoddy soddy in Eagle, but I jumped to my feet and out the door in a trice. Then I came back in, got dressed, put on my mukluks, overshoes, pants, parka, burka, gloves, mittens, shirt, tie, suspenders, braces, belt, truss, hat, earmuffs, and the serum and was out the door shouting, "Away! Mush, you wimpies! Mush, I say! Git the lead out er yer catfood!"

And away we flew over the snow, over the hummocks and tussocks, through the tiaga, over the hills, like cosairs we flew, with a sledfull of serum and St. Nichol...well, we were on our way again with the Serum For Nome.

Through the outskirts of Bethel, through the suburbs of Dead Horse we mushed, the freezing rain lashing against the dogs and turning the front of my body into a sheet of ice. Through Homer, through Ketchikan, over the bridge in Unalaska, stopping only for strudel und specksuppe in Dutch Harbor, and we pulled into Dillingham just as the sun was setting.

Nome was in the distance, and the suffering of the Nomish...Nomers...Nomites...people who lived their was soon to be relieved.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 01:20 PM

Rapaire, please consult your map. I am getting seriously concerned about your precious cargo. It is date specific, you know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 01:30 PM

Oh, no! I just glimpsed your map. Prudhoe Bay is almost in sight.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 03:11 PM

Valdez was going to be the next stop, but we skipped it for St. Paul.

The island, not the other one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 04:08 PM

I am full of admiration. For the first time I really understand what heroic feet it was.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 05:34 PM

Canada a blank space? -- I think not!

Rapaire, Have you looked at a map of the USA? Not only is Canada not there, often Alaska is tilted to fit across parts of BC and Alberta.

I've been to Hinton. Very nice place. Very nice person.
... erm.. I meant "people".

@¿@
rags


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 05:47 PM

Got to be nice people in Hinton, otherwise there would be no Peace there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 05:50 PM

Canada is full of nice people, all six of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: robomatic
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 09:10 PM

just returned to anchortown meself. Been months! Sleep pattern shattered by all the lightness around. Geese on the lake. The neighbor keeps throwing fireworks in the back yard to warn them off his back lawn...
Construction everywhere. Half hotels goin' up next to each other.

Espresso joints even more populated than I recall, and it's all pretty tasty.

Ebbie if you need a place indoors lemme know. Place is a pit but I've vacuumed most of the vole droppings out of the foyer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 10:30 PM

Thanks, robo. Incidentally, where have you been? Outside Alaska or just out of Anchorage? If you ever come to Juneau, PLEASE pm me. I'm not hard to find.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 03:50 AM

Morning Terry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 07:48 AM

101!


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 09:09 AM

Well, from there we got away, our spirits never failin', and mushed slush across Norton Sound. Nome was in sight! We could see the steeples of the churches, the skyscrapers of the skyline growing closer with every step. Soon, soon, our journey of mercy would be over!

With my shouts of joy ringing in their ears, the ice crunching beneath our runners, the dogs turned left toward the only tree in the Pribilofs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 11:53 AM

-oh, no LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 11:56 AM

And, after that, what happened?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 04:52 PM

They treed a skunk?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 05:22 PM

A skank?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 07:12 PM

No skunks in Alaska. And not many skanks. *G*


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: robomatic
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 07:37 PM

Ebbie, that's mostly true, but Anchorage has a strong MTV wanna be culture. And in the boonies we've got big fat porcupines.

I was in Massachusetts Ebbie, to answer your question. I'm a right wing nutcase in Massachusetts, and back here in 'laska I'm a left wing treehugger. Just color me purple.

By Saint Charles Darwin, leave me be free to evolve in my own way!

Robo


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 07:48 PM

I read somewhere to beware of the person who appears the same to all of his/her acquaintances- that person is acting.

I have a musician friend in Fairbanks who says that he has always been considered, and considered himself, a political moderate. In Fairbanks, he says, he's considered a bleeding-heart liberal.

Juneau varies. Downtown is famously liberal; not so in the valley, scarcely 10 miles away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 11:04 PM

They lynched a guy in Idaho for being a wild-eyed, bomb-throwing, Conservative Republican.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 12:55 PM

The sudden turn to the left threw me off the sled, and the dogs bounded away, hellbent to reach the only tree in the Pribilofs.

When the skidding stopped, I stood up and spit the slush from my face. I was surrounded by a pearl-gray sky merging into the pearl-gray ice, the pearl-gray clouds diffusing the pearl-gray sunlight. Far, far off I could hear the yips of the dogs, but in this pearl-gray Hell I could not tell from which direction they were coming, and the fog was gathering.

Without stars, without sun, without even a tree with moss, I was forced to rely upon my compass, my GPS, and the emergency radio beacon I had in my pack. Soon, I heard overhead the sound of the engines of a Coast Guard rescue C-130. The plane dipped low and waggled its wings to let me know I'd been spotted. To be doubly certain, I fire a flare which, upon striking the plane, caused it to catch fire.

Hopelessly lost except for my balloon-tethered strobe light, the distress beacon, and a roaring fire I'd started with some driftwood, I sat down to Await My Fate.

Fortunately, I still had the serum safely tucked inside my parka to prevent it from freezing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 01:45 PM

Lucky the C-130 didn't have a mini-gun when you let loose the flare. Rapaire would be F'Rappairé.

And...


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: robomatic
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 06:09 PM

I was flying low over Tundra and underneath low clouds when the yawning river came up. I crossed the water and kept the riverbank below me. Pretty soon I began to see familiar terrain and it came to me that I had crossed to a channel island and was making circles around it. If I separated from the island to the south, i'd be over more low tundra. If I separated from the island and crossed the river to the north, I'd fly smack into a cliff.

I had to make my choice...

Sometimes doin' nothin' is not an option.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 08:52 PM

Is that when the flare hit your craft, Robo?

And, THEN what happened?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 09:04 PM

Don't you remember? Beware the yawning river.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Jul 05 - 06:20 PM

Your account of your experiences above the river Mythical, robo, reminds me of something I once read about the blackouts in London during the war. It said that any incoming plane wouldn't have needed lights to orient themselves in order to drop bombs- they could just follow the Thames into the centre of the city.

We ought to start a thread on that kind of thing: Actions we take that are of no known use but we do it anyway.

(I remember in that same war when we had blackouts on the American West Coast. We drew the curtains tight and used oil lamps. I remember one time that my mother carried a lit lamp into the other room and the curtains were not drawn.. Scared me to death. I thought the Japanese planes were literally circling above our house looking for a glimmer of light. The lesson I draw from this is that adults don't give children enough information. I was five years old.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 10 Jul 05 - 09:08 PM

Like when I spray bug dope on the window screens of my camp because someone said it was a good idea, when I know that the bite-em-no-seeums come in through THE HOLES!!!!! Try to spray a hole... go on... I dare ya!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Jul 05 - 09:24 PM

Yeah, they probably fly in with room to spare o both sides- but just maybe the odor of the screen squares is unpleasant to them? I never have researched whether no-seeums are kept at bay by Cutters, OFF, etc. Do you know?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 10 Jul 05 - 09:56 PM

Yes, I do.

Usually, noone else inside the camp is bothered by them. They come in through the screens one the first floor, where I sleep, and either feed on me or die of delight when the see a 275 Irish laid out like a buffet, snoring. The lads upstairs rarely have any problems with BENSE's.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 Jul 05 - 10:30 PM

Don't spray the screen OR yourself -- spray the repellent on the bugs! They won't be able to get near each other, won't reproduce, and will eventually die of loneliness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 03:07 AM

Alaska is one of the most amazing places on the planet. I haven't been up there in decades. I'll have to find an excuse to go back sometime soon.

Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 03:27 AM

Do it, Stephen. I am continually amazed at the beauty all around me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 09:10 AM

My apologies Ebbie... I really did mean to come back and answer you, but got tied up... yes, repellant does keep them off.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 09:23 AM

Ebbie, is the eye still above Juneau?

I've been wondering.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 01:20 PM

No, Rap. Wind and water obliterated it eventually. When I came to town in 1988 it was still there, orange and huge. I didn't actually like it, reminded me of Big Brother, so I was just as glad to see it dimming in time. No doubt someone else will get a bright idea again one day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 02:02 PM

Shucks. It looked just like the Juneauites after a hard night.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 05:19 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 05:32 PM

There is a temperamental difference between whether on balance we are hostile to change, or friendly to it. As we get older most people probably tend to move in the direction of being suspicious of change.

But it doesn't coincide with political differences in any consistant way. Unless we think the world is perfect there are always going to be some things we want to see changed; and unless we think it is totally screwed up, there are always going to be some things we want to porotect from change.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 05:39 PM

You ran with a different crowd than I, Rap. LOL In my crowd I'm the heavy drinker- I've been known to have as many as three glasses of wine in one evening!

I know a few like that, though. Even a druggie or two.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 06:57 PM

Well, Ebbie, I remember when a bunch of us boys were whoopin' it up in the Malamute Saloon. Now THAT was a night to remember!


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 07:49 PM

Isn't the Malamute in Fairbanks? Given your skills of navigation, I find it difficult to keep up. *G* Unless you mean the 'Red Dog'?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: robomatic
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 09:24 PM

In the good ol' days John liked to drink after a hard day's work. Sometimes he was the last one left and he got up to mischief. One evening in summer he walked to the small airstrip and found a Cessna he could start. He had been in plenty of Cessnas never actually flown one, but, hey, how card hould it be? So he figured out which control controlled the gas and drove it out to the strip. Controlled the gas all the way to maximum rpm, and hey i kin flieeeeeeee! He practised controlling the wings level as he circled around and around the small camp. Was disappointed that there were no horns to honk nor explosives to drop, and was vaguely aware the most planes need fuel to stay up in the air and he didn't really have any idea of how much fuel was avaialble. So he begtan to practise going down. It's easy, you just pull out that gas thingee and the motor goes slower and the plane goes lower. And - hey, who put that hill there? Anyhow, by dint of alcoholic fearlessness and persistence what Stanley Holloway once characterized as "a little bit o' luck" John was able to roll onto the runway at a high rate of speed, cut the engine power, and roll happily to the severe damage of the aircraft, and the relative harmlessness to himself.

Moral? Moral? Like Hell, there's a moral: Ever after his buds at the camp called him "Hi-Jack"!


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 12:38 PM

Like your story, robo. Mind you, I'm glad he is not in my family or in my circle of friends.

I love flying in those little planes, especially the float planes. The wheeled planes grind when they land but the pontoon planes just kind of swooooosh and push against the water. And I like the fact that when they leave the water they raise one side of the plane in order to break free of the skin of the water.

Had I come to Alaska, say, 20 years earlier, I know that I'd have a pilot's license. Probably wouldn't have my own plane but I would definitely have a license to fly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 01:38 PM

Float planes! Came "close" four times in them. We used to call Labrador Airways "Crash Airways". Much prefer a chopper.

A drunken lad stole a plane in Goose Bay, Labrador. Was going to end it all. Got up and decided against it. They tried to "talk him down" three times. The first two times, he got scared and didn't set down. The third time, he ran out of fuel. Beautiful landing. There is a story published... seems to me it's called, "Thirty Minutes Over Goose Bay" or the like.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 04:14 PM

I was surrounded by pearl gray. Far off, flaming bits of the C-130 formed a series of beacons that I followed and which led to land.

Alone, all alone, I climbed from the black sand of the small beach onto the headland. And just in time, for a driving storm came in off the Bering Sea. Hail tore through my parka and attempted to rip it from my body. Huge waves crashed upon the tiny headland, catching me in their spray and their undertow mercilessly trying to drag me back into the clutches of Poseidon.

Somehow, I held on. Somehow, I kept the precious serum with me.

My mukluks were ripped from my feet, mittens from my hands, the moustach from from my face. My skin felt as though I was standing in a sandblast and was soon red raw and bleeding.

I crouched behind a rock, taking such shelter from the storm as I could.

"Oh, I hope the dogs are all right," I thought, with never a thought for my own predicament.

And the snow piled higher and higher against the windward side of my pitifully inadequate shelter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jul 05 - 08:54 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Jul 05 - 11:38 AM

And then what happened, she asks breathlessly. There is little chance of survival with that moustache gone. Is this how it ends? Will the serum run NOT go down in history? Stay tuned. (As though we wouldn't!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: robomatic
Date: 13 Jul 05 - 06:22 PM

young fella with fear in his voice called in to a tower operator. He was in a small plane, he was over a thick layer of clouds in mountain country, he had no firm idea where he was, no transponder, and no instrument experience. The controller made an executive decision, told the kid he was not far from an airport, he just had to lower himself wings level through the clouds, and talked him through it. The controller thought the kid was doomed but deserved to have an injection of confidence and a friendly voice during his last minutes of existence.

But...


The kid lowered into a valley, and there WAS an airport below!


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: robomatic
Date: 13 Jul 05 - 06:34 PM

Outside FAA instructor to class:
"now the purpose of the class is to review techniques you Alaskans have for off-airport landings. are there any of you who perform these kinds of landings?"

young guy's hand goes up

FAA instructor: "young man, what kind of landings do you consider safe off-airport landings?"

"I like to put down on sandbars for fishing, fields for hunting, and clear areas to reach my cabin."

"And how do you choose a safe landing spot?"

"I look for signs of airplanes having landed there before - I like to see if an airplane is already down there?"

"And if there is an airplane already down there, you consider it safe to land?"

"Not necessarily. I always take a good look to make sure the airplane already down there is right side up. If it's upside down I don't try to land there!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Jul 05 - 06:50 PM

A number of years ago a couple of friends were flying in for hunting trip. One of them had a wonderful, expensive new rifle that he was very, very proud of. The other was the pilot.

While over someplace like North Dakota they developed some trouble with the transponder and the pilot radioed the tower. Unfortunately, he used the wrong code for a broken transponder; he used the one for "I am being hijacked."

The tower immediately diverted the small plane to a nearby Air Force Base and handed them over to the USAF. The guys in the plane thought it a touch odd that the Air Force would fix the transponder, but hey! a fix is a fix.

The tower directed them to land near a remote hanger...they did, and the owner of the rifle took his rifle with him...he walked slightly behind the pilot...until they passed into the hangar, when he was flattened beneath about 10 Air Police.

I understand that it took several days to get it all straightened out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jul 05 - 07:34 PM

it's an argument whether this happned in Minnesota or Alaska. Opinions vary, but IQs suggest it could have been either:

Arnie and Buddy took Arnie's new SUV and Buddy's new hunting dog out onto the frozen lake to do some jawbonin' and 'bomb' fishing. Parked on a nice thick bit of ice, they went out about a hundred yards, walked a hundred feet over to the open part of the ice, and prepared to chuck a stick of dynamite in, expecting to kill a mess of pike and maybe some char and collect 'em off the surface afther they'd bloated 'n floated. So Buddy lights the fuse and skids the stick over.

Dog catches it and fetches it

Guys wave and shoot at the dog.

Confused, the dog takes cover under the vehicle.

BLAM


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Jul 05 - 08:14 PM

LOL Judging by your brilliant display of reasoning power, Guest, it weems to me that you yourself must be in either Minnesota or Alaska- dead fish don't have to bloat before they float. I don't know anyone who eats bloated fish. yuk


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 13 Jul 05 - 08:14 PM

Ya know... even if that story was real, I wouldn't tell it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Jul 05 - 09:44 PM

Scoured nearly clean of my clothing by the wind-driven ice, I stumbled on toward the faint, faint glow on the horizon. My head bowed against the wind, catching only the briefest glances of hope, praying that I wasn't chasing the Aurora Borealis, I trudged along on bleeding feet, the precious serum clutched to my bosom, sheltered from the sleet and snow and warmed by my now-partly frozen and bleeding body.

Onward and onward I stumbled through the drifts, my bleeding feet no longer able to feel the cutting shards of ice upon which I trod. Finally, I could go no further and collapsed against some logs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Jul 05 - 01:48 AM

Jud is dead. Poor Jud is dead. Say it isn't so. Look behind the logs, Rap. Under the third one from the top, about 1/4 of the way from the northern end is a heating pad. Plug it in and warm up. You will survive. You hear me?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 14 Jul 05 - 09:00 AM

Ol' Jud wasn't "dead." He was "daid." And it was summer and they were runnin' out of ice.

Running out of ice wasn't exactly my problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Jul 05 - 11:38 AM

snif I was playing to your eddication, Rap. snif


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 14 Jul 05 - 12:15 PM

I awakened to the cool touch of a gentle hand on my forehead.

"We're awake," the nurse said. "How are we?"

"Mmmmph," I replied intelligently, and sank back down into unconciousness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 14 Jul 05 - 12:48 PM

Coma on... what happened next?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jul 05 - 10:06 AM

Oh me nurse... er, nerves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 15 Jul 05 - 11:58 AM

Some time later I again awakened. Someone was fiddling around on my forehead.

"Lie still, my son. I'm Father Raphael, and I'm giving you Last Rites. They will ease your passage into Heaven."

"What the..." I exploded. "Wadda mean, 'Last Rites'?"

"My son, when they found you you were completely frozen. We thawed you here, in our humble hospital, but frostbite-caused gangerene has spread from your ears to you head, and I'm afraid...you must be brave, braver than you have been in bringing the serum to us. Because, as you know, the only sure cure for gangerene is amputation."

"GOLLY!" I exclaimed. "To cure me they're gonna cut off my head???"

"Yes, my son, I'm afraid so," said the kindly old priest. "So you must be very, very brave."

I sank back down in the clean fresh sheets with a sigh. Somewhere in my head a tiny little voice was saying, "Screw this bullsh*t -- let's git outa here!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jul 05 - 06:12 PM

So.... you cut off your ears and escaped the clutches of death?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: robomatic
Date: 15 Jul 05 - 06:24 PM

'member a flight from Bethel to Napakiak (not Napaskiak). There was a strong odor of original pinesol in the airplane. This means an instant headache for me. I made the natural assumption that the pilot had been chewing or drinking or both and covered up the telltale aroma with the overpowering stench of cleanliness. He seemed reasonably compos mentos so I climbed aboard. It's a fifteen minute run and as I exited the pilot was emptying the front cargo compartment which consisted of a Costco sized cardboard box of pinesol bottles, one of which had gone bust.

On another flight from Bethel to Napaskiak (not Napakiak), one of the passengers who may or may not have been drunk, was playing a boombox of REO Speedwagon songs, or something generically no different. Pilot told him to shut the damn thing off or he'd turn around and set 'im down back in Bethel. He had to start the turn in order to be taken seriously (or the other passengers would've started pou nding on the guy anyway).


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,gnu
Date: 15 Jul 05 - 06:43 PM

I settled into my seat... glad to be going home for the Labour Day Weekend. To see my sweet Nicole and stroll along the sandy beaches on the Northumberland Straight and, maybe, just maybe, get stuck at Kissing Rock at high tide. I fell asleep in a flash.

We had been waiting for the flight out for four days. It was Thursday. The wind had been blowing 40 knots or better all along the coast of Labrador. The eldest pilot with Crash Airways rang down Makkovik and Annie said it was calm. So, we taxied out into Nain Bay almost a click. Number One hit the ignition three times on the turn.

That's when the wind hit. I awoke with a start. I looked out the window from the rearmost seat (next to the two rear doors on an Otter - safety concious lad that I am) to see the right pontoon about six feet under water. Then.... another hit on the ignition, but, this time, full throttle. She pitched and lurched and shook and shit... no, that was me that shit.

When we got back to shore and offloaded, my boss told me Number One confided that, in 42 years of being a bush pilot, that was the closest he had ever come to death in the freezing waters of the Labrador coast.

Rum and Pepsi never tasted so good... until...


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,robomatic
Date: 15 Jul 05 - 08:14 PM

Used to be that when flying from Anchortown to one of those destinations north of the Arctic Circle, the pilots would regularly spin a little yarn about the 'arctic band of turbulence' you had to cross in order to get north of of the circle, kinda akin to the pantsing and keel-hauling they give to tourists on boats crossing the I D Line (oh, nobody told you?). Anyhow, someone pissed and moaned about this habit of shaking the plane up and down when crossing the critical latitude and the chairbound executives gave orders would the pilots please stop.

Next flight up, the pilot came on and said: "Now, we've been told to explain how maybe in the past we gave a sample of arctic circle chop, and that maybe we used the aircraft controls to exagerate the chop, but of course there isn't always turbulence at this point.

HOWEVER, if you've ever looked at a globe or a map, you've observed there is a line of dashes placed exactly at the arctic circle, and sometimes we have to navigate to avoid them, so please stay buckled."

followed by a STEEP turn to the left, and a STEEP turn back to the right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Jul 05 - 01:22 PM

LOL robo.

The pilots of Alaska Airlines do a really neat thing though when the "mountain is out". They will sometimes leave their scheduled flight path and go closer to Denali (20,320 feet tall. Massive.) to give everyone a close-up look.

Actually I don't know if they still do that, but they did as recently as 11 years ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 16 Jul 05 - 01:34 PM

I flight-saw Denali. Left Talkeetna aerodrome in a small plane (a Beaver). Got some great pix. One of the best things we've ever done.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 11:17 AM

I think I'll ask Pene Azul if he'll post a couple of Denali pix.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 09:40 PM

Anyway, I got out of the hospital in fairly good shape, only to find that the Mayor of Nome has "requested" that I pay him a visit.

So I popped into his office. He was sitting at a big roll-top desk, and he had a mustache that give him an uncanny resembalance to a walrus. I cleared my throat and a door in the back of the room opened. A man walked in, and kicked the Mayor out of the chair. The Mayor when waddling off and the man said, "Sorry. Being this close to the Bering Sea we have continual problems with walruses." He stuck out his hand. "I'm the Mayor of this thriving metropolis."

I shook it and took the cup of coffee he offered.

"So," he continued, "you're the guy who brought the serum."

"Yes," I replied shyly, "I am."

"Have much trouble getting here?"

"No, not really. I lost my team, though."

"Too bad about that. But I do have a question."

"Yes sir?"

"We've got a mighty fine hospital here. All the kids have to get DPT shots before they can start schoool. We've got airline service to Anchorage and from there to some of the finest medical facilities in the world. There hasn't been a case of diptheria in the whole state in years. We're glad to you came, but my question is: why?"

I was completely nonplussed. My whole journey had been for naught? There were no children suffering? No epidemic?

"I...I read in a newspaper that an epidemic of diptheria threatened Nome," I replied.

"Ah, what was the date of that paper?" asked the Mayor.

"Well," I said, "it wasn't a recent one. At least, I don't think that it was."

The Mayor laughed. "Thanks for the effort," he said, "but the diptheria threat was in 1905. Probably before you were born."

"Oh," was all I could say.

The next day the ASFOSD (American Society for the Furtheranace Of Sled Dogs) flew me out to the Pribilofs to look for my dogs. They were there, and had no intention of coming back with us. They had found that there were TWO trees in the Pribilofs, and were obviously wondering how to cross the sea and see the other one.

And so, forsaken by my dogs, my journey ended, I flew back home. And, except for the six months I spent alone in the Yukon after the plane crashed, it was uneventful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 09:48 PM

And, THEN what was your next adventure?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Jul 05 - 11:38 PM

Surviving alone for six months in the Yukon after the plane crash left me nearly naked, with no equipment save for a broken pocketknife and a roll of mint candies.

But that was in the Yukon and this thread is about Alaska, where we did actually drive 3,625 miles in 1998 (although some was in BC and YT as well).


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 09:01 AM

Did you meet up again with Sargent Preston of the Royal Canadian Mounted?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 09:06 AM

No. I was so hungry, though, that his dog would have been in danger. YOU try living for six months on tree bark, snow, tundra, brackish water, mosquitoes, black flies, and no-see-ums. I only had my own personal body for bait, and the Northern Lights were my only source of heat during the winter.

On the other hand, I came out of it a better person.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 01:28 PM

What doesn't kill you makes you a better person,eh. I'm glad there was an upside to your ordeals. But do look upward- is that black cloud still above you?

I wish you had consulted me before you began that trek. Could have saved you a lot of grief- and your dog team. Those poor things. They were probably not fixed- do you have any idea of how many mongrels and quarter wolves on the tundra you will ultimately be responsible for?

No doubt you will be hearing from the Wildlife Federation. On the tundra ravens nest on the ground. The rapacious habits of an ever increasing flock of dogs can only exacerabate the situation in an injurious manner, altering the delicate balance of nature.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 01:47 PM

The dogs were old enough to be responsible for their own actions, without let or hinderance by me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 02:44 PM

OK, then.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 02:46 PM

If they'd been broken I would have had them fixed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Jul 05 - 10:59 AM

Sometimes ya can't tell. Have you heard of neuticles?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Jul 05 - 11:34 AM

Aren't they some sort of atomic particle?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Jul 05 - 11:15 PM

No, wait, I know! They came from Neut Gingerich!


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Jul 05 - 11:22 PM

You got it. *G*


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 01:37 PM

I also got "it" from a lady in Skagway once, but I'd rather not discuss it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Ebbie
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 01:55 PM

That warn't no lady.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: emjay
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 04:37 PM

I've had trouble getting to Mudcat for the last few days so had missed this thread completely. I first came to Alaska in 1955 and people kept telling me, "You should have seen it in the old days before .... " and to this day there is still something that has spoiled the real Alaska to hear some people tell it. It might be the ferry system, the Alaska Highway or cable TV. It is still a beautiful and interesting place but after 40 years here, I am so used to it, I can't think what might be interesting to someone who doesn't live here.
Ragdall, your last link led to a lovely picture of violets, not wild geraniums. Wild geraniums grow all over the lower 48, they are not unique to Alaska, and they resemble violets only in color. Any good wild flower book should have pictures of them.
Our days are getting shorter now. I had to get up at 10 after 1 this morning to drive a suddenly homesick grandchild home. It was dark enough to use headlights, though not dark enough to use a flashlight out in the yard.
The thing most amazing to me after so many years here are dark nights that are warm! That is very rare here. When it gets dark, it is usually getting cold.
I lived first in Ketchikan where we were married in the territory of Alaska. I have also lived in Juneau, and now in the Matanuska Valley.
Moose regularly visit our yard, Bear and fox come less often.
Emjay


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: robomatic
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 05:33 PM

Gary once passengered up to White Mountain in a single engine Cessna. Being a pipe smoker, he arranged with the pilot that he could smoke once they had made it into the air. Gary was in the right seat, next to the pilot. There were passengers sitting behind as well, one of them a bit 'under the weather.' The pilot taxied the plane out to the runway, made his runup, rolled out, and took off. As they climbed out, Gary then lit his pipe, and no sooner was drawing on it when something 'popped'up in the engine compartment and the cabin filled with smoke.

As if that weren't bad enough, the inebriated guy sitting in back reached into the front seat, grabbed the pilot by the neck and screamed, "make him put out the pipe! make him put out the pipe!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: robomatic
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 08:14 PM

And now I've got my own DSL connection UP In Alaska. I can write in to my fave web site hunderds of time a day. wellwell well well well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 12:46 PM

What did you expect in SKAGway? Now, I'll tell you about the barskag, er, ah, barmaid, in Nain, Labrador if you'll tell me about the Skag in Ladyway... did "it" require a dose of serum?

Anyone ever read "The Sparrow Falls"? I think that's the name of it. Been over thirty years, but I can still "see" the dog growling. Minds me of your dog team, Rap.

Hmmm... one time, in an Otter, we lifted off from the water at Makkovik, Labrador and buddy nailed her full flaps at redline. We never got any more than forty feet up. We dipped twice and nearly pranged both times before he decided it was a no-go and feathered back into the bay. We just had too much weight. I could only see the passenegrs on my side of the plane because the entire "aisle" was loaded to the ceiling with mail parcels and other freight. Passengers were holding their luggage in their laps.

Back to the dock and unload freight. At one point, Old One-Eye, the pilot, lifted a burlap bag and asked, "'oo h'own's dis and whot da 'ell is it?" I replied, "That's mine. It's a soil sample." He looked at me curious and then threw the bag toward the dock... but it "slipped" and sank into the cold water. Old One-Eye looked at me and said, "Ne're a worry me love, dere be lotsa rocks in Goose Bay."


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: robomatic
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 06:59 PM

When it's time to leave the bush for home, and you're dry as a bone and full of insect bites and the roar of the wind o'er the tundra has created a pocket in your eardrums, you don't ask fool questions of the pilot such as "done a 'weight 'n balance' on this thing?" Nope, you want to believe that he can horse it aloft and get you started on your way back to grovestand OJ and Desperate Housewives.

I 'member a flight out of Shishmaref on a Ryan flight where we seemed unnaturally devoted to low-level flightseeing. My friends later told me they referred to the airline as "Dyin' With Ryan".


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: bet
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 07:48 PM

Sorry I missed this thread. I was in Denali Park working when this was going on and no internet. I love it up here. bet


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 11:10 PM

Denali's one of the great places. We flight-saw Denali in a small plane out of Talkeetna. Magnificent. And the only way to travel. Made me wish for a pilot's license.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: GUEST,KT
Date: 11 Jan 06 - 12:30 AM

So glad you like it, Bet! Keep in mind, the Alaska Folk Festival is going to be happening soon!
KT


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Metchosin
Date: 11 Jan 06 - 02:49 PM

OK, I noted today in the news that Augustine Volcano has erupted and that officials, amongst other warnings to nearby residents, have advised not to burn wood, that has volcanic ash on it, in their stoves and fireplaces. Why?


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Jan 06 - 03:09 PM

I give up. Is this a riddle?

(I just realized that I didn't post a word about being in Southeast last August.... Even talking to Ebbie.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: gnu
Date: 11 Jan 06 - 04:35 PM

Because of the possible contents of highly volitile hydrocarbons. Hey... it sounds good if you say it with a stern look on your face.


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Subject: RE: BS: Waaaaay UP! To Alaska....
From: bet
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 11:58 AM

KT, Thanks for the reminder, It's been on my calenday for a while. Hope things work so I can participate. Yesterday I applied for a job with the "new" Barnes and Nobles Book Store opening in March. If I get on it my interfer with my free time as I will continue to substitute during the day.
I heard that the sight over Denali in the plane was great, I had planned a couple of times to do it but the weather didn't cooperate so didn't get it done.
highly volitile hydrocarbons, o.k. my face is stern gnu.
bet


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