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Goodnews Bay

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

approach.jpg Broke again.  Home remodeling does drain the bank account.  Oh, well.  Time to go back to work. This time I have 3-month gig teaching in Goodnews Bay a remote Yup’ik Eskimo village in Western Alaska.  I’m filling in for a teacher who has some medical issues and needs to be near a hospital.

gnb.jpg So far, so good.  The village is in a gorgeous setting between two rivers with mountain chains to the north and the south.  Of course, there are no roads here – access only by small plane.  I have a class of six fourth-graders and each one of them is happy, eager to learn and well-behaved.

gnbgirls.jpg My timing has been good.  After a week of classes, it’s spring break for a week. Of course, it’s not quite spring and since it has been below 0F with tremendous winds, it is really just a late-winter break.  But no matter, I’ve got free time and there are mountains and valleys to explore.  A couple of the teachers have sled dogs, so I hope to get some mushing in.  Maybe I’ll go ice fishing, and if I’m lucky, I’ll go caribou hunting.

In the meanwhile, there are some tremendous hikes.  Today I did a U-shaped route up a ridge behind the school and followed it up and around, down a valley, and then back up to another ridge top, down again through the village and home again.

Manaq: Ice fishing

Monday, May 11th, 2009

pike.jpg While break-up season is definitely underway, there is still a bit of ice and snow about.  The frozen-solid Johnson River had been covered with a few inches of water for a few days before the solid ice layer was able to float to the surface.  That floating ice then became a snowgo trail and has been good for about a week now – although traveling on it is becoming more and more risky each day. But Thursday after school I took the school snowgo and with another teacher on back, cruised down the river and met up with some of the locals to go jigging for pike.  Sonya, the other teacher caught 3 within 5 minutes.

groupmanaq.jpgsonya.jpg [read on]

Time To Break Up

Monday, May 11th, 2009
ski.jpgI've lived in Alaska most of my adult life and absolutely love winter, but I've never experienced the season hang on as long as this one.   On April 24 I skied from Akiuk School ... [Continue reading this entry]

Winter on the Kuskokwim Delta

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
jim.jpg Well, once again, I was out of money, so it was time to head to an Alaskan village and do some more long-term substitute teaching.  I was able to get a Special Ed job at ... [Continue reading this entry]

Russian River Falls

Friday, July 18th, 2008
salmon1.jpgsalmon2.jpg The trailhead to the Russian River Falls near Cooper Landing, Alaska, is about a 45 min. drive from my house.  The trail, an easy 3 miles long,  is one of ... [Continue reading this entry]

Sea Kayaking Admiralty Isalnd

Sunday, May 18th, 2008
cary.jpgI was tempted to stay in Angoon after school let out for the summer just to have the time to do some more exploring in a sea kayak.  Mitchell Bay, a saltwater inlet, extends about ... [Continue reading this entry]


Thursday, January 31st, 2008
It's end of January and I had been back home from the North Slope of Alaska since the end of October. We didn't get any good snow until the middle/end of December, but since then the skiing has been ... [Continue reading this entry]

Subsistence Whaling Aftermath in the Arctic

Monday, October 1st, 2007
whalebones.jpgYesterday afternoon, Rusty, Emily and her son Henry and I set out for an afternoon beach walk to a point where a lagoon connects to the Arctic Ocean - about 4 miles from Wainwright. This ... [Continue reading this entry]

Saturday School – Eskimo Style

Saturday, September 29th, 2007
Alak School closes early for the summer as many of the Inupiat Eskimos move to fish and hunting camps upriver - or set out to go hunt seals or go whaling. To make up for the lost school days, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Wainwright, Alaska – Tundra Village on the Arctic Ocean

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007
airtaxi.jpg The Cessna Grand Caravan that I flew from Barrow to Wainwright was split down the middle: Passengers on the right, cargo on the left. At least I knew for certain that all 7 of my ... [Continue reading this entry]