Days 6 to 9, of our Alaskan and Canadian Adventure.
Date : Tuesday to Friday, 6th to 9th Feb. 2007
Places visited : A day in Golsovia, then returning via Klikitarik to St Michael.
Distance travelled : 50 Mile return journey back to St Michael.
Weather : The cold, dry weather continues. Occasionally windy. Slightly more overcast.
The dogs had a day off today and we walked locally.
The original plan was to take the skidoos and head off to the hills.
Unfortunately due to the lack of snow and the poor river ice conditions, the motorised trek up the valley was not practical today, so we took the opportunity to relax and walk locally.
Down by the river, Louie was feeding the dogs their morning meal.
Skidoo tracks where the boys had taken the snow machines up river earlier to collect unfrozen drinking water from an open river pool.
No problems with pollution - it tasted great - and no need to ice the drinks.
Golsovia River - In the summer season this river is full of salmon, and Jerry swaps dog mushing for river fishing expeditions.
From here I walked back towards the Lodge
and met Ann who had started her stroll later than I.
From the river we walked over towards the coast to get a close up view of Golsovia Bay under ice.
It seems that Jerrine had the same plans, and we found her and the children on our way back.
I wondered over to look at the old Russian Cabins down near the foreshore
Wonderful dove tailing on the old cabin was characteristic of the Russian building style.
Contrast that with the more butt-ended system with the modern log cabin.
What we forget is that Alaska was once part of Russia, and many of the towns, villages and hunting lodges like this were built by them.
In 1867, when they could no longer support the declining fishing and trapping industry, the Russian State sold Alaska to the Americans for 7.2 million dollars or about 2 cents per acre. Russia and Great Britain were not speaking at that time due to a disagreement in Europe, so consequentially Alaska became an annexed part of the USA rather than being joined to it's natural geographic partner, Canada . . . So now you know !
A short while later I ventured out again to watch the sun go down.
Broad sunset skies behind the "Russian Cabin".
The last of the sun behind the distant tree.
And a closer shot as the sun finally disappeared.
With the dusk, the temperature dropped like a stone, and it was time to get indoors.
The Lodge was as well equipped as Jerry's house back in St Michael, and was just as warm too.
In the picture are Manny, Jerrine, Louie and Roger.
After dinner, someone found a pack of cards and some plastic counters. The lads played a friendly game of Poker (Tony won, I came second)
but Jerry volunteered to do the washing up. That way he looked good and was able to control the choice of music CD's !
Festivities over, it was time for bed . . .
Chance for a photo during a brief pause along the trail.
Past the Birch and the rock outcrop as we re-climbed Toik Hill
Manny's dogs pulling well.
Full of energy for the final drop down to Klikitarik Camp.
In the evening another fine meal from Jerrine, then a coffee and a chat in the mess tent with the family
Jerrine had made her kids a camera out of sticky tape and a box
The following morning it was back on the trail, passing the poles we had seen on our outward journey.
Past "Suicide Hill" where Louie (and I ) had taken a tumble on the way out
. . . and after a hair raising descent to the final shoreline at Healy, it was back onto the sea ice for the last four miles of our journey.
It was with great delight, but heavy hearts that we faced the last short incline back into St Michael and the end of our trek.
With the dogs fed and safely back in the compound, we cleared the sleds and returned to our cabin.
Ann was looking happy I think.
Our final evening was spent in Jerry and Clara's house, talking, eating and enjoying a few last hours together.
Jerry and Clara declared undying love and circumstances permitting, promised to take her to Sydney Australia for their next big wedding anniversary.
Not bad since he didn't even realise she wanted to go there !
In the morning we woke to a slight covering of fresh snow.
Jerry's boat he uses for the summer fishing trips looked forlorn in the grey morning light.
But enough of sentiment - we've got a plane to catch - where's Jerry ?
Has he been working too hard ?
"No - just relaxing" he said "as the plane hadn't radio'd in yet."
One last chance to say goodbye to the dogs and the pups in the enclosure
and it was over to the air strip to catch the flight back to Nome.
A final farewell - Clara, Ann, Jerry, Manny and myself.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon G7 Digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built using Dreamweaver.
This site best viewed with . . . Manny, Jerry, Clara, Jerrine, Louie, Tony, Hailey, Mathias, not forgetting the wonderful dogs.