We met Scott at the Potlatch in Champagne (see previous post here). He has a big greenhouse and grows some organic food as well; the place is called the Anarchy Farm and he is as relaxed as the name implies.
Scott was great, even when he found us in the middle of the night sleeping in his greenhouse
A few weeks later, he sent us the following wonderful poem. If the Greenhouse business doesn’t work, a new career is waiting. Thanks Scott, people like you make our trip so special!
Hola Ivana and Harry K.
Off you went into our boreal summer
a bit wet you seemed
but shedding water like loons in the rain
Perhaps its your slow drift south
that drags down the cold from the north
and brings the geese to the fields
Run away, run away
urges our saner side
fly with the birds, south
But egos prevail
and we hunker in
as autumn changes colours
Stockholm syndrome with the weather
rationalized reasons to stay
as water freezes, falls from the air
And we remain, human outposts
in hostile realms, inuit, dene, and
pale intruders too enrapt to go
Too long in gaia’s breast
to survive a concrete dream
in steel wrapped hives
So blessings to haired and furred and feathered friends
on perilous journies to the sun
and welcomes waiting come spring
Stay we will amidst the ‘standing people’
and mourn the crack of frozen sap
at forty plus below
Spin those wheels, shed your sweat
on downhill coasts, and
fear those diesel dooms
So chase summer down the road you two
to flatlands flee, boreal lands depart
strange winds in yankee lands await . . .
‘I have been living in Wiseman since 1971, when I was 13. I have to go to Fairbanks to get supplies every 3-4 months, but hate it.’
Jack Reakoff is one of Wiseman’s famous faces and voices. he seems to know a lot about a lot and works part-time as a tourguide, showing busloads of tourists around Wiseman and telling all about its history. Whenever there is a radio discussion about a current topic, Jack calls in and he has been featured in books, videos and guides. he sells fur from animals he hunts and traps and beads to make necklaces and jewelry.
He has a clear opinion about the oil industry and the thoughts behind the pressure to start drilling in the last remaining wilderness in the arctic:
‘It’s all political. Due to new drilling methods there is actually more oil in the North Slope available than there was when they started drilling a few decades ago. But they have to lower the output, which serves them for several reasons: firstly, the pipeline will not break. It is old and corrosion has lowered the maximum pressure that can go through. Read more
after we woke up in our church, we noticed that it was actually dry! Not only that, but the weather improved during the day. Oh, how life is so much easier with some sun. I know we will curse it later when in the heat of central America, but for now it was very welcome.
We passed quite a few roadhouses and motels, that were either closed for the season or closed altogether. Seems that the combination of higher gas prices (increasing the costs for the generators and heating) and lower number of tourists (also partly because of higher gas prices) already has put many businesses out of business. Still some smaller business like the Cappucino house at the Gakona Junction seemed to survive. Shame that most clients never leave their car and stop to talk with the friendly ladies that run the wildly decorated place. Louise warned us for the many wild bears that were on the coming stretch and showed us some photos of a bear on the side of the road that apparently was not afraid of humans at all, taken a few days before…
We had stopped for some internet at Gakona Roadhouse, a nice historic place in a beautiful setting. It was comfortable to stay there, but the late evening sun convinced us to go a bit further and so we managed to see the beautiful sunsets over the Wrangell-StElias national park, with its 2 dominant peaks (from this side) Mt Drum and Mt Stanford. Read more
… I think they do not mix, at least not voluntarily. So who came up with the idea to hold your toothbrush under the running tab for a while and then sticking it in your mouth while the water keeps on flowing?
That makes absolutely no sense. Water does not ‘stick’ to the toothpaste, or at least not in any noticeable amount. So, let’s just make it easier for ourselves: if we do not open the tap before we are finished brushing, we also do not have to remember closing it… better for everybody, as 2 minutes (recommended brushing time) of useless flowing water is a lot of clean drinking water wasted.