Saturday, September 27, 2008

Heading to Wyoming

Jeremy's mom, Virginia, had a bad fall and broke her ankle and her wrist.  Isa and I are going to head to Wyoming to help out for a while.  I feel really good about being able to go and help out.  It is not often that you feel so open to really being able to do something for someone else.  I feel really lucky to be able to do something to help them after all of the help they have given us over the years.  I am sad about leaving Jeremy here all by himself.  We have spent more time apart this year then together!  Isa is excited about traveling to Montana and Wyoming to see everyone.  She has made two good friends here but hasn't felt like this is home yet.  She really misses all of her friends and family back in the states.    

Monday, September 22, 2008


Happy fall equinox everyone.  
The yearly seasons take on new meaning up here.  It is now the beginning of the dark time up here.  The nights are now longer then the day and it is only getting darker.  We lose 40 minutes a WEEK until winter solstice and then the day begins to creep in again.  We celebrated fall with some neighbors here.  Big stew with salad and pumpkin pie.  Most of the meal was made with food from our CSA box.  :)
Here are some pictures of Isa and her new pet "puddle butt".  Her Jellyfish was named by her
 father.  Puddle butt lead us on a very interesting research expedition.  Puddle butt is a "Moon Jelly" and if you want to know how they reproduce I suggest you look it up because you will never believe me.  
Isa has a good friend here named Judy.  She is in first grade and tends to spend every afternoon here.  Isa and Judy have been exploring makeup and dressing up like princesses.

Monday, September 15, 2008

September 18th

This is a picture of our back yard.  People use these metal barge crates as makeshift garages.  It is not the most beautiful back yard we have ever had but they are practical.

We are starting to find a rhythm here in in Unalakleet.  Jeremy works in the clinic from 8 to 5.  Isa and I home school until 1:00 then she heads off to school and I get some mom time.  In the evening it has been very pretty although it is starting to get cold.  It is most certainly the end of fall here.  The trees have lost their leaves and there is frost on the ground this morning.  

We bought a jeep to come out here and it is my new love.  I do not know why I have not had one
 before now.  Now I understand the Jeep love thing.  Here is a photo of "sissy" as Isa named her.  She is perfect for traveling the roads up here.   Clothes drying on a line outside Unalakleet.

Friday, September 12, 2008

problems uploading photos

Here is a photo of Unalakleet from on top of one of the hills out of town.  You can see the town down by the water. 
I have been waiting to post new entries to the blog because I am having a hard time uploading my photos.  I think out Internet connection here is too slow.  I will keep trying to figure it out but until that time you are going to just have to use your imagination.  It will be good for you.....

Unalakleet is changing rapidly right now.  The high is supposed to be 40 degrees.  This morning it was down right cold.  The Tundra changed from green to reddish brown, the trees are beautiful, for about one week.  The trees are birch or elm mingled with some type of pine and red willows in the low areas.  The river has dropped lower then anyone here has ever seen it.  So many changes happening here due to climate change.  The river is too low, the King Salmon have stopped running, the caribou have stopped migrating through here, it is just to warm for them.  Changes are coming too fast.  People here talk openly about it but are unsure how to do anything to change what is happening, or to even adapt quickly enough.

Some good news we have signed up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) that just started here in Unalakleet.  I can hear Amy Hutchinson thinking "only Wendy would be able to move to Alaska and find a CSA where she is living."  Crazy I know but an organic farm in Washington specializes in serving bush communities in Alaska.  Actually it is a brilliant marketing plan.  Everyone here is so desperate for good produce, and it is organic to boot.  The bad part of  course is that it has to be flown here in an airplane.  As the good Environmentalist I am I should just try to eat locally, but I have yet to find out what that is besides salmon.  

We are waiting for you to come up and visit.  

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Some photos of Unalakleet

Here finally is some photos of our new home!

We have been having a great time getting to know everyone here in Unalakleet.  It is just beautiful here.  It is still 60 degrees and sunny.  We took a beautiful drive out to the tundra this weekend.  We saw some great big bear tracks!

I am having a hard time uploading my photos onto the blog.  I will keep working on it.  Until then here is a picture of Isa and her new friend Judy. 

Thursday, September 4, 2008

So I finally found something in Alaska that I despise.  You have heard a lot about the famous Alaska Mosquito, and we have a few of them here but they are really not that bad.  What is bad are the GNATS!  Tiny flying animals that back in Montana and Idaho do not bite you.  Here in Alaska they bite and bite hard.  The bite turns red, you bleed, it hurts, it itches and it lasts for days.  Ugggg time to get out the "bug shirts"!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Finally in Unalakleet

We finally made it to Unalakleet and moved into our new home.  Things here are great so far.  The weather has been beautiful and we have been our enjoying it.  The Silver Salmon are running and we are working at filling our freezer with salmon for the winter.  We have also been having picnics on the ocean enjoying the last of the beautiful summer weather before it turns cold and dark.  

Isa started kindergarten.  We are excited about it because every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday they have Inupiaq cultural class.  We are glad that she gets to experience her heritage and learn some of the language while we are here. 

Here is some general information about Unalakleet.  Unalakleet is an Inupiaq village of over 700 people.  It sits on a spit with Norton Sound on one side and the Unalakleet river on the other.  It is known for its salmon runs and kind crab.   Most of the families here live of off subsistence meaning hunting, fishing, and berry picking.  Most of the land is tundra but there are mountains and trees not far inland from us.  It is 85% native and 15% white.  Most of the white folk work in the schools.  Unalakleet is also known as a stop on the Iditarod trail race and the Iron Dog Snowmobile race.  There are no roads in or out of the town.  All travel must be done with air travel, snow machines, boats, or dog sleds.