Good-bye Fairbanks and ice lattes! Today I leave for the wilderness.
This morning we are flying out to the cabin in this (pic attached), a 5-seater helio courier plane. The skies are clear so the views should be amazing, and I hope the trip will be a smooth one. On our route out, we will follow the Yukon River to the town of Fort Yukon and then fly north across the Porcupine to the Coleen River, and then north again to the cabin. There we will land on a gravel bar and use a canoe to transport our gear across the river to the cabin site. It’s a 3 -hour flight and, during that time, we will fly over a great chunk of the Alaskan Interior. I will not be blogging again, but rest assured that I will be making plentiful notes and will write again as soon as I am back in Fairbanks in early August.
Spent my first day at the Fairbanks dump—don’t ask. Not exactly the wilds of Alaska, but still I met many wild and colorful characters, scroungers, and vagabonds, with their vehicles full of all their worldly possessions. They mistook me for one of them and inducted me into their club. We talked scrounging, self-sufficiency and how one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. One guy said he’d decorated his entire cabin with stuff scrounged from the dump.
I got a quick tour of Fairbanks, as my dad and I rushed across town in Heimo’s gas-guzzler of a truck gathering cabin-building materials for Heimo and provisions for our trip. We went on a wild goose chase for some twelve-inch cabin spikes and a Thermacelle insect repellent lantern, guaranteed to keep all mosquitoes away. Apparently it works, though, because every store we went to was sold out. Our search led us all across the city and to the far corners of town. It was here that I found probably the most amusing of Fairbanks’ many quirks: “Show Girls,” the local club. I couldn’t resist including a photo. I guess everything is wild in Alaska.