Staying Sane in the Yukon Delta
Reporting from the MLA Outpost
We Might Be Gone...But were Forgotten...
What I would really like too say is that I'm out here in MLA's outpost of Bethel just Be Bopping about the Kuskokwim river taking photos and getting rough GPS measurements on Cup'ik Fishcamps, but thats not exactly the way it is....kinda...sorta....but not exactly.
The Theory is there...go out and locate all the people who have Bethel Native Council Fishcamp permits and get a GPS on em.....eeeeasy...
....Well the first day went well until the placards on the sites we saw didn't match the sites plotted on the map. Plus my Gps search coordinates were saying the target sites were on another planet.
...Okay then...we ask occupant his name and site number and Voila....survey done.
..hmmm...occupants no where to be found....out fishing apparently...not about...or busy being dead.
You do what?...you lease a permit but not the site?...and you want a survey of the site belonging to the permit?
How often does someone change their Fishcamp? every year?......and they take their placard to there new site?....
oh no...it's no problem...just so I know....
Lets see....Fishcamp #29 permit holder Ron Hoffman...formely Fishcamp #138, John Williams Jr....who is occupying site #188 as #138, because #188 is Sara Smith, wife of Joe Smith who passed away but Sara moved to Anchorage leaving the site to her son, who's cousin's friend pays the permit fee so his nephew can Dry Fish somewhere else. Got it...nooo problem...got it...all writ out....
The list of permit holders you gave me was the old list from 1990?........No...No...it's noo problem ...I was only working off that list for 8 days....that's only 63 fishcamps....could have been 30 days.... noooo...no problem...what year is the new list?....2003?....Oh...May of 2003....can I have a copy of that one?
I see....and you started the second fishcamp numbering system in 99 but then went back to the first numbering system in 02?
Whats that?....the ones that have Placard numbers are squatters?
Excuse me...does the ex-wife of the Albanian that was run out off town after his battle with the Bethel Native Council still have rights to the Albanians ex-Fishcamp?
Wait a minute!...?These aint WGS 84!
.......When you call in your bush order from brown jug, how long does it take to get it?
Every Morning when I get up I play a single hand of draw poker. Sometimes I'm lucky in the hand ...and that reflects on the day to come, enhances the mood, the riddum, and it all builds off itself... so a good lucky day is inevitable. A straight produces a damn good day.....a flush...shoot...with a flush you would want to work for free.....And a straight flush...not that I've had one yet.....but i'd probaly take the day off to focus that reflection on harmonial vibes.
I'll raise you one Tariq Aziz for a SaBaw Ibrahim Hasan Al-Tikriti....no?.....do you have a Barzan?
I get home from the river today and race to Northern Air Cargo to look for my case of beer that Gary was suppose to have sent last week. Northern Air Cargo have not seen any
shipment. Sweating buckets.....I spin on over to Alaska Airlines ....and frantically ask if any such shipment has
arrived.......and yes....yes....YES...it had..."Pull around the side" she says "and the guys will load it up for you"
Yeah..okay...thankyou very much...gracious, asante sana
I get around the side to find a fork lift waiting with a huge white box on a pallet.
Okay....okay...okay..yes....looks like Gary sent many cases! Back up ..load er up boys...
race home with my precious cargo keeping an eye out for highway bandits, checking the rear view for armed robbers.
ahhh...were home...grind the gears to a halt....ignition off...spring bop outa the drivers side and whistling a Rage tune as I dance walk to the tailgate. Drop the gate and grab the package.....Holy KaZomba!...it must weigh 200 lbs....I was tired from work today but the focused thought of what was inside that box gave me strength...and I picked it up, turned and squat walked to the abode....Yes...Gary did well.....he must have put a keg in there...
.....cut it open to find lots of newspapers....lots of phone books....stacks...stacks of newspapers and phone books. Those big fat phone books...anchorage ones...from this year, last year, and every year back ten years. And stacks of newspapers..not scrunched up to provide cusion....but stacked in tight piles so as to increase the shipping weight 20 fold to 160 lbs instead of the 20 lbs.
oh...and at the bottom of this pile of rubbish is a case of Miller Highlife Light...not the Redhook IPA I had ordered.....
dissapointment lasted but a mere half a second before my thoughts focused on my proximity to a full case of lager.
...Yep...It's my lucky day
...I could have got O'Douls...must have been that Full House I got this morning.
Rise Up and go to Bethel, Go there and Dwell
a brass monument at the Moravian Church, 1950
The mosquitos that got in last night late were buzzing around my ears and keeping me awake so I put bug dope in my ears and that worked real great
Next Day, 2003
......Just got in from staking out a subdivision of all things...or part of one anyway. Subdivision work...my most hated...
But Bethel throws new light on "The Subdivision". Out on beautiful tundra hilltops under the sun...75-80 degrees...no bugs!....no people...it was great...until my base battery went out...thats the problem when I get here...and everybody was already here and scavenged the good gear......leaving me the crap gear. I mean....the fooken main battery dont even take a charge.....I'm just gonna drop kick that sumbitch....well....drop it anyway.
and Go buy a decent battery.
.......and you should see this friggen Bethel MLA official survey truck I'm driving....you cant roll the windows down because they have fallen of there rail....if you try to roll em down they fall out...I aint kidding...and to complicate that the stupid heater is stuck in the on position from winter use and lately it's been 80+ degrees here in Bethel...which is like 150 degrees in a car with its windows rolled up and heater on. When I have to go have a meeting with someone I'm so covered and soaked in sweat and completely flushed red that they think I'm having a heart attack when its really just heat stroke...
...Some say my methods are unsound.....do you think my methods are unsound......Captain.
I don't see any methods....at all....Sir
This Hovercraft goes up and down the river picking up and dropping of passengers between the villages. I could use one of these...all I got is a small boat and a river guide...who has successfully guided us to just about every sandbar on the river.
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