Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Finders Keepers

The other day I took the dogs for a run along the back road. Uyaana and his buddy Oz rode along in the back. As we were driving along I was noticing how the tundra has lost it's reds and yellows almost completely and is now full of rusts and tans and browns.

So as we are riding along I can hear Oz and Uyaana through the window. They are playing I-Spy. I hear Uyaana say "I spy something brown." Ummm yeah, I bet he does.

The dogs were doing their usual, hunting voles in the tundra. Kaija found one and tossed it up in the air. Rush stole it from her and run up on the road to get away from her.

Then he dropped it.

Maybe was still biting back. But then again it's not looking too lively.

The boys ran over to get a better look, and Kaija ran over to try and reclaim her prize.

Rush figured he better take off.

But Kaija wasn't going to let that happen. This is how it always seems to go...Kaija finds them and Rush steals them and eats them. I think Kaija had enough of that. Who does he think he is anyway?

So the argued and growled over it.

Kaija wasn't gonna let Rush get away with her snack.

In the end she got it back. She ran away and ate it before Rush could try and take it away. Those dogs are sure going to miss their furry snacks when the tundra freezes over.


Monday, September 28, 2009


I found my camera charger, but guess what? Photobucket is down during a period of "short maintenance". So there will be no new photos today. I may be leaving for Anchorage tomorrow for a quick trip so I will try to get them posted, if possible, before I go.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lost it Again!

Yup, my camera charger. I know you are all surprised. I'm pretty sure it's around here somewhere. Hopefully I will find it tomorrow. Until then here are some photos from a cookout with friend's at the beach. These were taken 9/20/09.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thank You!

After the fire, when Maija first suggested having a fundraiser, we thought that maybe we might be able to raise $1,000. Imagine our amazement at having raised over $3,000! We are grateful for everyone's generosity. Many people who donated were from Alaska, but just as many were not. We had people from all over the United States and we feel blessed. The following is a list of winners...

Deluxe handmade Knife By Siksu's Knives – Greg Louden
Atikluk – zippered – Laurie Parker
Atikluk – pullover womens – Eva Harvey
Birch Bark Basket - Jill Meyer
Mukluk Keychain handsewn – Denise Row
Mitten Keychain Handsewn – Kathleen Barker
2 jars of homemade Jams – B. Self
2 jars of homemade Jams – Greg Louden
2 jars of homemade Fireweed Jelly – Duncan Campbell
An Ivory Seal Necklace – Daisy Lambert
Three Fillets of Kenai Red Salmon – Karen Bendler
Three Packages Alaskan Halibut – Sally Loprinzi
Matted Photo - James Parente
Matted Photo – Deb Billingsley
Matted Photo – Gary & Elizabeth Alkire
Handmade (Beaded) Earrings - Valarie Brown
Handmade (Beaded) Earrings – Greg Louden
Handmade (Beaded) Earrings – Sally Loprinzi
Handmade (Beaded) Earrings – Ida Ballot
Handmade (Beaded) Earrings – B. Self
Walrus Ivory Earrings – Jill Meyer
Atikluk Apron – David Holthouse
Gift Certificate from Margie's Materials – Karen Bendler
Grass Handweaved Basket - Margaret Lawler
Swan Antler Carving – Jackalyn Riggs
Beaded necklace and earring set – Patty Frawley
Kitchen towel set – J.A. Siglin
Towel set – Denise Lachowsky
Towel set – Susan Sharbaugh
Towel set – Susan Severston
Crochet potholders – Rachel Lockwood
Crochet table doily – J.A. Siglin
Crochet table doily – Constance Steeples
Ivory Face Earrings – J. A. Siglin
Scarf – Sam Towarak
Scarf – Daisy Lambert
Scarf – Leslie Parrish
Scarf – Rodney Keeland
Baby Blanket – Lorraine Bartlett
2 salmon fillets – Chester Ballot
Seal skin slippers – Elizabeth Moses
Alaska Airlines Ticket – (OTZ-ANC) – Aggie Jack

We will be contacting people starting next week to confirm addresses to send items to.

So once again, thanks again for helping us help out neighbors. And a special thank you for everyone who donated prizes. It is awesome, especially in these tough economic times, to see people step up to help others. God bless you all.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Info on Reilly Wreck

In the previous two posts I talked about a place on the Baldwin Peninsula that we call Reilly (Riley) Wreck. It is basically located near the mouth of a creek that has an old shelter cabin and reindeer corrals near it. I have been told that there was a ship that ran aground there, but didn't really know any information. A reader was nice enough to give a link that contained info about the wreck. It never occurred to me that I was spelling it wrong. See how goon an investigative reporter I would be? Once I spelled it correctly I was able to find more info.

The info came from Minerals and Management Service shipwreck records. It stated that on 10/13/1905, the steamer, John Reilly, was blown up on rocks approximately 4 miles east of Cape Blossom, Kotzebue Sound in strong wind. The John Reilly called the Kobuk River its home and had made many trips up and down the river since 1898. Vessel had been assembled on St. Lawrence Island from materials brought up from southern ports on the bark Alaska. It had last been to port at Kiwalik.

Here is a photo of the John Reilly, (from the Alaska Digital Archive) being loaded by the S.S. Sadie. It is assumed that this photo was taken in Kotzebue Sound or Hotham Inlet (Kobuk Lake).


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ride to Riley Wreck, Part 2


Here is a screen shot from Google Earth that shows the Baldwin Peninsula and part of Kotzebue Sound. You can see that I have labeled the locations on the map. The distance between Kotzebue and Cape Blossom is roughly 12 miles. The distance between Cape Blossom and Riley Wreck is roughly 6 miles.

Here is another section of the shore where the waves undercut the bank melting the permafrost. Eventually the bank had no support and huge pieces collapsed. The water now laps right up against these pieces making it impossible to ride down the beach ion this section, except during periods of very low water. The water was so low this day I was able to ride right around. When the water is too high you can ride up onto the tundra and bypass this section of the beach.

This is the shelter cabin and the old reindeer corrals at Riley Wreck. If anyone is interested in reading about the history of reindeer herding in Alaska you can click HERE.

It has been a long time since these corrals have been used and they are staring to fall apart. I guess they call the name of this place Riley Wreck because there was a steamer, named Riley, that wrecked here many years ago. If someone knows the story please write a comment and let us know.

The inside walls of the shelter cabin are like a guest book graffitied with the names and dates of visitors over the years.

Looking back the way we came.

Back along the creek behind Riley Wreck I came across this whale vertabre. I put it on the back of the four wheeler to take the photo so you could see the size.

This just looks like a shot of the tundra...but there was something there that attracted Kaija's attention.....

...a flock of these little birds. Kaija jumped off the four wheeler and tried to catch some but they took off flying.

They would fly really fast and make 180 degee turns at full speed, never breaking formation.

Kaija chased them as the flashed up and down the beach.

She never did get close. The birds reminded me of those huge schools of fish you sometimes see on documentaries.

You know, the kind that swim together in big schools and they turn this way and that all at the same time.

Almost back to town, few more miles.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ride to Riley Wreck, Part 1


Last Saturday I decided to take a ride on my 4 wheeler to Riley Wreck. It is located past the point you see in this photo about 12 miles south of Kotzebue.When I first moved to Kotzebue 12 years ago you used to be able to ride your four wheeler around the tip of Cape Blossom along the beach anytime, except during a really high tide. Now because there has been such erosion of the shore the water is, more often then not, right up to the steep banks. Now, unless the tide is quite low, you have to ride up over the tundra to get bast the cape. This day the tide was very low so it was a great day to take a ride down the coast.

On the way down the beach not far from town I met up with some folk training their dog team.

In this photo you can again see Cape blossom in the distance. It's approximate coordinates are Lattitude 66°43'55.92"N Longitude 162°29'43.88"W .

Here I left the beach for a while to go up on the tundra to pick some berries.

Name that bird.

Seagull tracks in the sand.

Here is a good example of the shore erosion. You can see the exposed permafrost under the bank.

Along the way there were a few jelly fish that had washed ashore.

Here is the start of coming around the point of Cape Blossom. The cape consists of tall eroding bluffs.

The water was so low that there were a lot of exposed sandbars. Kaija had fun running around chasing birds on the sandbars while I looked for clams and pieces of mammoth ivory.

More eroding bluffs.

The water is usually right up close to the bluffs.

I came across some starfish that had washed up on the beach.

These guys past me by. The were headed farther down the coast than me. They had brought with them extra gas and rifles.

Another washed up creature.

I will post the rest of the pics tomorrow.