Yesterday I hopped in the canoe and headed up river a couple of miles or so to try some fishing along there. It was a really nice day, pretty hot, but also thick with mosquitos and gnats 🙁 The plan had been to camp overnight and return today, but after six hours I was being bitten on top of existing bites! I’ve got over a dozen just on one hand, and after my right hand swelled up to twice it’s normal size a week ago off just one bite, I thought it was best to run with the tide back yesterday afternoon instead.
Not even a nibble whilst fishing, but at least it showed the canoe handles really well even when pretty much fully loaded. If the weather stays fine tomorrow will try fishing for a few hours again without carrying so camping gear! The little bivvy shelter for around $20 would be perfect for camping out, especially with a 0F-rated sleeping bag.
Still not convinced about stories about a bear in the area though. A few of the locals have said they’ve seen one recently, but almost like a running joke when people head out on boats or berry picking – “Watch out for the bear!”. Seems like an awful lot of wetland without a huge amount of food for a bear, and since these guys know the land like the back of their hand, would have expected them to have come across bears before if they’re in the area. Still, Nick offered me his ‘Alaska gun’ when I went out yesterday which was a very high calibre rifle that would certainly have stopped a bear in it’s tracks! He’d gone out on the boats with Mark with salmon nets on the Kuskokwim and returned with 10 silvers and a straggling King salmon – we grilled one of the silvers tonight and it was very nice indeed!
A couple of new teachers also arrived from Bethel after their training today. Frank gave them the guided tour back from the airport as he was coming back from a bunch of meetings whilst I hauled all their luggage back to school with the 4-wheeler. They both seem really nice and are trying to take in all the wonders of the village! Made me think back to when I first came out here, but think the middle of winter was one of the worst times to be introduced to the area – is a lot nice coming in when it’s the middle of summer 😉 Angie has an 8 year-old yellow Labrador who’s sure to make friends with the other dogs around here, and her husband and young son are flying out next month too. The other lady, Pamela, will be teaching 4th grade with Kat moving to 3rd grade, and Pam seems really nice too. Came prepared too – had a case of Ramen noodles with her!